Writing and Reviews – Denise Pasutti
I like being scared. Scared like there is something creeping in the shadows, not scared like being tortured to death. Some of these movies aren’t necessarily scary but are enjoyable ghost/paranormal movies. I’m always looking for good, scary movies, so recommendations are welcome.
Paranormal Activity 1 & 2 (2007 & 2010): Alright, so I’m slightly behind on this series because my husband refuses to watch Paranormal Activity 3 until Halloween. I saw the first one in theatres and loved it! The build up to increasing attacks, the bangs and thumps that make you jump; burning Ouija boards, sibling hopping demonic presence and home video. Good times. I will eventually watch 3 and might even make it to the theatre for 4.
Grave Encounters (2011): I wasn’t sure about this one but I really enjoyed it. A group of reality TV wannabe’s decide to film an episode of their show, Grave Encounters, in a haunted asylum with no real belief or hope that anything supernatural will happen. Of course, all hell breaks loose and the asylum takes over, making their reality show more real than any of them could have anticipated. Good scares but as it is a found footage flick, some of the camera work is too unfocused and shaky. (https://dawningcreates.com/2012/07/02/grave-encounters-2011/)
Ghost Ship (2002): A salvage crew head out to sea at the behest of a mysterious stranger in search of an abandoned ocean liner. The ship is found but there is more to it then merely being adrift for 40 years. A surprisingly good movie with a good story and great cast: Gabriel Byrne, Karl Urban, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington, Isaiah Washington and Emily Browning. (https://dawningcreates.com/2011/10/03/ghost-ship-review/)
The Others (2001): Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) and her two children, who suffer from an extreme allergy to sunlight, live in isolation in a mansion in Jersey during World War II. Her husband is fighting in the war and to help maintain the house, she hires a creepy trio. Not long after the three servants move in, Grace begins to see and hear strange things and becomes convinced the house is haunted. I won’t get into the ending of this movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it. The atmosphere of the countryside during war when there are frequent black outs, the isolation that Grace imposes on herself and her children and the creepiness as she spirals into the unknown make this one of the best and most subtle ghost movies out there.
Book of Shadows Blair Witch 2 (2000): First off, I did not like The Blair Witch Project and second, Book of Shadows is really nothing like the first one. It uses the same setting and plays on the same history but it really is quite different and in my opinion, better. Is it really scary? Not so much except for the creepy dead kids. I liked the acting, characters and the story. I think I’m in the minority on liking this one.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): Freddy’s coming for you in your dreams! The razor fingered, dirty red and green sweater wearing, burned up child murderer has terrified viewers for 28 years. I’m not sure if this one can really be classified as a ghost movie but here it is anyway. I love this flick. Even today it has the power to freak me out. There’s just something about Freddy that sends chills down my spine; always has and always will. I intensely disliked the remake and the multiple follow ups were mediocre. ANES is an original and scary movie.
The Shining (1980): I debated including this one as a favourite. I can’t stand Shelley Duval and Jack was only OK and boy, is it dated but the story and the setting are what really make this one of the great ghost stories. I would like to see King’s tale redone (again) in this century because I think it deserves a worthy and modern adaptation.
Honourable Mention: House on Haunted Hill (1999); 1408 (2007); The Grudge (2004); The Ring (2002); A Haunting in Connecticut (2009); The Haunting (1999); The Amityville Horror (1979); Mirrors (2008); Wind Chill (2007); The Frighteners (1996); Poltergeist (1982); House (1986); Stir of Echos (1999); Session 9 (2001), Absentia (2011); The Innkeepers (2011); Insidious (2010); Rose Red (2002); 13 Ghosts (2001).