As previously noted, my wife and I have a tradition where I draft up a selection of horror films for Halloween viewing, and she picks one from each group: Contemporary, Classic, and Cult, and I thought I’d share my suggestions this year. Today features classic horror films, and mostly features the exact text I sent her.
This time I will apologize not for leaning on prior works, but for posting about films I have yet to watch, but they all have stellar reputations, and at least one of them will be viewed tonight!
DOCTOR X (1932, Criterion/VOD)
While I purchased a copy of the newly restored DOCTOR X — it was one of the rare early horror films shot on a very distinct, very early two-color Technicolor process (see also: THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933)) I have yet to watch it. It’s directed by Michael Curtiz, during his infamous horror run at Warner Bros, and stars Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray.
SISTERS (1973, Criterion/HBO MAX/VOD)
Also previously suggested. Classic Brian De Palma film about two sisters, two sides of the same coin.
DIABOLIQUE (1955, Criterion/HBO MAX/Plex/Roku)
Also previously suggested. “More of a thriller than a horror film, but it’s a seminal piece of film history for both. I haven’t seen it in over twenty years, and I’m eager to revisit it.”
THE VANISHING (1988, Criterion/VOD)
This has been on my watchlist for years. I think I had a copy on the DVR via TCM, but it may have been auto-deleted due to space.
THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971, DVD/YouTube)
It’s campy, but very intelligent and darkly comic. Also, Vincent Price AND Joseph Cotten! (There’s a sequel I’ve been meaning to watch, but haven’t gotten around to.)
THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1927, epix/kanopy/Paramount+/VOD
I haven’t seen this yet but, similar to THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932) — which we watched a few years ago — it’s an ensemble film along the lines of Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (although this film predates both works). It’s directed by Paul Leni, who directed THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, notable for Conrad Veidt’s (THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI) performance that was blatantly ripped off for the look of the Joker.