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What Are The Best Universal Monster Films?

Updated May 8, 2019 5.5k votes 640 voters 6.4k views20 items

List RulesVote up the most terrifying classic monster movies from Universal Studios

For well over a decade, Universal Studios released a slew of monster films that became classics almost instantly. There are a ton of '30s horror movies and titles from the '40s as well, but Universal's are often cited as the cream of the crop, from their Bela Lugosi Dracula movies to Boris Karloff's Frankenstein films and beyond. But which are the best Universal monster movies? And moreover, which are the best Universal Studios monsters? How about the best Dracula movies, or the Boris Karloff films that outshine the rest? Now's the time to let your voice be heard!

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    Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, John Boles

    Released1931

    Directed byJames Whale

    Frankenstein is a 1931 horror monster film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling, which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by Mary...  more

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  • 2
    334
    72

    Dracula

    Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning

    Released1931

    Directed byTod Browning, Karl Freund

    Dracula is a 1931 vampire-horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by Hamilton...  more

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  • 3
    325
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    The Wolf Man

    Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains

    Released1941

    Directed byGeorge Waggner

    The Wolf Man is a 1941 American drama horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner. The film stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as a werewolf named "The Wolf Man" and features...  more

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  • 4
    280
    62

    The Mummy

    Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan

    Released1932

    Directed byKarl Freund

    The Mummy is a 1932 horror film from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and stars Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest. The movie also features Zita Johann, David Manners and...  more

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  • 5
    344
    98

    Bride of Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan

    Released1935

    Directed byJames Whale

    Bride of Frankenstein is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to Frankenstein. Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster, Elsa Lanchester in...  more

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  • 6
    302
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    Creature from the Black Lagoon

    Richard Carlson, Richard Denning

    Released1954

    Directed byJack Arnold

    Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror 3-D film in black-and-white, directed by Jack Arnold and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno and Whit...  more

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  • 7
    272
    80

    The Invisible Man

    Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart

    Released1933

    Directed byJames Whale

    The Invisible Man is a 1933 science fiction film based on H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The Invisible Man, published in 1897, as adapted by R. C. Sherriff, Philip Wylie and Preston Sturges,...  more
  • 8
    213
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    Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

    Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi

    Released1948

    Directed byCharles Barton

    Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein, or Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein —although the film is usually referred to as simply Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein—is a 1948...  more

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  • 9
    188
    64

    Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

    Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney

    Released1943

    Directed byRoy William Neill

    Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, released in 1943, is an American monster horror film produced by Universal Studios starring Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Wolf Man and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster....  more
  • 10
    189
    81

    Son of Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi

    Released1939

    Directed byRowland V. Lee

    Son of Frankenstein is a horror monster film and is the third film in Universal Studios' Frankenstein series and the last to feature Boris Karloff as the Monster as well as the first to feature Bela...  more

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  • 11
    143
    71

    House of Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney

    Released1944

    Directed byErle C. Kenton

    House of Frankenstein is an American monster horror film starring Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr., directed by Erle C. Kenton, written by Curt Siodmak, and produced in 1944 by Universal Studios as...  more
  • 12
    114
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    House of Dracula

    Lon Chaney, Jr.

    Released1945

    Directed byErle C. Kenton

    House of Dracula is an American horror film released by Universal Pictures Company in 1945. It was a direct sequel to House of Frankenstein and continued the theme of combining Universal's three most...  more
  • 13
    121
    99

    The Ghost of Frankenstein

    Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney

    Released1942

    Directed byErle C. Kenton

    The Ghost of Frankenstein, is an American monster horror film released in 1942. The movie is the fourth in a series of films produced by Universal Studios based upon characters in Mary Shelley's...  more
  • 14
    108
    101

    Dracula's Daughter

    Hedda Hopper, Otto Kruger

    Released1936

    Directed byLambert Hillyer

    Dracula's Daughter is a 1936 American vampire horror film produced by Universal Studios, a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. Directed by Lambert Hillyer from a screenplay by Garrett Fort, the film...  more
  • 15
    95
    87

    Son of Dracula

    Lon Chaney, Jr.

    Released1943

    Directed byRobert Siodmak, Erle C. Kenton

    Son of Dracula is a 1943 American horror film directed by Robert Siodmak – his first film for Universal studios – with a screenplay based on an original story by his brother Curt. The film stars Lon...  more

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    #4 of 50 The Best '40s Horror Movies#18 of 48 The Best Dracula Movies

  • 16
    111
    107

    Revenge of the Creature

    Clint Eastwood, John Agar

    Released1955

    Directed byJack Arnold

    Revenge of the Creature is the first sequel to Creature from the Black Lagoon, being the only 3-D film released in 1955 and the only 3-D sequel to a 3-D film. It premiered in Denver on March 23, 1955...  more
  • 17
    94
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    The Mummy's Tomb

    Dick Foran, John Hubbard

    Released1942

    Directed byHarold Young

  • 18
    77
    90

    The Invisible Man Returns

    Vincent Price, Cedric Hardwicke

    Released1940

    Directed byJoe May

    The Invisible Man Returns is a 1940 American horror science fiction film from Universal. It was written as a sequel to the 1933 film The Invisible Man, which was based on the novel The Invisible Man...  more
  • 19
    69
    93

    The Mummy's Hand

    Dick Foran, Peggy Moran

    Released1940

    Directed byChristy Cabanne

  • 20
    43
    133

    She-Wolf of London

    June Lockhart, Lloyd Corrigan

    Released1946

    Directed byJean Yarbrough

    She-Wolf of London is a 1946 horror film produced by Universal Studios, directed by Jean Yarbrough and starring June Lockhart and Don Porter. The title evokes the earlier Werewolf of London,...  more