Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween! - horror films from the silent era.

For my Halloween post I thought I would focus on some early horror films.

Here's a good introduction the the genre.

Many of you may be familiar with the French director Georges Melies, whose pioneering films include "A Trip to the Moon" (1902). His directed the very first horror film, "Le Manior du Diable",from 1896.

Here is a brief excerpt, with modern narration.

Three more by Melies:

The first version of Frankenstein was filmed by Edison Studios in 1910. The quality is poor in places, There is only one known surviving copy, and it remained unseen by all except for its owner for many years.

Here is F.W. Murnaus's 1922 film "Nosferatu", the first filmed version of the Dracula legend. Murnau was successfully sued by Bram Stoker's widow for copyright infringement.

There are several very interesting films from the silent era here.

This is a great bibliography of horror films, from 1895-1950

I will discuss the Carl Dreyer film "Vampyr" in a separate post on Dreyer.


  1. I really enjoy watching film that's over a hundred years old, hard to believe that some of that stuff has survived.
    Besides Noseratu the only other old horror film I can remember seeing (parts of at least) is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It's a expressionist film, it has a crazy set, complete with a somnambulist and a mental institution, if not scary it was really interesting.

  2. I've seen The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and really liked it. I think sometimes about all the films that have been lost forever.

  3. Yes, it's sort of sad an amazing all at once. I think the loss and re-discovery of Joan of Arc is incredible:

    Also only very recently the original cut of Fritz Lang's Metropolis was rediscovered in a university in Argentina.. I really hope they'll be able to restore it.

  4. Yep I remember hearing about the Joan of Arc rediscovery. Quite a story! Thanks for letting me know about the Metropolis rediscovery:).