The Curse of Frankenstein ★★★★★

Hammer’s first foray into gothic horror is a masterpiece. Cushing is magnificent as Victor Frankenstein, playing him as a ruthless egotist who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. This marked the first teaming of Cushing with Christopher Lee in a horror film with Lee taking the role of the creature. While Karloff’s will always be my favourite take on the Monster Lee does a wonderful job of reinterpreting the role, he’s less sympathetic than Karloff and much more horrific and yet it’s still the Monster you’re rooting for.

But Curse of Frankenstein works as much because of the people behind the camera as those in front, with Director Terence Fisher and Cinematographer Jack Asher creating a style that would be used as a template for subsequent Hammer horrors, Jimmy Sangster distilling the novel down to the essential elements in his screenplay and Composer James Bernard finding just the right notes to enhance the onscreen action.

Curse of Frankenstein may be the best horror film of the Fifties, it’s certainly in the top 10 and it’s a must see for any horror fan.