“I will not allow violence against this house.”
-David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) in ‘Straw Dogs’
One of the hardest horror sub-genres to master, home invasion films are truly a terrifying concept. The place you are meant to feel safe is terrorized. The things you love are destroyed while someone or something wreaks havoc. Very few filmmakers have got the formula perfected for making a successful home invasion. Needing to equally terrify & entertain your viewer, you also have to leave a lasting impression. The point of these films is to be the reason you always lock your front door at night.
All of the films below have what makes this sub-genre so enthralling so let’s look back at the best home invasion films throughout horror history.
-‘The Strangers’ (2008)
–‘Home Alone’ (1990)
–‘When A Stranger Calls’ (1979)
Top 5 Home Invasion Films:
5. ‘Wait Until Dark’ (1967)
-Starring Alan Arkin and Audrey Hepburn, ‘Wait Until Dark‘ is probably the classiest film on this list. Terence Young, famous for directing 3 James Bond films, attempted something so different at the time. Right before the exploitation film craze of the 1970’s, Young pushed the boundaries with this stage-play adaptation.
4. ‘Straw Dogs’ (1971)
-If the movie before this pushed boundaries, ‘Straw Dogs‘ shattered them. The first non-western made by iconic director Sam Peckinpah brings violence out of the old west and into your home. Not only is the movie important to home invasion films but it also ushered in the “rape & revenge” sub-genre.
3. ‘Inside’ or ‘À l’intérieur’ (2007)
-Hailing from France, ‘Inside‘ is probably one of the most brutal films ever. We get an attack on a woman home alone but she is also pregnant. Like 9-months, ready to burst pregnant. The woman who breaks into her house wants the baby and the plot just keeps getting more twisted from there. Be careful watching this!
2. ‘You’re Next’ (2011)
-Yup. Many are thinking ‘The Strangers‘ should be in place of this film but ‘You’re Next‘ is so next level. Pun intended. Elevating the genre past the usual terrifying concept, director Adam Wingard turned up the fun with this one. Maybe it was the score he composed or the bad-ass lead actress but this is pure modern magic.
1. ‘Funny Games’ (1997 and 2007)
-The film so nice they made it twice. Director Michael Haneke remade his 1997 Austrian home invasion film in 2007 with an American crew. Remakes are common but by the same director? That’s how amazing ‘Funny Games‘ is. With graphic violence & fourth-wall breaks, both films are immersive. I am partial to the original film though. More raw for my taste and truly the best home invasion movie.
Do you agree with my list?
Let me know in the comments below!