Over the past century stories and legends based on haunted houses have long appeared in literary fiction, which in turn have been adapted into movies where unsuspecting victims being terrorised has become a staple amongst the horror genre.
Haunted houses are usually recognised as some form of residence that’s inhabited by a ghost or spirit - who may have been a former resident or someone who’d died within close proximity of the house. This week I’ve tried to find a varied selection of quirky and spooky films that hopefully some of you haven’t seen yet. And for those of you new to my channel, I often try to avoid picking super obvious movies, so films like The conjuring & The Shining won’t be making an appearance.
The Babadook 2014
Director Jennifer Kent’s Drama horror - Amelia a widowed mother is plagued by the violent death of her husband. Struggling with her hyperactive son's fear of an imaginary monster- everything starts to turn for the worst when a book call the Babadook mysteriously turns up at their house. where Amelia slowly starts to realise that there might be more to her sons story.
Heavy on atmosphere & easily one of the scariest movies of the past decade the Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s use of foreshadowing with it’s first act is really well done as it compensates for the films slow pacing.
However I would say that if you want to get invested in this movie you have to get past the first 15 minutes as the son Samuel in my opinion is extremely irritating.
Director Nobuhiko Obayashi Comedy Horror - A schoolgirl called Gorgeous is excited about spending her summer holiday with her father. But decides to go to her aunt's house, when she finds out her father is bringing his new girlfriend. Taking six of her classmates with her from the moment they arrive the girls slowly begin to realise Gorgeous’ Aunt, may not have their best interest in mind.
With a surreal & insane quality to it Hausu is a psychedelic and completely silly film. Apart from saying WTF did I just watch, I’d say that this movie has some of the most inventive film making I’ve ever seen. That’s combined with the greatest oddball transitions in the history of cinema. And I have to say I loved it!
I would recommend Hausu if you want to watch something extremely left field that will have you thinking, rewatching and debating it for hours.
Director Paul Golding’s Sci-fi Horror - Follows a boy called David who’s staying at his father and stepmothers for the summer. One night while alone David begins to see weird things happening to
his TV set but when he tells his family they don’t believe him. However when other electrical appliances start acting up, they realize that there is more to these electrical Pulses than meets the eye.
The movie that made me scared of showers as a kid - Pulse has a fairly creepy concept. I mean what would happen if the electricity in your home was trying to kill you, good luck trying to sell that house. Ok Pulse is not particularly scary but It’s memorable and pretty original. While I wouldn’t call it a classic, at least it’s entertaining, different and clever for its time.
Director Tim Burton’s comedy fantasy - When Barbara and Adam die in a car accident this recently deceased couple
find themselves stuck inside their home. Leaving their now-vacant house to be invaded by an unbearable family who they can’t stand. Desperate to find a way to rid there beloved home from the living, they hire Beetlejuice a sleazy bio-exorcist.
Beetlejuice is easily one of my favorite films where I find it hard to believe this was Tim Burton’s second time in the directors chair- it’s great blend of upbeat humor and creative horror is truly unique and unforgettable. And Michael Keaton's performance as a lunatic ghost really adds to the movies overall enjoyment.
If you want to watch something bizarre, clever. and quirky that really is a one of a kind film then check out Beetlejuice.
The Innocents 1961
Director Jack Clayton’s mystery Horror - Set in Victorian England an uncle of two orphaned children appoints a new governess to look after them at his estate in the countryside. Soon after her arrival the governess slowly becomes more and more convinced that the house and grounds are haunted by mysterious spirits.
A spooky and atmospheric mystery the Innocents feels ahead of its time where its cinematography really does look great and the acting in general is first rate especially in regards to the children who are perfectly sweet in one scene and yet become unexpectedly creepy in the next. Is this film is scary? Not really, however it still builds a lot of tension and suspense till its very end where I would recommend it to those of you who wants to watch a classic that is purely driven by a great story and solid acting.
The Amityville Horror 1979
Director Stuart Rosenberg’s Horror Follows Newlyweds George and Kathy Lutz, who have just moved into their dream home, despite knowing that it was the site of a grisly mass murder, a year before. Everything is fine until their dream home starts to become a nightmare after they’re tormented by the evil that still inhabits their house.
A classic that bread a generation of haunted house films The Amityville horror is an interesting movie with quite a few surprisingly creepy moments. I'm pretty surprised at how low the ratings are for this film, perhaps it’s just my childhood nostalgia taking hold but I honestly think this is a genuinely scary movie.
I would recommend this film for someone who wants to get into the horror genre as I’m assuming that hardcore horror fans won’t find it that scary. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a bad movie.
Ju-on the Grudge 2002
Director Takashi Shimizu’s Supernatural Horror - When Nishina Rika a volunteer home care assistant steps inside the house of a patient's, she discovers a door that has been sealed shut with duct tape.
Opening it she inadvertently releases a mysterious spirit. And discovers that all the people who’d entered the house before her have gone missing.
Like most Japanese horror Ju-on excels at creating a creepy and disturbing atmosphere. As well as being visually exciting and accompanied by some really eerie sound design. I think this is one of those movies that people either love or hate but I honestly don’t think anyone would disagree that it’s a very spooky film.
While some might find the story to be a bit confusing and convoluted in places Ju-on is a classic ghost tale that’s definitely worth watching.
Thir13en Ghosts 2001
Director Steve Beck’s Horror- When a very rich collector of unique spiritual artifacts dies, he leaves it all to his nephew Arthur. Been financially challenged inheriting his estranged Uncles estate is a welcome surprise to Arthur, and he wastes no time rushing over to check out his new home. But what Arthur doesn’t realise is that he’s also inherited a large collection of ghosts.
Ok I have to admit this is my troll pick for this week. A guilty pleasure at it's finest 13 ghosts is full off corny spirits with over the top abilities and makeup. So why am I recommending this, well it’s mainly due to how cool the house is! That and I love the premise and all the creative ideas behind it. Sure it’s silly not horrifying and there are better movies out there, but it’s entertaining and pretty unforgettable.