t's that time of year we like to callpre-Halloween. It's that time of year when things get spooky-when you need to get your ducks in a row before the big, scary holiday season kicks in.
That means catching up on the best old-school horror movies of all time. If you need a refresher on which ones should be in your rotation this year, we've got you covered. With Halloween just around the corner, you still have time to watch the whole dozen!
We've hand-picked 12 of the all-time best horror movies—some instant classics, others cult favorites—that have been freaking outhorror fans for decades. Whether you're into serial killer flicks or psychological thrillers, we've got scary movies for everyone.
While we love the more recent staples of the horror genre like Evil Dead, Elm Street, and the Halloween franchise, we thought we'd go back even further and brush the dust off some true vintage classics. You might be familiar with the later remakes of some of these. In fact, you might not even have known the version you saw wasn't the original! Well, It's time to explore horror movie history and see some of the movies that set the stage for the scary blockbusters of today.
Even better, you can show your love for these classic horror films by rocking a classic t-shirt from our vintagehorror collection.
So, without further ado, let's dive into movie history with our list of the 12 vintage scary movies you need to watch.
For this pick, we're goingreallyvintage—nearly 100 years vintage.Phantom of the Opera was released in 1925 and starred Lon Chaney in the first film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's famous novel. Technically, there was an earlier German silent film adaptation in 1916, but all copies have been lost, so we don't count it!
You might be familiar with the1986 horror comedy musical film starring Rick Moranis, but how about the earlier original directed by Roger Corman? Before the story became a musical, it was a low-budget dark comedy. And over 60 years later, the film is still making its mark on the horror genre!
You can't call yourself a true horror genre fan if you haven't seen at least a couple by the master director and ‘Father of the Zombie Film’ George A. Romero. The film that launched his legendary career, Night of the Living Dead, is a cult classic and genre-defining milestone that brought us the iconicslow zombies (i.e., none of these undead track stars like in 28 Days Later...).
With this one, we've officially gone back over a century in horror film history. Nowthat's vintage. Nosferatu, an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker'sDracula, brought audiences the deeply unnerving portrayal of thevampire Count Orlok by Max Schreck. Over a century later, he still looks freaky in that costume!
Thispost-apocalyptic science fiction horror film based on Richard Matheson's novelI Am Legend tells the story of the lone survivor of a plague that turns everyone else into undead creatures that can't stand sunlight. It has everything you'd want from a vampire thriller: guns, wooden stakes, blood, and garlic.
No, we're not talking about the band starring musician-turned-horror director Rob Zombie. The originalWhite Zombie (which the band took its name from) is a classic horror film starring Bela Lugosi as an evil voodoo master, featuring witch doctors and zombie slaves.
This classic horror movie is about a millionaire who offers $10,000 to five people in exchange for surviving the night hanging out with him and his wife. You may ask, "Is there a twist, or are he and his wife just boring?" Yes, there is a twist—and we recommend you watch it to see the supernatural spooks that make this an iconic horror movie.
If you're looking for a sophisticated cinema, then skip this one. Plan 9 From Outer Space is the archetypal "so bad it's good" film that has had audiences groaning, laughing, and clutching the edges of their seats for half a century. Directed by Ed Wood, Plan 9 has even had the dubious honor of being called "one of the best of the worst films of all time."
Carnival of Souls is a low-budget cult horror classic film directed and produced by Herk Harvey. While it's sadly the only feature-length film Harvey produced, he at least gave us a memorable performance as the creepy man named, well—The Man. Candice Hilligoss also does a great job as the young woman protagonist.
Bet you didn't know they had 3-D movies back in the 1950s, did you? This black-and-white horror film came out during the brief mid-century 3D film fad that pretty much died out until Avatar (which shortly thereafter died again—sorry, James Cameron!) Starring Richard Carlson and Julie Adams, it features the iconic Gill-man, an amphibious monster who stalks a young woman.
One of the earliest and defining examples of German Expressionist film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari isn't just one of those movies you hear nerdy film students go on about—it's genuinely a great vintage horror. With surreal, bizarre backdrops, this spooky nightmare has left a considerable mark on not just the horror genre but all of cinema!
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Fredric March, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an early Hollywood horror classic. It's from the pre-Code era of Hollywood, which meant films at the time could feature such salacious things as sexual innuendo and mild profanity.Shocking, right? With a memorable performance from March, it explores the duality of man—as a regular guy and a homicidal maniac.
So there you have it—12 vintage horror movies to get you in the mood for a spooky season. There's a reason they've stood the test of time, captivating audiences for generations.
One thing they didn't have back then, though, is an awesome collection of horror movie apparel fromFamous In Real Life to rock while you're hosting a scary movie marathon. What can we say...times were tough back then!
So, while you're here, why not embrace the nostalgia and grab a horror movie shirt from our collection? Our tees, hoodies, tank tops, and accessories feature nods to some of the best horror movies of all time. Even better, they're made with high-quality prints on ultra-soft cotton—perfect for any Halloween movie marathon.