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10 Best Home Invasion Movies of All Time

July 25, 2018
8 min read
home invasion

Home invasion is one of the most popular genres of cinema worldwide. Almost every major film producing country has their signature brand of home invasion movies. Young filmmakers are trying to bring in elements of comedy, drama and deep psychology and blending it into the already popular genre. Let’s have a look into some of the most watched and talked about films of this twisted genre. Here is the list of top home horror invasion movies. You can watch some of these best home invasion movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

10. The Strangers (2008)

The film starts on a personal note with tension mounting up within a couple due to a proposal gone wrong. As they say troubles never come alone, their evening of fun was just about getting started. ‘The Strangers’ have all the usual trappings to qualify as a basic home invasion movie. Even the disastrous ending was pretty much expected. The catch of the film is in the unflinching evilness of the havoc creators. On being asked, “Why are you doing this to us?” one of the masked perpetrators matter-of-factly replies ‘because you were home’. Also the fact that the masked maniacs were visibly younger than those being hunted adds a disturbing dimension to the whole narrative. Full on engaging and reasonably fast paced it ensures that your time is well spent.

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9. The Guest (2014)

It relies heavily on its charismatic male lead, Dan Stevens, to get the job done. To elaborate more on this – Dan Steven’s character charms his way into an unsuspecting family bearing the heavy burden of losing their eldest son in service. He introduces himself as a colleague of their beloved son and gets comfortable around the house pretty soon much to the annoyance of the father and the raising suspicion of the elder daughter. Initially he behaves like a messiah on a mission to protect the family from any kind of harm but when his real identity is finally revealed, it was already too late. The film picks up pace like a horse in a race from that point onward and maintains its momentum right till the volatile ending. As mentioned earlier the film works mainly because of the effortless manipulation of the grey shaded protagonist who is extreme both in his affections and hatred.

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8. Them/Ils (2006)

This is yet another home invasion flick with a basic premise but it stands out for its execution style. Also it brings in an element of mystery with its subtitles that is so peculiar of foreign language films, in this case Romanian. Made on a shoe string budget it has a very art house look and delivers subtle scares. In a couple of scenes the assailants come face to face with their targets and takes advantage of their young age to escape from being overpowered physically. It was marketed as a film based on a true event and found acceptance from the audiences and critics alike.

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7. You’re Next (2011)

This tale of a dysfunctional family, having a get together in their vacation home, getting attacked by unknown assailants with bows and arrows is both blood-curdling and gruesome. It adds a touch of dark humour to the age old formula of family feud gradually deteriorating and ultimately turning bloody. The shocks keep coming in when you least expect them and keep its whodunit element going on till the very end. Extremely violent and fueled by anger, revenge and deception, ‘You’re Next’ combines elements of both ‘slasher’ and an air tight thriller seamlessly. The hangover of this one will stay with you for a few days even after the party gets over.

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6. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Although it is primarily a zombie movie, it is mostly about a bunch of zombies/living dead trying to force their way into a house where the main players of the film are hiding out in a bid to outlive the zombie apocalypse. The film provides a unique situation of fear, excitement and anticipation with the flesh eater gathering outside and the people inside going through their own psychological battles. It shows in a very uncanny manner how man turns against each other in times of great crisis and ultimately invites their own downfall. Naturally the film ends on a grisly note for everyone involved but the ending specifically today can be seen in the light of Black racism.

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5. Panic Room (2002)

First let’s have a look at its stellar cast: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Jared Leto and Forest Whitaker. Add the meticulous directorial skills of David Fincher to it. Freaking out yet? ‘Panic room’ proved to be Fincher’s most run off the mill potboiler till date. Since we are talking about home invasion movies and there is a mention of a panic room so you pretty much have guessed by now what happens in the movie. If not then you are not watching enough movies. On a serious note ‘Panic Room’ has more than its share of edge of the seat moments. It has repeat value and you root for the mother-daughter duo to come out of the tricky situation unharmed. And sometimes that’s enough.

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4. Inside (2007)

You know how some movies have that tagline ‘not for faint hearted’. Well this one belongs to the top of the list of such movies. When there are two women going on at each other’s throat it’s safe to say things will get more than just ugly. There is so much aggression and violence in the narrative that after a point the excessive blood spilled and the dead bodies of innocent victims piling up would begin to seem normal in the larger scheme of things. When the reason behind all the chaos is revealed it becomes all the more difficult for the audience to take sides because sometimes there is no right and wrong, one just listens to their impulsive heart.

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3. Wait Until Dark (1967)

The biggest USP of this one is Audrey Hepburn’s deviation from her usual glamourous and romantic image. If that isn’t enough to turn heads then there’s one more catch – her character Susy is blind. She gets embroiled in a devious plan involving gangsters, drug lords and small time crooks. It all starts with a doll stuffed with heroin which lands up in her house via an acquaintance of her husband. The film is noted for its clever and tricky situations that the lead characters constantly end up being in and also for its slick screenplay. It is a technically brilliant one apartment thriller with some genuine scares and at the centre of which is an Academy award nominated performance by Audrey Hepburn.

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2. Funny Games (1997)

There is not a single bone of conventionality in Michael Haneke’s admittedly disturbing and utterly frustrating work ‘Funny Games’. It is frustrating mainly because it doesn’t play to the audience’s whims and desires. The director breaks away from conventions to employ techniques such as breaking the fourth wall by directly engaging the actors and the audiences in a sort of twisted conversation. Also there are quite a few red herrings that raise your hopes of a happy ending but it all comes crumbling down because we are literally forced to sit down and watch a sad ending of a family. The film is open to interpretation but you cannot deny its underlying hopelessness. Ten years later in 2007 Haneke released a scene by scene remake of his own film to compelling effects.

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1. Home Alone (1990)

There is hardly anyone in the world that hasn’t seen this gem of a movie. Some films are for ages and ‘Home Alone’ is definitely one of them. The singularly best thing about the film is the charming and supremely talented Macaulay Culkin who carries the fun film on his tiny shoulders and keeps us in splits all throughout. Every scene is worth remembering and doesn’t lose its sheen even after multiple viewings. I won’t even get into the story because as I mentioned earlier every person – movie buff or not – with a TV set and DVD player has seen it at least dozens of times. ‘Home Alone’ tops the list because it is timeless, reminds us of the joys of childhood and a perfect holiday movie to watch it with family and friends. What more reasons do you need?

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