Friday, October 1, 2010

16 Ghost Movies to Enjoy on Halloween Night!

Im a strange kind of person; I dont believe in the supernatural at all, as some of you might already know, I think its all a lot of hogwash. I mean, I've never seen or heard anything that proves to me the existense of ghost or demons, or angels, or anything of that matter. When I do, I might change my mind. But until that fateful day comes along I remain a fervent unbeliever.

Still, I love the idea of the supernatural! Ghost and goblins and demons entertain me, and they make for great horror films! So this is why films dealing with ghosts are some of my favorite. Back when I was a religious person they use to scare the hell out of me! I didnt watch The Exorcist till I was waaay older because it scared me so much. Not now, now I just have fun with these movies. Which is what you should have with them as well. After all they are just movies...right? Ha! So anyhows, in celebration of Halloween month here at The Horror Film Connoisseur (thats our new name for the whole month of Halloween!) I present to you 16 Ghost Movies to watch on Halloween Night! Enjoy!

 Title: Ghost Story (1981)

Synopsis: Four Old Geezers gather to spook each other with ghost stories one night, but they all have one spooky ghost story in common. A deep dark secret resides in their past! What is it? And why are they all being visited by the same ghost? This is a very effective ghost story, its loaded with tons of atmosphere and has some very impressive make up effects.

Quote: “I will take you places you have never been, and I will show you things you have never seen and I will see the life run out of you”

Title: What Lies Beneath (2000)

Synopsis: A lonely housewife has just sent her daughter off to college, and now she has lots of time on her own in the house. Her life is being disrupted by strange happenings, like doors that open and close on their own. Broken pictures, and spooky day dreams! What’s behind it all? Is she trying to be contacted by ghosts? This ghost flick was directed by director extraordinaire Robert Zemeckis! So you can expect lots of excellent visual effects and impossible camera shots. A very Hitchcockian ghost story! A master filmmaker directs a masterful ghost story, highest possible recommendation. 

Quote: “Someone who is very close to me, believes herself to be, or seems to be in contact with some entity or spirit..”

Title: House (1986)

Synopsis: Roger Cobb moves to the house of his dead aunt so he can have some peace and quiet to write his new book, based on his memories of Vietnam. Unfortunately, this is the same house his son mysteriously disappeared in a couple of months ago! What happened to his son? Did he just vanished into thin air? This is a very fun horror film, equal parts scary, equal parts funny. Great old school make up effects make this one a keeper. It was followed by a less horrifying sequel called House II: The Other Side. It was a more kid friendly/adventurous flick, but still worth a watch. The first one is a bit creepier, and it has a lot of those awesome 80's style make up effects that we dont see a lot of these days in films. 

Quote: “It won Roger. It tricked me. I didn’t think it could, but it did. It’s going to trick you too, Roger. This house knows everything about you! Leave while you can!”

Title: The Gravedancers (2006)

Synopsis: Three old buddies get together to mourn the death of a friend. They decide to go to the cemetery of all places for a night of drunken debauchery. They decide to dance on top of some graves, thinking there is no life after death and that doing this type of thing will have no consequences on their real lives. Problem is, the ghosts of the dead people who’s graves they danced on don’t like being disrespected! Pretty soon they start being assaulted by vengeful ghosts! This film has a very similar vibe to Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist.

Quote: “You just cant find good paranormal help these days”

Title: The Entity (1981)

Synopsis: Carla Moran is being visited by an evil entity that rapes her every night in her bed! Could it be the ghost of her vengeful dead husband? Or is it something else? And will anybody believe her? This movie is actually quite spooky, its got a real aura to it, makes you feel like this story could have actually happened. After all, the film is based on “a true story”. How much of it is real, and how much of it isn't who knows. But the film sure creeped me out! 

Quote: “Welcome home…cunt!”

Title: The Amityville Horror (2005)

Synopsis: When the Lutz’s finally buy their dream home at a cheap price they are thrilled to finally have their own place! So what if the house has a shady history? It was cheap! Unfortunately on this house, some truly dreadful, evil things have happened! Soon, the family is pestered by spooks and demons. What happened in this dark house and why is George Lutz acting so weird all the time? This is a remake of the 1979 horror classic. The original isn’t about ghosts at all, it was more about a house with a doorway to hell. But this remake decided to go down the road of a ghost movie which is fine by me. Not a bad remake at all; in fact, I don’t even consider it a remake!

Quote: “Houses don’t kill people. People kill people”

Title: 1408 (2007)

Synopsis: John Cusack plays a man who does not believe in the supernatural, in fact, he writes books that specialize in debunking supposed supernatural events and haunted places. After all, the supernatural is bullshit right? Well, I guess this is his night to be proven wrong! He wants to stay at room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel a room in which more than 50 people have died across the years, in fact, the hotel administration is so scared of the room that it is permanently unavailable to current customers! Except tonight. Will John Cusack uncover the truth about the room? Is it all in his mind? Or is their something truly supernatural going on here?

Quote: “Eight dollars for Beer Nuts?! This room is evil!”

Title: Candyman (1992)

Synopsis: Candyman is a myth about a slave, who gets murdered by his masters for falling in love with a white girl! Years and years pass, and now his ghost lingers on through time murdering anyone who dares calls his name five times in front of a mirror. Is the story true? Does he really appear when you call his name five times? Its up to Helen Lyle, a student writing a thesis on local myths and legends to find out! This was one of the horror icons of the 90’s! The film was written and conceived by horror master Clive Barker.

Quote: “They will say that I have shed innocent blood, but what’s blood for if not for shedding?”

Title: The Haunting (1999)

Synopsis: Dr. Marrow is conducting a sleep study; he invites a series of strangers to spend the night in a mansion that is said to be “haunted”. Will the houses terrifying past affect his subjects’ fears? Is there anything to fear in this old house? And is this doctor simply conduction a ‘sleep study’ as he calls it, or does he have some other purposes in mind? I enjoy this one though a lot of people don’t. I guess they compare it a lot with the original which is a great horror movie on its own. But this one has some decent effects and atmosphere. Plus the art direction is fantastic; the mansion is really huge and spooky!

Quote: “Have you ever kept anything for yourself because you were afraid?”

Title: The Frightners (1996)

Synopsis: Frank Banisters has a car accident that allows him to communicate with the dead. He sees ghost and is able to talk and interact with them. Unfortunately he is a tormented soul because the same accident that gave him these abilities, also killed his wife. At the same time, a strange entity is killing people in town! Its death toll is escalating every minute and the strange manner in which people are dying points to Frank Banister committing the crimes! Frank must find out who is murdering people before he has to take the heat for it! Is death literally stalking his town? This movie was directed by Peter Jackson before he became an A-list director; it shows he was always pushing boundaries with whatever film he made. A fun flick showcasing lots of visual effects and lots of ghosts! Fun times! It also stars Jeffrey Combs in one of his most memorable performances!

Quote: “I gotta have an out of body experience and I gotta have it now!”

Title: John Carpenter’s The Fog (1980)

Synopsis: A Strange fog is slowly coming over the small northern town of San Antonio Bay. A the same time supernatural occurrences are happening all across town. Could they be connected somehow to the strange fog? What is in the fog? This is one film where I favor the original over the crappy remake. Don’t bother with the remake, it stinks! But this original directed by horror maestro John Carpenter? Awesomely creepy! An old school ghost story with an awesome climax! Perfect for Halloween night! It stars horror queens Jamie Lee Curtis and Adrienne Barbeau also, horror veteran Tom Atkins is the lead of the film. 

Quote: “Thank god you are weird! The last one was so normal it was disgusting! ”

Title: The Shinning (1980)

Synopsis: Jack Torrence accepts a job of taking care of a huge isolated hotel in the snowy mountains. He accepts it because it will give him the isolation and time necessary to write his masterpiece. Problem is, the hotel is haunted by ghosts! And these ghosts bring out the darkside in Jack! This classic horror film from legendary director Stanley Kubrick is not only a great horror film, but one of the best films in his repertoire. Jack Nicholson delivers one of his most memorable performances ever. Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and horrifying horror films ever made.

Quote: “Some places are like people: some shine, and some dont”

Title: Poltergeist Trilogy

Synopsis: This series of films is all about a little girl named Carol Anne and her abilities to contact the dead. You see, she, like her mother and grandmother were born psychics! Problem comes when the ghosts want Carol Anne to lead them into the light, you see, some ghosts are stuck in limbo and don’t know how to get to heaven, or wherever it is ghosts are supposed to go to; let's just call it the other side.  So they haunt Carol Anne and her family members, trying to get her to guide them to “the other side”. This series of films has some amazing visual and make up effects! The first and second films are especially well known for their fx. The third one takes more of a practical approach towards them, but is still a solid sequel. There is a mystique around these films, some say the productions were haunted by real ghosts because most of the cast (including child actress Heather O’Rourke) died shortly or while they were making them. I say its all a lot of crock, and just coincidence…or is it?

Quote: “There is no death, it’s only a transition to a different sphere of counsciousness”

Title: The Orphanage (2007)

Synopsis: Laura decides to buy and move into the old orphanage where she was raised in. She wants to open up her own orphanage for handicapped children. She is trying to deal with the fact that her son has HIV. Her son has a short time to live, and she fears he is starting to loose his mental capabilities because he says he has five imaginary friends. Soon, her son disappears! And she starts seeing a hooded little kid who mysteriously vanishes. What’s going on in this old house? This film was produced by Guillermo del Toro because he he saw promise in director Juan Antonio Bayona, if you ask me, he was onto something!

Title: The Ring (2002)

Synopsis: A reporter is investigating a strange videotape that supposedly causes the death of anyone seven days after they watch it. What to do now that her young son has watched the tape?! Find out a way to escape the curse that’s what! This ghost film comes to us from director Gore Verbinski (the director responsible for the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films) and is one of the few films that proved to me that there is hope yet for American Horror Films. Not to mention the fact that the film manages to be truly scary with a PG-13 rating! If you haven’t seen it yet, get ready for a jaw dropping finale! The film has some similarities with another excellent American horror film from the 70’s called The Changeling, another fine ghost movie I highly recommend!

Quote: “Here we go, the world is spinning. When it stops, its just beginning. Sun comes up, we all laugh, sun goes down, we all die…”

Title: House on Haunted Hill (1999)

Synopsis: A millionaire offers a group of strangers one million dollars to stay one night in a spooky haunted house. They all think he is bluffing, but what the hell, they go with the flow. Soon enough they start discovering there is something more to this house then meets the eyes. This film was made by Warner Bros. at the same time that Dreamworks was making The Haunting (1999), simply as a way to cash in on the success that they thaught The Haunting was going to have. I remember there being a lot of buzz around Jan De Bonts haunted house flick, and Warner Bros. wanted to cash in on that success by making this remake of the 1959 original. I’ve yet to see the original, but this film proves to be an entertaining ghost story. Not the best ghost movie ever made, but also not the worst! Jeffrey Combs plays a demented scientist that forms part of the houses dark past.

Quote: “What good is a million dollars when you are dead?”


Anonymous said...

Excellent list my man!

I didn't believe in ghosts until my good friend's wife (who is totally sane and rational) told me her stories with ghosts. She still sees them to this day. Her stories will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

odenat said...

excellent list indeed. also liked the new Halloween page design.

Shaun Anderson [The Celluloid Highway] said...

A great list buddy - I love creepy tales of spectral investigation. 'Ghost Story' is long overdue re-assessment in my view. The novel by Peter Straub was equally powerful. I'm going to fly the flag for a couple of British chillers which some of your readers may enjoy - 'The Innocents', and the brilliant Ealing Studios anthology 'Dead of Night' - take care!

Franco Macabro said...

@Planet of Terror: Thanks man, glad you enjoyed the list!

Funny thing about ghost stories, theres always somebody with a good one! I have heard some weird ones myself, but I've never experienced anything myself, which sucks. Id kill to have a true supernatural experience! I've even gone as low as trying freaking Ouija boards. I'll tell you, trying that was fun, but nothing truly supernatural ever came of it!

@Odenat: Glad you liked it Odenat!

@Shaun: I loved Ghost Story, truly creepy and an excellent story. Ill keep an eye open for those reviews, I'm always looking forward to a good ghost story!

Unknown said...

Nice list! I would rank THE FRIGHTENERS and THE FOG right up there. I used not care much for Peter Jackson's film but I watched it again last year and it really grew on me and has improved with age. Plus, as you pointed out, you've got fantastically unhinged performance by Jeffrey Combs.

Franco Macabro said...

I left out some films I would have loved to include on there like THE OTHERS which is pretty creepy and I wish I had seen WATCHER IN THE WOODS, but I havent yet.

Also, THE CHANGELING deserved to be on there somewhere.

Franco Macabro said...

J.D., I agree, The Frightners is an excellent movie, I love how Frank Banister uses his powers as if he was some kind of a low budget ghostbuster or something.

The movie has some wonderful comedy to it, and the effects are pretty cool, though the way death looks with the shroud and all looks kind of dated. But the acting and is so solid on that one, Jake Busey outdoes himself as does Dee Wallace Stone, both positively demented on that film!

Unknown said...

Yeah! Love Busey in that one! And, I also forgot THE OTHERS. Definitely one of THE best ghost stories to come out in some time. Very creepy and atmospheric.

Unknown said...

The orphanage and the ring are my favorites! Freak me out completely! Thanks for sharing other options.

~ Cristine
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