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5 Horror Classics to See at the 2018 TCM Film Fest

Every April, film buffs flock to Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles to share in their love of movies, as the TCM Classic Film Festival, now in its eighth year, brings fans of the classics new and old together to watch a wide range of films. This years theme, titled “Powerful Words: The Page Onscreen,” highlights the importance of writing and the part it plays in cinema. From compelling performances to amazing adaptations, every movie starts with words on a page, and for horror fans, this year’s festival has an incredible line-up of chilling, thrilling movies that are sure to terrify. Here are our top five films we recommend checking out:

Creature From the Black Lagoon 3D

Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D

While most horror movies in the 1950s involved some sort of alien invasion or threat of nuclear attack, this 1954 classic went underwater. It was inspired by a Mexican folk tale, and legend has it that famed cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa told the story of the creature to a producer who in turn wanted to bring it to the big screen. A favorite film of Guillermo del Toro (and an inspiration for The Shape of Water), it’s something any fan of monster movies should pencil into their festival schedule. Additionally, the movie will screen in 3D, as it was originally shown in 1954.

The Phantom of the Opera

In one of the most famous films of the silent era, actor Lon Chaney gives an amazing performance as the creepy Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House. Chaney’s ghastly Phantom makeup for the 1925 film remains an iconic look in horror, over 90 years later. TCM Fest will not only be screening Phantom of the Opera, but a five-piece chamber ensemble will provide musical accompaniment as the picture plays.

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead

The movie that changed horror movies forever, George A. Romero’s 1968 zombie classic is just as timely today as it was 50 years ago. This year, TCM Fest is showing the movie in the most perfect setting – a midnight screening. How could things be any better? Additionally, Edgar Wright will be there to introduce the film. Saturday night plans: sorted.

The Raven

The Raven

This 1963 adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic poem truly has everything. Produced and directed by B-movie master Roger Corman, this supernatural horror comedy stars film legends Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre as sorcerers in the 15th century. The plot is threadbare and revolves around Dr. Craven (Price) who is still in mourning for his wife, Lenore, after two years. Peter Lorre’s character Dr. Bedlo shows up, claiming to see Lenore haunting the castle where the evil Dr. Scarabus (played by Karloff) resides. The ending culminates in a giant wizard duel between Karloff and Price, as all slightly silly B-movie horror flicks should end.


Spellbound Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock may be more well known for his later films like North by Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds, but his earlier works are just as terrifying. Spellbound, his 1945 psychological thriller, tells the story of a man (played by Gregory Peck) who takes over as the new director of a mental asylum in Vermont. As the story unfolds, one of the psychoanalysts working at the asylum (played by Ingrid Bergman) discovers the new director is not who he claims. The movie relies less on scares and more on surreal, psychological fears, like the dream sequence (above) memorably inspired by Salvador Dali’s paintings. At TCM Fest, an original nitrate print of Spellbound will be shown; an extremely rare treat these days for movie buffs.

You can pick up a TCM Classic Film Fest pass here.

What are your favorite classic horror films? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: Universal Pictures, MGM, The Criterion Collection, United Artists

Michelle Buchman is the social media manager at Nerdist Industries. She’s also a huge cinephile. Feel free to follow and chat movies with her on Twitter, @michelledeidre.

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