Got some nice responses to my list of favorite ghost movies and would like briefly to respond to the responses. Loved the fact that some people had seen The Woman in Black. This was a so-so novel by Susan Hill that was then adapted into a long, long, long-running two-handed London stage play. That’s where I saw it first and it was scary as anything. In fact, after the terrifying conclusion of the first act, I stood up and accidentally caught a lady’s foot in my folding seat. She screamed–really screamed–and I nearly went rocketing through the roof. The likewise scary TV movie is being remade by Hammer studios, by the way, according to Nikke Finke over at Deadline Hollywood. Cool. The film only missed making my list because I liked the play better.
Commenter Philip Taranger asked why I thought George C. Scott was miscast in Changeling. To me, Philip, his persona was just too gruff, tough, unintellectual and sort of disreputable to be a convincing writer and loving pater familias. As I say, he acted his way through it.
Other good suggestions. The Devil’s Backbone, very good. Carnival of Souls–really creepy, cheap and amateur as it is. (Love the dead body whose eyes blink as they draw him out of the water.) The Eye was spooky, but too much like The Sixth Sense. For me, The Uninvited has dated too much to scare anymore. Oh, and The Orphanage–I could say a hundred great things about it, but there is one really bad thing: the story is totally implausible.
I was surprised no one mentioned The Shining. Too pretentious and cold, I wonder? And Ghostbusters, which I love but which just wasn’t scary enough to make my list.
Which reminds me… commenter Mark suggested Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Now, Mark, the list rules were that only movies about ghosts were allowed. There are no ghosts in ACMF, Mark. If we don’t follow the rules, society collapses. You don’t want society to collapse, do ya? Well… do ya? No, seriously, I love that movie, one of the greatest ever. But not a ghost film.
If I can find the time, I’d like to do another list–of ghost stories this time. Love this stuff.