Silent Horror Films

Updated
Silent Horror Films

Several creators have talked about Silent Horror Films. We put together 25 of the best ones.

Faust (1926)

Faust
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From F.W. Murnau, starring Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Frida Richard
Rated Not Rated

Faust (1926) is a silent feature film directed by F.W. Murnau. Set in the German town of Wisburg in the 16th century, it follows the story of an aging alchemist, Faust, who makes a pact with the Devil, Mephisto, in order to gain youth and the love of the beautiful woman, Gretchen. In return, Mephisto will gain Faust's soul. As Faust embarks on a journey of passion and sin, his actions cause a wave of destruction across the town, with only Mephisto seemingly unaffected by his actions. In the end, Faust must choose between his own desires and the wellbeing of others. The film presents a timeless battle between good and evil, in which Faust's actions are ultimately judged by God. The film is renowned for its striking visuals and innovative use of special effects, and its timeless message of morality and redemption. It won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Cinematography, and is considered to be one of the most influential films of the silent era.

The Phantom Carriage (1921)

The Phantom Carriage
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Victor Sjöström, starring Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg, Astrid Holm
Rated Not Rated

The Phantom Carriage is a 1921 Swedish horror fantasy film directed by Victor Sjöström. The film is based on a novel by Selma Lagerlöf and revolves around the main character, David Holm, who is a hard-drinking, abusive alcoholic. On New Year’s Eve, he dies and is visited by the grim reaper in the form of a phantom carriage. He is informed that the last person to die before the stroke of midnight will be burdened with the task of collecting the souls of all that die through the coming year. David reluctantly agrees and is forced to relive painful memories from his past, including the death of his brother, before he can move on to his own death. The film is a powerful exploration of mortality, guilt, and redemption as David is forced to confront the consequences of his life and make amends.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Robert Wiene, starring Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover
Rated Not Rated

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920 silent horror film directed by Robert Wiene. It tells the story of an insane hypnotist (Dr. Caligari) who uses a somnambulist (Cesare) to commit murders. The story follows the experiences of Francis and his friend Alan, who try to unravel the mystery of the doctor and Cesare, as they encounter a series of bizarre events. The film is set in a surreal environment and has been widely praised for its unique visual style and atmosphere. It was a major influence on the horror and expressionist genres, and has been hailed as one of the greatest films of all time.

The Unknown (1927)

The Unknown
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Tod Browning, starring Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford, Nick De Ruiz
Rated Unrated

The Unknown is a 1927 horror/drama directed by Tod Browning. The film follows Alonzo, an escaped criminal played by Lon Chaney, as he attempts to hide his identity from the authorities. He takes a job at a circus run by Malabar, a cruel and tyrannical ringmaster. Alonzo falls in love with Nanon, a beautiful acrobat in the circus, but his true identity is revealed when his past catches up with him. In a fit of rage, Malabar orders Alonzo to be thrown into a lion’s den, where he is torn apart by the beasts. In an act of self-sacrifice, Nanon jumps into the den and saves Alonzo, sacrificing her own life in the process. The film ends with Alonzo vowing to find redemption and seeking a better life.

An Andalusian Dog (1929)

An Andalusian Dog
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Luis Buñuel, starring Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel, Pancho Cossío
Rated Not Rated

An Andalusian Dog is a silent surrealist short film directed by Luis Buñuel and co-written with Salvador Dalí. The film follows a young couple in Spain who are subjected to a series of bizarre and surreal events. These events include a razor slicing through a woman's eye, a severed hand crawling across a table, and a corpse being dragged through the streets of Paris. The film also features a dream-like sequence in which Buñuel and Dalí themselves appear and dance with a pair of mannequins. Despite its brief running time, An Andalusian Dog is considered to be a classic of the Surrealist movement. It is a powerful and shocking exploration of the nature of desire, dreams, and the unconscious mind.

The Head of Janus (1920)

The Head of Janus
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From F.W. Murnau, starring Conrad Veidt, Magnus Stifter, Margarete Schlegel, Willy Kaiser-Heyl

The Head of Janus is a 1920 German Expressionist psychological horror film directed by F.W. Murnau. The story follows Dr. Caligari, a mysterious doctor who visits a small German town with a carnival sideshow featuring a somnambulist, Cesare. Cesare is under the control of Caligari and begins to commit acts of violence, including the kidnapping of a young girl. When a group of citizens investigate the case, they discover that Caligari is an insane asylum director and his somnambulist is an inmate. The somnambulist, Cesare, is a manifestation of Caligari's subconscious mind, and his murderous acts are the result of Caligari's repressed desires. The film is an exploration of the mind and its power to create monsters.

Destiny (1921)

Destiny
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Fritz Lang, starring Bernhard Goetzke, Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Hans Sternberg
Rated Not Rated

Destiny is a 1921 German expressionist silent film written and directed by Fritz Lang. It follows a young couple, Death and the Woman, as they navigate their relationship in the midst of a world full of consequences. The Woman asks Death to save her lover from death, only to be told that it is impossible. As the Woman attempts to defy Death and find a way to save her beloved, she is forced to confront her own mortality. Throughout her journey, she discovers the power of love, fate, and destiny. Ultimately, she must choose between life and death and come to terms with the fate that awaits her.

A Page of Madness (1926)

A Page of Madness
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Teinosuke Kinugasa, starring Masuo Inoue, Ayako Iijima, Yoshie Nakagawa, Hiroshi Nemoto

Dracula's Death (1921)

Dracula's Death
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Károly Lajthay, starring Paul Askonas, Margit Lux, Lene Myl, Dezsõ Kertész

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Wallace Worsley, starring Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Kate Lester
Rated Passed

The Cat and the Canary (1927)

The Cat and the Canary
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Paul Leni, starring Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley, Tully Marshall
Rated Passed

The Haunted Bedroom (1919)

The Haunted Bedroom
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Fred Niblo, starring Enid Bennett, Dorcas Matthews, Jack Nelson, Lloyd Hughes

While Paris Sleeps (1923)

While Paris Sleeps
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Maurice Tourneur, starring Lon Chaney, Mildred Manning, John Gilbert, Hardee Kirkland

The Lost World (1925)

The Lost World
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Harry O. Hoyt, starring Wallace Beery, Bessie Love, Lloyd Hughes, Lewis Stone
Rated Passed

Dante's Inferno (1911)

Dante's Inferno
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan, Giuseppe de Liguoro, starring Salvatore Papa, Arturo Pirovano, Giuseppe de Liguoro, Pier Delle Vigne

The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)

The Fall of the House of Usher
★★★★
★★★★
2.7 out of 4 stars

From Directors: James Sibley Watson, Melville Webber, starring Herbert Stern, Hildegarde Watson, Melville Webber, Friedrich Haak
Rated Unrated

The House of the Devil (1896)

The House of the Devil
★★★★
★★★★
2.7 out of 4 stars

From Georges Méliès, starring Jehanne d'Alcy, Jules-Eugène Legris, Georges Méliès
Rated Not Rated

The Golem (1914)

The Golem
★★★★
★★★★
2.7 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen, starring Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen, Lyda Salmonova, Rudolf Blümner

The Beetle (1919)

The Beetle
★★★★
★★★★
2.7 out of 4 stars

From Alexander Butler, starring Maudie Dunham, Hebden Foster, Fred Morgan, Frank Reade

London After Midnight (1927)

London After Midnight
★★★★
★★★★
2.7 out of 4 stars

From Tod Browning, starring Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall, Percy Williams
Rated Passed

Waxworks (1924)

Waxworks
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Leo Birinsky, Paul Leni, starring Emil Jannings, Conrad Veidt, Werner Krauss, William Dieterle
Rated Not Rated

Eerie Tales (1919)

Eerie Tales
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Richard Oswald, starring Anita Berber, Conrad Veidt, Reinhold Schünzel, Hugo Döblin

The Bewitched Inn (1897)

The Bewitched Inn
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Georges Méliès, starring Star: Georges Méliès
Rated Not Rated

The Bat (1926)

The Bat
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Roland West, starring George Beranger, Charles Herzinger, Emily Fitzroy, Louise Fazenda

Frankenstein (1910)

Frankenstein
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From J. Searle Dawley, starring Mary Fuller, Charles Ogle, Augustus Phillips
Rated Unrated

 



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