Here is a list of our favourite haunted house movies, each one has a lot of scary moments and will send a chill down your spine:
The Shining (1980)
Despite the many silly memes of Jack Nicholson's face bursting through the door, there is nothing silly about Stephen King's The Shining. The film's plot is rather basic, Jack takes a temporary job as a hotel caretaker. He brings his family along for the duration of his work and during their stay, they encounter strange events in the hotel. Things take a turn for the extra creepy when the dead start revealing themselves and viewers are left to wonder whether Jack and his family are truly being tormented by ghosts or if all of this is in Jack's seemingly demented mind.
Director Stanely Kubrick's penchant centered vanishing point perspective is seen a lot in the camera work –and it gives that paranoia inducing edge to many of the film's major scenes.
The Haunting (1963)
When a doctor decides to investigate a house with reported paranormal elements (as well as a dark history of deaths), he takes along a small team of people with him. As one would expect, they all encounter events that unravel the very beings of their personalities.
Considered as one of the most iconic horror films in history, the Haunting has long earned its' claim to fame. The writing alone is incredibly good –the dialogue provides the viewers with enough background information without being too overbearing while the variety of characters gives the film a good balance when it comes to establishing the dynamics of how each of them relates to one another. What we love most about this movie is how scary it is. For an old film done in 1963, the camerawork and the storyline delivers an intense feeling of dread whenever the characters try to learn more about the house. There was a really bad 1999 remake of the film that starred Liam Neeson.
In Poltergeist, the house is haunted by a strange ghost –one that seems to have emanated from the static on the TV screen. The entire family in the house is terrorized by ghosts and is forced to seek the aid of parapsychologists. Along with a spiritual medium, they work together to uncover the real cause of the haunting.
Combining practical effects, strategic camerawork, and blood-chilling music, Poltergeist was well received by fans of the horror genre. There are also a lot of rumors about the film's production, such as that real skeletons were used as props (true), that Steven Spielberg is the actual un-credited director of the film (alleged), and most spooky of all, that the movie itself is cursed (probably false).
The Conjuring (2013)
Based loosely on real-life paranormal investigators, the Warrens, The Conjuring provides viewers with a scary ride and an enlightening look at the world of the supernatural. The film focuses mostly on the haunting of the Perron family. Having recently moved to an old house in Rhode Island, the family of seven suddenly find themselves constantly harassed by the supernatural. They seek out the help of the Warrens in an attempt to drive out the evil entities but not before one of the daughters is possessed.
Obviously, the film is heavily romanticized version of the actual case –but just knowing the fact that the film is based on reality is already enough to make plenty of viewers scared. Add that to the impressive use of special effects, the realistic acting, and well written dialogue and you get a top notch horror movie that will certainly be iconic in the decades to come.
The Lambert family move to a house and are quickly harassed by a supernatural force. Making things worse, their child falls into a coma and thus begins a string of mind-numbing scares that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire film.
Insidious plays heavily on the modern mythos of haunting and possessions, as well as working and playing with the natural skepticism of both the characters in the film and the audience watching it. The end result is a fun to watch horror movie complete with the scary twist ending experience.
Monster House (2006)
There house on the street is rumored to be the home of a man who eats kids –and in this case, the rumor is much better than the truth. Monster House is a 2006 CG animated film that follows the misadventures of three young children as they try to solve the mystery of the neighborhood's very own 'haunted house'. While we will not be spoiling the story for you, it goes without saying that the house itself is the main monster in this movie.
For a CG film, it manages to provide all the basic horror storytelling techniques –except that it has been toned down for children. There are a few jump scares, but most of the film's content comes from gag humor. This is a great movie for children to watch.
Be warned, this movie is a bit heavy to watch –with all the killings and the gore, Sinister feels more disturbing than scary. The story revolves around Ellison, a writer who brings his family to a house with a shady past. When discovers tapes in the attic, he learns of several brutal slaying of families over the years –all caused by a very malevolent entity. As he digs deeper for the truth, he and his family become targets for the evil responsible for all the slaughter.
Not exactly a feel good film, but if you like having some gore with your horror, as well as some not-so-happy-endings to keep the mood dark and dreary, then this movie should be right up your alley.
The Woman in Black (2012)
This horror movie is based on a book also entitled The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill. It takes place in an unspecified time in the 1900's, when a lawyer, Arthur Kipps is sent to facilitate the sale of the large house in a small village. Onhis visit, he encounters an apparition that forces him to confront the secrets of the Eel Marsh House. The case leads Arthur into a most unsavory situation, facing a town surrounded by a marsh and people who have been brought down by immense tragedies of children committing suicides.
The film bounces between calm and jarring in its storytelling pace. This allows the audience to experience the events of the movie from the feelings of the protagonist. It borders more on surreal and emotionally charged as opposed to being simply spooky, which is a great combo for when the scary parts come in.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Hollywood has a love hate relationship with shaky-cam, found footage style films -after all, they tend to be very cheap ways to produce jump scares or are used as a lazy filming technique. Then there's Paranormal Acitivity, a campy horror film that just manages to bring out the right balance of jump scares with an actual feeling of authentic fright. In many ways, Paranormal Activity managed to set a new standard for the found footage genre.
The movie is told through a series of footages recorded by protagonist Micah. When his wife, Katie tells him that they are being haunted by a ghost, they place a camera in their bedroom in order to record what is actually going on. Most of the movie is done in time lapse as the camera simply watches the couple asleep in bed at night, though there are occasions when strange things happen. The camera still rolls during the morning, but at real time, allowing the audience to hear the conversations. As the move progresses, the number of night-time events increases, with each one escalating on intensity compared to the last.
Save the best till last as they say, with so many haunted house movies being so intense and creepy Beetlejuice offers those who want a break from pscyhological horrors a black comedy haunt instead. It has the feel and funniness of ghostly cult hit Haunt the House.
When a young couple meets their untimely and accidental end, they find themselves in a bizarre afterlife. Making things worse is the fact that their house just got sold to a family with an absurdly gaudy taste in design. Out of desperation, the couple summons Betelguese in the hopes of bio-exorcising the humans –however, this last ditch resort looks like it will cause more problems instead of solving it.
This comedy-horror borders a little on the morbid (opening up with the accident that turns the main protagonists into ghosts), but also delivers deadpan in a way that only Tim Burton can. Keaton's portrayal of Betelguese is as iconic as his time as Batman. Originally, the film was meant to be more violent and graphic. A major rewrite to the script turned it into a family oriented comedy instead.