The humble ghost movie sometimes seems forever destined to live in the shadow of its more famous (or more infamous) horror sub genre competitors.
Whether it’s an original eighties film, an ironic nineties offering, or a more recent post ironic remix of the sub genre, the slasher has proved enduringly popular amongst horror fans and mainstream viewers alike for decades. Meanwhile both creature features and religious horror have fallen in and out of favour, but never struggled to find viewers.
Ghost movies, on the other hand, are neither viscerally gory enough for horror fans, nor subtle enough to be considered “psychological thrillers” or “elevated horror” (I.E horror movies that self-proclaimed serious cinema fans are allowed to like).
So dispelling this misconception is the reason this list exists, in order to shine a light on all of the cinematic poltergeists, entities, and misunderstood spirits who never got their due and were doomed to haunting bargain bins.
With that in mind, here are some of the best ghost movies that, for whatever reason, no one ever seems to talk about.
Before director Jon Wright went on to produce the intensely likeable and unfairly underrated Irish horror comedy Grabbers, he created Tormented, a much more mean-spirited - but nonetheless blackly funny - teen horror ghost slasher.
If that description sounds over-ambitious, trust us, this one is a razor sharp and gruesome delight.
This grim British flick is a cheesy, gory “Skins meets Scream” delight, as a set of utterly awful private school kids bully some poor bloke to death for no reason, only for his vengeful ghost to return and pick them off one by one.
And boy does the film know what its audience is here for.
Like the later webcam horror Unfriended, Tormented makes the clever decision to never try making its teen cast likeable or redeemable. These kids are universally insufferable and nasty, and that (along with the fact that their actors are well into their twenties) makes it a guilty pleasure to see them torn to pieces in increasingly inventive fashion.
It's a mindless gory black comedy, sure, but former teen star Alex Pettyfer makes a stellar slimy villain and Tuppence Middleton shows a lot of promise in an early role as one of the marginally more human victims.