5 Great Home Invasion Movies!!!

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With You’re Next in theaters RIGHT NOW I figured I’d take a look back at the Home Invasion sub-genre in order to get everyone in the appropriate, violated, mood. After all, that’s what these films are all about. You’re supposed to be safe in your home… but you’re not. Someone is coming into your house while your defenses are down and you don’t know what they want but… it can’t be good.

In the film out today, “When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped…until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.

Head below for 5 Great Home Invasion Movies!!!

THE STRANGERS

One of the films on this list that captures the random aspect of home invasion that can be so frightening. You don’t have to owe someone money, you don’t have to have a jealous lover that wants revenge… you just have to be home. In fact, that’s the great line of the film, “because you were home.”

Bryan Bertino’s 2008 film was actually a pretty big hit despite a level of brutality I thought would turn off many mainstream movie-goers. It’s not often America goes to see the right horror movie!

FUNNY GAMES (2007)

In 2007 Austrian director Michael Haneke remade his own 1997 home invasion thriller, and the exercise was not nearly as redundant as it sounds on paper. While the original film was an examination and indictment of the audience’s own bloodlust, the remake is able to tackle the same material while being a critique of remakes themselves.

Add on to that some chilling performances from Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet as the preppy, erudite invaders and you’ve got something that’s quite compelling and watchable – even if the director thinks you’re a fool for doing so.

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

While the bulk of this film doesn’t take place in or around a home invasion, such an event is at the heart of one of the film’s most pivotal – and sickening – scenes. Alex and his Droogs break into the home of a writer and his wife and terrorize them while belting out “Singing In The Rain.” Eventually Alex beats the woman to death with a statue of a penis (not a metaphor at all there).

Eventually Alex makes a Last House On The Left style mistake my seeking refuge in the very same home after being discharged from prison and severely beaten. It does not go well.

STRAW DOGS (1971)

One of the pre-eminent home invasion films, everything that happens in the film serves to fuel the anger and rage that leads up to locals’ siege on David and Amy Sumner’s vacation home. One of them has already raped his wife, and this attack perpetuates the sense of violation. Director Sam Peckinpah has his beta protagonist (Dustin Hoffman) fight back against the alpha antagonist (Del Henney). Ultimately, it turns out that Hoffman’s David might enjoy this sort of thing more than he’d like to admit.

INSIDE

Talk about violation, even the “unrated” cut of Alexandre Bustillo’s intense and beautiful 2007 film was chopped to pieces. Furthering the violation concept, this time it’s not only the house the antagonists want to penetrate, it’s the womb itself.

  • divisionbell

    Ahhh Inside. What a wonderful film.

    • coldblood

      It definitely is.

      I feel guilty for forgetting about it sometimes – but MARTYRS came out a year later and stole all the thunder.

  • hrvstrsrrw

    “The Strangers” is probably the best home invasion movie out there. I loved it. “Straw Dogs” didn’t work for me, because no one in that film is likeable. “Funny Games” lost me once the fourth wall was broken and the film rewound itself. Honestly, that annoyed the $h!t out of me. “Inside” was brutal, and fantastic. I never thought of “Clockwork” as a home invasion film, but I can respect it’s inclusion on this list. I have high, high hopes for “You’re Next.” I’m going to see it tonight. Can’t wait!

    • Mayday

      I completely concur on Funny Games and Straw Dogs.

    • feck

      I liked The Strangers better than You’re Next, which I just saw. I’d give it a C+. The first half is awful, it picks up though, and the latter third is pretty good. I would say, wait for the DVD rental.

  • Sandor-Clegane

    “Talk about violation, even the “unrated” cut of Alexandre Bustillo’s intense and beautiful 2007 film was chopped to pieces”

    BD likes to harp on this (and is the only site to do so) and it’s bullshit.

    I own the “Unrated” DVD and have a foreign Blu-ray rip on my computer. Both are identical.

    If you have any proof — like screenshots for example of how the two differ — I’d appreciate it. Otherwise, there are plenty of legitimate grievances to be had against the Weinsteins without making stuff up.

    • Matt Loria

      I’m with you on this. I own the Dimension Extreme Unrated DVD and have seen mention (only here on BD) of some other cuts… but can find nothing out there to substantiate that claim. Inside was pretty gruesome as I saw it. The SinfulMatt in me wants to see what the hell hit the cutting room floor!

  • cadaverous-tissue

    The home invasion scene from An American werewolf in London terrified me as a kid. I guess gun toting, wolf-faced Nazis can do that to an impressionable mind.

  • horrorking95

    I love the home invasion sub-genre. I find it really intense, thought-provoking and thrilling to watch. Inside is not only the best home invasion film, but one of the greatest horror films ever made in my opinion. It’s such a draining and emotionally intense experience that leaves you chilled and breathless.

    I love all the other films on the list as well. Funny Games is a very clever film, although I prefer the original to the remake. The Mother’s Day remake is also a very underrated film and I also think Halloween should be included on the list. I can’t wait for You’re Next! It comes out on Wednesday in the UK!!

    • horrorking95

      Also forgot to mention my love for High Tension, Audition and Black Christmas, although those could be pushing the definition of home invasion.

      • divisionbell

        Definitely high tension.

        What about kidnapped? That was pretty intense.

    • mobstar67

      will whole hearted agree with the remake of Mothers Day even though it had little in common with its 80s predecessor of the same name it was very well done and was as tense as a film can get..right on!!!

    • SuperKilla

      Good call horrorking95. “Mother’s Day” remake is underrated.

  • joe666

    I don’t get all the hype for Strangers. It was just some people banging on a door for almost the entire movie goddamit.

    • Skull-And-Crossbones

      i LOVE The Strangers. all of that knocking and stuff was just building tension and suspense for an amazing ending IMO. they were slowly terrorizing that couple. and the fact that the killers never spoke and the only line one of the killers said was “because you were home” made the movie that much more erie. and thats the only motive they had that we know of.

      • feck

        agreed – the Strangers is effective. More so than You’re Next

  • wildgator25

    I too like the Home Invasion movies. However, after watching the HBO documentary “The Cheshire Murders”, it does make you feel quite guilty enjoying these type of movies. That documentary is heart wrenching and sad for all parties involved (victims especially, and perpetrators, to some small extent).

  • BangBangSkeetSkeet

    “The Strangers” was okay but “Mothers Day” and “Kidnapped” were far superior, can’t believe neither film is on this list. “Inside” is a classic and “Funny Games” is great. “A Clockwork Orange” was out there and I have yet to see the original “Straw Dogs”. I would definitely take off “The Strangers” and “A Clockwork Orange” though!

    • SuperKilla

      Good call BangBangSkeetSkeet. “Mother’s Day” remake was fuckin awesome. My favorite after “Inside” as far Home invasion flicks go.

  • VampireJack

    Another good one to add to the list is the British movie CHERRY TREE LANE, as it’s a little more “realistic” than some of the others above.

  • djblack1313

    i really hate home invasion flicks. lol. the only ones i’ve seen is INSIDE (i love this movie!)& THE PURGE (pretty decent). i think (from what little i know of these invasion movies) INSIDE is different from the rest though. that being said, i can’t wait to see YOU’RE NEXT in about 2 hours from now! I’M SO EXCITED!

    • djblack1313

      oops, i also did see the MOTHER’S DAY remake and that was also pretty good!

      • coldblood

        Two recent great ones are the Spanish flick KIDNAPPED (but only with English subtitles because they screwed up the dubbing real bad).

        And the incredible HATE CRIME. but tread lightly with that one – it doesn’t play nice.

        • mobstar67

          agreed good little film

  • anezka

    In A Clockwork Orange, the woman Alex kills is not the writer’s wife and it’s not even in the same house. He kills the woman with the cats. The writer’s wife suicides after being terrorized and raped.

    • coldblood

      You’re right. How could they forget the important details of such an iconic scene?

      Jesus Christ!!!!

    • Mr.Mirage

      The cat woman is killed in the second home invasion. Thus, there are two invasions in Clockwork, making a classic from a mad genius even better!

  • randallflagg666

    Even though im not a fan of Straw dogs or the awful remake, The other 4 films are AMAZING…..But like the guy above me posted, i cant see how the Unrated Inside movie was cut….But that would sick if it was

  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    i can’t believe this has not been mentioned yet…What about The Collector? that was a fantastic home invasion movie IMO

    • huntermc

      Good point!

  • K-Dogg

    Now I realize that this is not a true horror flick, but the last half hour, I loved the Home Invasion stuff in Wahlberg’s FEAR, thought that was quite solid. Saw You’re Next last night, thought it was fantastic, a couple small things bugged me, but overall, very good. Wow is that song that repeats in the neighbours house ever awesome-catchy !!! Inside is still my fave Home invasion flick to date though.

    • Milk

      Agreed. I thought FEAR was pretty great for a home invasion movie. I still sometimes think about the dog head when my puppy is coming in from outside.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003226055711 Steven Byers

    Having only seen “Funny Games” and “The Strangers”, I found the latter to be one of the most overrated films I’ve seen in a while. I’m going against the fanbase this time. I know humans make stupid character choices, but these people were IDIOTS. And that ending is so bad. The only good part was the middle, which even at times lagged. Now Funny Games was GREAT. Loved the suspense, loved everyone in involved, and the shots were beautiful. This is what The Strangers wished it could be.

    • CTHL

      I concur, did not like The Strangers at all. A good concept (ripped directly from Ils, though I’ll admit Ils wasn’t any good either) wasted on a bad movie.

      The rest of the list is good though.

  • djblack1313

    just came from seeing YOU’RE NEXT and it’s very good but it has major flaws in it. but most definitely i’d include that movie in this list. Sharni Vinson rules!

    • Ravinus

      Major flaws? What would those be?

      • djblack1313

        characters doing THE most stupid horror movie cliche moves ever
        (hearing a noise under the bed (where dead mom is lying) and instead of calling out for help, deciding to look under bed)

        the “twist” being made so clear long before it was intended by the writers for it to be so.

        there are plenty of others but i don’t want to spoil it for anyone else.

        the movie was good but yeah, there are many flaws in the writing. many. have you not seen the movie yet?

        • feck

          Hated the first half of You’re Next – just annoying people, bad acting. I simply didn’t care at all about the movie. It started to pick up when the twist was revealed, and the last 20 minutes was decent. Overall, it does not live up to the massive hype and good reviews. But for fans of the genre (like us) it’s worth a watch for sure.

          • djblack1313

            feck i agree 100%. the only likable characters IMO were Erin and the sister Aimee (Amy Seimetz). all other characters were horrible/unlikable.

            i definitely think this movie was over-hyped time a thousand. it’s still worth seeing and it’s a decent movie but i just think people need to reconfigure their expectations before seeing it.

        • Ravinus

          I did see it. I enjoyed and thought it was pretty good. I don’t disagree with any of the things you pointed out. I sat at the Alamo and drank beers while I watched it. So, I wasn’t watching as critically as you were.

  • Milk

    I’d never realized I like this subgenre until I looked at this list and do like every movie. I don’t know if I would consider A Clockwork Orange a home invasion movie or even a horror but it is a great film and I enjoy the nod. The rest are pretty good movies. I’d say I liked Funny Games and Inside the best out of all of them. Nice list. I hope You’re Next is good. Also, thank you for not including The Purge in this list. That movie was awwwful.

  • wildgator25

    “Ils” should also be on this list. It’s a lot like The Strangers, but better on some levels.

    • Ravinus

      The Strangers is the American rip off of Ils. Ils is far superior in building suspense.

  • Necrogeddon666

    Home invasion movies in general drive me nuts. THE STRANGERS, FUNNY GAMES, and THEM, for example, are all more annoying than anything, and I’m not quite sure what kind of people find them scary or fun. The protagonists NEVER DO ANYTHING THAT MAKES ANY SENSE IN THESE MOVIES. I didn’t even give THE PURGE a try because I knew it was going to be idiotic for that reason, and when I read the reviews I found out I was right. I’m all about suspending my disbelief (I love horror movies for fuck’s sake), but I can’t do it with these for some reason, so I’ve stopped watching them for the most part. INSIDE was indeed amazing. I’d even say it’s in a class all it’s own far above movies like STRANGERS or FUNNY GAMES. Honestly, the best home invasion movie ever made was HOME ALONE.

  • evilfairydust

    As a woman, I feel like Inside is a reflection of just how terrifying and invasive pregnancy can be. The surprise, blood, violence and body horror in that film can all be viewed as a metaphor for what we go through during pregnancy. If you boys ever wanna know what it’s like to deal with the shocking situation of an unexpected pregnancy, just go watch Inside again and think about it!

    • Mr.Mirage

      As a man (non-woman?), all I can say is that Inside was terrifying on so many levels that the thought you bring up means… I have to watch it again. Oh, god, and the night is so long and dawn so, so far away…

      It is (ahem) sheer genius.

  • ThunderDragoon

    Funny Games was terrible. I don’t understand how it gets so much praise. I remember people comparing The Strangers to that movie when The Strangers first came out. I watched it and it sucked. That stupid rewind scene ruined anything that could’ve been even slightly good. The Strangers and Inside were great. I haven’t seen Straw Dogs yet. A Clockwork Orange was good, but I wouldn’t consider it a home invasion movie. I watched You’re Next earlier today and I really liked it.

  • djblack1313

    why doesn’t this site have a (for example) “WHAT DID YOU THINK OF YOU’RE NEXT” page/article up? i’d love to see what people thought of it but there’s really nowhere to go on this site to read up on it or to post a user review. i’ve tried twice to post one but it doesn’t work for some reason.

  • shelly84

    I would say that the french film “ILS”, dont know how they translated the name in America, is a way better movie than the overrated “The Strangers” who pretty much is an american version of the french movie.

    • Ravinus

      Completely agree. Strangers was pretty blah actually.

  • SuperKilla

    Anybody every see “If I die before I wake” ? That is a hard home invasion movie. I agree with a couple on this list but never cared too much for “The Strangers” and never seen “Straw Dogs”
    “Inside” is probably my favorite home invasion flick and ‘The Spanish film “Kidnapped” was strong too.

  • Em1725

    My hopes for “You’re Next” were not high to begin with, but I thought that maybe it would surprise me.. Alas, it was a good concept I suppose, but the entire project was not executed well in my opinion.

  • RuddyDisturbing

    The Italian horror ‘Kidnapped’ (Secuestrados) deserves to be on this list, it surpasses all of these films.

    • Ravinus

      Hadn’t heard of that one, but read up on it and it sounds pretty intense. Thanks.

  • Zombie-Killa

    Well since everyone else took the good picks, I guess I’ll chime in on You’re Next.

    I really enjoyed it, because well, I’m a sucker for a lot of bloody and gory mayhem. And while the first twist of “who’s in on it?” didn’t shock me too much, because everything leading up to the first twist was too obvious, the second twist at the very end really caught me off guard. Totally shocked the hell out of me 100%.

    But You’re Next wasn’t without its problems. A lot of predictable horror cliches, and stupid, stupid characters (“Let’s randomly run out of the house for no good reason!” ugh).

    And yeah, I loved The Strangers. Everyone I know hates it with a burning white hot passion, but it’s still a an awesome home invasion flick to me. lol.

    • evilfairydust

      I just don’t understand why people don’t like The Strangers. I knew from the moment I saw the trailer for the first time that it was going to be great. It has such a great blend of character, atmosphere and restraint. I mean, that scene with Merle Haggard playing in the background and sack head is just STANDING there with an axe behind the guy? Geez…great stuff.

      • Zombie-Killa

        “I mean, that scene with Merle Haggard playing in the background and sack head is just STANDING there with an axe behind the guy? Geez…great stuff.”

        YES! A 1,000,000x yes to this! I can vividly remember this scene FREAKING so many people out in the theater, when I watched it for the first time (and it was opening night, so it was packed, and everyone was going nuts. lol). Also, the scene where Liv Tyler and Scott Sppedman try to escape in the car. But headlights from behind them pop on all of the sudden, and the girl in the truck just keeps ramming them from behind. That was intense.

        The people I know, who hate it, say it’s one of the “stupidest” horror films they’ve ever seen. Ugh, that drives me nuts! But I have The Strangers on DVD, and I can not count the number of times I’ve seen it.