Maze movies

10 horror movies where a house is a character

One of the most recent examples being The cave, released in 2022, it’s clear that haunted houses, mansions, and other spirit-infested abodes are still the main source of terror in the horror genre. That being said, sometimes a movie will go the extra mile and push the boundaries of the home or location itself.

Any house can be old, creepy, and decrepit, but it takes a special kind of design and reputation for it to become just as much of a plot staple as one of the main characters. From Elm Street to Amityville, these homes, mansions and more are some of the genre’s most iconic settings.


Constance (Monster House)

When most standard viewers think of “a house as a character,” the most glaring example would have to be the 2006 animated horror movie title Monster House. Easily one of the most surprisingly scary kids movies. , The monster house naturally has its main objective in the form of a gigantic old house that becomes a child-eating monster when night falls.

RELATED: The 10 Biggest Mistakes The Characters Make In Every Haunted House MovieTons and tons of haunted houses in the medium have ghosts, but the house in this movie is literally possessed by a restless spirit. From claws, teeth, and a tongue, the house is structured and designed to have monstrous or bodily characteristics, allowing it to move, express itself, and behave like a fearsome creature. The tragic story of Constance Nebbecracker only gives the monster a sympathetic flavor to counter the bestial nature of the house.

Usher’s House (Usher’s House)

When it comes to adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe, few do them better than Roger Corman and Vincent Price. The first entry in Corman’s Poe Cycle, the 1960s take on “Fall of the House of Usher” features Price in one of his most iconic roles as Roderick Usher, the unhinged master of the titular house. Roderick isn’t the only malevolent force lurking within the walls, as he himself states, “The house itself is bad now.”

As in the original story, the house and the surrounding countryside are a reflection of Roderick’s mental health. As his intentions turn from suspicious to sinister, the house transforms from gothic mansion to chamber of horrors.

The “House of Usher” segment of Extraordinary Tales is more than worthy of an honorable mention on multiple counts. Not only is it a true text-to-screen adaptation of Poe’s famous story, it features one of the late Christopher Lee’s last performances with animation that would make Tim Burton swell with pride.

While the segment is impeccably narrated by horror icon Lee, the house itself is the star of the show. The more Roderick slips into madness, the more decrepit and dangerous the mansion becomes. From the crumbling pieces of rubble at the large crack in the center of the structure, it’s a downward spiral into the mouth of terror.

Red Rose (Stephen King’s Red Rose)

“We say haunted, but we mean the house has gone crazy.” is a quote that perfectly sums up and captures the spirit(s) of Rose Red. This miniseries written by the legendary Stephen King features a beautiful but incredibly haunted house in Washington State with more than the lion’s share of supernatural activity.

RELATED: 10 Scariest Haunted Houses In Video Gamesfans of The Haunting of Hill House will easily draw parallels between the work of Shirley Jackson and that of Rose Red, but with arguably more explosive twists. With its iconic stained glass windows and crimson facade, the house certainly stands out both visually and spiritually.

Allerdale Hall (Crimson Peak)

While marketed as a macabre, ghostly horror film, Guillermo Del Toro Crimson Peak is a fantasy gothic masterpiece with one of the most elaborate and beautiful haunted houses in recent years. Built on a mountain of “bleeding” clay and home to a murderous pair of siblings and many of del Toro’s most incredible monsters, Allerdale Hall is a dream come true for fans of spirits, ghosts and more. appearances.

Ghosts and spirits aside, the house itself is impeccably designed, huge and elaborate, in scale, size and appearance. Looking much more like Dracula’s castle than the standard spooky mansion, this should be the image everyone imagines when they hear the words “haunted house”.

The Elm Street House (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

Sometimes it’s not the ghosts currently living in the house that make it spooky, it’s the story behind it. Like so many neighborhoods in small town America, 1428 Elm Street is the resident ghost house, but with a secret far more terrifying than the usual supernatural activity.

Before Nancy Thompson called it home, it was the home of the Springwood Slasher himself, Freddy Krueger. The acts of murder committed by the clawed creep in the boiler room of this house were beyond description, and it serves as his anchor in the living world. The location is iconic and serves as a key element in the plot of the series.

The Farm (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

Regardless of the version of Texas Chainsaw that is, from the original to the Netflix adaptation, there’s always an old house for Leatherface to call home. Featured in one of the most iconic shots in horror history, the large plantation house in the middle of an open field serves as the film’s iconic location.

RELATED: 10 Best Haunted House Animated Movies To Watch Before Netflix’s HouseThe exterior is certainly recognizable, but it’s the interior that really serves up the shock factor, especially in Tobe Hooper’s original. A living room full of skeleton furniture, a meat locker full of hooks, and the infamous dining room are as nightmarish now as they were then.

108 Ocean Avenue (The Amityville Horror)

Whether it’s the book, the original movie, the remake starring a serious Ryan Reynolds, or the legion of series and spinoffs, few haunted houses have such a reputation as the Amityville Horror house. Outside, viewers are exposed to a large evil-eyed house among the pine trees. Inside, a hotbed of horrors and supernatural activity saturates the abode.

As the site of actual murders, demonic activity, and other supernatural occurrences, the house has more than a terrifying reputation. Whether in the original stories or the film adaptation, the house remains one of the most iconic in and out of the realms of fiction.

Winchester Manor (Winchester)

Inspired by one of the most haunted places in America, Winchester houses a house built by restless spirits. Although the film was not well received, it certainly got the better of the appearance and reputation of the Winchester Mystery House. Opinions aside, the house is just as important and imposing as the legion of spirits that haunt it.

Like the current mansion, the spiral staircase is the main feature, but labyrinthine hallways, staircases and corridors transform the house into a macabre spinning labyrinth. In short, the film would not exist without him.

The Overlook Hotel (The Shining)

Of all the haunted locations in cinema, there is perhaps no more infamous and iconic structure than Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel. The brilliant. As one of the most researched and discussed horror stories of all time, the hotel itself has been seen through a multitude of lenses long after the book and film were released.

Connections to the Circles of Hell, the effects of alcoholism and drug addiction, and even Edgar Allan Poe’s “Mask of the Red Death” have all been drawn from this singular sinister structure. Aside from Jack Nicholson, it’s already pre-packed with a plethora of horror stories that give the place a life of its own.

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