House movies are a staple of the horror genre. Whether a person is living inside or a creature is lurking behind the walls, a house can be a chilling place. There are many variations on the haunted house theme, but the idea is always the same.
House movies have a cult following. Some are considered to be a hoot and some have been forgotten. If you’re into the spooky stuff, here are a few of the best haunted house movies.
The Conjuring – Taking a page from the classic haunted house storybook, James Wan’s The Conjuring is an expertly crafted horror film. This eerie story follows a troubled author (Roger Cobb) who discovers that his aunt has died in the house where she was born. He then goes on a quest to find the culprit, which wrecks his marriage and his writing career. It’s an imaginative, if cliched, story, which is made even more enthralling by a wacky cast and a ghastly location.
The Orphanage – Despite being a Spanish film, The Orphanage stands out from the crowd as it features a troll. Among its ghoulish residents are creepy twins, rotting women, and a dutiful bartender. As a result, the entire atmosphere of the film is unsettling.
The House at the End of Time – In this movie, the house is more than just a haunted house. An eccentric millionaire offers a $10,000 prize for the longest stay in the building. Although this film does not hold a candle to the thrills of James Wan’s The Conjuring, it’s a solid watch with a few surprises.
The Haunting of Bly Manor – This Netflix horror miniseries based on Henry James’s classic gothic horror novella The Turn of the Screw eschews the usual tropes in favor of a more unique take. While the house itself is reminiscent of the aforementioned Belasco House, the actual plot is much more streamlined.
Stir of Echoes – The title of this ode to ghosts isn’t the most impressive fact about this movie. Instead, it’s the story of a hypnotized man who becomes the center of a bizarre mystery. With a bit of help from a shady clairvoyant, the man’s mind becomes more than a little nebulous.
Hillbillys in a Haunted House – This one has a lot going for it. Country singers and a spy ring add to the spooky atmosphere. Lon Chaney Jr. and John Carradine are on hand to give this movie a jolt.
The Orphanage – This one has a lot to offer. A nefarious sadist is behind the scenes and the house is crawling with horror. It’s a little overlong, but this is a great haunted house movie for those looking for a frightful night in.
Several 21st-century haunted house movies have flown under the radar. These are some of the more innovative and underrated films in the subgenre. They may not be quite as big as the classics, but they are worth checking out.