Best Haunted House Movies
Few things are more terrifying than the idea of a haunted house. Unlike most horror genres, the haunted house has so much to offer in terms of scaring the audience. You aren’t sure what the scary thing is…is it a ghost? Is it a monster? Is it the house itself? What does it want? What powers can it reasonably possess? All these questions make this one of my favorite genres and below I have chosen a few of my favorite to share with you.
- Title: THE SHINING
- Release Date: May 23, 1980
- Run Time: 142 minutes
- Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
- Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers
- About the Movie: Based on the novel by Stephen King, this movie is one of the first really good Haunted House movies. In this movie we get to see some telepathic ability along with ghosts and a few other creepy effects as well as the house…actually it’s a hotel….possess and act thru Jack to do its dirty work. Also we see one of the first uses of the “Indian Burial Ground” as the reason behind the haunting.
- Title: POLTERGEIST
- Release Date: June 4, 1982
- Run Time: 114 minutes
- Directed by: Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg (uncredited)
- Starring: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein
- About the Movie: Another cemetery is to blame (or at least its improper relocation) for the paranormal invasion in this movie as a family is assaulted by tons of ghosts and a demon that happen to be haunting their house.
- Title:THE ENTITY
- Release Date: February 4, 1983
- Run Time: 125 minutes
- Directed by: Sidney J. Furie
- Starring: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa, Margaret Blye, Jacqueline Brookes
- About the Movie: I only just recently discovered this movie thanks to Anna Marie Bowmans hub, Some of the Best Unknown Horror Movies. It is a great movie with some very frightening scenes. The main character is assaulted constantly by an unseen force and eventually seeks help from parapsychologists. This movie is well worth the 2 hour run time it takes to get through it.
- Title: THIRTEEN GHOSTS
- Release Date: October 6, 2001(original released July 1960)
- Run Time: 91 minutes
- Directed by: Steve Beck
- Starring: Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Adam Kaminski, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, Rah Digga, F. Murray Abraham
- About the Movie: This film is a little different in that the house itself is not haunted but rather acts as a prison for 12 ghosts. This one makes the list for being very different…not to mention a remake…and having Shannon Elizabeth doesn’t hurt either.
Title: ROSE RED
- Release Date: January 27, 2002
- Run Time: 240 minutes
- Directed by: Craig R. Baxley
- Starring: Nancy Travis, Matt Keeslar, Julian Sands, Kimberly J. Brown, David Dukes, Judith Ivey, Melanie Lynskey, Matt Ross, Kevin Tighe, Julia Campbell, Emily Deschanel, Laura Kenny, Tsidii Leloka, Yvonne Sciò, Jimmi Simpson
- About the Movie: Also based on the novel by Stephen King, this movie has a massive cast to match its EPIC run time. It was originally a three part miniseries that was later converted into a movie. It has what you expect from Stephen King. Namely, telepathic powers, ghosts, and a generally creepy vibe. The house itself is also massive and ever changing which is probably my favorite thing about the movie.
Title: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
- Release Date: October 16, 2009
- Run Time: 101 minutes
- Directed by: Oren Peli
- Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat
- About the Movie: Finally we come to my favorite. This movie was the creepiest to me because it was filmed as a documentary. You see everything first hand and really experience what it would be like to be haunted by an evil that you cannot see or touch but has no problems touching you. A great movie if you enjoy a good scare.
The unseen and the unknown are the basis behind most horror movies and the cause for so much fear but no other horror genre harnesses these forces better than the haunted houses. Enjoy and please let me know if you think there is another movie that should be on this list instead.