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.