I’m a regular horror film fan. I’ve seen all the stupidest supernatural thriller movies ever made, even those so-called scariest movies of all time.
I used to watch them test my courage; Unfortunately, none of those flicks ever frightened me.
Nowadays, horror films are complete jokes.
Relying on jump scares to distract you from the lack of quality storytelling, shallow acting, and dialogue so bad you’d think it was a high school goer composing a fan-fiction for English class.
If you are planning to watch some new supernatural horror this weekend and are willing to explore beyond Hollywood,
Here are the top 10 best ghost movies of all time:
10. Conjuring 2 (2016)
Quality of movie-6.5/10
Conjuring 2 is an old school horror based on a real-life incident.
The plot goes like,
A single mother with distressed children, poor, no dad, helpless, and downright depressing lives in Enfield London, witnesses the presence of an evil spirit in their house.
So they contact paranormal investigators couple Ed and Lorraine Warren to help them.
Later it is revealed that the spirit of the old man is manipulated by a demon that is more powerful and wants something more sinister from Lorraine.
The same demonic entity in Conjuring-2 has appeared in a prequel movie from the franchise released recently as The Nun (2018) but, the level of scariness Conjuring-2 as a haunted house movie offers is far superior.
Director James Wan brings here a masterpiece, which surely deserves a spot on our list.
9. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)-Korean movie
Quality of movie-6.5/10
A tale of two sisters is loosely based on a well-known Korean ghost story.
What did I love about this film?
Unlike Hollywood horror is it’s the use of mind-fucks and delightful symbolism with flawless planning and imagery.
There is no doubt this is a good film and an example of what the Korean horror genre can do.
The starting passes an impression of a slow and simple movie, which gives you a chance to think about what will happen and when it will occur.
At some point, this inclination sort of vanish as time passes by, and you get interested in the story.
After some time, it reaches half of the film and very little of the story-line explanation, leaving you curious because of its strange narrative.
The climax arrives, and you stay involved, needing to know increasingly more of Sumi and Suyeon’s (both sisters) history.
All these narration results in a very well-balanced plot without overusing horror movie methods such as jump scares or splatter.
This direction builds up the movie in a perfect joint with the bold dialogues of Sumi’s character and personality changes according to whom she’s interacting with, resulting in good chemistry that leaves you questioned until the last minute.
8. Poltergeist trilogy (1982,1986,1988)
Quality of movie-7.5/10
What can you say about the film series that itself is cursed while filming.
Known as the Poltergeist Curse is a scourge that is linked to this horror film series Poltergeist.
In many variants of the urban legend, all the cast members passed, while others claim three real-life deaths because of the curse.
In reality, just four of the actors died, two passed on startlingly, while the other two died because of natural reasons.
There are reports that unusual events occurred during the shooting of the three movies. It is unclear that the curse is true or coincidence.
Speaking about the plot, a Poltergeist in folklore is about the spirits of dead people believed responsible for unexplained noises and movement of objects within a home.
In all three film series, each recounts an episode in the lives of the Freelings, and horrific events they encounter with the supernatural.
No doubt even today in 2020, this old horror classic has to be included on the 8th spot in our paranormal movies list because considering past standards, it was ahead of its time.
7. Tumbbad (2018)-Indian movie
Quality of movie-9/10
This movie has the most original story I’ve seen for quite a while, not particularly horror genre but more like a psychological thriller.
Writers set the movie during the latter part of British India, and the period setting adds a visual aspect of validness to the story.
The story goes like,
A catastrophe affects a young boy named Vinayak, his life-threatening encounter with a cursed cannibal old lady (his house imprisoned grandmother) who knows the way to get buried treasure sets him on the path of greed.
He tries to investigate the local legend of a god-turned-demon named Hastar and his gold medallions but stopped by his mother by swearing.
Now grown-up Vinayak (after his mother passes) becomes obsessed with uncovering the treasure.
Gradually, his obsession turns him into a cold-blooded opportunist.
Why I loved this movie?
Some moments in the film are grotesque, but you cannot miss the details they have captured meticulously.
The scenes on the screen are remarkably very impressive.
From the fascinating rain-soaked outdoors to the old ancestral home that hides over one disturbing mystery, screening shots are like an artistic masterpiece.
Kudos to the Director and creative team for making this movie, which I think is the finest and scariest horror movie of all time in Bollywood (Indian film industry).
Various scenes in the film’s latter half unfold in a live womb (yes) of earth, and these portions are especially impressive for the sheer creative mind and imagination on display.
The ending will leave you in a state of sadness & dejection with a lesson on greed.
6. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Quality of movie-7/10
October 1994, three film making students disappear in the forested areas close Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary.
One year later, someone finds their recording.
The latter half of 79 minutes of the Blair Witch Project is “removed” from that recording, all of which is shot by them with handheld camcorders and a 16 mm camera.
The clips go like, after talking to a few people of local people about the Blair Witch, they go into the nearby woods to get a film of areas related to the story (The story includes a witch who steals and executes the two kids and grown-ups).
They get lost, and every night horrendous things occur. Sludge showing up on their camp.
At that point, Josh vanishes, and a heap of twigs is “delivered,” which contains what they believe to be parts of his body.
Finally, the two surviving filmmakers stumble (at night) upon a lonely, rundown house from which exhales groaning and shouting. They rush to explore the uncertain sounds.
Then, the camera falls to the ground and the credit roll.
While watching the movie, you will be in a continuous state of anxiety and fear with heavy heart beating moments between the scenes.
This movie had set a new standard for camcorder psychological horror movies, which inspired other classics like the Paranormal Activity series (2007-present).
But still, it is one of the scariest ghost movies by diminishing the concept of compulsively including a scary-faced demon or spirit.
5. The Exorcist (1973)
Quality of movie-9.5/10
Instead, to reveal the story, I’ll go with the execution of the direction and play of this film.
You have to see the Exorcist several times to understand the personas, get all the dialogue between them, and value the art and attention to the direction.
The more you see this movie, the frightening it gets, because the more you watch, the more you can comprehend what’s happening.
The movie stands up well to this day in 2020 because the director created and maintained an atmosphere of dreamy bitterness even in the quiet scenes, filled by scenes of extraordinary mental frightfulness and an absolute killer sound background that remains unsurpassed to this day.
Scenes never truly resolve or end as you expect that they should.
No wonder, this academy awards winning classic still manages to scare us and served as a benchmark among the Hollywood horror movies that were released after it.
4. Ring (1998)-Japanese movie
Quality of movie-7/10
Before you say anything, let me be clear.
Here, we are not making a comparison between Western and Japanese ghosts.
Comparing with its Hollywood remake movie the Ring, I don’t think the original Japanese horror version is that terrifying.
Yet, it builds a genuinely good sense of fear and is very deep in its storytelling.
As a cinematic entity, ‘The Ghost’ in the Western cinema has changed for years from its Asian counterparts in the way filmmakers choose to scare you.
Ghosts in Western films pop out at you, creating a gotcha moment, which is scary (for 2 seconds).
In days before this fashion, ghosts were unaware, shy to show themselves, and it was more like tension built up through the story.
Filmmakers ditched this method in favor of scary CGI faced, ass-kicking ghosts.
Speaking about the story goes it goes like:
Journalist Reiko’s niece is discovered dead alongside three friends after viewing a supposedly cursed videotape, and she decides to investigate.
Alongside her ex, Ryuji, Reiko finds the tape, watches it, and gets a telephone call advising her she’ll die in seven days.
Determined to understand the curse, Reiko and Ryuji find the video’s history and try to resolve an old murder that could break the spell.
3. The Witch (2015)
Quality of movie-9.5/10
Earning the third spot in our best ghost movies list, The Witch is one of that movie-going fantasy horror experience which you will love.
Rather than relying on jump scares, too chiller graphics, or the shabby adrenaline rush, this film is like being on a roller coaster.
Director Eggers, in his remarkable debut, picked up the movie-watchers and transported them to 1630s New England.
The Witch takes as much time as is needed to mix the suspense and, expanding the demonic warmth until just in the last minutes, you understand how scary things will turn.
There are disturbing, even horrifying scenes early on, but they don’t surprise you so much as they build up a constant tension.
The story starts itself into your mind with a first, the unknown fear of something unseen.
It sends shivers down your spine with its harsh air of anticipation and sense of a puzzle that puts forward questions you’re not sure you want the answer.
I highly suggest you watch this if you are searching for realistic yet one of the scariest ghost movies in modern cinema.
2. Exorcism of Emily Rose (2015)
Quality of movie-9.5/10
It’s often said, “theaters and digital screens act as a wall to differentiate between the real world and movie world.”
But when you see something on the screen that strongly resonates with what we know to be real-world, various thoughts, experiences, and emotions bubble up in your mind.
Especially if it’s horror, things don’t go very well for you. This movie is about a cleric who stands for trial for the murder of a 22-year-old young girl he performed an exorcism, because of which she died.
She is from a decent Catholic family, yet encounters satanic possession in college and struggles against the evil forces within her.
An agnostic lawyer goes to the support of the priest, while the government prosecutor calls an outreaching Methodist to accuse.
The interrogation comes down to whether Emily Rose had medicinal issues or if her indications of paranoia, seizures, muscle, and joint hardening, shouting, brutality, and inability to eat have no explanation on the physical, “scientific” level.
The story derives from a real-life trial that happened in the 1970s Bavaria with a girl named Anneliese Michel. The real story is grayer than the film.
Why it is a must see?
The movie storyline is grasping; It triggers consideration of the partial separation between religion and science.
Is demonic possession real? Does science answer? Does God exist?
The closest encounter we often have with ghosts (if real or not) is through a possessed person.
You might have heard stories of possession, and if you wish you could have seen a real ghost, this movie could be the nearest answer.
This is one of the most accurate, true-to-life supernatural yet one of the scariest ghost movies you could see.
Before jumping top our top spot, Ill list some honorable mentions which we couldn’t include in our Top 10 ghost films of all time countdown but are worth watching.
1. Hereditary (2018)
Quality of movie-9.5/10
Hereditary is a movie that pushes the limits of what frightfulness is.
Its story is about a dysfunctional family dealing with the death of a member and lets the audience watch these individuals gradually crumble as grief overtakes them.
If you are going into this movie, expecting that it should be a typical horror movie, you will be woefully baffled.
The movie gets your attention right from the opening shot; I loved how the camera focused on the unpleasant miniature house.
The jump scares in this film will shake you since they are not your ordinary jump scares.
Which is normally a sudden silence followed by a dramatic noise and a ghost popping up out of the blue?
The director’s sense of priority cautiously delivers plausibly the best terror traps: the wide-angle shots, a dash of the paranoia, and simple yet effective sound effects.
It infiltrates each scene, and the audience isn’t permitted to relax at all. The last 15 to 20 minutes of the film gets serious (very serious).
And yes! Also, continued crashing with your psyche may trigger the PTSD you got from this film.
This movie never made into box office hits but surely is on the way to becoming one classic like The Exorcist & will shine in Hollywood history as top 10 horror movies of all time.
Make sure you are in a good state of mind and health before watching this movie.
If you like our best ghost movies of all time list based on supernatural horror, comment down below which one you want to see.
Also, If you want to challenge your friends, to watch these horror movies together, or alone make sure to share this post.
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Um, Ringu was FAR more frightening than the pathetic American remake. No comparison.
Silence of the Lambs, Halloween and Hereditary are most horrific flicks. period
Psychological horror and gothic fiction are slowly now replaced with pop up jump scares.
Have you seen the Child’s Play series?