Monday, October 19, 2015

1976 - 1982: Hollywood's Haunted House Obsession

Hollywood was definitely on a "haunted house" kick for about 6 years, starting in 1976 with "Burnt Offerings", "The Amityville Horror" (1979), "The Shining" (1980) and "Poltergeist" (1982).  For a fun (sometimes totally surreal) viewing experience, I recommend watching all 4 of these classic horror films back-to-back - on the same day if you can manage it(!)

I won't go so far as to say that these movies are identical -  far from it - but they definitely all draw from the same general idea: a typical American family moves into an old house / hotel / new house built on an ancient Indian burial ground - one (or more) family members seemingly become "possessed" by unseen forces within the house - seemingly going crazy - and of course total chaos and carnage eventually ensues. It's a kick seeing these 'like' horror movies from the same era tackle similar plot points from different angles...

"Burnt Offerings" (1976); directed by Dan Curtis
"The Amityville Horror" (1979);
directed by Stuart Rosenberg

"The Shining" (1980); directed by Stanley Kubrick

"Poltergeist" (1982); directed by Tobe Hooper