Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chills and Thrills: Haunted Homes on the Big Screen

The movies that always scare me the most are haunted-house flicks, where ghouls and ghosts invade your personal space. Needless to say, I saw Paranormal Activity 3 yesterday...spooooky! While the story does not take place in a traditional haunted home (spider-webs, dusty attics, long empty hallways, etc.), the homes of all the Paranormal Activity movies were family suburban homes... plus one angry demon.

The trailer alone gives me goosebumps:

In the spirit of Halloween, 
a countdown of some of the creepiest dwellings ever to haunt the big screen:

#8. The Haunted Mansion (2003)

Gracey Manor

Based on the Disney theme-park ride, Jim Evers(Eddie Murphy) brings along his wife Sara(Marsha Thomason) and their children for a late-night viewing of a bayou property going up for sale...but all is not what is seems.

#7. Casper (1995)

Kat Harvey (Christina Ricci) checking out the new digs.

The friendly ghost! The friendliest ghost you know! Kat Harvey (Christina Ricci) and her father (Bill Pullman), a paranormal therapist, move into a haunted mansion. The father, Dr. James Harvey is hired to exorcise the ghosts, so that the owner may search for secret buried treasure in peace. I remember my brother and I watching this movie only a zillion times when we were younger.

#6. Monster House (2006)

Neighbourhood kids discover, on All Hallows' Eve, the creepy house down the street is actually alive...based on a true story.

#5. Beetlejuice (1988)

There's a Beetlejuice house copycat in my town.

Newly deceased couple, Barbara and Adam, (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) are horrified with what the new owners have done to their now-vacant-home.

Decor at it's finest (if you're blind).

They decide to scare them out of the house, to the new family's delight. Desperate, Barbara and Adam summon Beetlejuice(Michael Keaton) to get involved... and "it's showtime".

#4. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

Blackwood Manor
Sally (Bailee Madison) has come to live with her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in the old manor the couple are renovating. Mysteriously, the famous painter that once lived their disappeared soon after his son went missing. Time passes, and Sally discovers that the current residents, herself in particular, are not safe either from what took the painter and his son.

My favourite part of the house: the staircase.

#3. The Others (2001)

Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) has strict household rules about light. Her two children are sensitive to natural light. So to prevent any injury, Grace closes all curtains and locks every room before moving on to the next room in her giant of a mansion. When she hires new servants, and the doors begin to mysteriously unlock themselves (among other strange behaviour) she naturally believes it to be them. It isn't.

#2. The Amityville Horror (2005)

The most famous haunted house in America.

In 1974, this Long Island home was the site of a horrific murder of 6 family members, by the eldest son's hand. He claims "voices" told him to do it. A year later, this movie follows the events described by George(Ryan Reynolds) and Kathy Lutz(Melissa George) of the 28 days after they moved in to the same home. Lots of good scares in this movie, the house itself was a (evil) character, so you're never really safe.

And Finally...

#1. The Sixth Sense (1999)

The mother of all terrifying movies. Cole (Haley Joel Osment) and his mother's (Toni Collette) apartment doesn't seem scary, initially. We soon learn it's not the apartment that's haunted, it's the little boy. Thanks a lot M. Night Shyamalan, I didn't sleep for a week after I saw this movie.

Cole's fort.

Poor Cole endures haunts in school, at parties, but mostly in his own home. His behaviour is recognized as needing a counselor, and so along comes Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). I love this movie, because it doesn't use gore. There's a lot more substance than that. Shyamalan plays mind games with you, and gives you signals to get anxious. For example, when a ghost appears it gets cold. Sometimes, this is signaled with cold breath, but the scariest signal was in the dead of night at Cole's house and we just see the thermostat go down like crazy.

Me: Don't get up, Cole. Don't, don't, don't, don't....GO BACK TO BED!

Honourable Mention:
Men In Black (1997)

James (Will Smith) is recruited by Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) to become an agent for the best keep secret organization in the world, the Men in Black, to protect the world against hostile aliens. While not actually a scary movie, I think it's pretty awesome that the alien in one of the beginning sequences is climbing up the Guggenheim Museum.

Happy Halloween!

1 comment:

  1. Hello there ! :D

    Just amazing collection of haunted homes , cool !

    Cintia ( Tin ) Fumagalli


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