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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 21 Oct 2012 08:03
1610 Views 8 Comments

My Top 20 Halloween Favorites: Ghosts

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Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.5
The Invisible (2002)
A high school teenager finds himself to be invisible to all the other kids in school. And not just cuz of his lack of personality.
The boy's a ghost. And thus begins a tale of redemption from beyond the "other side".

The Invisible (or Den Osynlige, in it's original Swedish title) is yet another fine example of a "foreign" film that got went largely ignored here in the United States because Hollywood decided to produce an inferior remake instead. And of course, in this remake (also called The Invisible, BTW), they eliminated most of the distinctive elements of the original and replaced it with the standard tricks that are supposed to help make the movie a success at the box office.
Which it wasn't.
Gotta love those formula flicks, huh?
People who added this item 740 Average listal rating (500 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
The Fog (1980)
Okay, I guess the description box for this film should focus on the subject of this thread.
But I'm not gonna lie (not that I have so far.....it's just that, well.....I'm not gonna start now.....), there are only a couple of reasons that have nothing to do with ghosts as to why I like this movie so much.
And both those reasons have to do with Adrienne Barbeau.

The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 614 Average listal rating (367 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.4
Session 9 (2001)
A small group of professional asbestos removers find out what can be even scarier than having a job as asbestos-removers:
"cleaning out" an old abandoned mental state hospital, where the walls have a tendency to whisper out your name and old patient session tapes that reveal the darkness that lays not only within those same walls, but also the darkness that dwells within your soul.

People who added this item 4644 Average listal rating (3202 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
Beetlejuice (1988)
When ya wanna bust up a family to scare 'em outta a house, who ya gonna call? Ghosts!
But if you already are a ghost who hasn't yet developed the haunting chops needed to muster up a flight fright,
who ya gonna call?
Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice!

A year before they brought Batman as a dark knight to the big screen for the first time, director Tim Burton and Michael Keaton teamed up to bring this freaky film full of fantom foible and fear-themed farts.
Oops, I meant farce. Fear-themed farce.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 61 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 4.8 IMDB Rating 5.5
Saint Nick (2010)
For those of you may like your festive foreign films to have a bit of an edge (like the kind of edge you might find at the end of a large bladed object),
well then,
y'all may want check out "Saint" ("Sint" in it's original Dutch title.....don't know why Listal has it listed as "Saint Nick" in it's english translation, but whatever.......).
It even features a few Black Petes, though why they're called Black has nothin' to do with their skin color. It's about what these guys and their jolly ol' leader do on when they're out on their slayrides.

People who added this item 2731 Average listal rating (1802 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7
Coraline (2009)
As a comicbook nerd, I first became aware of Coraline as a graphic novel written by comicbook writer Neil Gaiman (though, it's original format of release is as a novella).
It's horror fantasy for young readers and as a film, it's a fine modern update of the Alice In Wonderland theme, with it's mixed ingredients of creative psychodelica, slightly edged childlike wonder, along with a nice dash of horror, but just enough to gurgitate a lump of fear in the throat of the kiddie audience within its targeted age. But not so much that it would scare any of it's viewers to the point of absolving their parents of any responsibility for any trauma that might lead 'em up to the top of a building with a sniper gun, later on in life.

People who added this item 5201 Average listal rating (3575 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.4
Obviously, this first installment in the massively huge franchise of Dr. Jones is much more known as being a blockbusting summertime adventure than a Halloween favorite. But you don't get to the top level of thrills that Raiders Of The Ark has done without a few chills thrown in.
Now even though everyone and their mother (and father, and cousins and aunts and uncles) has seen this movie, I won't be able to get into the whole ghost aspect of it since it occurs near the end and would probably cause me unleash a spoiler upon that one hermit who hasn't seen it yet (and with my luck, is a member of this site). Suffice to say that, if you were watch only the last climatic scene of RotLA, you'd almost think for sure that the rest of it was a horror movie. And a pretty damn good one, too.

One of the lists that I created here on this site is one that features my favorite 2-D animated films. And in it, I explain that, as a kid, Disney films didn't do all that much for me. I was always more into the cartoons that contained some kind of an edge to 'em, whether they be in the style of animation that is utilized, in the story or in the use of the humor (ala the early Bugs Bunny shorts).
However, one of the rare Disney backed features that qualified for the list was this one, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
Their telling of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow contained enough fright in it's climax, that every year during Halloween, after it aired on TV, I would find myself curled up with the sofa cushion for security against the goosebumps that resulted with every watch.
And as kid who loved horror-related material, that's what it was all about.

People who added this item 798 Average listal rating (502 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
What is a ghost?
A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again?
A moment of pain, perhaps?
Something dead which still seems to be alive?
An emotion suspended in time.
Like a blurred photograph.
Like an insect trapped in amber.
A ghost.

That's what I am.

Guillermo Del Toro's tale of how an orphanage-turned-temporary safe-haven begins to show signs of a haunting after one of the orphan boys disappears (can you see why I stressed the comparison to Del Toro on my Orhanage entry?).
A story that may seem somewhat simplistic at first,
but when combined with the background dramas of both the lead characters, along with those hinted at of the supporting characters, along with the blatant "not-so-blatant" metaphors that are the director's strong-suit (that is, it's his strong-suit only if he isn't directing a Hellboy movie),
The Devil's Backbone turns out to be a satisfyingly rich movie that goes more for creepy metaphysical melodrama than it does for in-your-face scare tactics.
People who added this item 359 Average listal rating (162 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
Memories (1995)
I really like anthology films and not only is Memories one of my favorites in this category, but it's also one of favorite 2D animated films of all time.
Three stories, all written by manga artist extraordinaire Katsuhiro Otomo, of Akira fame (another of my anime faves).
For the purposes of the theme of this list is the first story, "Magnetic Rose".

The crew of The Corona, a deep space salvage freighter, heeding a distress signal, find themselves in an outer space "Sargasso", trapped in a nightmare of memories and a magnetic vortex, all at the hand of a spiritual succubus.
People who added this item 2895 Average listal rating (1816 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.1
Casper (1995)
The supernatural world collides with the natural world when live action meets animation in this tale in which living people can see dead people. But in a cute, heartwarming way, considering that this is a film for all ages and is centered on the friendliest ghost you know.

I know that this semi-popular children's favorite may not be everybody's otherworldly cup-of-tea,
but still....
do I really need to explain why Casper's first outing into full feature movie has a semi-sentimental spot in my heart?
I mean, other than the fact many a ghost-themed movie list wouldn't be complete without this kiddie-driven staple of the genre.
People who added this item 2995 Average listal rating (1967 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.1
Ghost (1990)

I ain't 'fraid no ghost.
Especially if it takes on the form of a dirty dancing roadhouser like Patrick Swayze.
Ghost is a romance film whose supernatural twist plotline pulls at not only the right heart-strings, but also at the same time, at the just the correct amount of logistical levers of suspended-believibility that are required when entering into the world of cinematic escapism.
Swayze plays the perfect polarly opposite straightman to Whoopi Goldberg, who fills up the screen with her comedic charisma, while Demi Moore exudes the same effect, but with her angelic beauty. All this combined with a story that provides just enough Hollywood-scripted plausibilty to a plot-idea that hovers in implausibilty.
For me, all this was just the right mix of ingredients to allow my otherwise jaded hairy pimp-ass to sit still thru the entire run of this blatant but high quality chick-flick (which for me, is usually a rarity).

Oh, and if you're wondering why such a romantic girlie film is on this list,
think about it.....
isn't the idea of having this movie on any list kind of a scary thought?
People who added this item 5511 Average listal rating (3673 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
Corpse Bride (2005)
To paraphrase PeeWee Herman,
"If you love ghosts so much, why don't you marry one?"
Which, as you can probably tell by the title, is what this movie is about; exchanging vows with the spirit of a deceased one. Which, of course, sounds like a morbid idea for an animated flick geared towards the younger of living, but in the hands of Tim Burton, it's just another good reason to get behind the director's chair. A whimsical tale of lost love and the desire to mend a broken heart (even if that heart has been dead and buried for many years), Corpse Bride is a good example of why, for my money, Burton's preference for spookish cinematic subject matter is a perfect marriage with stop-motion animation and tends to come much more alive than when he tries to film it in live action.

People who added this item 1512 Average listal rating (932 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
The Orphanage (2007)
An orphanage-turned-family-household begins to show signs of a haunting after an adopted orphan disappears, leaving his adopted mother on a quest that will result in either solving the mystery of her son's disappearance, or lead her down a cryptic road to madness.

A film that's so Guillermo-Del-Toroesque, that it comes off almost exactly like a Guillermo Del Toro film. And surprise, surprise, even though it was neither written or directed by Seรฑor Del Toro, he did pick it up as producer (the script was from the hand of Sergio G. Sรกnchez and the film was directed by Juan Antonio Bayona). However, let it be known that making such a comparison is not any kind of accusation of imitation, but more of a compliment to all those involved in making this creepy entertaining ghost tale which gears itself towards those viewers who are armed with an attention span.
People who added this item 1564 Average listal rating (1022 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
Monster House (2006)
Even though the animation in Monster House doesn't have the chance to get as creative as comp.-animated movies that focus on non-human subjects, they do very well with what they have. The facial expressions are choice quality and the movements during the action sequences are both smooth and dynamic. For what it is, the story is well done, the characters are engaging and the action scenes are very high in the area of thrill.
Even tho the animation in this film doesn't have the chance to get as creative as other comp.-animated movies of this generation and that focus on non-human subjects, this movie does very well with what it has. The facial expressions are choice quality and the movements during the action sequences are both smooth and dynamic. While there have been many animated films that have come along that look "better", this one for me, is one of the rare ones that have the whole package. The story is does not insult the intelligence despite being based on a child-based fantasy genre,
the characters are distinguishly engaging,
and the action scenes are very high in the area of thrill.
Monster House flows with the same roller-coaster ride that was felt with some of those high quality Spielberg-ish action flicks of the 80's.

People who added this item 5352 Average listal rating (3639 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters is a fun, 80's summer-blockbuster defining sci-fi comedy that not only features Bill Murray at his sharpest and Sigourney Weaver at her sexiest (even though at one point, she does turn into a dog....), but also cool specials effects, a couple of proton packs, sliming goblins, a key master, a gatekeeper, streams crossing, cats and dogs living together, not to mention one really big "Twinkie".
Oh, and also, a really crappy theme song. Let's not forget that really crappy song.

The main plot of the story is that the dead are starting to rise on the streets of New York. Well, more-so that usual that is. And at the center of it all, is the head ghost demon known as Gozer The Destructor. Who, even in marshmallow form, is still a destructor. So when ol' Goze decides to start gigantically rampaging down through the crowded avenues of the Big Apple, the obvious question to arise is,
"Who you gonna call....? "
People who added this item 6370 Average listal rating (4412 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4
The Shining (1980)
Take a Kubrick film and ground it with a Stephen King story and a role tailor made for Jack Nicholson and what you have is one of my top favorite horror movies ever. And with very little slashing, gore, or shock that most films of this genre (especially today) tend to rely on in order to frighten their audiences. The horror stems more from Jack's delivery and facial expressions as his character, writer Jack Torrance, gradually slips into the madness of a haunted hotel's dark intentions.
The phrase "Here's Johnny!" wouldn't be a very scary line at all if it weren't for Jack's maniacal mug peering thru the door's craggled "peephole", freshly smashed thru by the axe-wielding author who suffers from writer's block and a possessed spirit, not to mention from a severe case of "redrum" on his mind.

The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 3127 Average listal rating (2094 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.5

First of all, I couldn't care less how over-hyped this movie was. Anyone's whose opinion of this movie was as an adverse effect from this, it's their fault for giving it any attention in the first place. No hype, no matter how well-founded, should ever be believed.
Secondly, as kid, sure, but as an adult, I really can't get scared from movies anymore. Especially, if there's a monster or a Jason/Freddy/Michael Myers involved. The minute I see any of these guys on the screen wearing some kind of fright-enhancing mask or wielding a sharp object with a screaming Abercrombie & Fitch-looking teenager's name all over it, I am instantly reminded that I'm watching a movie, and thereby negating any chance of suspending my belief enough to being frightened anymore. However, Blair Witch tried to bring the horror of cinema as close to the real world as any fright flick could since Night Of The Living Dead (IMO, that is), thus making it seem like this situation could actually happen in this frame of reality. Plus, a major part of the fear-factor for this story's premise is that the lead characters, or even the viewers themselves, never actually get to see the witch in question. And as it has been stated many times over centuries, "The unknown is one the greatest fears to the human mindset".
So while it still didn't scare me, TBWP probably came as close as it possibly can come to at this point in my life. As far as I can remember, I've never had any real inclination to go out on a camping trip of any sort.
But now, because of this film, sleeping under a tent overnight in the middle of the woods, is a situation that I can definitely say that I will never expect to try and initiate.
And for me, The Blair Witch Project earns a couple of extra points just for that.

People who added this item 5442 Average listal rating (3746 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Sleepy Hollow (1999)

While I really like the style that Burton has to his movies, for my money, they usually seem to lack the substance to back up the strength of the uniqueness of their look. Sleepy Hollow is the exception. The idea of this movie wasn't one that had any real appeal for me, but in the end, I found it to have more in terms of story and character than I would've initially expected. I think Mr. Burton's work, though still considered somewhat as visually "avante garde" (I mean, y'know... as far as a mainstream director is concerned...), would be held in much higher regard if he could flesh out his stories, as well as he did for Sleepy Hollow.
People who added this item 7160 Average listal rating (5103 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.1
saying that this is M. Knight Shyamalan's best film (by far) may sound overly obvious (by far),
it is (by far).

A very good from-the-beyond-yarn that starts out by depicting the debilitating effects that may result from being able to percieve ghosts. Then, almost completely, turns it around to show how this paranormal ability can be more of a help than a hindrance, if we just gave the spooky spectres a chance.
Maybe seeing dead people ain't so bad.
Though when I think about it,
if I had to deal with any kind of communication with lost spirits,
I'd rather just stick to commiserating online with all of my fellow "Listalolites" on this site.

Your body filled with a dreadful chill,
Stared at your desk, and the white old quill.
Windy night, the quill moved slight,
You turned the switch, seeking light.

No light came, the bulb was dead,
You thought of going back to bed.
Suddenly noticed, quill moved slight,
You approached, with all your might.

Not the wind, window was closed,
Heart raced, a message exposed.
You read in horror, ink was red,
"Not the wind, go back to bed!"

Runners up:

32. The Haunting of M

31. Paranorman

30. The Echo (2004)

29. The Ugly

28. Poltergeist (1982)

27. Ghost Town

26. Volver

25. Ringu (1998)

24. Shutter (2004)24.

23. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

22. The Sentinel (1977)

21. The Others (2001)

Other Halloween Favorites Lists:







From The Depths


Giant Monsters

Crazy A$s Bitchez


Added to

16 votes
Favorite lists published in 2012 (107 lists)
list by Nusch
Published 7 years ago 1 comment

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