You should definitely watch these 10 films while you’re alive. Once you become a ghost, you’ll likely focus most of your energies on completing unfinished business, like frightening your archenemy to death or organizing your collection of tea cozies in the attic.
1. The Haunting (1963) is a beautifully atmospheric adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. The film is complex and restrained and saturated with queer subtext. The Haunting might not be for everyone, but the people who don’t like it are wrong and should be severely punished by a swarm of poltergeists.
2. The Orphanage deftly reshapes well-worn gothic tropes into something fresh and emotionally rich. This is a horror movie with a heart.
3. Burnt Offerings is based on a heckin’ fantastic horror novel by Robert Marasco. Somehow, watching this movie leads me to believe that being followed around by a grinning hearse driver isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
4. House (1977) is like watching a haunted house movie through a kaleidoscope gifted by a psychedelic god. If that sounds like your cup of bizarro tea, give this candy-coated nightmare a try.
5. Hell House LLC is a fun found footage film about a haunted house attraction. It’s caulrophobiatastic!
6. His House is an original, multilayered take on the haunted house subgenre, utilizing the supernatural to explore aspects of the refugee experience.
7. It’s best to watch The Legend of Hell House while enjoying a bath in a clawfoot tub full of warm ectoplasm. The movie is based on Richard Matheson’s brilliant novel Hell House.
8. Satan’s Slaves is Joko Anwar’s remake of the 1982 cult classic by Sisworo Gautama Putra. I love a horror movie that focuses on family relationships and dynamics, and Satan’s Slaves is one of the best. Heartfelt, tour de force performances make you truly feel for these characters. Satan’s Slaves: Communion is also well worth watching.
9. I’ve included The Old Dark House here because I didn’t have enough films on my list with the word “house” in the title. Also, The Old Dark House is a chilling, campy gem. The movie focuses on psychological specters rather than actual ghosts, sort of like the “haunting” in Hitchcock’s Rebecca.
10. Terrified terrified me, and that doesn’t happen very often. Don’t miss out on this Argentinian masterpiece.