10. Poltergeist (1982)
Poltergeist is an American horror film directed by Tobe Hooper, produced by Steven Spielberg and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, premiered on 4 June 1982. The film was ranked 80 in the list of the most frightening 100 American TV channel Bravo films and ranking 20th in the Chicago Film Critics Association in a similar ranking. The film also appears on the 84th place in the American Film Institute’s list of 100 best thrillers of 100 years. Poltergeist was also nominated for an Oscar three times.
As we are used to see in paranormal activity movies, the action takes place in the home of a family, where strange things begin to happen: doors are banging, objects are thrown away from their right place, appliances stop functioning or function in a very abnormal way and so on. All of these are not seen as a problem by the family, until things get a little more serious and the family’s youngest daughter gets kidnaped by one of the entities living in the house and can only communicate with the other through the help of the television.
Things get out of control, until one of the parents decide to bring in a medium that had previous experience with this kind of situations. Things get out of control even more than before, but they eventually manage to get their daughter back, but not without being forced to leave the house. The movie ends with the image of the whole family checking in at a motel and the last thing they do is to take the TV and put it somewhere else but their room.
Poltergeist was one of the few movies in which Steven Spielberg had a contribution in writing and this was shown especially by the success the film had that year.
9. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Just like the legend says, a headless horseman had started to prowl the city. When investigators from New York learned that several people were killed, Ichabod Crane was sent to investigate the case. He paid a visit to the Van Tassel family. Of course he did not believe in the legend of the headless horseman.
He was a man who looked at things in a very logically and scientifically way. When he was just a child, his mother was murdered by his father. Ichabod had nightmares the rest of his life and he had no more faith when it came to God. Mr. Van Tassel told him the story about the rider, but he believed in it only when he himself witnessed a murder.
Crane the meets Katrina Van Tassel and falls in love with her. Katrina is the one to help him solve the mystery. They find out that Katrina’s stepmother was the one who had control over the rider and she was controlling him to get revenge on the Van Tassel family, for in the past they denied her the right to a fortune. The rider finds out that it was her controlling him and takes Katrina’s stepmother with him in hell.
The movie is considered to be a very big success, impersonating the famous legend of the headless rider, making a profit of more than $206 million, with an initial investment of $80 million. Directed by Tim Burton and produced by Scott Rudin and Adam Schroeder, Sleepy Hollow shows Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci in the leading roles. The movie was first released in the United States on 17 November, 1999, with a 105 minutes length.
8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Written by J.K.Rowling, directed by Mike Newell and produced by David Heyman, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a fantasy film, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and many other well-known actors. It is the fourth out of the seven Harry Potter books and movies, which only by itself had box office revenue of more than $896 million, with $150 million invested in it. It was first released on November 6, 2005 in London, with a length of 157 minutes.
The movie tells the story of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), who returns to Hogwarts, along with his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) after a quidditch match, troubled by followers dreaded by Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), who Potter had almost destroyed in the first film. During his fourth summer at Hogwarts, Potter finds out that he has to participate in a very difficult magic competition, the Tournament of the three witches, along with representatives of two other schools: Fleur Delacour (Clémence Poésy) Viktor Krum from Beauxbatons, Stanislav Ianevski from Durmstrang, and Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) from Hogwarts.
There was someone that threw Harry’s name into the Goblet of Fire, a powerful magic item that was responsible for selecting champions for the competition, forcing Harry to fight against underwater creatures, dragons and run through a very difficult maze.
7. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Directed and written by Guillermo del Toro, produced by Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron, Bertha Navarro, Frida Torresblanco and Alvaro Augustin, starring Ivana Baquero, Sergi Lopez, Maribe Verdu, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil and Alex Angulo, Pan’s Labyrinth was quite a big hit in the box office, with a budget of $19 million, the movie had revenues worth $83 million.
It was first released on May 27th, 2006, at Cannes Film Festival, with a total length of 119 minutes. It was a very well appreciated film, winning numerous awards, some of which are three BAFTA Awards, Ariel Award for Best Picture, Best Film Not in English Language, Best International Film at the Saturn Awards and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Film.
Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark fantasy film, who’ story goes around Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), who travels with her pregnant mother, to help her meet the father of her child, during the periods that came after the Civil war. After reaching their destination, she enters a labyrinth where she meets a faun, who tells her she is the lost princess of the Underworld and gives her three tasks to complete in order for her to prove herself.
She manages to succeed in the first two ones, but after two of the fairies are killed during the second task, the faun refuses to give the third task to the girl. After Vidal, her new stepfather, makes a mistake which urges her mother to give birth to a baby boy. The faun, later on, asks Ofelia to take her newborn baby brother and bring it into the labyrinth were he asks her to sacrifice him in order for her to reenter the Underworld as their princess.
She refuses, gets shot after Vidal comes for his son, but is still granted entrance to the Underworld, for that was the last test, where she had to choose the innocent over herself.