Home invasion films have been a staple of cinema for decades. A family or group of strangers are held hostage by a group of people, and are forced to learn something about themselves, and others. Often times when the home invaders are monsters, the flaws come seeping to the surface. In either case, in honor of “The Purge: Anarchy” which seems to have gotten its own concept right, hopefully: we posted five great home invasion films. “The Purge” was by no means a great film, nor a good one, but it helped us re-live a lot of our favorite home invasion thrillers, and here are five of our favorites.
Ils (Them) (2006)
Director David Moreau and Xavier Palud’s horror thriller is another film centered on a young couple being terrorized by seemingly random forces of evil all around them. After Clementyne and Lucas buy a home in the country side, they gradually learn they’re being taunted, and tormented by hooded figures that are seemingly numerous, and intent on driving them to their wits’ ends. Atmospheric, creepy, and with a touch of welcome social commentary, it’s a classic worth re-watching.
The Strangers (2008)
“Why are you doing this?!”
“Because you were home.”
I hope the studios never give us the identities and back stories of the trio of masked terrorists that besiege a young couple in their vacation home one night. After coming from a wedding reception, Kristen McKay and James Hoyt are shocked and horrified to learn they’re being stalked by three masked maniacs. The maniacs are methodical, patient, and even worse: have no rhyme or reason for relentlessly victimizing them. Creepy, tense, and surprising, this is a film worth its status as a stand alone horror entry.
Directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s home invasion thriller places two women against one another in a frantic night of stalking, chasing, and haunting. The problem is, one woman is pregnant about to give birth, while the woman’s seemingly blank intentions become ever more apparent. Greeted one night at the door by a woman on Christmas Eve, Sarah is puzzled to see a woman asking to use the phone. When she refuses to allow her in, events spiral out of control and now Sarah is fighting with the woman for her own life and for the life of her unborn child. It’s a brilliant and grizzly home invasion film, and one I was elated to watch.
Straw Dogs (1971)
Long Considered the grand daddy of all home invasion thrillers, Sam Peckingpah’s dramatic thriller isn’t a home invasion movie until the very end. With Dustin Hoffman’s scientist character David is forced to fend off against a group of hunters and alpha males. He does this with the help of his brains and science knowledge, boiling chemicals, keeping the men at bay, and using his logic to get deep in touch with his primal side. “Straw Dogs” is a powerful film and one that masters that finale of the home invasion.
You’re Next (2013)
This is is the best we’ve seen yet, what can we say? There are shades of “Fortress,” and allusions to “The Three Little Pigs” in the fight against three masked hunters and a petite young woman who happens to be embodied with the spirit of fucking Rambo. Briana Evigan is fantastic as young Erin, a seemingly submissive Australian girl visiting her boyfriend’s family with him for an uneasy reunion at their house. Upon realization they’re all being stalked and hunted, Erin drops and charges in head first, giving the masked stalkers a hell of a time for their meal. It’s a brutally sweet turn of the tables I loved.