I’m a big fan of classic horror and the grouping of films about the Universal Monsters are my favorites. Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man…I can’t get enough of these big baddies. But, when I was first starting out in horror, I found it a bit confusing as to the watch order for these classic films. Is there a watch order? And if so, how should I view them? Now, just as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is made up of multiple story-lines all tied together into one huge plot, likewise the Universal Monster movies play out in a similar way. And what’s more, the monsters did it first! So, we’ll take a look at the different films, from the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.

When I say “Universal Monsters”, I’m referring to a handful of different monsters: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Of the series, Dracula, Frankenstein, and Wolf Man are irrevocably intertwined. What I mean by that is unless you intend to just watch the first film in each franchise, there is no way to watch the rest of the series without seeing one of the other monsters featured. For example, the second Wolf Man film is already a crossover with Frankenstein!

So, I’ll present these films to you in two different ways. First, by year. Then, we’ll go through the list again, and group them by their franchises. There will be some overlap here, meaning that you’ll see some titles, such as House of Frankenstein on three different lists, as it includes monsters from three different series. Confused yet? No worries. Keep reading and everything will come together in the end.

The Universal Monsters: Chronological Order

  • Dracula (1931)
  • Frankenstein (1931)
  • The Mummy (1932)
  • The Invisible Man (1933)
  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  • Werewolf of London (1935)
  • Dracula’s Daughter (1936)
  • Son of Frankenstein (1939)
  • The Mummy’s Hand (1940)
  • The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
  • The Invisible Woman (1940)
  • The Wolf Man (1941)
  • Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
  • The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)
  • The Invisible Agent (1942)
  • Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
  • Son of Dracula (1943)
  • House of Frankenstein (1944)
  • The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)
  • The Mummy’s Curse (1944)
  • The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944)
  • House of Dracula (1945)
  • She-Wolf of London (1946)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  • Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
  • Revenge of the Creature (1955)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
  • The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

The Universal Monsters: Series Order

Dracula:

  • Dracula (1931)
  • Dracula’s Daughter (1936)
  • Son of Dracula (1943)
  • House of Frankenstein (1944)
  • House of Dracula (1945)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Frankenstein:

  • Frankenstein (1931)
  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  • Son of Frankenstein (1939)
  • Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
  • Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
  • House of Frankenstein (1944)
  • House of Dracula (1945)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

The Wolf Man:

  • Werewolf of London (1935)*
  • The Wolf Man (1941)
  • Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
  • House of Frankenstein (1944)
  • House of Dracula (1945)
  • She-Wolf of London (1946)*
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

The Invisible Man:

  • The Invisible Man (1933)
  • The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
  • The Invisible Woman (1940)*
  • The Invisible Agent (1942)
  • The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)

The Mummy:

  • The Mummy (1932)
  • The Mummy’s Hand (1940)
  • The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)
  • The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)
  • The Mummy’s Curse (1944)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

The Creature from the Black Lagoon:

  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
  • Revenge of the Creature (1955)
  • The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

*Werewolf of London, She-Wolf of London, and The Invisible Woman technically are not part of the same series as the rest of the films that they are grouped with. For example, the two werewolf films on this list do not feature Lawrence Talbot, the protagonist of the Wolf Man films. And The Invisible Woman is the only title on invisibility that uses a machine to achieve transparency, instead of Dr. Griffin’s special serum. But, all three are such good films that it felt criminal not to include them!

Erin

I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.