8 home invasion horror films that will make you double check your locks

The Strangers Chapter One - Courtesy Lionsgate
The Strangers Chapter One - Courtesy Lionsgate /

One of our favorite subgenres here at 1428 Elm is home invasion movies. These types of horror films leave you spooked and unsettled because they feel more grounded in reality. Strange people, with or without costumes, could unexpectedly invade your home and terrorize you. That's what makes them so scary. The fact that it's not something that can only happen in a movie, but in real life as well. This heightens the fear while watching these types of films because you could easily imagine yourself in a similar situation.

Overall, home invasion movies will make you feel an array of emotions, but only the best ones linger on your mind long after you finish watching them. Are you looking for some good home invasion horror films to watch? If so, you should definitely check out our list of eight below.

The Strangers (2008)

Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis, Glenn Howerton

When discussing some of the best home invasion movies, The Strangers must be included. Honestly, I'd say it's in my top five list of home invasion films. Imagine trying to spend some time with your significant other at a family vacation home only for you to end up fighting for your life because a trio of masked intruders enter your home and start terrorizing you both. To make things creepier, you find out from one of the masked assailants that they have no clear motive for targeting you and your partner other than because you were home. That's super scary!

The Strangers: Chapter 1 (2024)

Theatrical release date: May 17, 2024

Cast: Madelaine Petsch, Froy Gutierrez, Rachel Shenton, Gabriel Basso, Ema Horvath, Ella Bruccoler

Even though The Strangers: Chapter 1 isn't out yet, you just had to know I'd include this upcoming home invasion flick on the list since it's part of The Strangers film series. I have high hopes for this film and am looking forward to the other movies in this new trilogy of standalone films, such as The Strangers: Chapter 2 and The Strangers: Chapter 3.

The Strangers: Chapter 1 has a similar premise to the first film in that it follows a young couple who become terrorized by three masked strangers while staying in a house. Maya and Ryan have been together for five years and decide to take a road trip across the country. But while on their trip, their car breaks down, and they're forced to spend the night in a remote cabin. This is when things go left. Three unknown, masked assailants invade their cabin, and the young couple finds themselves enduring a night of terror.

The Last House on the Left  (2009)

Cast: Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, Garret Dillahunt, Spencer Treat Clark, Martha MacIsaac, Sara Paxton

I have nothing against the original 1972 film of the same name, but the 2009 version was a pretty good remake. Several critics even considered the 2009 version a solid remake. The horror film centers around a teen girl named Mari Collingwood, who, after being kidnapped, beaten, sexually assaulted, and left for dead by a family of convicts, manages to find her way back home.

Suddenly, a storm breaks out, and Mari's parents unknowingly allow Mari's tormenters to stay in their guest house until the weather clears up. Mari finally shows up on the doorstep of her home, barely alive, and her parents quickly bring her into the house. They find out what happened to her and eventually realize that her tormenters are the people they allowed to stay in their guest house. Now, filled with rage, they seek vengeance against their daughter's tormentors to make them pay for what they did.

Funny Games (2007)

Cast: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart

Considered a remake of the 1997 Austrian film of the same name. Funny Games follows a wealthy family as they arrive at their lake house to spend their vacation. But what supposed to be a relaxing vacation turns into a fight for survival when the family is taken hostage in their home and tortured by two deeply disturbed young men who give them only until the next day to survive.

You're Next (2011)

Cast: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A. J. Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Barbara Crampton, Rob Moran

When an estranged upper-class family decides to have a family reunion at their vacation home, things suddenly takes a sinister turn when a group of masked crossbow-wielding assailants suddenly invade their home and attack. Now, the family must put whatever differences they have aside to band together to survive.

Don't Breathe (2016)

Cast: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang

In Don't Breathe, we follow three young thieves, all in dire need of money, as they break into the home of a blind man who is believed to have a large sum of cash stashed away somewhere in his home. However, they soon discover that the man isn't as helpless as he seems and is far more dangerous. The burglars eventually find themselves trapped inside the house with the blind man and in a harrowing battle for survival as the man hunts them down.

The Purge (2013)

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder

The Purge is set in the year 2022, where the government has set in motion an annual event called "The Purge." This is a time where all crime, including murder, is legal and emergency services are suspended for 12 hours. We follow the affluent Sandin family as they barricade themselves in their home to wait out The Purge. But when the family's youngest child decides to let in a wounded man calling for help into their home, this puts the family in grave danger as they find themselves pursued by a group of masked purgers who are after the wounded man. Now, the Sandin family must do everything they can to ward off the purgers, protect their home, and survive the night.

Hush (2016)

Cast: John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Kate Siegel

In Hush, The Fall of the House of Usher star Kate Siegel plays a deaf-mute horror author who must rely on her wits and resourcefulness to fight off a masked intruder who breaks into her home and terrorizes her.

Here's what some critics had to say about the slasher via Rotten Tomatoes:

"Hush is probably the best home invasion film since Adam Wingard's You're Next."

Shikhar Verma

"An intelligent thriller that finds almost constant ways to introduce blood-curdling tension."

Chris Stuckmann

What are some of your favorite home invasion horror films?

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