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Scare Tactics
Izumi (Misa Uehara) in
Ju-on: The Grudge
Lions Gate
Ask anyone what scares them most, and chances are ghosts will be near the top of the list. It's no surprise, then, that ghost movies are perennial favorites, even for people who traditionally aren't horror movie fans. There's something about the "are they real or not" nature of ghosts that makes these films particularly spine-tingling. If you're one of the many who loves a good supernatural scare, check out the movies in this list, but don't watch 'em alone!

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July 11, 2008 at 9:33 am
(1) outburst says:

Great list!
As always, you’ve spotlighted a couple I haven’t seen. They’re now on my ‘to-watch’ list.

I didn’t much care for 1408. It felt like an extended one-hour Twilight Zone episode. And it just felt like a rehash of a couple dozen movies I had seen before, many of which were King films.
I’m also not sure that Session 9 meets my definition of a ghost film, but that’s just me. Nor did I think it was spectacular enough for a top 3 placing. Again, my opinion. Seemed to really plod along at a snail’s pace. Creepy in parts, but I just didn’t care about any of the characters.

I’m glad Carnival of Souls didn’t make your list. That puts me to sleep every time I see it.

My list would probably include The Devil’s Backbone in place of The Orphanage. I thought Dragonfly had some nice creepy moments although I guess it’s like the feel-good antithesis to What Lies Beneath. I also thought Silent Hill had a fairly interesting take on the genre.

July 11, 2008 at 1:24 pm
(2) Mark Harris says:

I should probably watch 1408 again. I usually like to watch movies at least twice, and I saw that only once. Maybe I’d think it’s not quite so scary if I watched it again. I still think it’s a good movie; just maybe not super scary.

I felt the same way you did about Session 9 the first time I saw it a few years ago, but I re-watched it (twice!) a month or so ago and was surprised at how much it affected me. If you haven’t seen it in a while, give it another shot! The slow build up is worth the last 15 minutes or so.

I contemplated Devil’s Backbone, but although I enjoyed it, it never scared me. Ditto for Dragonfly. I’ve watched Silent Hill twice and have never really gotten into it, although there are some nice visuals. For me, House on Haunted Hill does the same sort of thing more effectively.

I hope you enjoy the ones you haven’t seen! (You might have a hard time finding Al Final del Espectro on DVD, but if you have HBO, it comes on once in a while.)


July 17, 2008 at 5:51 pm
(3) Jennifer says:

You are right on the money on most of these. The ones I have not seen, I will be sure to check out. The Changeling is my favorite-the only movie that ever gave me that “I am going to wet my pants” type of fear. Thanks for the list!!

July 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm
(4) horror says:

Thanks, Jennifer! I hope you enjoy the ones you haven’t seen yet. Before you watch ‘em, might I suggest rubber sheets? :)

July 21, 2008 at 1:32 pm
(5) Sapphyre says:

Umm … did you forget something? A little freak out titled ROSE RED? :::knockknock::: hello?!

July 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm
(6) horror says:

Hmm…can’t say that Rose Red did much for me, although I know some people (like you) really like it. I think it was hindered by being made for network TV.


February 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm
(7) Scott says:

How in the world did the Blair Witch Project even make the list and how did it take #2. It has to be the worst horror movie I’ve ever seen, I can pretty much sum it up.

“Nothings Happening, Nothings. Happening, Nothings Happening, I see snot, the movie is over and I am really pissed off, I want an hour of half of my life back along with a refund”.

The shining is a fantastic movie, but it’s not the least bit scary, you have a lot of great movies up there but what were you thinking? Blair Witch Project? That wouldn’t scare or excite a three year old.

I was loving the list until I saw that, I will pretend this is a top 23 list.

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