Movies inspire a lot of passion, but the back catalogue of film history can be daunting. For every fan who’s obsessed with an actor, director or sub-genre, there’s another struggling to know where to start. Sometimes all it takes is the right recommendation to set you on your path from newbie to know-it-all…

Your next obsession: the gothic monster movies of Universal Studios

Why this might not seem so easy

The cycle of films that dominated Universal Pictures’ output from the 1920s to the 1950s was instrumental in the shaping of horror cinema. With their often B-grade production values and hammy shocks, it’s tempting to view the studio’s horror films as unsophisticated relics. Yet at their best they brim with wit, invention and atmosphere, including depictions of gothic icons such as Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster that are definitively ingrained in the cultural psyche. Understanding the history of American horror cinema really begins here.

For the full article, head over to the BFI.