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The Universal Monsters Movies - Ranked From Worst To Best

I vant to suck your... blood!

Hallowe'en is coming around again, which means that it's time to gather together and watch some of the classics of horror cinema. Of course, different generations have different ideas of quite what constitutes "classic", but whether your vampire of choice is Orlok, Lestat, or Eric Northman, you will be aware of the classics that kick started the whole genre on screen. When you say that your vampire favourite is so memorable because they're "different", that means "different from Dracula" and not Bram Stoker's novel either, but the Universal Pictures take on the vampire as brought to life by Bela Lugosi. You don't even have to have seen a single minute of the Universal Monster Cycle to recognise them. Through cultural osmosis, references, parodies and tributes, these seven iconic monsters and their film franchises are part of our shared screen horror lexicon. Even though most are based on existing characters, it is the Universal versions that have become definitive. It is the Universal versions of the characters that will inspire thousands of costumes this Hallowe'en. And it's the Universal monsters that will in cartoon form cover all manner of Hallowe'en decorations and other merchandise of the season. But which ones actually featured in good movies? The classic Universal Monster Cycle ran from the 1920s to the 1960s and featured these seven monsters as its recurring franchise stars alongside a raft of one-off scary features. There have been various attempts by the studio to resurrect these characters (Van Helsing is probably best forgotten, though), while other studios of the time tried their own rival monsters (Paramount's Jekyll and Hyde is a Universal monster picture in all but studio credit and probably explains why Universal didn't produce their own take on this gothic icon), but it's the classic Universal films that endure. So, let's take a look back over the seven classic Universal monsters and see which films are still worth watching. (Note: the ranking order of this list is based purely on the monsters' films in the original Universal cycle, not any other versions of the same characters).
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Loves ghost stories, mysteries and giant ape movies