Home ownership is hard nowadays and it can be spooky. These are some films about haunted houses, mortgage crisis, renting and interior decorating.
Swiss Family Robinson
After a shipwreck en route to a better life, the family takes refuge on a deserted island. They build their own house out of the trees and other planet-life on the island while learning to live with the wildlife and go on various adventures. This is based off the classic book of the same title from 1812 then was converted to a play, 60’s TV show, an anime, audio adaption, computer game, six theatrical releases, seven made for television movies and one parody book made in 1882.
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
A New Yorker and his wife buy a big old fixer-upper in rural Connecticut. It goes through New York life in a cramped apartment in a very busy city where stored items in his closet fall on him to his decision to buy a house outside of the city. Mr. Blanding is introduced as a college graduate advertising executive two daughters, a wife, a maid and a pet bird. Based on an ad and zero research Mr. Blanding buys a crumbling leaning house after his friend warned him not to do so. The couple naively set plans to live inside the house with payments, a redesign and construction plans. The narrator is Mr. Blanding’s friend and his lawyer so it makes sense that he knows something about him. So many missteps in building a dream home. Originally a radio production, this film has a lot of quirky dialogue.
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
A recovering drug-addicted woman battles an Iranian immigrant and his family over a house. She lost her house she inherited from her father by the California county from back taxes. The house was purchased by the family at foreclosure. This is a sad film with one sad event after another.
Monster House (2006)
A haunted house on the end of the block becomes more animate after being bothered by the neighbourhood kids. The house is haunted by a woman was an outcasted woman who formerly worked in a circus. She married a man who understood her pain and they both purchases land to built a house. The woman was very grateful but was bullied by neighbourhood kids always upsetting her until her death. Her spirit remains in the house.
A family move into a house in a new city only to experience creepy apparitions that signal signs of a haunting. The characters do an exorcism and see here house turn increasingly evil. This was due to the thousands of human remains of Indigenous Americans buried underneath the house those souls never crossed over.
War of the Roses (1989)
This movie is narrated from the perspective from a divorce lawyer and friend of the featured couple. The lawyer talks about the worst divorce he has ever seen to a client eager to ditch his wife. The story follows the years of a couple’s ups and down when they were getting together, getting married and buying a house. Then years later after career changes, getting older and finding new responsibilities the middle-aged married couple filed for a divorce after two decades of marriage. Everything got petty until it became volatile when they started to discuss who was getting the house.
The Big Short (2015)
This film is about the housing bubble that happened between 2007 to 2008 that caused the housing crisis. The story of the film based on the 2010 book by Adam McKay and Charles Randolph called The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. This has some fourth wall breaks that sometimes work to explain characters and some infomercial-like inserts that explain what are hedge funds, what are subprime loans and what are collateral debt obligations. It also has narrated parts in the film by Ryan Gosling as Jared Vennett in some sections explaining the setup of the story, characters and the business. The movie is primarily three different stories that have the same dread-filled concerns about where the money going and the impending housing bubble. By company, it follows Scion Capital, FrontPoint Partners, Deutsche Bank and Brownfield Capital all discussing and somewhat investigating what is happening to the money and bracing for impact. The film feels crowded and long but it’s a lot of information they discuss in this pseudo-documentary about mortgage finance.
Doug  is an overworked man with a demanding fulltime job as a construction worker and a family man with two children finds his unable to have any time for himself. At one of his contracted jobs, he discovers that the doctor can make clones with a machine. Therefore, Doug 1 makes Doug 2 help him out with his work. He solves contractual obligations with clients and helps build more projects while Doug 1 golfs. Sooner than later Doug 1 gets bombarded with family life and clones himself again to help out with his family and fix the kitchen. Therefore, Doug 1 makes Doug 3 to help out with the family while Doug 1 golfs and now getting spa treatments. The personalities of the Dougs change due to the environment they are subjected to. Doug 1 is becoming lazy, Doug 2 is turning into a macho authoritarian workhorse, Doug 3 is becoming in tune with his feelings and others feelings around him and now Doug 4 is just a clone of the clones making him a little underdeveloped. The film is mostly about commitments and obligations which include work and family.
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
An American woman who just discovered that her husband was having an affair, depressed and her life in flux take a tour of Italy. She impulsively buys an old villa in Tuscany and stays to repair the house. She gets more immersed in the culture, the people helping her to fix her new home and just getting on with her life.
Blast from the Past (1999)
During the early scares of the Cold War and the at-the-time possibility of being bombed by nuclear weapons, a nuclear scientist build a state-of-the-art bomb shelter that’s a replica of their actual home with a sustainable food source and generator to protect his wife from possible nuclear war. They become locked in their bomb shelter after an Air Force rocket accidentally becomes dislodged bombing their above ground home. She goes into labour and gives birth to a son. The shelter automatically locked after the crash and will release after forty years. Forty years later, the adult son decides to venture outside to explore what happened above ground and to get supplies. It’s really 90’s and funny.
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Based on the real haunted house on Amityville Road is this film about the Lutz family. The house was a scene of the recent mass killing and was the home of 18th century Satanists. The film was remade in 2005 with Ryan Reynolds and had a lot of sequels with other actors but James Brolin had the more interesting performance in the first one. The family notice things moving by themselves, voices coming from the walls, cold spots in the house, flies and bleeding blood after they tried to bless their house before moving in.
Dream Home (2010)
A terrifying yet very sad satirical slasher about the Hong Kong housing crisis. It follows a young woman driven mad about having a lovely home just for her and her family. It explores the cost of living and the housing crisis pricing people out of a livable life. She is a middle class woman who is working two jobs saving up enough money to buy an apartment looking over the Victoria Harbour. The film goes through her past observing her friends and her family getting evicted from their low rent housing for the development of luxury flats. When her mother dies and her father becomes ill, she earnestly searches for a new home. She becomes drowning in debt, overworked and the deal for the house falls through then she snaps on a murderous frenzy. This horror movie is more grounded in realism in the first and second act which takes the whole third act to be bonkers if the main character wasn’t a little unhinged from the begining. The original title is Wai dor lei ah yut ho in Cantonese which translates to Victoria no. 1 which was the apartment address she was attempting to purchase.
After a childless couple suddenly dies and are sent to the underworld for a disclosed amount of time come back to their once cozy, lovely country style home to this posh New Memphis inspired gothic interior design change with an annoyingly unbearable couple and their awkward daughter. The dead couple is not happy with the changes. They try to haunt the house but are terrible at scaring people especially when they can’t be seen. Another ghost seeks them out to offer his services to haunt the house for them. After being warned that he’s a scam artist with alternative motives, they still allow the transaction to occur. Meanwhile, the ghost couple grow a bond with the young girl eventually changing their mind.
The Money Pit (1986)
A young unmarried couple buys a dud of a mansion in hopes to fix it up. They thought it was a steal but the mansion was two damages away to become condemned. They rashly buy the place after the girlfriend’s ex-husband decides to kick them out of the apartment they were living in temporarily. The problems and repairs to make the house livable an unusual yet relatable villain from this romantic comedy for anyone who tried rebuilding a wreck.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
This is the play/movie that everyone likes to quote every time someone wants to look like a sharp businessman. The story from David Mamet’s play is about four real estate salesmen desperation for the sale after a representative from head office is sent over to “motivate” them and to tell them that all salesmen will be fired except for the top two salesmen. It becomes more and more depressing when you see people work really hard and not succeed but be fired for their efforts with or without dignity.
Pacific Heights (1990)
A young yuppie couple purchases an old high end three story San Francisco rowhouse to convert into an apartment duplex to invest in their future. They are very novice in their approach to be landlords and are snobbish in their methods of choosing who should be in their rental property. They rent the first floor to a man who turns his apartment into an unsafe, under code, fire hazard so that he could sue them later on for profit essentially conning them out of their nest egg. It could be a horror movie for people planning to rent out a part of their home but really it’s more of a thriller that has no murder (but one death).