Release Date: February 14, 1931
Director: Tod Browning
Production Company: Universal Pictures
This is the classic film that set the template for all Dracula stories to follow and kicked off the Universal Horror movies. The movie, especially the earlier parts, creates a great atmosphere with the camera work, sets, costumes, lighting and the charming but unnatural performance of Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. I particularly like how lights are used to illuminate Dracula’s unblinking eyes. The movie owes a lot to the weirdness of Nosferatu at first while moving it into more of a drawing-room drama in the later parts. Still, it has its own share of weirdness such as armadillos inhabiting the Dracula crypt in Romania or the movies lack of a musical soundtrack which lends it an eerie quietness. This movie is not likely to scare most viewers today, but it is worth watching for its influential role in horror movie history.