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Five Silent Horror Films You Must Watch

Written by PD Alleva

 

Since we’re all gearing up for an epic Halloween by watching scary movies that tingle the sensations and get our gut with All Hallows Eve nostalgia, this is a great time to indulge in the wicked landscape of silent horror films. Below is a list of five films that 100% should be watched. Silent films represent an epic era in movie making history; an era that kicked off what is known as Hollywood’s Golden Age, and the attention to detail needed to pull off the sensation of terror takes a back seat to no current movie.

In order to satisfy any diverse crowd, I’ve included an alternative to the classical music that accompanies each movie. Here’s my tip, push the mute button on your remote and add a Pink Floyd album for background music. I’ve included a Pink Floyd recommendation with each movie.

Here’s the list, in no particular order other than personal preference.

Frankenstein Cover

Frankenstein (1910)

The film was produced by Thomas Edison, yes, the same guy that invented electricity (not really Tesla fans, I know, but he does carry that accolade). The film is gritty and the scene where the monster is birthed into life is simple cinematic excellence. Simple in that they filmed a doll burning then played it backwards so the audience received the desired effect of creation by fire. At only 16 minutes, I suggest beginning with Wish You Were Here, allowing the music to continue for…

 

The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari Cover

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Considered by many as the first horror film, this movie truly gets the gut and strikes the horror cord. Considering the plot includes hypnotism and a crazy doctor (obviously Dr. Caligari) who controls people with his mesmerizing hypnosis forcing them to carry out his evil plan of murder and mayhem, this film is a righteous classic in cinematic story telling brilliance. Pink Floyd recommendation: the movie comes in at just over 80 minutes, add Frankenstein and we’ve got an hour and thirty six minutes of true classic film noir. After Wish You Were Here ends, tell Alexa to play A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

 

Nosferatu 1922 Cover

Nosferatu (1922)

The quintessential silent horror film, also a big reason copyright law has such a big impact on current circumstances (if you’ve been following the Friday the 13th copyright battle that’s been waging over the last few years) since Bram Stoker’s estate filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Pink Floyd Album: Delicate Sound of Thunder. The film is 94 minutes, the live album 104 minutes. Yes, I know the album is a bit longer, but here’s the kicker, the song Pink Floyd will be belting out during the ending of the film as Nosferatu is drunk on blood is "Comfortably Numb".

 

Der Golem Cover

Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920)

Of all the films on this list this is my favorite. I’m infatuated with the idea of inanimate objects coming to life. The definition of a golem is just that, a clay figure brought to life by magic. Not to be confused with the more popular Gollum from Lord of the Rings, Golem is a brink of insanity film with classical themes of terror and tragedy. After a prophesy concerning the destruction of the people of Prague, a statue is created to house a savior for the people, however, the statue becomes possessed by an evil spirit, Astaroph, who quickly shows the people of Prague just how insane evils spirits can be. Pink Floyd Album: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn followed by Animals.

 

Dr Jekyll Mr Hyde Cover

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920)

John Barrymore’s portrayal of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is acting brilliance. He manipulated his facial expressions to reflect the sinister Mr. Hyde. Witnessing this evil transformation will make your eyes cringe, especially when he’s pummeling his victims. Pink Floyd album: Dark Side of the Moon. I keep it on loop so the album plays twice and either wait ten minutes before starting the album, or allow a ten-minute pause in between loops so the movie and album end at the same time. Plus as the thumping beat beat beat of a dying heart closes the album you’ll see the dramatic conclusion of the doctor.

 

I would love to hear your comments and suggestions. Please leave them below.

PD Alleva is the author of the Beyond the Chamber Door Series. Book One, Twisted Tales of Deceit and Book Two, Presenting the Marriage of Kelli Anne & Gerri Denemer A Horror Story are currently available.

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