Whenever we’re home, we like to believe we’re always safe. However, there are those that will try to disrupt that tranquility. People with malicious motives may disrupt our peace and quiet the minute they knock on our doorsteps. We may not like to believe something like that could happen but it might.
The upcoming movie “Us” depicts a family terrorized by unwelcome houseguests. Also, in honor of its release, here’s a list of ten horror movies that literally hit close to home.
10“Rosemary’s Baby” (1968)
“Rosemary’s Baby” may not be a home invasion movie in a typical way. But it still illustrates the protagonist’s peace slowly being disrupted. When Rosemary (Mia Farrow) lets Minnie Castevet (Ruth Gordon) and her husband into her home, they eventually become unwelcome houseguests. If there’s anything this film shows, it’s that not everyone is as harmless as they appear. One should never judge a book by its cover. The dramatic circumstances in this film may pertain to the supernatural. But “Rosemary’s Baby” still shows what happens when you let the wrong people into your home life.
9“The Last House on the Left” (1972)
The late Wes Craven’s directorial debut was highly controversial upon its release. It was heavily criticized for its ultraviolence and banned in several countries. While this film is definitely not for the squeamish, it still manages to provide slight social commentary. It demonstrates how violence can come from the most unexpected places and people. In this case, the film involves a couple from suburban Connecticut. They end up in a fight for their lives once three thugs who viciously attacked their daughter come to their doorstep. As previously mentioned, it is not for the faint of heart. But it still is a confrontational look into some of the darkest depths of humanity.
8“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (2017)
Like all villainous movie children, Martin seems nice at first. But that’s until he forces a family to slowly fall ill. Also, he makes eating spaghetti seem chilling. He may not invade the family’s house the way someone in a typical home invasion thriller would. However, he does slowly disturb their home life in an insidious manner. He is a devilish antagonist in a film made by a director who is a master of the deranged. Thanks to the efforts of Yorgos Lanthimos, this movie even makes Ellie Goulding music seem shuddering.
A home invasion movie about a deaf protagonist seems difficult to pull off. Because she can’t hear, how can she survive if the invader can sneak behind her without her knowledge? Well, in the hands of director Mike Flanagan, “Hush” is executed rather successfully. As it turns out, the film is a never ending exercise in fear. Once Maddie (Kate Siegel) tries surviving the night, we shudder as we hope she makes it through. Also, despite giving a wordless performance, Kate Siegel is terrific as the main protagonist. Although Siegel might not be deaf like her character, “Hush” still is a slightly progressive step in the horror genre by putting a disabled heroine at the forefront.
“Inside” (also known as “A L’interieur“) is definitely not for the squeamish. It’s insanely brutal and gory to the point where you might throw up. However, it isn’t exploitative to the point where the excessive violence overshadows the scares. The film follows a pregnant woman (Alysson Paradis) being terrorized by a stranger (Beatrice Dalle) looking to steal her unborn child. Eventually, the stranger’s unhinged reasons for wanting to steal the baby become revealed. But it’s best to watch the film to figure out what they are. Although, as previously mentioned, don’t watch if you have a weak stomach.
5“Wait Until Dark” (1967)
Similar to “Hush,” “Wait Until Dark” depicts a disabled female protagonist trying to survive the night. However, while the main character in “Hush” is deaf, the protagonist in “Wait Until Dark” is blind. Suzy Hendrix (Audrey Hepburn) is by herself in her apartment while her husband’s away. But three criminals looking for a doll stuffed with heroin make their way into her home. What follows is a night of heightened suspense with a jaw-dropping climax. In addition, the film features a likeable leading turn from Audrey Hepburn who earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Plus, Alan Arkin is tremendously villainous as the leader of the criminals.
The film’s titular main character, played by Jennifer Lawrence, simply cannot catch a break. All Mother hopes for is peace and quiet with her husband (Javier Bardem) in the countryside. But then a mysterious couple (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) shows up at their doorstep. Eventually, two visitors become many. As a result, “mother!” becomes a home invasion thriller of Biblical proportions. It is grotesque and chaotic yet it still might inspire second viewings. Because it’s so enigmatic, it makes you want to rewatch it to try and piece the puzzle together again.
3“Black Christmas” (1973)
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But for a group of sorority sisters, it becomes a time of murder and suspense. Once a maniac on the run hides in the attic of their sorority house, hell breaks loose. The face of the maniac is never shown nor is his backstory revealed. But what’s just as terrifying is the idea that someone is hiding in your house without your knowledge. In addition, there’s not knowing the person is there until it’s too late. This movie is easily more chilly than the winter cold.
2“The Strangers” (2008)
“The Strangers” offers a very simple premise, depicting a couple in a stranded house terrorized by three unknown assailants. However, it manages to be utterly terrifying in its simplicity. One reason is because of its isolated setting. Another is because the three masked villains don’t have a clear motivation for terrorizing this couple. Sometimes, the scariest villains are the ones who don’t have a reason to kill people. They do it for the thrill of it or to see if they have the nerve to do it. Also, they might do it because you were home.
The French thriller “Them” (also known as “Ils“) remains very underrated. Similar to “The Strangers,” it has a very straightforward premise. Couple goes off to the countryside for peace and quiet but their tranquility becomes disrupted by unknown visitors. For most of the movie, it’s unclear who or what these unwelcome visitors are. They’re always in the shadows and with their faces covered by hoods. But when that mystery is unveiled in the film’s final shot, it may have your jaw drop in shock. Even when the film opens, it grips you and never lets go.