VIDEO: Top 10 home invasion films of all time

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The Horror Guru takes on the home invasion sub-genre by counting down his top ten favorites. Watch the video and find out if such recent entries as The Strangers or The Purge made the list? Unless you’re too scared…

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  • madmanoreo

    So would you consider High Tension a home invasion flick? I mean the first 2/3 of it is basically a woman trying to hide from a killer that’s brutally murdering everyone else but the last third is her trying to follow the guy and save her friend and that ending =/

    • The Horror Guru

      I included High Tension on my long list of potential candidates and debated whether or not it counted, but decided it didn’t really matter once I filled the list with other movies. So in short: I don’t know, but I wouldn’t blink if someone else were to count it.

  • MichaelANovelli

    I know Brad Jones’ Paranoia only starts as a home invasion movie, but I think the invasion itself is pretty important overall, thematically. 🙂

    • The Horror Guru

      Excellent selection! =P

      • MichaelANovelli

        We really should review that, one of these days…

  • $36060516

    I’ve actually only seen one movie on this list (Straw Dogs) — I guess I’m sensitive to the people-getting-tortured genre. I forget If I mentioned it here or to someone on Facebook. Did you know about David Hess’s music career? Here’s a wacky song he co-wrote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UGrFr7wAUc

    The song actually ties into home invasion in another way, because it was produced by a murdering genius producer who killed a woman — no, not Phil Spector, that was a different genius music producer who killed a woman — Joe Meek. He killed his landlady with a shotgun and then committed suicide.

    • The Horror Guru

      Yup! I did know. Dude’s lived quite a crazy life. XD

    • danbreunig

      This was Joe Meek’s doing? I don’t believe it! Well, I DO believe it, really.

      • $36060516

        He produced this version; there was another version not produced by him that I think did better on the pop charts. But this one is so strange that I prefer it!

  • Sofie Liv

    Great list Josh! I enjoyed it highly… gosh a lot of movies to add to my need to watch list. You have me quite interested in quite a few..
    I think i’m going to see if I can find a copy of “Your’e next.” that movie looks like fun!

    • The Horror Guru

      Awesome! =)

    • $36060516

      Miyazaki is coming out of retirement to do an animated version!

      • The Horror Guru

        I’d pay to see that.

        • Sofie Liv

          A studio Ghibli horror movie?

          Well that would be… new..
          Especially considering when Poppy on the hill, their most recent movies before “The wind rises.” is just so gosh darn innocent and cute, right up there with Kikis Deliversy service.

          Hmm, studio ghibli horror movie.. quite interesting, I all-ready said that No Face from “Spirited away.” Scared the living crap out of me when I first saw that movie <_<

          How fun would it be if any of the major animations companies just went for it and atttempted to make full blown, weird on, psykadelic, not for the youngest, horror movie?

          • The Horror Guru

            It’s not that hard to imagine when watching Princess Mononoke, for example. The imagery of the Pig demon in that could have come straight out of a horror film. =)

          • Sofie Liv

            Or the ape spirits that wanted to try and eat humans…

            Those shadowy red eyed things… they are scary as heck.. man.. I hope that Studio Ghibli will do some-thing in a large scale like that again. It’s been a while hasn’t it?

            Lately it’s just been.. Ponyo, secret world of arriety, Poppy on the Hill, the wind rises.

            Cute movies! Very cute movies! Though it would be very awesome if they would go big again, just ones please..

            Well I suppose their big “Creating a massive world and world altering story-line.” affords went into Ni No Kuni lately.. which is a fantastic game, and people have even been very questionable whether they like it best as a game, or would have wanted an animated feature of it because yup… the story in the game is that good.

          • The Horror Guru

            It definitely has been a while. Good point.

          • Sofie Liv

            … What do they even have of upcoming films???

            Urh,… *Looks up on wikiepedia.*

            Okay, the tale of Princess Kaguya directed by Isao Takahata.. okay interesting.

            I assume you know who Isao Takahata is, kind.. the other half of Studio Ghibli, the dude whom Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli with and in the beginning, made all the other studio Ghibli movies.. huh, I thought he had gone on pension to. First movie he made in 14 years according to this page.. okay. Looks like it’s a character study and urh,

            This June in Japan a movie called “Omoide no Marnie.” should be released by the studio. “A atmopsheric haunting ghost story that has some truths to tell about friendship.”

            Okay that’s interesting.

            I guess the thing with studio Ghibli right now is that it’s in a kind of flux, even if Miayazaki hadn’t announced his retirement, like Takahata, they are both old.. they were the ground pillars of Studio Ghibli, but now Studio Ghibli can’t count on them any-more.. so then what?

            The one guy they had hoped to take over for at least one of them, Yoshifumi.. unfortunately died after having done only one movie for Studio Ghibli.

            I can see they brought in some fresh blood, it’s a guy called Hiromasa Yonebayashi, whom is directing that ghost story film I just mentioned, and he is also sat to direct the Porco Rosso sequel that Miyazaki is writing, so I guess Miyazaki was the one picking him out personally…

            Then there is of course also Miyazakis son, Goro Miyazaki, whom has made two different movies for the studio now, but well.. he has the big problem that.. he is Miyazakis son.. that’s some shadow to try and escape from, especially when you decide to work for Studio Ghibli.

            I’m pretty sure they’ll continue making good movies as long as they are a success, and they are.. they are kind of the Japaneese equillant of Pixar over there, making lots of money in Japan, always being number one in the Japaneese box office with new movies.. except they are older than Pixar, so really.. Pixar is the western answer to studio ghibli.. or was.. before they started selling out… man I am rambling, sorry for that X)

          • Sofie Liv

            OH GOD! NO WAY! … just read more closely, Studio Ghibli are developing their first anime series, as well.. episodic for television obviously, and they are basing it on Astrid Lindgrens “Ronia the robbers daughter.”

            And well, maybe you don’t know, but Astrid Lindgren is the BIGGEST over here in the north, I LOVED her books as I grew up, I read all of them, she’s the woman whom invented “Pippi Longstocking.” Oh gosh, I watched the swedish television shows, Ronia Robbers daughter is freaking awesome! Omg!

            Man! That’s some-thing I am suddenly looking forward to, A lot!

          • Dennis Fischer

            Did you ever see GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES? Not really a horror movie, per se, but it is a Studio Gibli film that is incredibly moving and has some horrific content.
            But then, one of my all-time favorite animated “horror” movies is the Ichabod Crane portion of THE ADVENTURES OF MR. TOAD AND ICHABOD CRANE that Disney did. The Headless Horseman ride generates a genuinely eerie and suspenseful feel, while maintain fun and humor as well.

  • Mike

    Very good list, though it served to remind me why I will NEVER be a gore hood even if do enjoy all kinds of movies. I’ve only seen three here and judging from the content of the rest, I could probably only bring myself to see maybe two of the other seven.

    Still, it is remarkable just how many different kind of movies have played with the home invasion plot in some form or another. Heck I’m pretty sure a Donald Duck short from way back in the thirties or forties with a gorilla breaking is, used to play a part in a series of Disney Halloween specials.

    Wait Until Dark is still very effectively claustrophobic chiller after all these years, though that doesn’t beat the experience of seeing the original stage play as did a few Octobers back. Imagine yourself actually in a darkened theater when ALL the light go out AND stay as real people are fighting for life on stage in real time. I felt bad for the actor playing the one goon who has to play dead faced-down in the stairway for nearly the entire suspenseful climax. Seriously, how did he breath or not give it away if he did!

    I really like how you broke into of character someone what to articulate what I think Sam Peckinpah was going for with Straw Dogs. That was probably his most controversial film. Even some people who defended his brutal vision in The Wild Bunch a few years earlier blasted it own first release and all admit, it’s not almost harder to describe that it is to watch. Your greater to very kind of violent persons and situation in the running and it’s tempting to think were supposed to commend some condemning others, when if you really think about all the violence is made to seem ugly. It’s varying degrees of ugly.

    • The Horror Guru

      I totally wish I had seen the Wait Until Dark stageplay. That sounds amazing! =)

  • Alexa

    I have to say while I don’t like horror films exactly, I do love suspense and thrillers. I like being on the edge of my seat but I am not big on gore, unless its Braindead because that movie rules. As for Inside I cheated and read the wikipedia page about it, and yeah I’m not saying I wouldn’t like it, but it sounds really bleak and I am not sure I could handle it. But then again I handled Oldboy and Mr. Vengeance just fine, and those movies are bleak as hell, so who knows.

    Also I hope Emma Thompson sits down and watches Wait Until Dark before she condescendingly writes off Audrey Hepburn as a weak actress again 😛

    • The Horror Guru

      I hope so too. =P

  • Dennis Fischer

    I, too, think HIGH TENSION should have made the list, even with the ridiculous twist 3/4 of the way through. I was also surprised not to see either the original German or the American version of FUNNY GAMES by Michael Haneke, which is an impressively meta-take on the whole Home Invasion subgenre, especially with the audacious “rewind” scene.
    One I would highly recommend is the Korean film I SAW THE DEVIL, which mixes home invasion with a serial killer and police procedural plot. Here an obsessed policeman tracks down a serial killer with what prove to be disastrous consequences to both.

    • The Horror Guru

      I’m not sure I qualify I Saw The Devil as Home Invasion, though given two sequences in the movie I can see why you would. Not the biggest fan of either Funny Games, truth be told. Which is why they didn’t make the list.