Top 10 Classic Universal Monster Movies As Rated By Rotten Tomatoes

2022-06-11 00:15:00 By : Mr. Jack Wilgex

Did your favorite monster make the list?

Generation after generation falls in love with the classic Universal monsters. Bringing horror to the Hollywood forefront, it's no exaggeration to say that these films changed Hollywood forever. For many, they are the first horror movies we experience, and we revisit them throughout our lives.

RELATED: The Horrifying Horniness of Universal's Classic Monsters

The following list is ten of the best Universal monster movies. Though 2020's The Invisible Man movie made the top ten and is well worth your time to check out, it isn't included because this list is for all those pre-1950s genre gamechangers.

A movie that Quentin Tarantino said was one of the most influential movies of his career. The secret of creating a perfect horror-comedy is blending the two genres just right so that they complement rather than detract from one another. Many have tried and failed, but this entry remains a gold star for the subgenre.

Two of the best movies to blend horror and comedy would be The Evil Dead and Tucker and Dale versus Evil.Way before those, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankensteinbecame a major inspiration for horror-comedy going forward and can be rented on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Vudu.

The Wolf Man would be the inspiration for just about every werewolf movie to come after it. Lon Chaney Jr. does an outstanding performance as the troubled everyman dealing with the werewolf curse.

The Wolfman is a character seen repeatedly in movies and films. Even the character of The Incredible Hulkis the story of a good man who is caught up in a horrible predicament and loses control. The Wolfman can be rented on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Vudu.

The Wolfman was the tortured good man. The Phantom of the Opera is the tortured lover. He wants the woman he loves, but he can't have her because he is a monster.

RELATED: 10 Stage Musicals That Had No Business Being Adapted to Film

Lon Chaney Jr. in another superb monster performance but this time as the phantom, a recluse who is madly in love with Christine Daae (Mary Philbin) a performer at the Opera house. The Phantom Of The Opera can be streamed for free on Plex and Crackle or Sling TV, Amazon Prime, and Paramount with a subscription.

What makes The Hunchback of Norte Dame special is that it is an early horror movie that transcends the genre. Horror movies that transcend the genre are horror movies that show the monster as the most human of all.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame does a beautiful job of showing just that. The movie is about a hunchback who is deeply in love with a beautiful woman named Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller). It's a fantastic but sad love story, and features an excellent performance by Lon Chaney as Quasimodo. The Hunchback of Notre Dame can be streamed for free on Pluto TV or The Roku Channel, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, and Philo with a subscription.

The Bela Lugosi version of Dracula is widely regarded to be the most popular and most recognizable version of the Dracula character, even though the movie was made in 1931. Many versions have come and gone since, but it's hard to name a more iconic vampire.

RELATED: 5 Obscure Universal Monster Movies That Deserve a Modern Remake

Dracula is a horror movie about the upper-class feeding on the lower class and features a great performance by Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. Dracula can be rented on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Vudu.

The Invisible Man asked whether people would be moral if they were invisible? According to the movie, the answer is no, and there would likely be a lot of emotional and mental fallout along the way.

The classic The Invisible Man movie blends sci-fi with horror to create something that remains chilling all these years later. Much of the success of this version of the Invisible Man comes from the wonderful performance by Claude Raines as Doctor Jack Griffin. The Invisible Man can be rented on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Vudu.

Son of Frankenstein was Boris Karloff's last performance as Frankenstein. Bela Lugosi is also in Son of Frankenstein as Igor. This might not be the best among Karloff's Frankenstein films, but it's definitely still worth checking out.

RELATED: 'Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster' Documentary Trailer Revisits a Horror Icon With Guillermo Del Toro, Joe Dante & More

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff made eight films together, and they're all a lot of fun to revisit. Son Of Frankenstein can be rented on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Vudu.

Many people consider Bride of Frankenstein the best Frankenstein movie. It was a movie ahead of its time with its themes of homosexuality, necrophilia, and blasphemy.

Bride of Frankenstein has aged remarkably well, and like many others on this list, asks questions that remain relevant today. Bride Of Frankenstein can be rented on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Vudu.

Nope, not the Bela Lugosi Dracula movie, but the Carlos Villarías one. Who is Carlos Villarías? Carlos Villarias was in the Spanish version of Dracula filmed the same year and on the same sets as the English version.

Many critics agree that the Spanish Dracula movie is better than the Bela Lugosi movie but maintain that Bela Lugosi was a better Dracula. The only way to know for sure is to watch the movie and decide which film is better. Dracula can be watched on The Criterion Channel.

It's no great surprise that Frankenstein would take the number one spot. It's easily one of the most influential horror novels ever written and addresses subjects that are still vital today.

Frankenstein asked questions like, will science ever replace God? What is the responsibility of science? Questions that are still being asked in our modern world as technology advances in movies like Ex Machina and the Jurassic Park films. Frankenstein can be rented on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Vudu.

NEXT: 10 Strangest David Lynch Characters

Kevin Frasure is a horror author and film geek. He has been featured in Fear and Trembling Magazine, Magic Methods in Screenwriting, and Morbidly Beautiful. He is an avid horror fan and enjoys a good horror novel or a binge-watching horror movie night while eating pizza. He is also a copywriter for non-profit organizations. He is a writer for Collider.

Sign up for Collider's newsletter for exclusive news, features, streaming recommendations and more