Thursday Movie Picks: Horror Movie Houses

Happy start of the spooky season, folks! Anyone else waiting for the plot twist in our lives that reveals we’ve been living in a horror movie since the start of 2020? I’m still hugely out of my depth in the horror genre but I reckon I’ve seen enough to take part in the Halloween editions of Wandering Through the Shelves‘ Thursday Movie Picks this year. According to my Letterboxd account I’ve watched a total of 118 horror movies which isn’t a lot at all, but I’m embracing it this October!

This week’s theme is Horror Movie Houses. Generally speaking, I hate the kind of horror movies that take place in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere when it’s always dark and forever raining, but I do have 3 choices to share with you today. They’re all from 2019, the year I welcomed the horror genre into my life, and all center around a house in some way or another.


The Lighthouse (2019)

I have to thank my local cinema for showing this again for one night only this week – feeding the Pattinson obsession but also giving my ideas for this week’s theme! It’s a tough movie to sell to your average movie fan,  and I don’t do a good job of explaining it, either. I mean basically, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe go crazy whilst working together in a lighthouse. Dafoe gives a cracking shouty rant about lobster and Pattinson craves a steak so badly he would…well, let’s say it’s the first time I’ve ever envied a steak before.


Vivarium (2019)

Put this at the top of the list of movies NOT to watch whilst in lockdown. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg play a young couple looking to buy their first home. An unnerving estate agent shows them to a house in a new-build neighborhood but they find themselves trapped. No matter which direction they head in, it always leads them back to this house. I’ll admit that the idea wasn’t executed perfectly, but it has so much potential.


Ready or Not (2019)

I saved the best till last. Please give this a watch if you haven’t already! Samara Weaving marries into an unusual and wealthy family, their funds all thanks to their board game empire. As is tradition, on the night of the wedding the bride picks a card which determines the game they all play. She picks hide and seek. Harmless, yes? Think again. If she gets found, she is to be murdered. And so commences the greatest, goriest, yet funniest game of hide and seek in a beautiful house full of great hiding spots.

23 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Horror Movie Houses

  1. I still need to watch Ready or Not! It was on my list to see at the movies and I just never made it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it!


  2. The Lighthouse was such a fantastic film! The scene where Robert Pattinson has sex with the mermaid and we are shown the massive mermaid vagina still haunts me. There is something completely nightmarish about it, tapping into fears of sexual frustration. I always saw the lighthouse as being an image representing a penis, and apparently there was a match-cut at one point that showed an erect penis directly after a shot of the lighthouse. But that got cut so the film could retain its R rating.


      1. Yeah I need to get around to a second viewing at some point. You may enjoy Persona, directed by Ingmar Bergman. It has a lot of similarities but it is in Swedish so you would have to watch with subtitles. Its under 1.5 hours though which is a big plus.


  3. I haven’t seen any of these though I’m familiar with The Lighthouse and its own my list. The second is a maybe not but I’ll keep an eye out for Ready or Not.

    I’m not a horror guy most of the time but through the years I’ve seen my share so I reached back to come up with my three.

    The Haunting (1963)-Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson) is doing research into psychic phenomena. In the service of that study he invites two women-lonely, eccentric Eleanor (Julie Harris) who has experienced supernatural events previously and brash Theodora (Claire Bloom) who is gifted with ESP. On arrival they are joined by the mansion’s heir, cynical Luke (Russ Tamblyn) and are immediately overwhelmed by strange sounds and events. Soon Eleanor comes to believe the house is alive and speaking directly to her. Loaded with atmosphere and extremely well-acted.

    You’ll Find Out (1940)-Debutante Janis Bellacrest (Helen Parrish) books Kay Kyser and his big band, the Kollege of Musical Knowledge including singer Ginny Simms and cornet playing sidekick Ish Kabibble to play at her 21st birthday party at a remote spooky mansion. Between performances, Kay finds Janis’s guests-quirky Aunt Margo (Alma Kruger), pretentious professor Fenniger (Peter Lorre), creepy Prince Soliano (Bela Lugosi) and irritable Judge Mainwaring (Boris Karloff) on the bizarre side and begins to suspect that Janis is in danger. When a powerful storm blows in and strands everyone overnight events both scary and wacky transpire. Goofy musical comic/thriller is the only onscreen pairing of Lorre, Karloff and Lugosi.

    Seven Footprints of Satan (1929)-When mayhem breaks out at her father’s party Eve (Thelma Todd) and her fiancée Jim (Creighton Hale) jump into a limousine and think they are safely away from danger. Shortly afterwards though they find themselves at the house of “Satan” who may or may not be a criminal mastermind, a supernatural fiend, the devil himself, or some combination of all those things. As they make their way through odd rooms they encounter an imp, a dwarf, an ape-like man, a gorilla, Satan’s Mistress and “the Spider”. Finally they are tested with the Seven Footprints which could lead to fabulous wealth and freedom or servitude to Satan…and maybe Death! Originally released in both silent and partial sound versions only the silent one (long thought lost as well) survives.


  4. I. So so late here. I haven’t seen any of these but would like to see The Lighthouse…I’d like to see all 3. Vivarium reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode where a couple wake up after leaving a party where they try to leave this town and can’t. You find out they are in a child’s play house village and are watched by this huge child. They were taken by aliens and now live in this town.

    Liked by 1 person

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