The Halloween season is here and in the run up to the big day I decided to
examine what is considered “scary” in the world of horror movies.

Going with Rotten Tomatoes list of the 31 scariest movies, I decided to
compare each film with another horror film from the same year to determine which one I found scarier.

Today’s showdown features the second face off between Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi as The Bride of Frankenstein takes on The Raven.

The Bride of Frankenstein

After recovering from injuries sustained in the mob attack upon himself and his creation, Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) falls under the control of his former mentor, Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger), who insists the now-chastened doctor resume his experiments in creating new life. Meanwhile, the Monster (Boris Karloff) remains on the run from those who wish to destroy him without understanding that his intentions are generally good despite his lack of socialization and self-control.

Elsa Lanchester, who plays the Bride, also plays Frankenstein author Mary Shelley in the prologue to the film.


An effective and well acted prologue.

Some beautifully disturbing imagery.

Elsa Lanchester is hypnotic as the Bride.

Karloff plays a more evolved creature and it works to increase his menace.


The Dr. Pretorius character is a ridiculous waste of time.

The miniature creatures Pretorius creates are used once and never utilized again. Probably because they are a waste of time.

The Raven

A spurned surgeon (Bela Lugosi) seeks revenge using Edgar Allan Poe’s devices of torture and a hideous man (Boris Karloff).

This is the second film with Karloff and Lugosi starring opposite each other. The first was The Black Cat, which is also based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe.


Boris Karloff’s performance is fantastic.

The story has an interesting premise.


Lugosi’s performance feels forced. His character has no real motivation for anything so his actions have no resonance.

The connection to Poe is flimsy at best.

The plot meanders all the way to its unearned finale.

Seeing film icons Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi on film is a treat for any fan of horror and seeing them in a film together should be exciting. Unfortunately, the only film out of the two that offers better performances, potential scares and an engaging cinematic experience is…..

The Bride of Frankenstein

Which one of these films is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

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