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Spooky Movies – A Short List

woman in black
A production still from The Woman in Black. (Hammer Films)
Spooky movies are good any time of the year – not just Halloween.

However, the fall and early winter weather get me in the mood for a good ghost story. It’s a totally different feeling than the ghost story you tell around a campfire in the summer. No, the fall and winter chills are more invasive, with the proper material.

I’ve listed my favorite spooky movies in the past – and they don’t change much.

The most recent film I’ve added to my list is “The Woman in Black.” The movie is taken from a book and play of the same name. In fact, the play has been performed in the West End of London for 25 years running!

The movie captures the bleak landscape of the haunted house and Daniel Radcliffe says goodbye to his Harry Potter image. It’s very creepy.

My top film is the 1958 “The Haunting.” It’s now out in a new blu-ray edition, and if you haven’t seen it, you’ve missed a Robert Wise project that succeeds on a number of levels. Black-and-white, old, spooky – “The Haunting.”

On the other end of the scare scale – two funny films deserve mention.

Mel Brooks’ funniest film of all time (my opinion, of course) is “Young Frankenstein.” I cannot watch it with breaking out in laughter somewhere along the way.

“Ghostbusters” will always entertain me on every viewing. Great cast, genuine scary threats, and some of the best lines in the movies.

And two (or three) oldies that deserve a look.

On the scary side – Nosferatu (silent version) and Nosferatu (remake with Klaus Kinski). Both of them have their flaws, but the guy who plays the vampire in the original is unforgettable, and in the remake, some of the scenes are amazing.

On the funny side – two Bob Hope movies – “The Ghostbreakers” and “The Cat and the Canary.” What can I say – it’s Bob Hope!

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