6th: The Orphanage (2007)
The Orphanage or El Orfanato is a Spanish horror movie following the story of Laura (Belen Rueda), a woman who returns to the orphanage where she grew up.
With the help of her husband, Carlos (Fernando Cayo) and their adopted son, Simon (Roger Princep), Laura wants to reopen the orphanage as an institute for disabled children.Her plans go well until her son befriends a boy who wears a sack mask and who might not be from this realm.
The Boy With the Sack Mask
After a fight between them at a party held at the orphanage, Simon disappears. Laura searches for him for six months, yet the boy is not found.
The police come to the conclusion that Simon was kidnapped by a social worker, Begonia who used to work at the orphanage when Laura was a little girl.
Surprisingly, the police reveal that Begonia had a deformed son who wore a sack masked, just as the boy Simon befriend and Laura saw the day her son disappeared.
Peek Behind the Curtain
With the police not helping too much and with the only suspect of kidnapping Tomas eventually turning up to be dead, Laura seeks help from a medium and from the ghosts of the children who died inside the orphanage. Whether she finds the answers she was looking for and Tomas, it is up to you to discover.
Fighting the Cons
People are generally reluctant to any type of entertainment that is not their mother-tongue or at least in English, but, although The Orphanage is in Spanish, one can enjoy its story and spookiness with no problems.
5th: The Woman in Black (2012)
The Woman in Black is the film adaptation of Susan Hill’s novella with the same name. The story set in the Edwardian era revolves around Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a young widowed lawyer who, in order to provide money to raise his child, takes the job of dealing with the paper work of an old house in the village Crythin Gifford, whose owner had recently passed away and left no successor behind. But what seemed a simple job turns out to be a death sentence.
Eel Marsh House
If things seemed weird when he first arrived in the village, when Arthur gets to the old mansion, Eel House, he starts hearing people calling out for help, a carriage sinking in the marsh, thumping and screeching and constantly sees dark figures.
The most salient belongs to a woman in black, because, after each sighting, a child dies a horrible death. Being blamed by the townsfolk, Arthur researches the past of the previous owner of Eel Marsh House hoping to find some answers.
Between the papers of the deceased owner, Arthur finds items belonging to a child – a birth certificate, some birthday cards, letters and a death certificate. Driven by his curiosity, Arthur discovers the story of Jennet Humfrye, the owner’s sister and the birth mother of the child.
Due to her poor mental and emotional state, Jennet was obliged to give up her child and even though she tried her best to get him back, she ended up losing him to the angel of death.
What is the connection between Jennet and the Woman in Black? Does Arthur Kipps return home to his son safely? Watch The Woman in Black and discover!
Fighting the Cons
With an existing older version from 1989 and with Daniel Radcliffe – better known as Harry Potter – as the main character, the movie has received many negative reviews, but that does not mean it is a bad haunted movie.
The setting and landscapes are fantastic and Mr. Radcliff proves once more that he is capable of playing a compelling character, while the scares would please even the most avid horror fan.
4th: The Grudge (2004)
The Grudge is the American remake of the eponymous Japanese franchise. Set in Tokyo, the movie follows an American family and their care workers as they become the victims of a ghost and a curse born from rage and sorrow.
The Williams Family
The Williams family moves from the USA to Japan right into a traditional Nippon house.
While the husband Matt is at work and his mother lies in bed ill, his wife Jennifer should be enjoying the new country and its culture, but she starts getting consumed by the curse put on the house.
One day, when Matt returns from work, he finds everything turned upside down and his wife dying. With the entire family home, the curse reaches its climax and the onryo ghost hiding in the house kills the spouses and later their care taker.
Soon, another woman, Karen (Sarah Michelle Geller) falls under the curse and tries her best to save her life and the first step is finding the origins of the onryo.
The Saeki Family
Karen discovers the house once belonged to the Saeki family. On one tragic day, the head of the family finds his wife, Sayako’s diary and, assuming that she was cheating on him, he kills her, their son and even their cat.
To cover his crime, the man hides the corpses in the attic, but he only killed the body, not the spirit. Therefore, the pain and anger Sayako felt create a curse.
Her spirit kills the husband as revenge and continues to lurk in the house alongside her murdered child’s. Now it’s only up to Karen to put an end to the grudge and save others from a horrible death.
Fighting the Cons
If you find the dialogue pointless or the movie not scary enough, you can always watch the Japanese versions and boy! There are plenty of those! But don’t underestimate Sam Raimi’s work. The Grudge is one of the scariest haunted movies and the team did a fantastic job illustrating the Japanese myth.