10 Classic, Black & White Horror Movies You Can Watch Now

Black and white were first preferred at the beginning of cinema until being overtaken by color and only used as an artistic decision after that. Additionally, some stoic moviegoers believe that black and white horror movies are the best. Because the absence of distractions in the black-and-white format allows the horror genre’s villains to stalk and munch the surroundings with an even greater emphasis on their threat.

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However, a lot of the early horror movies have been forgotten over time which certainly deserves a rewatch. And with an honorable mention from more recent times, these are the ones that have stood the test of time and still shine.


‘The Lighthouse’ (2019)

The Lighthouse is a 2019 film directed and produced by Robert Eggers as it follows Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, who star as nineteenth century lighthouse keepers. These two struggle to maintain their sanity on the distant and mysterious island as the plot takes some unpredictable turns.

With the help of sound design and other cinematic techniques such as camera angles and light usage, the movie pushes viewers to question their sanity. However, the movie is difficult to watch. Many people will find it tedious and drawn out since it employs so many symbolic and meaningful visuals that elevate it above your average horror movie.

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‘Psycho’ (1960)

Breaking the idyllic stereotype of the 1950s and 1960s, Psycho tells the simple tale of a woman on the run who seeks safety in a rural hotel only to find a psychotic murderer living there.

Psycho was contentious at the time, but after more than 60 years, it now seems like a relatively mild horror film. This film is still strangely significant due to its amazing pace and Alfred Hitchcock‘s calm hand in keeping it from degenerating into sheer schlock. Peeling back the layers reveals not one, but two of the most shocking surprises in cinema history, further shaping the horror genre and bringing a welcome sense of mystery to the growing plot.

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‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968)

The zombie genre as we know it today was founded by George A. Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead, along with many sequels and spiritual followers. The film follows a handful of survivors seeking safety in a farmhouse as the walking dead throng the streets and fields, but tensions soon flare up inside this ostensibly safe haven.

Enhanced by a throbbing tune and realistic sound design, the film uses grainy cinematography to give it a rough, gritty tone. Moreover, even after all these years, Night of the Living Dead is still tremendously taut and, at times, incredibly horrifying because of its high-contrast black and white imagery.

‘Eyes Without a Face’ (1960)

Eyes Without a Face centers on a doctor who is plagued with guilt since his daughter’s face has been terribly damaged due to an accident her narcissistic father created because of his own toxic stupidity. The doctor, driven by his unrelenting grief, looks for young women to use as unwilling face donors to restore his daughter’s damaged image.

The look of Christiane (Edith Scob), the young female protagonist, wearing a featureless white mask to conceal her affliction, was extremely distressing. Additionally, art-house aesthetics and magnificent stark black-and-white images provide a tone of tranquillity and poise to the otherwise tragic story that may haunt viewers days after watching.

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Creature of the Black Lagoon explores the moral conflict between science and nature by following a team of scientists as they travel into the Amazon only to find a gigantic missing link defending its habitat, bringing to mind the consequences of causing environmental harm in the name of scientific advancement.

It’s a thought-provoking combination of a popcorn horror film and a societal critique that gives the scenario some substance and inspires a profound concern for the monster in the title. The cinematography is particularly exceptional, and some of the underwater black-and-white shots are still astounding to this day.

‘The Innocents’ (1961)

The Innocents follows Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr), who, despite having no prior experience, is hired as the governess in a Victorian home. Later, she observes an unsettling occurrence with the niece and nephew of her employers, raising the possibility that another entity resides in this home.

The dead flower that slips at Kerr’s touch, thereby raising the tension of the scenario to a new level, is one of the unnerving images of overgrowth and rot that the movie relies on. In addition, The Innocents masterfully evokes a feeling of repressed panic, manipulating the viewer’s imagination in a way that few movies are able to, thanks to the cast’s equally excellent performances.

‘Carnival of Souls’ (1962)

Carnival of Souls follows Mary (Candace Hilligoss), a woman who escapes a serious auto accident and decides to leave her home and start a new life working at a church. Mary, however, is not made to feel welcome by the unfriendly locals, and she also cannot resist being drawn to an eerie abandoned carnival. Mary also frequently has glimpses of a weird character she refers to as “The Man.”

The film relies heavily on atmospheric black-and-white photography, acting, and mood to mask its dated production values ​​and flaws. Additionally, despite the lack of a strong enough plot, there is enough tension and funny moments to make up for it and give the audience a strong impression of a 1960s movie.

‘House on Haunted Hill’ (1959)

In this cherished film from the 1950s, five strangers are invited to an eccentric millionaire’s party in a purportedly haunted house in exchange for a monetary prize. The guests are stuck inside the mansion as the night wears on with a variety of frights.

Despite its obvious kitsch, House on Haunted Hill embraces all of the goofy, eerie fun that horror has to offer. William Castle is also evidently enjoying himself as he leads such an engaging plot with a complicated murder mystery of deceit and trickery. The movie is a true classic of the haunted house subgenre since it is horror down to its most appealing elements.

‘Frankenstein’ (1931)

Frankensteinan adaptation of a 1927 play by Peggy Weblingstars Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein, an obsessed scientist who excavates corpses with his assistant to build a living entity from body parts. Boris Karloff plays the resulting monster, which is frequently referred to as Frankenstein’s monster.

The film brilliantly interprets the original material thanks to compelling performances and superb aesthetic direction. Karloff gives one of the greatest performances in horror movie history despite using a lot of makeup and having very little speech. Additionally, Clive excels as the deranged Dr. Frankenstein, a commanding presence who is convincingly intelligent and deranged.

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‘Freaks’ (1932)

Freaksset against the backdrop of a traveling French circus, focuses on a beautiful and cunning circus performer who joins a troupe of carnival sideshow performers with a plan to seduce and murder a dwarf in the group to claim his inheritance.

All of the key characters in the movie have some sort of physical impairment, yet the film never treats them as underdogs; instead, it puts these characters front and center. In spite of juggling multiple plot lines and concepts, Freaks never feels overstuffed; instead, it maintains its captivating quality the entire time, with a gloomy tone that contrasts the occasional bursts of joy that will stay with you long after the initial viewing.

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