3. The Exorcist (1973)
In December, 1973, when The Exorcist was first released, people were not so familiar with this kind of supernatural movie. Exorcism was a term unknown to many and the movie was a big hit. Running for 122 minutes, the box office registered an amount of around $441 million, with the production costs of only $12 million. The movie stars Ellen Burstyn, Lee J. Cobb, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller and Linda Blair, being produced and screenplayed by William Peter Blatty and directed by William Friedkin.
The Exorcist fits in the supernatural horror movies section, inspired by the novel with the same name written also by William Peter Blatty. The action takes place in a small town named Georgetown. After a priest, Lankester Merrin, accidentally runs into an amulet in his searches for lost items, in Iraq, that was possessed by a demon called Pazuzu, the same demon that will possess a young girl called Regan (Linda Blair) who lived with her mother (Chris MacNeil) and who previously played with an Ouija board.
Regan started behaving strangely, using a very dirty language and making constant noises that didn’t sound like coming from her, the bed was shaking from unknown reasons so her mother called for medical help.
After numerous test and analysis, nothing was found wrong with the girl, so the only choice her mother had was to call in for a priest. Father Damien Karras enters the scene after Regan murders Burke Dennings and an investigation starts around him. After the doctors had nothing else to do, they decided to call for father Karras’s help, telling her mother that the only way she could be cured was by exorcism.
After numerous attempts, Pazuzu was only mocking them, playing tricks and even insulting people close to Karras. In the end, the priest sacrifices himself for Regan, asking the demon to possess him instead of the girl. Once possessed, father Karras throws himself off the window. Although intriguing, The Exorcist is still watched today and is to be believed one of the best movies of its kind.
2. Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters is the kind of supernatural movie that fits in the comedy genre as well. The movie tells the story of three, not so normal, parapsychologists (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis), who started a ghost-catching company. The action takes place, of course, in New York, where all the bad things happen. The team is completed by a fourth member (Ernie Hudson) after they find out that the business is actually a big success. The four find themselves the only ones good enough to fight god Gozer, who doesn’t come in peace.
Directed by Ivan Reitman, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters was a huge success, with an investment of $30 million, the movie had a box office of $295.2 million. Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis and others, it was first released in June, 1984 in Westwood, California, with a running time of 107 minutes. Ghostbusters was at first a project of Aykroyd’s and of John Belushi, a fellow friend of his, having a different storyline.
He dreamed of Ghostbusters flying through the galaxy and defeating the forces of evil, but the budget didn’t allow him to do so. In the end, the movie was a major success, adults and children nowadays still watching it with pleasure. Ghostbusters won four awards, more specifically, the one for Best Original Song, in 1985, at the Bafta Awards, Best Fantasy Film at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA from 1985, the Golden Screen at Golden Screen, Germany, in 1985 and the Best Family Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the Young Artists Awards from 1985.
1. The Shining (1977)
Casting Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, and many others, The Shining is a psychological horror film, based on Stephen King’s novel The Shining written in 1977, being put on screen by its producer and director, Stanley Kubric, in 1980.
It tells the story of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicolson) and his family, who have to live in a hotel where Jack found a job as a winter caretaker, closed because of the heavy snow and built over a Native American old cemetery. At first nothing strange happens, until one day when things start to go crazy. Although his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), was advised against entering room 237, he still goes in, to come out of it with bruise marks and traumatized.
He told his mother that “a crazy woman from one of the rooms” attacked him. Jack went in to see if what his son said was true and found out it is, but told no one about it. Jack’s behavior is weirder, as days pass, as well as Danny’s. One day, as Jack’s wife was looking around, she found the manuscript he was working on for some time, on which the only things written were “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.
From here on, Danny and his mother try to find an escape from that hunted place and away from Jack who was acting totally crazy. The Shining was released on May 23rd, 1980 in the United States, with a budget of $19 million and a $44.4 million in the box office, registering a great success among its viewers.
The film didn’t won many awards, of which we can name the one for Best DVD Collection at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA in 2012, best supporting actor at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA in 1981, best motion picture at the Online Film & Television Association in 2014.