Home Invasion Horror Movies Reviews and a handy guide!
In the last few years, the horror movie market has been inundated with the always, horrifying concept of a ‘home invasion’. Following the likes of The Blair Witch Project, movie studios are quick to take notice of the success of a particular trope and soon the genre is saturated with similar movies all clambering to be the best. Luckily for you, I’ve watched pretty all of these movies so go, lock your doors and I’ll guide you through! Also we are going to try and keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but exercise some caution when reading!
Let’s kick the party off with ‘Intruders’ (2015, Adam Schindler);
Anna (Beth Riesgraf) is an agoraphobic young woman who is living alone in the wake of her fathers death. Seeing an easy opportunity to steal from Anna, three men break in. They soon discover that Anna is not going to be a push-over and the tag line, ‘They should have left her alone”, could not be more accurate. This is one of the ‘home invasions’ where the break-in becomes the least of all the problems! This is one of my favourite home-invasion-style horrors as at no point did I envision the twist or the outcome. It really keeps you guessing from beginning to end!
Next up, ‘Hush’ (2016, Mike Flanagan);
Maddie (Kate Siegel) is a writer who lives in a charming home in the woods. Already creepy right? Well next thing we know there is a masked man at the window, and what makes this worse? Well Maddie is deaf, so the masked intruder already has the upper hand! What Hush does well (and ‘A Quiet Place’ went on to master) is to capture how the loss of a sense really heightens the tension and just ramps up the terror! I was on the edge of my seat all the way through. My only issue was: A mask? really? Is it not terrifying enough as it is?!?
Going with the whole mask vibe, next we have ‘You’re Next’ (2013, Adam Wingard)
As if big family gatherings weren’t nightmare fuel enough, imagine adding a gang of masked axe-wielding murderers to the mix. Not only are they masked but they are creepy as hell animal masks as well! Grim. Luckily Erin (Sharni Vinson) the ‘plucky new girlfriend’ (and our protagonist) turns out to be a straight up badass. Erin and the others are relentlessly hunted throughout the house as things start to go from bad to worse. Some of the traps will have you wincing, they’re like extreme ‘Home Alone’ traps!
Next up we have the ruthless ‘Don’t Breathe’ (2016, Fede Alvrez)
This is prime example of the ‘home invasion/robbery’ going seriously wrong! Our main characters are arguably the youngest we’ve seen so far and they’re doing a bad thing for a sort of a good reason. But needless to say, the ‘easy score’ does not play out how they would have liked. Their intended target is an old, reclusive blind man. Now I know what you are thinking but trust me on this by the end of the movie you’ll be cheering on the thieves! Stephen Lang who plays ‘the blind man’ does so brilliantly, aesthetically he looks the part and then some, appearing in some scenes as though he is not even human!
Paul (Joel Edgerton) is a family man. He is living with his family in a remote house in the middle of nowhere, trying to keep them all safe from an unseen and unnatural threat that is ravaging the world. The already strained and precarious relationship between the family members is pushed to breaking point with the arrival of Will (Christopher Abbott) and his young family, who seek shelter from the threat. ‘It Comes at Night’ is not your typical home invasion style horror, it’s fear is rooted in the ever looming threat of an unseen evil that threatens your survival and also the fear of the unknown. Paul knows nothing of these strangers who he has let into his home. ‘It Comes and Night’ is a home invasion horror with ‘supernatural’ elements but plays with very real human fears.
Okay, so arguably ‘Panic Room’ is not a horror per-say but more of a thriller, but it is getting honourable mention! Newly divorced Meg (Jodie Foster) and her daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart) move into a new home, where they discover a panic room. They end up having to use the panic room far sooner then expected when three burglars break in. As I said before, not really a horror so much more detail will give a lot of the plot away, BUT this is a good gateway into the home invasions sub genre!
Now then, ‘Ils’ will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first real horror I saw and I watched it on a college trip in FACT Cinema in Liverpool! It follows Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) and her husband Lucas (Michael Cohen) who are living in a beautiful old house in the country. One night Clem is awoken by noises outside and witnesses her car being stolen. Suddenly the lights go out and the power is cut. Clem and Lucas are plunged into darkness with no phones and must fight for survival. ‘Ils’ features some really ingenious sound designs and throughout the film one noise can be heard over and over, which still haunts me to this day! This film went on to have an American remake under the name ‘Them’ and can be easily compared to ‘The Strangers’.
We’ve created a handy flow chart for you so you can find the perfect home invasion horror for you!
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