Not so many great movies exist that would manage to tell a story about a ghost in a non-frightening way and bring in humor instead. A fine line exists between being funny and being embarrassing. Luckily, some of the best movies in the fantasy comedy genre managed to avoid this trap and ended up hilarious. It helps if the story is strong, sometimes based on a book, a theater play, or an older film.
Blithe Spirit, the new ghost comedy, falls into the second category. Based on a successful theater play by Noël Coward, the film tells a story of a man who marries for the second time but discovers his dead wife is still living in the house and is determined to make his life more difficult. The people who enjoyed the film with its great acting performances and intelligent humor have a lot of similar options they can choose from.
9 Ghost (1990)
Ghost has become an undeniable classic in the fantasy/horror/romance/comedy genres. It’s true, this film successfully combines multiple genres and creates an unforgettable mix. It stars the now-late Patrick Swayze as a man who’s murdered but his ghost stays on Earth and he has to figure out who murdered him and also protect his girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore).
But since he can’t communicate with Molly, he contacts the medium Oda Mae Brown. The film is full of intense as well as light-hearted, funny moments, especially when Whoopi Goldberg aka Oda Mae appears on the scene.
8 Beetlejuice (1988)
Michael Keaton is well-known for playing Bruce Wayne aka Batman in Tim Burton’s two films, but before that, he portrayed another great role in this Tim Burton movie. The married couple Adam and Barbara died and they’re now haunting the house where they lived while they were still alive.
To protect the house from the new family who moves in, they hire the bio-exorcist Beetlejuice who’s as crazy as they come. All people who like scary comedies should enjoy this one, especially since it’s more funny than scary, just like Blithe Spirit.
7 Goosebumps (2015)
Unlike Blithe Spirit, Goosebumps primarily aims at a younger audience, considering the respective ages of the main heroes. Nevertheless, it does offer a proper mixture of humor and danger. When a teenager Zach befriends a girl named Hanna and discovers that Hanna’s father is none other than the writer R. L. Stine, he’s astonished.
Even more so when he finds out that the monsters from R. L. Stine’s novels escaped from the books and are now roaming free around the city. The film will entertain anyone who enjoys fantasy comedies, even more so if they love R. L. Stine’s books.
6 Ghostbusters (1984)
The 1980s saw the rise of many films that would go on to become classics. Ghostbusters are one of them. Three friends decide to become ghost hunters and to make some serious cash.
But even they don’t expect what might happen when the gate to Hell opens. The film is one fun ride with great acting performances. And since it became so popular, it also got several sequels and remakes.
5 Just Like Heaven (2005)
Before Mark Ruffalo raged in the MCU as Hulk, he played in multiple romantic comedies in the early 2000s. In this case, the romance turns out to be highly unusual. When Ruffalo’s hero Mark rents a new apartment in San Francisco, he finds out that he already has a roommate – a ghost of a woman named Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) who claims that the apartment belongs to her.
Despite initial disagreements, they grow to like each other – after all, Just Like Heaven is a rom-com. But a funny one, with a somewhat original idea and good actors.
4 It’s A Wonderful Afterlife (2010)
British studios have the talent to create amazingly dark and humorous films, both at the same time. In this case, they tell a complicated story of a young Indian woman whose mother decides to find the right husband for her.
So far so good, but when things don’t work, she has the tendency to kill the men. Who then come back to haunt her. It’s a Wonderful Afterlife that won’t work for anyone but the viewers who attune to its style of humor should be able to enjoy it and have a lot of laughs.
3 Blithe Spirit (1945)
In the end, the best film to watch if one enjoyed the new Blithe Spirit is the original version of the story. Even though it was filmed in 1945, it’s a good enough film to capture the attention and interest of today’s audience.
The film is great fun and filled with amazing acting performances from now-iconic actors, especially Rex Harrison and Margaret Rutherford (who later played Miss Marple based on Agatha Christie’s novels).
2 Easy Virtue (2008)
Even though this film doesn’t contain an ounce of fantasy or horror, people who enjoyed Blithe Spirit‘s story might like it. The reason is that the theater play it’s based on was also written by Noël Coward. The story takes place in England and it focuses on a divorced American woman Larita who marries a young Englishman John. Larita travels with John to his new home but soon discovers her way of life and behavior doesn’t sit well with her uptight English relatives.
The film is clever, funny, light-hearted (for most of the time), and it also has a star-studded cast: Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Ben Barnes, and Kristin Scott Thomas all gave amazing performances. The play also has another, significantly older film version that was made in 1928.
1 The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (1947)
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is one of those films that stood the test of time but not as many people know it as the film would have deserved. It plays more on the romantic line but also contains a fair share of humorous moments and quips. After all, what else could happen when a widowed woman moves into a new house and discovers it’s haunted by the ghost of a sea captain.
Just like in Blithe Spirit (1945), Rex Harrison plays a leading part, and he excels at it. Gene Tierney, who portrayed the titular Mrs. Muir, is just as excellent as Harrison and their arguments are one of the best parts of the film.
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