It’s unfortunate that, these days, the majority of films considered to be horror rely primarily on tricks such as loud noises and/or something popping out to make us jump. This tactic may startle some viewers, but it certainly doesn’t scare them.
Frightening horror films manage to send chills up the spines of audience members. They have us cringing in our chairs, curled into nervous balls of sweat. Our eyes want to shut, but we can’t look away. The nails on our fingers are left chewed to the cuticles. We want to move, but cannot. A truly scary horror film leaves us in a state of unease long beyond the conclusion of the closing credits, and invades our nightly slumbers.
Some of the more terrifying horror films are those that remove our sense of safety by violating the one place we’re supposed to feel the most secure. Home.
Lionsgate’s You’re Next opens this weekend, and promises to deliver the frights horror fans crave. To get ready, check out some of these unnerving home invasion shockers, sure to make your hair stand up on end!
This early suspense film features Audrey Hepburn as Susy Hendrix, a blind housewife who must fend for herself when a crew, headed by Alan Arkin, enters her home in search of a doll full of heroin. The tension mounts, leading to a violent and absolutely unforgettable climax in the dark.
From director Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust) comes this horrific tale of deceit, murder, rape, and domination. When two thugs find themselves being humiliated at a high end party, they take it upon themselves to torture and brutally humiliate the hosts. Not one for the squeamish.
Alexandre Aja brings the terror and gore in this gripping, horrific, and disturbing white knuckle fright fest about two college girls on vacation who find themselves hiding from a vicious murderer. The film is a solid chill inducer, until the preposterous conclusion. Still, High Tension proves to be one hell of a ride.
Frank Sinatra is a war vet looking to make a name for himself in this classic, tension filled tale about an assassin who takes a family in a small home hostage. From the second story of their home, Sinatra’s war vet character plans to kill the President of the U.S.A. Suddenly is loaded with tension.
Two charming young men hold a family hostage in their own vacation home, subjecting them to sadistic psychological games that leave the audience cringing. What sets the film apart from others like it is the breaking of the fourth wall to involve the viewer. What was once a movie becomes a soul shattering experience.
Horror/Gore fiends should not miss this grueling flick about a pregnant woman who finds herself terrorized by a psychotic woman wanting her unborn fetus. Gruesome doesn’t quite cover what explodes on the screen. Inside is brutal, grotesque, and downright evil. It’s fantastic.
This French horror flick finds a couple terrorized in their own home, as hooded outsiders play mind games and threaten murder. The film concludes with one of the most frightening and nail biting 15 you’re likely to ever see. This is not one to miss!
Straw Dogs (1971)
Dustin Hoffman stars in this classic tale of masculinity and the violence of which we are all capable. When a mathematician moves with his wife (Susan George) to her home town, the antagonistic local men become hostile, leading a gruesome and horrific standoff in the couple’s home. Legendary director Sam Peckinpah doesn’t hold back when it comes to ghastly acts involving rape, brutal violence, and a bear trap.
Others of note include: The Strangers (2008), David Fincher’s Panic Room (2002), The Desperate Hours (1955), and, though not technically a home invasion film, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971).