Automatically we think of ghosts as scary deformed frightening ghouls. Spirits that take our breath away at the slightest sight, touch or sound. That is why a good ghost movie scares the wits right out of us.
Throughout the years the cinema has produced many movies with a twist to our spooky friend by making this terrifying ghoul into a passive, fun loving comical spirit. For example, comedy horror movies such as ‘Casper’ the friendly ghost who is actually a kindhearted spirit of a little boy; ‘Frighteners’ with ghosts who like having a little fun; and ‘Ghost Dad’ as a loving father who comes back from the dead to help his son.
How about a good friendly ghost movie tonight to keep your wits? I have picked out eight of my personal favorites from the comedy horror genre file and put them in a chronological order.
1) Topper – 1937
This cute comedy classic has the ghosts as a happy fun couple that are now dead. The deceased Kirbys decide to do a good deed by helping Mr. Topper a stuffy executive they once knew.
Starring: Cary Grant as George Kirby, Constance Bennett as Marion Kerby, Roland Young as Cosmo Topper.
2) A Christmas Carol – 1951
Now this Charles Dickens story has been revamped on TV and the silver screen in so many different forms, even Mr. Magoo did this ghostly tale. Animation, TV sitcoms, the Muppets, everyone did ‘A Christmas Carol’
storyline and they were all very entertaining. Why not, the story is a Christmas classic bordering a great horror movie. In fact the best movie version was released October 31, 1951 (Halloween). A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim as Ebeneezer Scrooge. Also starring: Mervyn Johns and Hermione Baddeley.
3) Ghost Busters – 1984
A delightful comedy about four supernatural War battle fight conquer prevail exterminators that became heroes. Lots of fun and great ghoulish effects.
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver.
4) Beetlejuice – 1988
Directed by Tim Burton, Micheal Keaton does a great job of being the most irritating ghoul in the afterworld. Beetlejuice with all his nastiness actually helps a very nice, newly deceased couple from losing their lovely home. A comedy horror, classic ghost movie.
Starring: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder.
5) Always – 1989
Steven Spielberg directed this fantasy romance movie about an aerial firefighter who dies in a crash leaving a very distraught girlfriend. The pilot comes back as a ghost and helps a rookie pilot become the best but the rookie falls in love with the dead pilots girlfriend. A very touching film.
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, John Goodman, Holly Hunter.
6) Ghost – 1990
Speaking of a touching film, this has got to be the most famous ghost movie ever. A film that has everything a movie buff would want with comedy, romance and action. A banker dies at the hands of a mugger only to come back as a spirit. The only person that can hear him is a con artist medium. This movie also has malicious revenge.
Starring: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg.
7) Casper – 1995
A paranormal expert and his daughter move into an old mansion which is inhabited by one friendly spirit and three mischievous ghouls. A great family comedy horror film.
Starring: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle.