The home invasion horror movie is a sub-genre dating back to 1909 with D.W. Griffith's film The Lonely Villa. While the cinematic grouping has been taken in a more zany and post-modern direction in recent years, the sub-genre continues to play on the everyday fear of strangers violating the sanctity of our private spaces. Here's our list of some of the scariest home invasion movies ever made.
1. The Strangers (2008)
Byran Bertino's immensely suspenseful and ultimately nihilistic film claims to be based on a true story, although the director has since admitted that's a bit of an exaggeration. Either way, the movie launched a handful of lesser copycats in the years that followed. Liv Tyler stars as the terrified victim who attempts to survive an onslaught of unknown assailants.
2. The Purge (2013)
The movie's tagline says it all: "One night a year, all crime is legal." Although there's a hyper-political, speculative fiction premise behind James DeMonaco's franchise-starting masterpiece, the first movie in the series is a pretty straight forward home invasion film. The sci-fi conceit behind this movie is likely to be turned into a TV series in the future.
3. Funny Games (2007)
Directed by auteur Michael Haneke, both the original 1997 German-language film and it's shot-for-shot 2007 English remake (starring Naomi Watts) tell the story of a vacationing family caught in a deadly trap. What the victims don't realize is that their attackers can break the fourth wall and talk to the audience of the movie itself. So, are you betting on or against the nameless killers?
4. Panic Room (2002)
Both the acting and the premise of this lesser celebrated David Fincher masterpiece sometimes veer into camp, but the tension builds to an appropriate fever pitch as the movie's pace quickens. Jodie Foster is a perfect hero-victim to Jared Leto's slimey antagonizer.
5. Don't Breathe (2016)
If you can excuse the film's clumsy set-up for a sequel, Don't Breathe is a deeply disturbing twist on the genre. When a group of thieves plan to steal from a blind old man, they find themselves in a situation much more violent than they had planned. The hunters become the hunted, and all that jazz.
6. You're Next (2013)
A perfect family's drama implodes as they're beaten down, one by one. But which yuppie is behind all the death? A melodrama mixes in plenty of murder in this bloody Adam Windgard directed romp.