40 must-watch movies to consider yourself a film buff

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Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

If you’re saying “you already have a horror film on here,” I’d say, “Sure, but I don’t have a Universal horror film yet.” Universal was the go-to studio for all things monster, despite RKO opening the door with King Kong. Bride of Frankenstein was a sequel to James Whale’s 1931 adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel, Frankenstein.

What’s interesting is Bride of Frankenstein is a movie that starts immediately after the events of the first. Now, this was a time before TV and VCRs (or DVD players for you youngsters), so unless a theater specifically reran the movie, films were a once in a lifetime experience. So to release a sequel three years later and hope the audience remembered the events — or wouldn’t care if they didn’t — was unique.

It probably worked to the film’s advantage, considering this sequel drops characters from the first go-round and replaces the film’s leading lady, but, like King Kong, you aren’t watching this for the normal people. Bride of Frankenstein doubles down on the strange macabre, and is actually creepier than its predecessor. Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) has supposedly given up his life of experimentation, but is pulled back in by the manipulative Dr. Pretorious (Ernest Thesinger). There’s been a lot written up about Bride of Frankenstein’s homoeroticism and insanity, which is worth reading after seeing it. Boris Karloff’s Monster is even more sympathetic than he was originally. And though she has a small role here, Elsa Lanchester creates a legendary Bride for the ages.

Where to Watch It: If you have Starz via your cable provider or Amazon, it’s available for free. You can also rent it via Amazon, Google, Apple, Vudu, YouTube and PlayStation.