Monday, October 23, 2006

Ghost Story movies

Freelance reviews of some of my favorite "ghost story" movies:
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
This one delivers the shivers. Three student filmmakers disappear from some supposedly-haunted woods. What turns up, though, is the rough-quality footage that they shot, edited together for this semi-documentary that exposes what seems to have happened to them. Do you believe in ghosts? You just may after seeing this unsettling, tense movie. Warning: Do not see this movie alone.

What Lies Beneath (2000)
Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer have a great lake-side home in Vermont, the kind of old house many of us would yearn to have. Things start turning odd, though, when the wife (Pfeiffer) begins hearing voices and witnessing eerie occurrences -- such as seeing the face of a young woman reflected in water. Oh, and something not right is going on with the couple next door. All of a sudden, watching this movie, you're very happy NOT to have this old house but to be living where you are living. This is the kind of spooky movie to kick back and enjoy with. Just make sure the doors are locked first.

Final Destination (2000)
Okay, it's bubble-gum, but it's scary bubble-gum, and it's a lot of fun. A high school student has a premonition that his class' flight to Paris (for a French class trip) will crash. He makes an uproar and convinces his closest friends to get off the plane before it takes off. Sitting in the terminal, they watch the plane take off -- and explode mid-air. And so kicks off the story. "They should have been on the plane... and fate requires them to die." This is fun and scary stuff. And the two sequels aren't bad, either.

Halloween (1978)
John Carpenter's classic still haunts. This movie should be required viewing for any would-be babysitter. At six years old, Michael Myers stabs his older sister to death and then, 15 years later on Halloween, he escapes from the sanitarium that's held him. He heads back to the quiet Illinois community that he's from, and wrecks havoc on the plans of teen-ager Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her flirtatious friends on Halloween. The suspense is extreme but most of the gore is off-screen. This one was done right and has yet to be topped.

Duel (1971)
An early Steven Speilberg treat... or trick? Dennis Weaver is a family man driving his car across California. But a huge gasoline truck starts tailing him and taunting him and wanting to run him off the road and into crossing trains and that sort of stuff. Is there a ghost in the truck? Maybe. Catch this little-seen flick, available on DVD, and fly instead of drive whenever you can.

No comments: