Is Beetlejuice (1988) really terrifying? Not necessarily. But Tim Burton’s 1988 career-defining masterpiece is definitely an exorcism movie – after all, the title character (Michael Keaton) is a “bio-exorcist,” which is kind of the opposite of a traditional exorcist, a ghost procured to rid a home of people.
It’s just a little quieter about being an exorcism movie than the rest of the films on this list. But on the more traditional front, there is the scene where interior designer Otho tries to perform a seance but accidentally exorcises Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis, who happens to star in the new Exorcist TV series).
And, although it’s a dark comedy, it’s the “dark” part of that equation that lands it a spot on this list. There’s definitely a creep factor running throughout the film. There’s the scene where Adam elongates his face, pops his eyes out and sticks them on his fingers. Or when Betelgeuse turns into a giant, creepy rattlesnake and drops a man from a good 20 feet up. And how could we forget the classic “Banana Boat Song” scene, where you get a good jump scare when their food pops out of their bowls and grabs their faces?