Let’s be honest. Given the huge number of gross-out, slash ‘em up films that are under “horror movie” genre, watching someone get stabbed, or hung or cut apart gets a little tedious. Blood and guts can be scary, yes, but the real “horror” is sometimes only in our minds: the stuff we can’t see, or even worse, the stuff we imagine we see.
Following this, and based upon a comment from one of my Facebook friends, I compiled a list of horror/scary movies in black and white that you may enjoy. Where possible, I’ve placed the date and time it’s on the air, but otherwise, I’m sure you can find them on either a streaming service or even on YouTube.
When I was a seventies child, these movies were perfect for a rainy Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and were scary enough to keep you awake with some nightmares for sure! So without further ado, here’s my list.
- The Thing from Another World (1951) – I actually didn’t see this movie until I was an adult, and while it wasn’t super scary, it really creeped me out. James Arness is the “Thing” and at his height of 6’6” he was able to tower menacingly over the rest of the cast. A must watch for classic movie lovers. Available on archive.org.
- The Invisible Man (1933) – Long before Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon, there was Claude Rains as the Invisible Man. This was Rains’s American film debut. Available on vimeo.
- Cat People (1942) – Built around a woman who is cursed to turn into a panther, this movie is said to be the origin of the “jump scare”. It’s a moody, atmospheric piece that is both well-acted and well-written.
- The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) – The screenplay was written by Richard Matheson, based upon his novel of the same name. Exposed to both pesticides and radiation (poor fellow), the title character begins shrinking and no one can help him. I remember the battle with the cat as well as another “monster” that I won’t mention here.
- House on Haunted Hill (1959) – The setup is simple. A millionaire offers 10k to be locked in a haunted house (presumably also located on a haunted hill) overnight. Seems simple right? But the house may have other plaaaaaans. It stars Vincent Price, which should be enough to compel you to watch it. Available on TubiTv.
- Them! (1954) – Ants affected by none other than atomic testing, invade a New Mexico town with disastrous results. Great giant monster movie!
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) – Starring Frederic March. You know the drill. Available on archive.org.
- The Uninvited (1944) – If you’re a fan of haunted house/ghost stories, then this film starring Ray Milland (of Dial M for Murder) is for you. Slow, creeping horror.
- The Night of the Hunter (1955) – More Gothic horror than supernatural horror, The Night of the Hunter is full of dread and gloom, enhanced by its stark black and white presentation. Robert Mitchum is the supposedly “God-fearing” preacher with LOVE and HATE tattooed on his knuckles. Scary and picturesque.
- Night of the Living Dead (1968) – No B&W horror movie list would be complete this super classic. Watch online here.