Your friendly neighborhood slacker. Chill Clinton likes to write about film, music, collectibles, and more.
What is a home invasion horror film?
We aren't talking about Home Alone here. Home invasion horror films are tales of individuals struggling to stay alive while keeping the evil that threatens them out of their home, or at least at bay, for as long as they can.
Turn off the lights, lock your doors, and draw your blinds. This is a list of five home invasion films that are sure to terrify you!
1. Becky (America, 2020)
Though this film stars Kevin James, the lovable goof who is best known for portraying Doug Heffernan in the long running series King of Queens, his character isn't looking for any laughs in this film. Instead, he and his goons are looking for a key that he believes is somewhere on a property where a blended family is vacationing.
Having run away (as teens do) before the invaders show up, thirteen year old Becky isn't taken hostage, and so she becomes her family's best chance at outsmarting the bad guys (or stabbing them in the eyes with colored pencils) and helping her family escape the remote cabin with their lives.
2. Funny Games (Austria, 1997)
Funny Games is an unusual film within the home invasion genre. For one- the two sadistic killers are young men who show their faces to their victims, speak in long monologues, and explain most, if not all of their motivations, for taking a family of three hostage.
Typically, in these films, the protagonists are the most interesting characters. In fact, it's often important to keep the antagonists' appearances and identities vague and secretive in order to build tension.
When the audience doesn't understand the antagonists at all, their behaviors become more unpredictable, and thus more classically scary in the absence of other factors.
However, the charm and wit of the antagonists in Funny Games will challenge you to remain repulsed by their evil intentions. In some ways, you as the viewer vicariously experience the act of home invasion, and that can be even scarier than identifying with the protagonists.
3. The Last House on the Left (America, 1972)
The Last House on the Left was one of the most controversial movies of its time due to its depiction of extreme sadism, and for including graphic violence against characters who are portrayed to be under the age 18.
Though its first part is not exactly a home invasion film, it quickly transforms into a tense cat and mouse game when the killers convince an unsuspecting couple to let them stay the night under the guise of being travelling salespeople.
The film was considered so horrifying at the time of its release that many theaters refused to show the film, citing issues of liability if theatergoers were injured from the stress they experienced while watching the movie.
But this didn't impact the film's box office revenue too much. In fact, producers even capitalized on on this concern, including the tagline, "To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie' ...".
4. Hush (America, 2016)
Hush is a 2016 horror film about an author facing writer's block, who escapes out to an area of the woods that is being terrorized by a masked killer with no motivation other than fulfilling his murderous desires.
However, he takes a pause to revel in killing the protagonist, who is deaf and does not vocalize. But little does he know that his target has no intention of going down without a fight, and will fight him tooth and nail using each of her other senses.
Watch with bated breath as she uses her writer's imagination to envision different endings to her story, and ultimately choose the path that will (hopefully) help her survive the night.
5. Knock Knock (America, 2015)
Knock Knock is a 2015 psychological horror film starring Keanu Reeves as an architect left alone for the weekend while his wife and daughter are away. When two young women show up to the house in the pouring rain while looking for a party, Reeves' character reluctantly let's them in... and you can imagine what happens after that.
However, the next morning, the protagonist wakes up the next day with the two women still staying in his home, and they have no intention of leaving any time soon.
A complex and twisted take on the home invasion tale that will make you second guess answering the door on a dark and stormy night, even if the person standing on the doorstep doesn't exactly look like a crazed murderer.
Chill Clinton (author) from North Carolina on September 30, 2021:
Will be doing many more horror themed articles for the season!
Liza from USA on September 30, 2021:
I love horror movies but, I haven't seen any from the above. LOL. Halloween is getting closer, so time to line up all horror/spooky movies to watch. Thanks for the suggestion.