Unreal Estate: 10 horror films with demonic dwellings and un-family-friendly locations

Posted by Nick Niesen on November 8th, 2010

1. Nosferatu (1922)

There's nothing like making the property sale of your life, only to find out that your dream client is a member of the blood-sucking undead. This movie is notable because it was an unauthorized adaptation of the book "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. Recently, improved copies of the original movie have been made accessible to the public. This film introduced the concept of vampires being severely harmed and/or destroyed by sunlight.

2. The Amityville Horror (1979)

Perhaps the most extreme case of buyer's remorse in a film to date, "The Amityville Horror" is based on Jay Anson's novel of the same name. An all-American family purchases a big house with a big lot in a nice neighborhood for a low, low price... you know that there has to be something wrong with the picture. And there is. A lot wrong. Fortunately for the viewer, the supernatural events claimed to be true in the book and the movie have not been reported by the family presently living in the house.

3. Poltergeist (1982)

The American Dream: the kids, the car, the house... wait... The house has a few problems. Faulty wiring - the living room television turns on by itself. Not level - the coffee urn keeps moving. Weed problems - a tree outside trying to grab the kids and hurl them into a parallel dimension. And having the house implode on you is always another indication that things aren't entirely sound. You may want to pass on trying to sell this one.

4. The Lost Boys (1987)

A movie that illustrates what's important about the phrase, "location, location, location". When you're looking for a place to raise your two teenagers, perhaps "the murder capital of the world" shouldn't be your first consideration. That and all the damn vampires.

5. The Haunting (1963)

This is the 1963 version and not the unwieldy 1999 remake. Might keep this one in mind if you decide to check out a house with a dark past. A team of paranormal investigators find that an old mansion contains more sinister forces than mold and termites and loss of equity.

6. The Tenant (1976)

Roman Polanski plays a man who becomes afraid that his landlord and neighbors are trying to mold him into the previous tenant so that he will commit suicide too. This film isn't a sparkling example of landlord-tenant relations, but it does bring in a good creep factor to rental property investments.

7. The Uninvited (1944)

It's another case of a well-appointed house being purchased at a suspiciously low price. Of course, the new owner finds that there are some supernatural squatters who make life... difficult. As in, make it difficult to stay alive. As with many other older films, watch this one instead of its remakes.

8. Psycho (1960)

Traumatizing shower lovers for nearly 50 years, Psycho features the brooding Bates' house that overlooks the Bates Motel. It would be a better investment if its owner wasn't channeling his murderous mother, but you can't expect everything. The real house is still available for viewing via tourbus at the Los Angeles Universal Studios.

9. Arachnaphobia (1990)

A doctor moves his family away from the big, bad city to end up fighting big, bad spiders. It's what you get when you find a cheap house in a safe neighborhood: something always comes along to threaten your life. Classic tale for those who are unconvinced of the need for a pest inspection before buying - big South American killer spiders could get YOU.

10. Hot Fuzz (2007)

Not a horror movie per se, but still an exceptionally violent film illustrating that sleepy, well-to-do, neighborly towns with picturesque heritage houses ALWAYS have something wrong with them, like secret cults murdering wayward villagers. A terrific action flick that takes on the buddy cop genre and adds a swan or two.

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
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