Top 5 Real Estate Movies

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Do you love real estate and movies? Can you name the Top 5 movies that use "housing" as a central protagonist? Turns out real estate can play a variety of roles in the movies: dream home, haunted house, financial drain...

Here are our picks for the top 5 movies that use real estate as a motif:

1. The Amityville Horror
Okay, we not talking about the schlocky 2005 remake with "scary" Ryan Reynolds. (You know he's supposed to be scary in this one cuz he sports a beard.) We're talking about the 1979 original with psycho James Brolin. The Amityville house, located in Long Island, was intended as the dream home for a young couple. They blow off the fact that a horrible mass murder occurred within the walls with a shrug of, "Houses don't have memories." Ha! Things run afoul when the walls start bleeding and the family runs fleeing from the premises. Get out!

2. Pacific Heights
A young couple (Matthew Modine and Melanie Griffith) have plans to fix up their newly acquired Victorian home. To help cover costs they rent out a converted apartment in their place to what seems like a "nice" man (Michael Keaton). Bottom line: always remember to do a background check. The tenant has plans of his own. He never pays rent, drives out the out the other tenant, and makes his landlords' lives a living hell. A battle for the house ensues. Funny bit of trivia: the house used in the movie is not located in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco but instead is located in the Potrero Hill district (Texas and 19th St). The locale was used due to its strategic view of the downtown skyline.

3. Poltergeist
Okay, another real estate nightmare (above). A young family moves into a house in a pleasant, suburban neighborhood. One minor fact is overlooked by the real estate agent; the house was built on the site of a cemetery that was transplanted to another locale. Whoops! Haunted spirits run amok. It first they seem playful and friendly. Then Carol Anne gets sucked into the TV set and and only a dwarf woman can get her out with a bellowing scream of, "Go towards the light." In the end, the house gets sucked back into the ground--very symbolic in these days of home foreclosures.

4. The Money Pit
Not only does this movie star real estate, but it also stars young Tom Hanks (back in his funny movie days). "The Money Pit" is actually a remake of another classic movie about real estate: the 1948 Cary Grant classic, "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House." A young couple buys a mansion at a ridiculously low price. One problem, the minute they move in the whole building starts to fall apart. Highlights include the entire staircase collapsing and the bathtub crashing through the top floor. "The Money Pit" is every homeowner's nightmare. Look for a cameo by Russian funnyman Yakov Smirnoff.

5. Neighbors
This overlooked comedic gem totes post-Blues Brothers Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi as stars. A quiet man's suburban life comes noisily crashing down when an obnoxious family moves next door. The movie escalates into an all out suburban warfare between the show. Another twist, the comedic pair are cast against type: the obnoxious role goes to mild-mannered Ackroyd while crazy-man Belushi plays the quiet suburban dweller. Not only was this movie Belushi's last film, but it was also directed by John G. Avildsen whose other films include "Rocky" and "Karate Kid."
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