Sure—you’re not afraid of no ghost. These days, with Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters about to arrive in theaters amidst arguments over whether or not the all-female team reboot ruins the original movies in some indefinable way (Spoilers: no, it doesn’t), it seems that everyone is more concerned with gender politics than the threat posed by post-mortem ectoplasmic threats.
This, clearly, cannot stand.
And so, before you go and see Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and loving sigh Kate McKinnon bust some ghosts this weekend, I beseech you to view the following Netflix movies—just to fully comprehend the danger posed by the deceased beasts they face. Ladies and gentlemen: remind yourself of how bad ghosts can be.
OUT OF THE DARK (1995)
If you find yourself haunted by the ghost of your murdered mother, there’s only one place to turn for help: a hit man whose methods are, shall we say, eccentric. And, no, that’s not a sign that the haunted has decided to join his mom in the afterlife, but to say more would be to ruin this strange Chinese comedy.
DEAD SILENCE (2007)
We all know how it is—you’re in the middle of the grieving process when you get interrupted by a ghost. This isn’t a Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore romantic situation, however; the ghost isn’t the dearly departed, but a ventriloquist. On the plus side, they can be spooky while drinking a glass of water.
BEING HUMAN (2009-2011)
The British drama/sitcom/not-quite-one-or-the-other didn’t just include a number of ghosts in its years-long scarefest—it brought in vampires and werewolves as well. All three offer up multiple possibilities to go bump in the night, but there’s chance you won’t watch and end up thinking, “Sure, ghosts are the worst.”
THE UNBORN (2009)
What is worse? Suffering horrifying dreams at night, or seeing the ghost of a child during the day? The answer is obvious: it’s seeing the ghost, because as if ghosts aren’t bad enough, it’s the ghost of a small kid, which is either heartbreaking or annoying depending on how you feel about children.
Putting a different spin on the genre, the ghost in this movie is the one being haunted, with the “haunter” of the movie’s title being a teen who’s alive and well—okay, so maybe that last part is open to question.
CHARLIE ST. CLOUD (2010)
Of course, ghosts aren’t always a terrible thing. Take this movie’s example, in which a ghost helps Zac Efron get the girl—a helping hand that he probably didn’t really need, considering that he’s Zac Efron and all. But the thought was appreciated!
PAC-MAN AND THE GHOSTLY ADVENTURES (2013-2014)
When it comes to the dangers posed by the undead, Pac-Man knows them better than most—originally, just their very touch would result in his demise, and even when they all turned into cartoons, he found out that their mischief was almost unstoppable. They’re just nuisances, I tell you.
SOME KIND OF HATE (2015)
A true sign that ghosts are trouble—more true, even, than Pac-Man’s personal hell—is the fact that they can be summoned accidentally by troubled souls to unleash metaphorical and perhaps literal hell on their tormentors. You know who that doesn’t happen to? Not-terrible not-ghosts.
PAY THE GHOST (2015)
Perhaps I’m being too hard. After all, in this late-era Nic Cage movie — always a sign of true quality — it’s a ghost that inspires a couple to continue searching for their missing son. Or… is it…? (Spoilers: the answer to that question depends on your definition of “ghost.”)
Actually, there is something that ghosts are good for—without them, we wouldn’t have this three-part supernatural terrorist drama from the UK, which stars Natalia Tena and Iwan Rheon from Game of Thrones. Okay, then; the ghosts who inspire stuff like this can stay. The rest of them, though? Fire up Ecto-1, Melissa McCarthy; get these slimers out of here.