I'm enjoying the 'adult fairy tale' quality of these 1930s-1940s horror films. I'm also enjoying Boris Karloff's mid-Atlantic diction and very stagy physicality. The theatricality of these early films often refreshes my eye for story and character detail by not burying them in ostentatious naturalism; Naturalism and Realism often being crutches for lack of audience imagination.
(Anyways: I strongly believe that naturalism and realism are such stylistically strong choices in their own right that they can become genres of spectacle. The smell of bacon in the pan or the sound of rain water--any effect that strives for verisimilitude--is an "ooooooo-aaaaaahhh" moment.)