The 1940’s


The horror films of the 1940’s were a continuation on from the classics of the previous decade. Sequels were produced for many of the 1930s’ hits as audiences wanted more of the same. WW2 was underway in Europe and America was soon to enter at the end of ’42. As a result, a lot of films were made on a smaller budget and as a means of escape and diversion for an anxious population.

While a lot of previous horror hits and characters were given sequels and even placed along side one another in numerous “monster rallies”, it wasn’t all just about repeating what had already worked…far from it. New stars and new monsters emerged during this time, as did other studios/directors keen to emulate the success Universal had achieved with their classic titles.

The latest monster to come crawling out of Universal was The Wolf Man (1941). This worthy classic character was played by none other than the son of the silent screen’s biggest horror stars, Lon Chaney.


The Wolf Man! - Lon Chaney Jr.

The Wolf Man! – Lon Chaney Jr.


Lon Chaney Jr. would thereafter be associated with the role of Larry Talbot, The Wolf Man as he was the only star to continue to play his character in every film made. Not only that but he would also go on to play The Mummy in three sequels to the original film (starring Boris Karloff), Dracula, and the Frankenstein monster!

The 1940’s brought forth a new way to portray horror on film, with the studio RKO producing titles with a much more psychological aspect. These films were less about frightening the audience with monstrous creatures and more about eliciting fear through suggestion and suspense. Titles such as, Cat People, The Leopard Man, The Seventh Victim, I Walked with a Zombie were highly successful and helped the genre find new direction.



Below you will find all the main horror titles of the frightful forties!





  • The Ape 1940, United States.
  • Black Friday 1940, United States.
  • The Devil Bat 1940, United States.
  • Dr. Cyclops 1940, United States.
  • The Invisible Man Returns 1940, United States.
  • The Mummy’s Hand 1940, United States.
  • The Black Cat 1941, United States.
  • The Devil Commands 1941, United States.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941, United States.
  • Invisible Ghost 1941, United States.
  • Man Made Monster 1941, United States.
  • The Wolf Man 1941, United States.
  • Cat People 1942, United States.
  • The Corpse Vanishes 1942, United States.
  • The Ghost of Frankenstein 1942, United States.
  • The Mummy’s Tomb 1942, United States.
  • Night Monster 1942, United States.
  • The Undying Monster 1942, United States.
  • The Leopard Man 1943, United States.
  • The Ape Man 1943, United States.
  • Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man 1943, United States.
  • I Walked with a Zombie 1943, United States.
  • The Seventh Victim 1943, United States.
  • Son of Dracula 1943, United States.
  • Cry of the Werewolf 1944, United States.
  • House of Frankenstein 1944, United States.
  • The Mummy’s Curse 1944, United States.
  • The Mummy’s Ghost 1944, United States.
  • Return of the Ape Man 1944, United States.
  • Return of the Vampire 1944, United States.
  • The Uninvited 1944, United States.
  • Dead of Night 1945, United States.
  • House of Dracula 1945, United States.
  • Isle of the Dead 1945, United States.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray 1945, United States.
  • Zombies on Broadway 1945, United States.
  • The Cat Creeps 1946, United States.
  • She-Wolf of London 1946, United States.
  • Scared to Death 1947, United States.
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein 1948, United States.