Over at TVSquad, our friend Bob posted a list of his favorite television show houses the other day. In honor of the Halloween season, here's my list of Spookiest Movie Houses. They're not all haunted houses, exactly, but none of them are places I'd want to spend a night.
The Changeling - The Changeling has long been one of my favorite scary movies, and George C. Scott's big, spooky mansion haunted by the spirit of a long-dead little boy is one of the reasons why. Bathtub with a dead boy lying on the bottom? Check. Spooky attic filled with cobweb-covered evidence of a crippled child hidden away from the world? Check. Child-sized wheelchair hurtling down the stairs? Check. I think I'd have to take a pass on renting that mansion, however nice and antique-filled it was.
The Shining - Ah, The Overlook Hotel, that most revered of spooky hotels. I liked the book better, as is the case with most movies made from Stephen King's books, but even in the movie, The Overlook was scary. Who wants to go live in a remote Colorado hotel with a history of bloody murders, sealed away from the rest of the world as soon as the snow flies? Anyone? Anyone? Toss in Jack Nicholson in one of his more deranged performances as the haunted, alcoholic Jack Torrance, and a little boy with visions of horrific redrum, er, murder who talks to his finger, and you have all the ingredients needed for a big old horrorfest.
Psycho - Ah, the Bates Motel. Perfect spot to stop for a night on that long roadtrip. Pay no attention to that dark, spooky house lurking in the background. Shower, anyone?
Hellraiser - I don't know about you, but a house where a dead guy is coming back to life, layer by layer of bloody flesh in the attic, is just really not a place I want to hang for a weekend. Toss in Pinhead and the rest of the fun-filled Hellraiser gang, and you've got a great spot to throw a Halloween party for all those people you don't really like much anyhow.
Poltergeist - I'm not a real big fan of the suburbs to begin with, and Poltergeist convinced me that urban sprawl is really not a good thing, especially if you're building on top of cemetaries. And televisions that suck children into a spooky netherworld? While that might sound like a good idea on the days when all the neighbor kids are running amuck, it's really not the kind of feature I look for in a home.
Rosemary's Baby - Who wants to bear the spawn of Satan? C'mon, no takers? The apartment building in Rosemary's Baby, populated by a cult of satanic freaks intent on having poor, unsuspecting Mia Farrow birth the son of the Prince of Darkness has to rank right up there at the top of places I'd like to avoid living. I generally try to avoid packs of satanic cult members when looking for places to live, anyhow.
Alien - Okay, it's a spaceship, not a house, but I still wouldn't want to live in a place where a freaky-scary alien with massive jaws and razor sharp teeth dripping with acidic saliva wants to use me as an incubator for its young. And let's not even talk about how the young get out once they're big enough. Any house (or ship) infested with this kind of pest is at the top of my "must not buy" list.
The Sixth Sense - Okay, maybe I don't see dead people myself (or at least, when I do I pull the covers over my head and pretend I don't), but that doesn't mean I want to live in a house populated by a passel of ghosts and a little boy who sees them all. Although it might be fun, every now and again, to see a pre-O.C. Mischa Barton as a sickly ghost with foamy vomit running down her chin.
Okay, Cinematical readers, it's your turn. Which scary movie houses give you the creeps?