In a memorable scene from the 1931 horror classic Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein stands over his sentient monster, a beast he created from the body parts of exhumed corpses. … Suddenly, Frankenstein’s creature, previously lifeless on the gurney, moves its long, bony fingers, then raises an arm. “It’s alive! It’s alive! It’s alive!” shrieks the doctor.
Ultimately, the science behind Hollywood’s iconic monsters made the films of this golden age of horror even more terrifying. Intellectually, moviegoers knew that the creatures they watched on the big screen weren’t real. But scientific underpinnings, whether the accurate depiction of an amphibian that actually roamed the world millions of years ago or the resuscitation techniques that could bring someone, or something, back to life, triggered an unsettling anxiety and forced people to consider: Could this really happen?
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