Welcome to the American hellscape that is San Jose, CA, where Helen Mirren relentlessly constructs a labyrinthine mansion to trap marauding ghosts killed by rifles bearing her husband’s name:
. The horror flick inspires this week’s robust gallery of 35 haunted house movies (with at least 20 reviews each) ranked best to worst by Tomatometer. Winchester
(2014, 97%) Housebound
Alternately hilarious, gross, and simply diverting, Housebound is the rare horror-comedy that delivers on both fronts.
(1961, 96%) The Innocents
Creepily atmospheric, The Innocents is a stylishly crafted, chilling British ghost tale with Deborah Kerr at her finest.
(1977, 90%) Hausu
House is a gleefully demented collage of grand guginol guffaws and bizarre sequences.
(1982, 88%) Poltergeist
Smartly filmed, tightly scripted, and — most importantly — consistently frightening, Poltergeist is a modern horror classic.
(1980, 87%) The Shining
Though it deviates from Stephen King’s novel, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness — exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
(2007, 87%) The Orphanage
Deeply unnerving and surprisingly poignant, The Orphanage is an atmospheric, beautifully crafted haunted house horror film that earns scares with a minimum of blood.
(1963, 87%) The Haunting
Both psychological and supernatural, The Haunting is a chilling character study.
(2013, 86%) The Conjuring
Well-crafted and gleefully creepy, The Conjuring ratchets up dread through a series of effective old-school scares.
(2001, 83%) The Others
The Others is a spooky thriller that reminds us that a movie doesn’t need expensive special effects to be creepy.
(1988, 82%) Beetlejuice
Brilliantly bizarre and overflowing with ideas, Beetlejuice offers some of Michael Keaton’s most deliciously manic work – and creepy, funny fun for the whole family.
(2016, 79%) The Conjuring 2
The Conjuring 2 can’t help but lose a bit of its predecessor’s chilly sting through familiarity, but what remains is still a superior ghost story told with spine-tingling skill.
(2006, 74%) Monster House
Monster House welcoms kids and adults alike into a household full of smart, monstrous fun.
(2014, 73%) Oculus
With an emphasis on dread over gore and an ending that leaves the door wide open for sequels, Oculus could be just the first spine-tingling chapter in a new franchise for discerning horror fans.
(2015, 71%) Crimson Peak
Crimson Peak offers an engaging — albeit somewhat slight — diversion driven by a delightfully creepy atmosphere and director Guillermo del Toro’s brilliant knack for unforgettable visuals.
(2012, 67%) The Woman in Black
Traditional to a fault, The Woman in Black foregoes gore for chills — although it may not provide enough of them for viewers attuned to more modern, high-stakes horror.
(1999, 67%) Stir of Echoes
Kevin Bacon’s acting is so genuine that it’s creepy and director David Koepp knows how to create true suspense.
(2013, 53%) Haunter
Haunter‘s premise is intriguing enough, though the film’s too low budget to truly pull it off.
(2005, 46%) Dark Water
All the atmospherics in Dark Water can’t make up for the lack of genuine scares.
(1995, 44%) Casper
A meandering, mindless family movie that frequently resorts to special effects and transparent sappiness.
(2011, 43%) Silent House
Silent House is more technically proficient and ambitious than most fright-fests, but it also suffers from a disappointing payoff.
(2004, 39%) The Grudge
There’s some creepy imagery to be found, but not much in the way of logic or truly jarring scares.
(2005, 37%) The Skeleton Key
Thanks to its creaky and formulaic script, The Skeleton Key is more mumbo-jumbo than hoodoo and more dull than scary.
(2015, 32%) Poltergeist
Paying competent homage without adding anything of real value to the original Poltergeist, this remake proves just as ephemeral (but half as haunting) as its titular spirit.
(1979, 29%) The Amityville Horror
Dull and disappointing, the best that can be said for The Amityville Horror is that it set a low bar for its many sequels and remakes.
(2005, 24%) The Amityville Horror
A so-so remake of a so-so original.
(2015, 22%) The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death is atmospheric and visually sharp, but it’s short on tension and scares.
(2009, 16%) The Haunting in Connecticut
Though it features a few scares and some creepy atmosphere, The Haunting in Connecticut ultimately relies too much on familiar horror cliches to achieve its goals.
(1999, 16%) The Haunting
Sophisticated visual effects fail to offset awkward performances and an uneven script.
(2001, 14%) Thirteen Ghosts
The production design is first rate, but 13 Ghosts is distinctly lacking in scares.
(2003, 13%) The Haunted Mansion
Neither scary nor funny, The Haunted Mansion is as lifeless as the ghosts in the movie.
(2013, 10%) A Haunted House
A Haunted House seeks to offend every sensibility, but it’s greatest sin: not being funny!
(2014, 8%) A Haunted House 2
Sloppy, vulgar, and manic, A Haunted House 2 might be worth a chuckle or two, but mostly it’s a string of pop culture references and crude gags that fail to hit their intended targets.
(2011, 6%) Dream House
Dream House is punishingly slow, stuffy, and way too obvious to be scary.
(1983, 5%) Amityville: The Demon
A gimmicky Amityville retread with insufferable characters.
(2002, 4%) Darkness
Yet another predictable variation on the hoary old haunted-house movie, Darkness is an illogical, portentous mess.