It’s often wildly underestimated how your living environment impacts the way you feel. Even after doing away with fancy stuff like interior decorators, Feng Shui and “Better Homes And Gardens” it often just comes down to the basics of the space. Some places make you feel at home, other places can make you feel “off”… and other places can drive you a little nuts. And if you don’t believe in any of that stuff, well, there’s still plenty of houses occupied by serial killers, cannibal families and maybe… just maybe … a few ghosts.
Universal Pictures’ suspense thriller Dream House (official website) hits theaters on September 30th. Directed by Jim Sheridan, the film stars Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Marton Csokas, Elias Koteas and Jane Alexander.
In the film, “Successful publisher Will Atenton (Craig) quit a high power job in Manhattan to relocate his wife, Libby (Weisz), and two girls to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children. And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived.
When Will investigates, he’s not sure if he’s starting to see ghosts or if the tragic story is just hitting too close to home. His only clues come from Ann Paterson (Watts), a mysterious neighbor who knew those who were shot. And as Will and Ann piece together the haunting puzzle, they must find out who murdered the family in Will’s dream house before he returns to kill again.”
Hit the jump for our Dream House sponsored look at five of the scariest movie houses of all time!
*Note – This list does NOT include hotels. Just a heads up before you wonder why The Overlook doesn’t make an appearance.
This one almost has as much to do with the walkway leading up to the house as it does the events that transpire inside it or down below in the Bates Motel. No, Norman Bates is not incredibly well adjusted. Yes, there’s an awful lot of inappropriate taxidermy happening up there. But the architecture itself just screams, “stay the f*ck away”! It’s not an inviting place, and those stairs almost swagger with menace… just daring you to take that mini-hike to come up and meet “Mother”.
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979)
When your real estate agent gives full disclosure, please listen. Even if I’d found the house of my dreams, I’d think twice about moving in there if someone had so much as hung themselves from the rafters. So if I’m George Lutz and I’m looking for a place to raise a family, the only thing I would raise in a house where some other dude massacred his whole family would be an eyebrow. Also not cool, houses with windows that could pass for the eyes of a Jack-O-Lantern.
Indian burial grounds are never a good place to build a home. Especially when all the developers did was move the headstones but leave the bodies underneath. This is something the Freeling family learns the hard way when their daughter Carol Anne disappears into the ether, their son Robbie is attacked by a tree and a clown. To top it off, Mrs. Freeling is forced to take a mud bath with the remains of more than a few people who aren’t pleased to see suburbia itself constructed over their eternal resting place.
THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991)
This house. Oh man. The worst thing about it is how hard it is to get out of, something Fool and Leroy learn the hard way the night they break in. There are some seriously screwed up family dynamics/breeding issues going on here, as Alice and Roach (who have never seen the outside world) can tell you. Actually, Roach can’t tell you anything but he can nod along. It’s not the children living under the stairs you should be afraid of, it’s their `parents’. Just ask the multitude of “burglars [who] died. Or salesmen, workmen, other people who saw too much.”
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
Here, it’s not so much the house as it is the basement. The house is pretty bad with all the moths and terrible music and all. But the basement. With the well. Empty wells in basements should be illegal, I really can’t see how they could be used for anything but evil. You see that pic above? Imagine if that was the best view your new (very temporary) living arrangement afforded you. Otherwise it’s just the occasional glance at the bloody fingernails of those who were there before you and tried to escape. Then there’s all this stuff with lotion, baskets and annoying dogs. As well as the fact that you’re just waiting to become part of Buffalo Bill’s drag outfit. You are going to be cut and sewn and worn by that dude while he tucks his bits between his legs. No. Not a good house.