Alone on the night of Halloween? Or you’re with some friends or family and you just want to add some eeriness to the atmosphere? Well, a Haunted House Horror is one of the best choices when it comes to that. Although you might be hesitant in admitting that you believe in ghosts, some of these movies can still give you chills down your spine.
10. The Changeling (1980)
It was the perfect family vacation for composer John Russell and his family when a freak automobile accident claims the lives of his wife and daughter. Consumed by grief, John rents an old house but he doesn’t know that he has company.
9. The Others (2001)
A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.
8. 1408 (2007)
John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson starring in a horror movie based on a short story by Stephen King? Yes, it’s possible and it actually works very well.
7. The Amityville Horror (2005)
Yes, 2005, because this is one of those rare cases where the remake is actually better than the original. You’ve all heard of it, even Eminem has a song about it, but it’s possible that you haven’t seen it yet so this Halloween is the right time.
6. Poltergeist (1982)
A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorize the family.
5. House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Just never mind the late 90s remake, if you’ve heard of that one. Now this movie is pure class, it has the creepy Vincent Price in it and it’s the breakthrough movie for acclaimed horror director William Castle.
4. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
A team consisting of a physicist, his wife, a young female psychic and the only survivor of the previous visit are sent to the notorious Hell House to prove/disprove survival after death.
3. The Haunting (1963)
What does it take to convince you that the dead do not always rest in peace?
Yet another movie that also has a more recent remake, butchering the original just for the sake of featuring Catherine Zeta-Jones in it. The 1963 picture’s pace might throw off the modern moviegoer, but only if they ignore the subtlety of the plot.
2. The Innocents (1961)
In Victorian England, the uncle of orphaned niece Flora and nephew Miles hires Miss Giddens as governess to raise the children at his estate with total independence and authority. Soon after her arrival, Miss Giddens comes to believe that the spirits of the former governess and the valet are possessing the children.
If you want to see the cheesy outdated trailer for this, here it is, but it does injustice to the stylish nature of the film. Otherwise, here’s just a glimpse of this slow-burning gem:
1. The Shining (1980)
Possibly the number one on many horror movie lists, not just this one, Stanley Kubrick’s motion picture features a brilliant Jack Nicholson and is also based on a novel by Stephen King.
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
And if you’re also into foreign movies, honorable mentions would have to include these three:
El espinazo del diablo (2001)
La chute de la maison Usher (1928)
The Spanish one is directed by Guillermo Del Toro, who also directed Pan’s Labyrinth, while the French one is a classic silent movie more resemblant to a poem rather than what modern horrors are. And House, being Japanse, has a totally different approach on the Haunted House genre, but we’ll be back before Halloween with a list exclusively dedicated to J-Horror.
Featured image from jerkethic.com.
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You missed the silent classic THE CAT AND THE CANARY, the film that set the template for all haunted house films that followed.