To celebrate the release of Paranormal Activity 2, Movies.ie takes a look at seven of its favourite Haunted Houses
Recently deceased couple Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) are unhappy with their home’s new owners, Delia (Catherine O’Hara) and Charles Deetz (Jeffrey Jones), so they try to frighten them off. When the ghosts’ scare tactics don’t work, they enlist bio-exorcist and haunter extraordinaire Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) to get on the case!
The Devil’s Backbone
Better known for Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy franchise, The Devil’s Backbone saw Guillermo del Toro adopting a rather less-outré approach to the paranormal than that which we have come to expect from the fuzz-faced Mexican auteur. Death looms large over the film’s scenario, with the Spanish Civil War-era action taking place in an orphanage in which roams the restless spirit of deceased young resident Santi (Junio Valverde).
Based on the novel of the same name by horror master Stephen King, Kubrick’s cinematic masterpiece departs from the novel quite a bit, yet it manages to hang onto the basic idea that strange things are afoot at the Overlook Hotel. Jack’s son Danny along with Dick Halloran of the staff share the unique ability to “Shine”. When things take a dark tun, Danny and his mom (the ever- wispy Shelly Duvall) are forced into fight or flight for survival from the author (Jack Nicholson) turned Psycho at the whim of the very building they are hired to oversee.
This 1944 classic ghost story may not hold up as well thanks to modern day special effects and such, but it sure is a scary story with great use of sound and atmosphere. Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey star as a brother and sister who find some ghostly guests in their house sitting atop a menacing cliff. If you’ve never watched The Uninvited, we’re inviting you to now!
New houses aren’t immune from ghosts either, which Steve and Diane Freeling (Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams) discover when their five-year-old daughter, Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) begins communicating with spirits through the static on their television. But soon the paranormal nuisances turn malevolent – from making Steve hallucinate that he’s tearing his own face off to a creepy clown doll actually attacking their son…
A gothic story set in mid-WW II New Jersey, Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) lives in isolation in a Victorian mansion with her two sickly photosensitive children. Things appear all calm and well when three servants show up to help with the children, and slowly a barrage of weird, spooky happenings starts to skew the line between what’s real and otherworldly…
At least with most haunted houses, you’ll be safe as soon as you get your butt off the ghostly property. With the house from The Grudge, there’s no such comfort. The woman and son who were murdered there transfer their anger to anyone who steps inside, and no matter where you go, their spirits will find you. Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) tries her best to end the curse by burning the house down, but she later learns the hard way that ghosts can hide anywhere – even in your hospital bed.