Skip the haunting this Halloween and indulge in haunted-house pleasure in your own living room. In fact, if you work your way through our series of real estate-related Halloween flicks, you’ll think of them every time you view a home for sale or put yours on the market.
Now, some of these are serious thrillers while others include a dose of humour, but all are worth a watch.
So, cook up some spooky eats, invite your closest friends and binge on this October real estate fright-fest.
Whilst I have not seen all of these, those in my network suggested their favourites.
A surprising gem from New Zealand is a horror comedy rated MA, released in 2014.
A young woman is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention.
However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers & strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s less than happy about the new living arrangement.
Plenty of unpredictable little twists to keep it going nicely.
Australias’ Nicole Kidman stars as a woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children become convinced that her family home is haunted. The story is set at the end of World War 2 as she awaits the return of her husband from war.
Released in 2001 it has a unique twist
A widowed mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
Stars Australias’ Essie Davis, known for many roles including my daughters favourite, “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”
12 years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they soon become the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.
Released in 2017, it follows on from the original “Annabelle” of 2014.
A horror film that gained its R rating, not for nudity, gore or naughty words (because there aren’t any), but by its scare factor alone.
Released in 2013, “The Conjuring” follows two paranormal investigators who try to help a family who is at the mercy of whatever is haunting their farmhouse.
Haunted real estate – maybe someone should specialize in that?
One of the highest-rated horror movies at amazon.com.
There’s also “Conjuring 2” available.
“The Woman in Black”
A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.
A real change of pace for Daniel Radcliffe in this 2012 fantasy horror story.
Barnabas Collins a vampire played by Johnny Depp, is imprisoned in 1752. He is set free 200 years later and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection.
A Tim Burton film.
“The Cabin in the Woods”
Five teenagers head off for a weekend at a secluded cabin in the woods. They arrive to find they are quite isolated with no means of communicating with the outside world.
When the cellar door flings itself open, they, of course, go down to investigate, where they get more than they bargained for… discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.
When a recently-deceased ghost couple finds their now-vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they hire a sleazy ghost who gets rid of humans to help them.
Released in 1988, this Tim Burton PG comedy fright classic brings well-timed humour and you clould let the kids watch this with you.
Set Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.
The first of a string of sequels of varying quality.
Two witch sisters, raised by their eccentric aunts in a small town, face closed-minded prejudice and a curse which threatens to prevent them ever finding lasting love.
The Owens women are also under a curse that any man with whom they fall in love is doomed.
The acting, settings and such were all spot on and the characters easy to relate to.
A safer 1998 movie for youngsters to watch, starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.
A small-budget film, “The Selling” offers a combination of horror, suspense and slapstick humour, mostly the latter.
The story follows Richard, an honest, hard-working real estate agent and his business partner Dave, who are duped into listing a home that later turns out to be haunted.
But, that’s not all. As one reviewer put it:
“How do you sell a house full of ghosts in this economy without telling anyone that the house was once owned by a famous, though unconvicted serial killer?”
Especially, we might add, when the agents have to compromise with ghosts over showings of the home to potential buyers.
Funnier than it is scary, even horror fans love this movie.
“Tucker & Dale vs. Evil”
This one is for the squeamish among your fright-fest audience. Billed as a comedy/horror film, it takes the top spot among the genre’s offerings at Netflix.
Tucker and Dale head to their backwoods mountain hangout for a few days of beer drinking and fishing and meet up with a group of college kids.
Location, location, location isn’t just paramount in real estate, but a central theme in the characters’ hilarious – and deadly – assumptions.
Released in 2010, the film is rated R.
“The People Under The Stairs”
We’ve seen some crazy things in homes, but never anything like what’s in Wes Craven’s mansion-turned-chamber of horrors.
One magazine calls it a “gentrification fable,” an allegory for the “ongoing war between property renters and property owners.”
Craven says the house came to him in a dream – a house with an unassuming exterior whose real truth is revealed inside.
Released in 1991, and rated R for the violence.
The Classic 1973 tale, when a girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.
It’s not the first movie that features the Demon in its content, yet in the Exorcist the Demon is introduced in the human level.
The idea of being possessed by a spirit is used for the first time ever on the screen.
There are no opening credits after the title. Although it is commonplace now, it was unheard of in 1973.
If you’re a fan of foreign films and/or really weird stuff, “Hausu” (Japanese for “house”) is a Japanese film, released in 1976.
Seven girls on a summer trip pay a visit to a possessed house filled with furniture that eats them in bizarre ways. Watch the film carefully as there’s a message behind the campiness.
By the way, It’s titled “House” at amazon.com and others.
“Drag Me To Hell”
This one is especially interesting for those homeowners who’ve had the misfortune of being forced into foreclosure with a mortgagee sale.
A young loan officer turns down an elderly homeowner’s request for a mortgage payment extension and lives to regret it.
The vengeance is truly serious here.
Yes, it’s a bit gory at times, but it’s also surprisingly funny at others.
“The Open House”
A teenager and his mother find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house.
Thankfully, none of my Opens have been like this…
“The Haunted Mansion”
An Eddie Murphy comedy as a realtor and his wife and children are summoned to a mansion, which they soon discover is haunted, and while they attempt to escape, he learns an important lesson about the family he has neglected.
“The Amytiville Horror”
A classic horror film from 2005. Newlyweds are terrorized by demonic forces after moving into a large house that was the site of a grisly mass murder a year before
Speaking of classics, Poltergeist was also remade recently but you are better off with the original. A poltergeist is a specific type of supernatural being that is associated with house hauntings. This is another movie about a family moving into a suburban home…this one was built on a Native American burial site. The special effects were great for its time, and delivered genuine chills despite the PG rating.
This is underappreciated animated film that did not come out of the Disney or Pixar studios. This is about three kids who encounter an old house that seems to have a life of its own. It has a delightful sense of humor and imaginative visual frights that tell the story of the monster house. Surprisingly, the film is very touching and heart-warming by the end. If you are a fan of movies like Nightmare Before Christmas or Beetlejuice, this may be right up your alley.
Another classic horror film from 1990. A couple work hard to renovate their dream house and become landlords to pay for it. Unfortunately, one of their tenants has plans of his own.
A very good reason to hire a reliable property manager
“The Ladies Of The House”
The first thing you need to know about this ““grindhouse-style feminist horror” film is that the kids should be safely tucked into bed when you watch it.
Although it’s not rated – you don’t want the little ones watching it.
The characters include strippers and three guys out for a good time. Nudity? Yes. Sexual content? Mhm. Gore? It’s a horror film, so yes.
In fact, one reviewer calls the most gruesome aspects of the film “unsavoury torture scenes.”
But, we had to include it because, first, horror fans rave about it and, second, the house (specifically its interior) is a central character in the film.
In a nutshell, three guys on a birthday outing end up back at one the seemingly normal, nondescript home of several strippers who also happen to be cannibals.
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