I'm a fan of Boris Karloff (or William Pratt if you want to get technical). The voice work that he provided for the spoken word horror album "Tales of the Frightened" from 1963 is a cherished collection of mine. I've seen 1994's Frankenstein (with Robert Deniro playing the role of the Monster) years ago and thought it was superb, but this is coming from a person who has never read the novel that was first published in 1818 by Mary Shelley. Look, I'm almost finished Le Fantome de l'Opera by Gaston Leroux - give me some time to improve my culture!
Dr. Henry Frankenstein is an ex-medical student who creates and re- animates a monster - everything from old body parts dug up in a cemetery to the brain of a criminal he stole from the laboratory of his old mentor, Dr. Waldman. Henry's fiancee is worried about his reclusive behavior and seeks to intervene in his affairs at the tower in which the experiment takes place. After the monster is brought to life (It's alive!), it escapes and causes panic among the local villagers. The ending of the tale is tragic, but one that is still recreated within horror movies today. It's worth mentioning that before the film begins, a gentleman comes out on stage and warns the audience of the horror to ensure. I know for a fact that this was parodied twice - once, on an old Halloween episode of The Simpsons back in the early/mid 90's, and again serving as the intro to Rob Zombie's dark and sexually-exploitative cartoon, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009).
This movie, along with 1931's Dracula, are widely recognized as classics brought to you by Universal Studios. Depending on your level of patience, however, movies like this might have a difficult time relating to the audiences of today. I've heard critiques of this film claiming it to be "boring," "overrated," and "not scary." I don't accept the latter as a valid objection to the film's importance. It's simple to admit that not everyone prefers to exercise a strong insight when dealing with films, and it is for this reason that horror movies especially have a difficult time withstanding the test of time. Unless you are appreciative of the era and the courageous innovations of the time, the question of it being "scary" is unfounded. To speak realistically, older films like Frankenstein lose part of their effectiveness when dealing with the mainstream viewer. What about the advancements in makeup that were discovered by talented artists in the '30's? What about the set design? Does anyone mention the acting? If people aren't willing to accept that it took a tremendous amount of talent to make this film possible, then that's fine - just don't come crying to me when the recent summer blockbuster is worthless tripe.