The Children's Film Foundation: Scary Stories(1985)
Three classic ghost stories from the BFI Children's Film Foundation: The Man from Nowhere, Haunters of the Deep and Out of the Darkness.
These archive films are from the 1970s and 1980s, brought together by the BFI in their Children’s Film Foundation series of titles. Each explores ghostliness in its own way, as everyday scenarios soon take a cautionary turn via the spirits of the past.Read more
The Muppet Christmas Carol(1993)
Kermit, Gonzo and the rest of the Muppet gang appear in this fun musical take on the classic Charles Dickens story.
A different type of classic film here, as the much-loved Muppets put a musical spin on Charles Dickens’ fabled tale of greed and repentance. This is a story where spirits are a clear force for good, as the three Ghosts – of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come – show Scrooge the errors of his ways.Read more
Thrilling and funny adaptation of the well-known Goosebumps books that sees havoc unleashed on an unsuspecting American suburb.
From one cherished adaptation to another, with Goosebumps – originally a series of horror novellas published by R. L. Stine followed quickly by a TV show, both formed in the mid-to-late 1990s – given the big-screen treatment in 2015. Here, monsters are unleashed onto an unsuspecting town and it’s up to Zach and his friends to save the day.Read more
When Marnie Was There(2014)
A shy girl sent to the country to recover from asthma discovers an abandoned mansion and begins to explore its mysteries with her new friend Marnie.
This is a lesser-known adaptation, based on Joan G Robinson’s novel of the same name, made into a film by Japanese animation pioneers Studio Ghibli. The question of a spiritual presence is subtler in this instance but – like much of Ghibli’s work – lingers firmly in the background. A beautiful, emotional journey of self-discovery and friendship.Read more
Animated adventure of a misfit eleven-year-old who sees and talks to ghosts.
Speaking of young protagonists who see visions, ParaNorman – from stop-motion animators LAIKA – embraces his ability to talk to the dead in this typically charming tale from the studio. As with their other films, it certainly has its scary moments, but is ultimately a progressive tale of growing up.Read more
Enchanting stop motion feature from the imagination of Tim Burton, set in a 19th century European village, following the spooky adventures of Victor.
Another stop-motion presentation, this time from gothic aficionado Tim Burton. On this occasion we see things from the point of view of the ghosts, as Victor is transported to the Land of the Dead and meets his undead intended. An uncharacteristically romantic ghost story.Read more
When Victor loses his beloved pet, he conducts an experiment to bring him back to life. When he succeeds, things escalate beyond Victor's control.
Another foray into the afterlife by Tim Burton though, in the case of Frankenweenie, events take place in the real world. Our protagonist here is also called Victor – for very deliberate reasons – and the narrative is packed full of horror references from the history of cinema, as well as being a heartfelt meditation on loss and letting go.Read more
Hotel Transylvania 2(2015)
When Mavis and Johnny’s son fails to develop fangs by his fifth birthday, Drac recruits his friends to try and help his grandson become a monster.
A spooky sequel which continues to riff on horror tropes, including well-known characters from the genre. This hotel for monsters hosts Dracula and his friends – Frankenstein, a werewolf, a mummy and a blob – as they seek to transition his grandson from a feeble to feared creature.Read more
Fun animated haunted house adventure featuring an unusually friendly ghost.
The quintessential friendly ghost, Casper is a likeable little ghoul who refuses to follow in the human-hating footsteps of his three uncles. Casper simply seeks the comfort of companionship in this fairly gentle haunted house drama which blends CGI and live-action to good effect.Read more
The Haunted Mansion(2003)
Claiming it to be a holiday, estate agent Jim Evers takes his family to a prospective property, only to become trapped in the haunted mansion!
A live-action haunted house adventure from Disney, based on a theme park attraction. Eddie Murphy takes on the central role in this favourite amongst film clubs, which does a good job of combining comedy, scares and special effects.Read more
Scary, funny animation about a group of friends who go to investigate the scary house on their street.
And finally, an animated haunted house tale. A story about a group of friends who are unable to resist the lure of a spooky-looking property nearby. After they enter, the three kids soon that they’re in for more than they bargained for in this smart film, set at Halloween.Read more
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