Good haunted house movies manage to show the audience something new using a classic story structure. While many people think that all haunted house movies are horror films, they actually aren't. Just like how the best horror films ever made don't necessarily need a haunted house, movies about paranormal activities in a home don't need to be horror. That said, terror goes a long way in providing a thrilling sensation in a movie, which is why horror and haunted houses often go hand-in-hand.
The best haunted house films are about the past and its effect on the present. As is the case with stories of real haunted houses, the movie characters must come to terms with a truth that they have been running from. After all, a haunted house is the physical manifestation of the dark corners of the mind, hiding ghosts behind doors people are too scared to open. This list represents the best haunted house movies ever made (remakes not included). Vote up the most spine-tingling movies about paranormal homes that not only capitalize on terror, but also use quality cinematography.
In the 1963 film, The Haunting, a paranormal investigator invites two psychic women and a skeptical man to help him with his research in a haunted mansion. Hill House has a history of violence, as so often is the case with haunted places. Things begin to escalate as soon as the foursome enters the spooky old mansion.
The atmospheric film relies on cinematography instead of gore to produce its scares. The house itself is the main character in this horror classic, and it plays the part well.16735Is this one of the best?
Vincent Price delivers a masterful performance as an eccentric millionaire in this 1959 horror classic. Along with his fourth wife Annabelle, Price decides to hold a party in a haunted house where seven people have already met their demise. The guests are five strangers who will receive ten thousand dollars if they survive the entire night. As the doors lock at midnight, the campy horror is in full swing.
Riddled with black humor, this film leaves the audience satisfied.15548Is this one of the best?
In Insidious, technically, the child is haunted and not the house. The film follows many of the haunted house tropes while reinventing others. The film begins when Dalton, the child, has an incident in the attic and falls into a coma. When medical science fails, the family calls in the paranormal investigators.
The strength of the film is that it takes the existence of the supernatural for granted. It doesn't waste much time on the stubborn empiricist trope and dives right into the meat of the story. As such, the film will appeal to those who appreciate the archetypes and metaphors of the haunted house story. The cinematography, special effects, and overall imagery are frightening, even to the desensitized modern audience, and the plot offers a fresh take on a classic haunting tale.16760Is this one of the best?
Tim Burton's gothic comedy, Beetlejuice, is an influential and timeless classic. The all-star cast includes Alec Baldwin, Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, and a young Winona Ryder who all deliver spectacular performances in this great film. The unique visual style could have only come from Burton's mind, and the story balances the light and dark aspects as perfectly as the cinematography.
The film follows a married couple from their untimely death to their first experiences in the afterlife. When a new family moves into the house they are haunting, they resort to all sorts of measures to scare them away, including the decision to enlist the help of the "bio-exorcist," Beetlejuice. Along the way, they befriend gothic teen Lydida Deets, who attempts to help them. Really, you just need to watch this film.17069Is this one of the best?