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Scare Me
I am totally in a mood. It is not a good mood, and yet there are no huge catastrophes looming, just... ugh. Mood, whose sources are known, but multiple and diffused. This manifests itself as a mood to spam, though, so fair warning. Spam part 1: public spam.

I've done this once before, but there's a lot more horror-lovers on my friendslist now. Also, I'm planning a trip to the video rental store this evening, so the timing is optimal. So flist and random watchers, I ask of thee: rec me ghost movies!



Preferably ghost movies that don't suck, but that's so subjective a criterion as to be almost pointless, so I'll poke a little more into what makes me happy, here.

1. Creepy is awesome, gory is not a selling point. I don't mind if there's blood and/or guts, but if that's the basic point of the show, it's probably not for me.

2. Girl/woman ghosts are better than boy/man ghosts. For me. They're scarier and/or I care about them more. OTOH if there's a girlperson being threatened by a ghost of whatever stripe, we're back in business.

3. Child ghosts are skippity-doo-dah happymaking. *is twisted*

4. The ghost(s) can be evil or good, I don't care either way, as long as there's some aspect of evil or creepiness going on. (Example: the actual ghosts in Lady In White are good, but there's scary evil afoot around them, and they're kind of creepy themselves for a lot of the movie just because of the atmosphere and how much we don't know about them.)

5. In English, preferably; subtitles give me headaches. I will make an exception for a really good/creeptacular foreign film, though. Also unlike many, I don't mind dubbing and would actually prefer it to a subtitled version. Japanese long-haired girl creepy noises movies are... kind of great; Chinese action/fantasy/adventure movies with flying kung-fu that also happen to include demons and ghost, not so much.

6. Humor is okay, but I'm not looking for anything that's overall a comedy whose supernatural aspect isn't really scary. I like those; they're just not what I'm looking for here. (Example: The Frighteners is love. That level of humor is fine. Disney's Haunted Mansion, not so much. The Casper movie (which I've seen and liked) not so much.)

7. It doesn't have to have a happy ending - the bad guys/forces can win - but I'd like to avoid movies where the main thrust is 'POV character goes crazy and eventually dies or realizes he's already dead, is stuck in Hell, is hallucinating most of the plot in the last fleeting seconds before he dies...etc. ' (Er. *scratches head because I don't want to spoil any relatively recent ones for people who haven't seen them* Example: Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge? Basically I am in a somewhat depressed mood, and I have massive, massive death-fear issues. Ghosts make me happy, even scary ones. Fakeouts that imply there is no afterlife, or give the main character a horrible one, or make me spend a lot of time in the head of a depressed/crazy person whose POV I can't trust, are exactly what I don't need.)

8. Judges will also accept evil or possessed little girls (but not tied-to-the-bed exorcism-based plots), or little girls who are menaced by evil things, in lieu of traditional ghosts. Likewise, demonic forces that act in ghostly ways will be cautiously accepted in trade. Or stuff with female identical twins, whether supernatural or psychological horror.

9. Chase, comma, cutting to, wrt horror: I adore Ghost Story, I like Slither, I wish I could not only unsee Saw, but killfile the universe from ever reminding me it exists. And if I don't see another direct re-make of Turn of the Screw before I'm 80, I'll be fine.

Ghost (or 'could-be-a-ghost-but-isn't') movies I have seen: Ghost Story, The Others, The Changeling, The Lady In White, Woman In Black, Blair Witch, a zillion variations on The Turn of the Screw, Let's Scare Jessica To Death, The Shining, Ghost Ship, Poltergeist (all of them), 6th Sense, House on Haunted Hill (modern version), 13 Ghosts (modern version), The Haunting (both versions), The Ring (1 and 2), The Grudge (1 and 2), Dark Water, Sleepy Hollow, most of the Amityville films, She Waits, The Nesting, Candyman 1 & 2, all of the Nightmare on Elm St. films, most of the Hellraiser movies, Haunted, The Frighteners, The Ghost Belonged To Me, Beneath, Stir of Echoes, Session 9, Audrey Rose, Suspiria, The Fog (modern version), Pulse, Dead Silence, House of Usher, An American Haunting, Silent Hill, Darkness, Ghostwatcher (omg so bad, which totally explains why I've also seen the sequel), The Gift, Gothika, and.... probably others I will think of when people rec them to me. (Yay classic-horror.com and horrorwatch for review lists by year and subgenre, respectively, so I could remind myself of more that I've already seen.)

Ones I'm spoiled enough for that I know I don't want to see them: What Lies Beneath, Jacob's Ladder.

minim_calibre

2007-09-21 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, shoot! You've already SEEN the ones I've watched and loved (The Changeling: OMG, LOVE. Also, The Frighteners. SO MUCH LOVE). Time to send a serious Ghost Viewer your way!

mpoetess

2007-09-22 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Hee - I looked at that list after I posted and went "....wow, you really watch a lot of horror movies."

sol_se

2007-09-21 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hmm, most of the movies I was going to rec are already on your list at the bottom. One that comes to mind is The Eye. It's a foreign movie, though--I know you said you didn't want subtitles. I loved it though. I believe it's also in the works of being remade in Hollywood (like The Ring & The Grudge). Really liked it. The main character is a woman, and she sees many ghosts, several of which are children or female. So that fits some of your criteria! *g* I know there are other movies I'm forgetting, because I'm a big horror fan, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment. Will be back with more recs if I think of them...

mpoetess

2007-09-22 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Currently in my dvd player, thank you!

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kassandra05

2007-09-21 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Child of Glass comes to mind (well, after an extensive IMBD search for the name anyway). It's a Disney movie from 1978 so it might not be what you're looking for, but it came to mind after reading your list. I always liked watching it because the girl ghost was just so spooky.

wesleysgirl

2007-09-21 11:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh wow, I totally loved that movie. :-)

(no subject) - mpoetess, 2007-09-22 12:13 am (UTC) (Expand)

petzipellepingo

2007-09-21 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well bugger, I was going to suggest The Changeling but that's already on your list. Hmmm... ok, this may not be exactly your cup of tea but The Legend Of Hell House isn't on your list.

mpoetess

2007-09-22 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)

I've read the book, but not seen the film! I would have rented it, but sadly the store I was at didn't have it. May check the other local one soon, though. Thanks!

midnightfae

2007-09-21 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm going to assume, then, that you've seen The Innocents (given your Turn of the Screw comment), case that one scares the hell out of me. However, looking over The Lovely Roomie's massive DVD collection, I can recommend a few other.... crap! Suspiria is also already on that list. You suck. Moving on....

Phantasm scared the crap out of me. Ringu is much scary than Ring could ever hope to be, even if the premise is the same. Legend of Hell House is pretty good in the creepy department. Rosemary's Baby is... something different. But quite good. I also really liked Black Christmas (original), though it's not really ghosts.

Oh! And the Devil's Backbone.

midnightfae

2007-09-21 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

I lose at grammar. And spelling. And all things English.

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wesleysgirl

2007-09-21 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

I thought What Lies Beneath was totally crappy anyway.

I love Lady in White, The Frighteners, and Stir of Echoes. And Session 9, which was really cool.

Hm. I really liked the original Japanese version of The Ring, which I think is called Ringu. I actually thought it was better than the American version by quite a bit. However, the storyline would be very familiar and there's the whole foreign thing to consider -- I suspect it would have dubbing available, but I'm not sure.

I can't think of anything you haven't already seen!

mpoetess

2007-09-22 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)

I don't think it has dubbing available - at least, I'm currently watching The Eye, and it doesn't. (Though that's a Hong Kong movie, not Japanese.)

The Japanese originals of Ring, Grudge, and Dark Water are sort of way on the back burner as things I might watch eventually just to compare, but I've already seen the plots to them, and with horror movies, it's mostly about new stories.

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apetslife

2007-09-21 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

I highly, HIGHlY recommend "The Descent." It's just really really good, and as someone who's enjoyed the movies you've listed, I think you'd really enjoy it! It's GOOD!

mpoetess

2007-09-22 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)

The Descent as in the extreme-sports cave-delving one? I've seen it, but it's not actually a ghost movie. And it's one of those that depressed me because of the ending. (Though it was really well-made and exciting up to that point!)

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mpoetess

2007-09-22 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)

*checks* I have seen Curse of the Cat People! That's the ghostly sequel about the original man's little girl, yes? I liked it.

Carnival of Souls was recced last time too, but yeah, rule 7. It's one of the ones I had in mind when drafting it. ;-)

Don't Look Now, I've read the original novella for, so I know what you can't say. ;-) I might end up watching it eventually. Seen Phantasm... or like I said to Julia, it may have only been the sequel, in which case I probably should eventually go back and watch the first. Seen Creepshow, but not the other anthologies!

Shock freaked me the hell out when I read a review of it (while looking through the 'hauntings' list on horrorwatch to verify which ones I'd seen already) not because of the summary, but because the cover art is the cover art for Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle!

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justhuman

2007-09-22 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Not a ghost movie, but The Village is on the creepy side without being too creepy - M. Night

mpoetess

2007-09-22 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Have seen! And agreed.

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thedeadlyhook

2007-09-22 01:05 am (UTC) (Link)

I've got some J-horror for you: Tales of Terror from Tokyo. It's actually a TV series with a number of short subjects (about 5-10 mins.) of I-swear-this-is-a-real-urban-legend type stuff, but there's also a movie version, with some of the best clips called "Tales of Terror from Tokyo: The Movie." Totally worth watching. And the "Masters of Horror" series had a good creepy one based on the Poe story, "The Black Cat." That one gets a gore warning. I can also recommend a movie called The Woods, that has Bruce Campbell in a small role, but is primarily about a girls' school, and something that could be ghosts, or...? Nice and creepy.

mpoetess

2007-09-22 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Hmm - the Black Cat remake was on the shelf - I shall check it out next time! The Woods, I've seen. I loved it because it was playing to girl's-school-haunting-lesbian-exploitation stereotypes hilariously while never quite stepping out of presenting itself as a serious story or breaking the 4th wall.

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basingstoke

2007-09-22 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)

A Korean movie called Two Sisters scared the CRAP out of me, which almost never happens. I couldn't breathe during this one scene. And it totally fits your criteria; I think you'd enjoy it.

mpoetess

2007-09-22 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)

*cough* I totally spoiled myself for that one, so I know the twist. But it's actually on my list of ones to watch, still; they just don't have it at my local store.

loreleif

2007-09-22 02:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Hm. You seem fairly well-versed already! My standard to rec is In the Mouth of Madness, but while I still recommend it at some other time, it fails massively on number 7 above. Which version(s) of The Shining have you seen? If you haven't seen the miniseries one, I really liked that.

Flatliners? Okay, yeah, so 80s cheesy, but kids and ghosts and Kiefer!

Oo, wait - have you ever seen Paperhouse? ...shoot, I can't remember the ending, but I don't *think* it violates #7. And it's not got ghosts per se, but kids and tons of spookiness. And also Ben Cross. :)

Hm. Otherwise, I think I'm out of ideas!

mpoetess

2007-09-22 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Love both Flatliners and Paperhouse!(And Ben Cross.) And I've only seen the Kubrick version of Shining, not the miniseries.

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ide_cyan

2007-09-22 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Urban Ghost Story is a small Scottish indie film about a teenage girl who is haunted after a near death experience.

The Devil of Winterborne and Ghosts of Winterborne are very low-budget movies starring lots of Doctor Who actors. Probably not at the video store, but you might find them online. (And if you find the 2nd one, do let me know where.)

Marebito (from the director of The Grudge) might work for you, or not, since it has elements you list as negatives and ones as positive. (Again, low-budget.)

General horror movie rec, though it's not about ghosts, and not so much scary in the creeping dread sense that ghosts are: Ravenous is excellent. It is gory, but not overly gross, and quite funny at times.

mpoetess

2007-09-22 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Urban Ghost Story sounds good!

Marebito I've seen, and yeah, it was too dreamlike and disturbing for me to enjoy it.

I knew the cast-with-DW-actors movies existed (have seen...gah, can't remember which of them, but neither of the Winterbourne ones) - I'll keep an eye out for them, thanks!

ide_cyan

2007-09-22 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh, and I barely remebered this one, since it's been a long time since I've seen it: Dark Waters, plural -- it preceeds the Japanese movie. It's Italian, but the dialogue's mostly in English. I *think* I saw it, but I might be confused with something else that was on the Fant-Asia film festival listings. It's been too long.

And another title I remember vaguely from Fant-Asia: Trance, aka The Eternal.

kaydee23

2007-09-22 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not a ghost story, but the original "Night of the Hunter" is so freaking weird and scary. Robert Mitchum is the villain. No ghosts, but scary and weird as hell. There's a scene in the movie tht you'll never be able to get out of your head. Black and white. And perfect. It could have been made in color, but for artistic reasons, or economic reasons, it wasn't.

The original "The Other," about the boy with the evil twin. If it's not from the 70s, don't bother. I'm sure it's been remade.

Nightwatch with Elizabeth Taylor is just horrifying. No ghosts, but it's scary as hell. I promise you'll scream and pee and crap and whatever. It's scary. Horribly so.

The Last of Sheila is so so scary.

The Spiral Staircase is old and scary. :shivers: It has a crazy serial killer in it. (1945 release)

Darn Darn Darn. I know there's two other very very freaky scary movies from the 40s or 50s. One has a door in the title and one has a hill, I think. :sigh: What a drag to grow old and forget things.

mpoetess

2007-09-24 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Actually, far as I know The Other hasn't been remade - I've seen it several times, just didn't think to list it.

kaydee23

2007-09-22 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ghost Story? Which movie had all those talented old geezers in it? I'll keep thinking.

a2zmom

2007-09-23 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

It was Ghost Story. Fred Astaire is in it. The book is the third scariest book I've ever read.

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kaydee23

2007-09-23 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

What about Carnival of Dreams? Is that the name of it? So weird and scary. :shivers:

mpoetess

2007-09-24 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Carnival of Souls. Weird and scary but violates article #7 ;-) In fact its whole point is pretty much article #7.

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wesleysgirl

2007-10-09 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hey, I'm currently watching Witchboard (a korean film also called Bushinsaba) on TV and it's pretty good, in a "sort of like Ringu and whatever The Grudge was called in Japanese" sort of way. :-)