Vintage horror movies that you need to see (if you’re up for it)

The Halloween season is upon us and that means it’s time for a right good spooking. I personally like to get my kicks watching scary vintage horror movies at home (hidden under a blanket), rather than going out on a Zombie Walk or something similar. Somehow the idea of someone actually chasing me with a chainsaw is less appealing to me ;-). That’s why I have selected a number of vintage horror movies for real horror fans. Are you up for it?

PS: Make sure you don’t watch these movies when you’re alone. These movies are best watched with your lover, date or bestie. And make sure you keep them close, just in case. 😉

Psycho (1960)
Marion Crane, a woman who doesn’t have much money, is asked by her boss to take a large sum of money to the bank. In an act of despair, she decides to keep the money for herself and goes on the run. During a heavy rainstorm, she decides to stop at the Bates Motel. Here she meets the mysterious, young proprietor of the motel, Norman Bates, who has some disturbing secrets of his own. Spooky!

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Filming ‘Psycho’, Alfred Hitchcock, 1960

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The Shining (1980)
Jack Torrance is an aspiring writer struggling with writer’s block. He accepts the position of caretaker of the prestigious Overlook Hotel, located in a remote spot in the Colorado Rockies. Jack thinks it’s the perfect place to work on his book and a chance for him, his wife Wendy and their son Danny to unwind. He chooses to ignore the stories relating to the hotel’s troubling past and rumours of evil forces at work in the hotel. Not the smartest move…

Young Frankenstein (1974)
A young neurosurgeon inherits the castle of his grandfather, the infamous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. Upon his arrival he meets the hunchbacked servant Igor, the beautiful assistant Inga and the old housekeeper Frau Blucher. The young Frankenstein doesn’t think much of his grandfather’s work, but he soon changes his mind when he discovers the insane doctor’s journals detailing his experiments.

Freaks (1932)
This 1932 horror movie is set in a circus. The wealthy dwarf Hans has fallen in love with a trapeze artist named Cleopatra but she is involved with circus strongman Hercules. When Hans accidentally tells his ex-fiancée Frieda that he is actually a very wealthy man, Cleopatra and Hercules come up with a plan that involves Cleopatra marrying Hans and poisoning him shortly after so she can inherit his wealth. But Hans survives and he and the other entertainers plot their revenge…

Halloween (1978)
Brace yourself because Halloween is widely regarded as one of the scariest movies EVER! The movie begins with six-year-old Michael Myers grabbing a knife from a kitchen drawer and then going upstairs to kill his older sister. He is subsequently admitted to a psychiatric hospital. When he reaches the age of 21, a decision needs to be made regarding his release. His psychiatrist is convinced that Michael should never be released. But Michael doesn’t wait for a decision to be made and manages to escape. He returns home to continue his Halloween killing spree.

Frankenstein (1931)
An oldie (actually the oldest movie on my list) but a goodie. This classic tells the story of Henry Frankenstein and his assistant who go around digging up corpses and then use these to assemble different parts in order to create new life. Things go awry when the not-so-clever assistant collects an abnormal, murderer’s brain from the university intended for the creature. This results in Frankenstein inadvertently creating a monster. Edge-of-your-seat entertainment!

The Birds (1963)
Melanie Daniels is out shopping in San Francisco when she meets Mitch Brenner. Mitch is looking to buy a pair of lovebirds for his sister’s birthday. He recognises Melanie but pretends to mistake her for an assistant saleswoman and she plays along. Melanie then decides to buy a pair of lovebirds and drives out to Bodega Bay for Mitch’s sister’s birthday party. Upon arrival she is attacked by a gull, the first of a number of attacks of ever-growing groups of birds… After watching this movie, spending a day at the seaside will never feel the same again…

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
When Sally Hardesty finds out that her grandfather’s grave has been vandalised, she sets out with her boyfriend Jerry, her paraplegic brother Franklin and their friends Pam and Kirk to investigate matters. Along the way they pick up a weird hitchhiker who cuts his own hand leaving them all shocked. They force him out of their vehicle and continue their journey. In urgent need of gas, they decide to call for help at a very freaky looking house.  

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Everyone is convinced that the Monster of Frankenstein died during the devastating fire in the mill. But the monster managed to escape and is still wandering around the area… In the meantime, Dr. Frankenstein is preparing for his wedding to Elizabeth. The wedding plans are rudely interrupted by the arrival of Dr. Pretorius, who is interested in Frankenstein’s techniques to create life. Pretorius wants Frankenstein’s help in creating a mate for the monster. Frankenstein refuses, but Pretorius is not one to give up easily.

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Bride of Frankenstein (1935) by James Whale . “Film historians have long studied the films of James Whale for their homosexual subtext. Whale was one of the few openly-gay directors in a time where such admittance was socially and occupationally risky. While some critics have theorized Whale’s films reveal gay subtext simply because biographers try to find it, there are themes within his pictures that allow for his films, particularly Bride of Frankenstein, to be interpreted and dubbed a gay parable created under the new and powerful force of the Hays code moderating Hollywood film content. . For Gary Morris, the creation of the bride becomes the crucial scene in his homosexual reading of James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein, while for Elizabeth Young, this scene also conveys a phallic imagery, “from the long shaft that elevates the bride to the roof . . . to the men’s excited shouts of 'It’s coming up' as she is raised. This portentous presentation of the film’s climax glorifies Frankenstein’s and Pretorius’ work. They can be seen as a homosexual couple about to 'give birth' to a woman, both defying God’s role as creator of life and replacing the heterosexual way of birthing children, thus challenging religion and society. By presenting their standard sex role-defying, God-replacing creation as such an elaborate, complex scene, James Whale compares himself to Frankenstein and Pretorius. He not only glorifies their work, but also presents his own abilities as an artist, orchestrating his homosexual creativity, which lies in his film-making . Whale’s decision to cast two known bisexual actors in the roles only further the reading of subtext.” Jeff Saporito . . . . . #queerhorror #gayhorror #gayhorrorfilm #queerhorrorfilm #horror #queermovie #queer #horror #horrorgenre #horrorgeek #gayrepresentation #queerrepresentationmatters #queerrepresentationinthemedia #brideofthefrankenstein #brideoffrankenstein1935 #jameswhale #elsalanchester #colinclive #ernestthesiger

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What is the scariest/ bloodiest / most nerve-wracking/ spookiest vintage horror movie ever according to you? Please share your pick in the comments below!

Get your spook on in style
Get your spook on in style with these fabulous vintage inspired Halloween items.


As a vintage lovin' lady, I write about everything relating to retro fashion & lifestyle and mix it with a pinch of humour (because why take life so seriously?). My motto: Live life to the fullest!