With Halloween having come and gone so quickly, who says the horror has to end? Though, if you’re looking for something a little more realistic and better than the overabundance of classic slasher films this year, why not go for something a little more… invasive. Home invasion movies don’t get as much credit as they should - what’s more terrifying than being powerless in your own home, the one place you’re supposed to feel completely safe in? To help you out this year here’s a quick list of some of the best home invasion movies to heighten your senses and leave you with a few paranoid tingles, so better go double check your doors now.
Panic Room (2002)
Jodie Foster and a very young Kristen Stewart star as a mother and daughter duo who just purchased a new apartment. The night they move in and settle into bed three burglars, Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker, and Dwight Yoakam, attempt to search for Leto’s deceased grandfather’s hidden estate money. Fearing for their lives Foster and Stewart hide in the panic room, only to find out that what the men are after is inside the very room they are hiding in, and to make matters worse young Stewart is diabetic and her sugar level is dropping fast.
You’d think with a panic room, their house would be the safest on the block. That’s where this film shines, in fully flipping the concept of an extra safety net and proving sometimes, even technology can’t help you.
Funny Games (1997)
This Austrian psychological thriller, with a 2007 American remake, tells the story of a small family who has just arrived at their vacation home for a summer getaway. Shortly after their arrival they meet a strange and suspicious pair of men, who deceive the family and force themselves into their home. Once inside, the family is subjected to various types of torture and forced to participate in a number of sadistic “games” for the men’s sick amusement, and viewers everywhere were disturbed by the “here we go again” ending.
The Strangers (2008)
A young couple, featuring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, have just returned to a remote vacation house after a friend’s wedding reception. Shortly after 4 a.m. a strange young woman bangs on the door looking for someone, to which, she is met with: “I think you have the wrong house.” The woman leaves but returns with a mask and some friends and proceeds to terrorize the couple, stalking them, and writing words on the window with the couple's’ dead friend’s blood. The movie pulls on strings of hope and tension as we watch the couple repeatedly attempt to escape, only to be met with the masked intruders time and time again.
You’re Next (2013)
When Crispian (A.J. Bowen) and his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) visit his family’s estate for a small family reunion they get more than they bargained for when dinnertime becomes hunting time. In an isolated location with no cellphone service, in classic horror film style, the hunt begins as the family members are picked off one by one. What the masked men weren’t expecting was to be met by a woman with survivalist training and a will to make it through the night.
This French movie stars Alysson Paradis who plays a young pregnant woman, widowed after a horrible car accident. Still jaded over the loss of her husband she plans to spend Christmas alone, making final preparations for the delivery of her baby. Her quiet evening takes a strange turn when a mysterious woman (Béatrice Dalle) begins banging on her front door, demanding to be let in. When she’s turned away the woman forces herself in, determined to ripe the infant from its womb and take it for herself.
The sad thing, or perhaps amusing depending on your sense of humor, is that had these main characters only had a security system they could’ve all been spared. The ironic thing about these movies is that home security systems today can be set to have your house call the police for you should you be in a sticky situation - no more worrying about cut phone lines or dead batteries.
With their suspense and mystery, these five chilling home invasion movies can certainly rival any of the other boring, predictable, slasher movies out there. After all, what’s more terrifying than knowing that home invasions happen every… single… day? So, make sure to bolt your doors and hope you don’t get any unexpected guests tonight.
Maria is a writer interested in comic books, cycling, and horror films. Her hobbies include cooking, doodling, and finding local shops around the city. She currently lives in Chicago with her two pet turtles, Franklin and Roy.