Top 10 Ghost Movies
Long gone are the days where it was enough to pop two holes in a white sheet, throw it over your noggin and shout boo. These are my top ten ghost films.
10. Sixth Sense
Is the twist in this movie that good? I’m not so sure, but the whole, “I see dead people” is compelling stuff regardless. Well worthy of it’s place here kicking off the top ten ghost movies.
Michael Keaton is to my mind a hugely underrated actor, he’s done some quality work in his time and Beetlejuice is right up there. There are many reasons this film deserves it’s place here, one of which is the ‘Day-O’ sequence, as well as being some of director Tim Burton’s most kooky of works.
08. Sleepy Hollow
More Tim Burton magic. In a genre that at the time seemed deeply lacking in good old fashioned ghost stories Sleepy Hollow came along and was a breath of fresh air. Not only is spooky it’s also genuinely funny thanks to a star turn by Mr. Depp.
07. Paranormal Activity
This film feels like a prime candidate for ‘don’t believe the hype’ status. The truth is it’s really good. There is a full on sense of distress as the demonic presence in the house takes hold of nightly goings on. Note to self, don’t live anywhere that’s haunted.
Sucked in to another dimension through your closet by a host of scary spirit types that have emerged from the TV. It’s an average weekend right? No. Poltergeist will freak you out. Also there is a curse on the movie involving premature deaths of those involved with the production. Just in case it didn’t have enough of an atmosphere as it is.
05. The Others
Yeah, there’s ghost kids… Really creepy ghost kids. There is also a quality twist. Gothic and then some this Alejandro Amenábar film is accomplished and Kidman is convincing as someone who isn’t just a hysterical mother trope.
04. The Fog
It’s amazing the length of time it takes folks in this film to realise that there is some seriously fucked up shit going on in regard to the fog that’s hanging about. Nevertheless it’s a blast and Lee Curtis is at her Halloween best as fraught victim. Plus the story behind the fog and the curse is properly grim, like the Santa Claus story in Gremlins it’s just unpleasant.
03. The Woman In Black
Adapted from stage and adapted well. Yes, the entire premise is to set up scares at regular intervals, but what more do you want from gothic nastiness? The scares are good too, as is the bleakness of the setting and the atmosphere in the village that’s so pervasive as to seep from the screen into the audience. There’s nothing quite like old toys mysteriously moving to set one on edge.
02. Event Horizon
Sci-Fi yes, but it’s more ghostly horror. Sam Neill is marvellous as he unravels aboard the eponymous spaceship. The film was pitched without plot to execs at Paramount as The Shining in space. That was enough. It’s also apretty accurate description of what happens. Basically gory, entertaining craziness… Infinite Space, Infinite Terror.
01. The Shining
What else could it be? Nicholson takes the job as winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel and is never quite the same again as he becomes possessed of sorts, sees some unnerving things going on in the supposedly deserted hotel and decimates a bathroom door with an axe to get at his terrified wife. Stephen King’s novel in the hands of Kubrick turns out to be the king of hill when it comes to the top ten ghost movies, a surely unquestionable choice.
There are certainly a few very good movies that didn’t make the grade, but rather than list them I’ll wait to see if they get mentioned in comments in a rage of indignation at their omission…