10 Best Paranormal Horror Movies | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 Best Paranormal Horror Movies

Things that go bump in the night… Evil forces that break into our realm from other dimensions…Monsters that are anything but human… the best paranormal movies are rife with such horrors and they are not for the faint of heart!

In this article, we have picked out 10 paranormal horror movies that fans of the genre should enjoy. 

Do you agree with our picks? Or have we failed to mention a movie you think deserves a place on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Movies like The Exorcist

The Exorcist (1973)

Forget the recent reboot/sequel that failed to fill audiences with fear. Instead, return to the late William Freidkin’s terrifying original that focussed on the efforts of two priests to save the soul of a possessed young girl with a penchant for expletives. 

The Exorcist is one of the scariest movies ever made thanks to the squirm-inducing special effects, jolting shock moments, and extraordinary performance from Linda Blair as Regan, the put-upon youngster who has an evil demon living inside her weakened body.

Much imitated but never bettered, this is a horror classic that allegedly caused people to faint in theatres at the time of its release. 

Poltergeist (1982)

Screen time is bad for all kinds of reasons but it was taken to a whole new level in this Tobe Hooper-directed movie that saw young Carol-Anne get sucked into the television screen by some kind of evil entity. 

The movie is full of other terrifying moments, from the hideous clown doll that miraculously comes to life to the possessed tree that busts its arm-like branch through poor young Robbie’s bedroom window!

Haunted houses are not fun to live in, as the family of this movie would likely tell you. So, the next time you’re planning to move home, do your research to ensure you don’t end up living in a place like the Freeling family’s house which was located on top of a cursed Indian burial ground. 

The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s celebrated work follows the Torrance family and their relocation to the remote Overlook Hotel where all kinds of horrors await them.

The twin girls (pictured above) scare the living daylights out of poor young Danny when he’s exploring the corridors of the haunted hotel on his bike. And there are all kinds of other terrifying things taking up residence at this vacation abode, including a seductive older woman in Room 237 who isn’t somebody you want to get up close and personal with. 

The Shining is extremely suspenseful with an ending that will haunt you long after the credits have rolled. It’s also a lesson in why spending time with your hobbies is preferable to spending all of your time working, lest you become a raging axe murderer that chases after your family! 

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Not a lot happens in Paranormal Activity. But when something does, you’ll jump out of your seat in terror and make an extra effort to tightly tuck your bedsheets in, just in case a paranormal entity rips away your blankets while you’re sleeping!

Oren Peli’s chilling-found footage movie is quite stressful to watch as you never know when something will appear on screen to cause you to drop your tea in terror.

It’s very realistic due to the general mundanity of the protagonist couple’s living situation and this makes the movie’s scares more effective when they eventually happen. You might even relate to the people in this movie but here’s hoping the noises you hear at night belong to your patrolling pet cat and not something that is malevolent in nature. 

1408 (2007)

There’s no such thing as ghosts, right? Well, if you are of this opinion, there are many people out there who will disagree with you.

In this Stephen King adaptation, John Cusack’s character, Mike Enslin, is sceptical of the paranormal but when he agrees to stay in the fabled room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel, his perception of the supernatural soon begins to change. 

Changes in the room’s temperature and a faulty clock radio are the least of poor Mike’s problems. Before long, he is experiencing flashbacks of his deceased daughter, ghosts of the room’s past victims, and hallucinations that crack open his logical mind.

We aren’t going to give away the movie’s ending but believe us when we say a stay in room 1408 is not conducive to a good review on Trip Advisor. 

The Babbadook (2014)

If you were ever scared of monsters lurking under your bed or in your closet when you were younger, you might be able to relate to the young protagonist of this cult Australian horror movie.

It tells the tale of 6-year-old Samuel who has a frightening belief in monsters. His worst fears are realized when The Babadook, a creature from an eerie children’s book, manifests itself into his life and the life of his initially disbelieving mother.

The movie won praise for its depictions of grief and loss, two real-world aspects of life that can trouble our own dreams. And it also received acclaim for the seat-grabbing scares that the titular monster causes whenever it creeps out of the shadows to menace the grieving family. 

The Changeling (1980)

Is there anything more scary than a small red ball bouncing down your stairs? We’re imagining your response will be “yes” but when we tell you the ball in this movie is being thrown by the ghost of a boy who was murdered years before, you might decide the sight and sound of a bouncing rubber ball is one of the scariest things of all time.

Well, that might be an exaggeration but this spooky movie will still unnerve you with its tale of a grieving music professor who discovers he is sharing his new home with a spirit.

The movie is genuinely haunting thanks to the foreboding atmosphere and creepy interior shots of the haunted mansion. It’s old-fashioned in this regard, refreshingly so, as it doesn’t rely on an overload of gruesome special effects to entertain or scare us.

Ringu (1998)

Hideo Nakata’s disturbing film is about a cursed videotape that brings about the death of anybody who lays eyes on it. Their demise isn’t caused by an aggrieved Blockbuster employee who is angry that they haven’t rewound the tape! Rather, it’s a long-haired spirit named Sadako who crawls out of their television screens and frightens them to death!

A reporter and her ex-husband investigate the tape and discover the source of the curse and the identity of the ghost that started it all. It’s similar in plotline to the 2002 remake but the 1998 original is far scarier due to the tense atmosphere, creepy sound effects, and overall sinister feel. 

Silent Hill (2006)

The next time you’re planning a vacation, we advise you to stay away from the town of Silent Hill. Not only will you find it hard to see anything due to the lingering fog that hangs over this cold and desolate town but you’ll also be transported into an alternate reality where all kinds of creepy monsters await.

Of course, Silent Hill is a fictitious town although it is loosely inspired by a real-life ghost town in Pennsylvania that has been burning since 1962. You can read more about that here.

The movie is based on a popular video game series and tells a similar story about a woman who enters the town of Silent Hill to look for her missing daughter. Once there, she discovers its secrets and comes face to face with its ghoulish inhabitants.

Silent Hill isn’t a classic of the paranormal genre but it is vastly underrated. With an ominous music score and some terrifying visuals, you’re guaranteed to enjoy your stay in this haunted town if you’re a fan of the game series and horror films in general. 

Host (2020)

Zoom meetings are stressful at the best of times. Microphones that don’t work, participants who forget they’re sitting at home in their underwear, cats that place their butts in front of your screen…we’re shuddering just thinking about the experiences we have had to endure when working from home. 

But the people in Rob Savage’s creepy horror movie have more to worry about than technical issues and embarrassing work colleagues. When they hire a Medium to hold a seance via Zoom during lockdown (never a good idea), they awaken evil spirits that invade their homes and make them forget about social distancing! 

Host’s story might hinge upon a well-worn formula but as it plays out through windows on computer screens, it transcends its familiar premise to become one of the most inventive fright flicks of recent times. 

So there we have it, our picks for 10 best paranormal horror movies. Do you agree with our choices?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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