A classic horror trope: the house that wants to f*ck you up. Be it trying to keep you inside or kick you out (not to mention kill you) haunted houses are the worst landlords in horror movies.
This horror sub-genre has been around for a long time. Some notable early ones include House on Haunted Hill (1959) starring Vincent Price and 13 Ghosts (1960) from the legendary William Castle. Both of which were remade in the late ‘90s / early ‘00s. Despite having a particularly strong cast (Geoffrey Rush, Famke Jannsen) the 1999 remake of House on Haunted Hill doesn’t quite match the original and descends into a CGI mess towards the end. That said, it has some good performances and is still pretty entertaining. Similarly Thir13en Ghosts (2001) fails to live up to its predecessor but is still, despite actually not being a very good movie, is good fun.
The ‘80s saw a spate of haunted house horror movies appear in a number of different forms. From the classic Poltergeist (1982) to brilliantly entertaining (and sometimes batshit crazy) House (1985) and House II (1987). Featuring some great jump scares and awesome practical effects both movies are well worth a watch.
More recently we’ve had Crimson Peak (2015) from the twisted mind of the superb Guillermo del Toro. The painstakingly crafted sets lend the film a classic haunted house feel and the design and use of practical effects for the ghosts really makes this film stand out. Ti West delivered a solid and thoroughly enjoyable take on the sub-genre with The Innkeepers (2011), which is a must see for fans of any horror sub-genre. And most recently we’ve had The Conjuring (2013) and the Conjuring 2 (2016) directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious) - one of the best directors working in horror today. Both of these movies really deliver on the scares using the familiar tropes with unique twists to keep the viewer on edge.
This wouldn’t be a complete list without a few essential honourable mentions such as The Shining (1980), Insidious (2010 - 2017), The Amityville Horror (1979) and The Others (2001). There are however, loads of haunted house horror movies out there. We've put together a list of what we think are the best Haunted House Horror Movies of all time. Something missing or doesn't belong there? Let us know. And if you've seen it, rate it.
Haunted House Horror Movies
Released: 19 Feb 1962 |
Director: Jack Clayton
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.
The Evil Dead
Released: 15 Apr 1983 |
Director: Sam Raimi
Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.