If you want a horror film with a brain and something that actually makes you think... Watch Freaks. And like The Bride of Frankenstein, it isn't much of a horror film at all (in fact, it's been described as a bit of a soap opera). Mostly you just sort of fall in love with or empathize with the oddball cast. They come across more "normal" than the so-called "normal" villains of the piece and there probably isn't a person who isn't 100% behind them when they take their revenge, even if it's the monsters actually becoming monsters as they crawl 'inhumanly' in the mud on a rainy night and chase through the woods after the villain that they literally turn into one of them.
"We'll make her one of us! A loving cup! A loving cup!" "We accept her. One of us. We accept her. One of us." "Gooble, gobble. Gooble, gobble."
Some of the most haunting scenes ever put on film. It's a movie you will not be able to forget. It's that unique.
The film reminds me of a play on the famous Frankenstein mentality of the angry, righteous mob chasing after the monster, but the cliché is turned on its head with the righteous monsters chasing the normal people who have humiliated them and tried to kill one of them. Edward Scissorhands has a similar play on this motif, except it has the suburbanites, who have been nothing but cruel to poor, sweet, innocent Edward, be the ones chasing the good monster. Who is the monster? The ones who look like monsters or the ones who act like it? It's one of my favorite horror motifs. It's the story of the outsider. People are afraid of or shun what is different. Freaks is the ultimate example of it. So much so, that even 77 years later, there are people who can't bear to look at it long enough to realize that these people are just like us with the same wants, desires and feelings that we have. Your reaction to the film says more about you than about the actual film. 77 years later it can still cause very strong reactions.
There's a reason that it is *the* cult film. It's the thinking man's horror film that doesn't even deserve to be classified as "horror". It's a drama.
House of Wax, of course, is a showcase for the amazing Vincent Price. It, too, is largely drama with a touch of a horror element.
A lot of the best horror films are actually more drama than horror.
Night of the Living Dead is one of the few knock-off-the-main-characters-one-by-one type films that really stands up past being mindless fun. Of course, who can forget the legendary "They're coming to get you, Barbara." One of the most memorable lines in film history. And I love the no-budget look of it. It actually makes it much more frightening than if it had anything even close to a polished look. It's still one of the most effective horror films. I remember when I was 9 having nightmares of arms coming through the windows... And yet, I couldn't stop watching it or showing it to my friends (with a blanket to hide under!).