It may be because Iím in the mood for a sub genre retrospective or perhaps because Iím home alone this evening but I think itís time to we take a look back at some of the most terrifying home invasion horrors in more recent years. As frightening as home invasion is many movies that delve into this particular genre these days often opts to go with intruders without any obvious drive. When motivation and incentive are eliminated from the home invasion the whole experience becomes even more unnerving and repeatedly reminds us that this could actually happen to usÖat anytimeÖand when we least expect it. Donít have nightmares.
Black Christmas (2006)
The Glen Morgan helmed 'semi'-remake of the classic 70's slasher of the same name finds a group of hot young sorority sisters holding up in their sorority house during a pre-Xmas snowstorm. I managed to stream this online in seconds on my virgin media broadband after missing out, and avoiding, for many years up to this point. And this time it's a former mental patient that escapes on Christmas Eve ready to attack the ladies inside. But this is no random execution selection because the psychotic Billy Lenz was a former resident at the house. A large house is always necessary to help play host to a number of various and horrific sequences and to keep the protagonists safer than simply running into an unlocked room and become just another sitting duck.
Funny Games (2007)
Itís time to delve into another remake in our list, this time an extremely similar version to that of the original. Made predominantly as a shot-by-shot US-based redo with writer/director Michael Haneke returning to lens and based on the filmmaker's original vision the film is an audience-aware poke at violent thrillers where the audience needs to see suffering and this in turn is exactly what is being directly acknowledged on screen and to some extent ridiculed. Deranged duo Peter and Paul are the invasive twosome who terrorize a family of three and get them involved in a bunch of sadistic games.
The Strangers (2008)
Although Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman) are having some relationship issues they're soon put on the back burner when three masked assailants decide to toy with the couple whilst they stay at a remote vacation home. The trio of 'strangers' labeled Dollface, the Man in the Mask and Pin-Up Girl are fully apprised with their invasive and terrifying plan to get in to the house. Starting off with some unsettling doorbell ringing and ending in typical bloodshed the most disturbing statement from the masked maniacs comes when Dollface responds to Kristen's legitimate question "Why are you doing this to us?" and simply receives the response "Because you were home".
The Last House on the Left (2009)
Finally a home invasion horror that turns the tables somewhat on the overly familiar concept. Based on Wes Craven's controversial 1972 thriller and an obvious catalyst for the equally controversial 1978 revenge horror flick 'I Spit on Your Grave' the Dennis Iliadis helmed remake follows a brutal gang of siblings who fresh from illegally freeing their big brother from prison cross paths with two innocent girls whom they kidnap and assault savagely in a nearby woodland. The young Mari (played by Sara Paxton) manages to escape and makes its home safely to her parents lake house only to find the disturbed gang already their under false pretences looking from shelter from the storm outside. Once the parents discover the truth about their identities they become the ones looking for revenge in a number of gruesome methods including the interesting use of a microwave.
The Purge (2013)
Our most recently released entry in our list is James DeMonaco's 'The Purge'. A more high concept based story revolving around a family hiding out in their secure home only to drop their defenses when a bloodied stranger comes knocking at their door. Did we forget to mention that all this occurs during an annual 12-hour period known as "the Purge" in which all criminal activity such as theft, murder etc becomes legal!? Sadly the intriguing setup isn't explored as significantly and in a broader scope as perhaps it should have been instead simply focusing our attentions on a home invasion and hostage situation with James Sandin (played by Ethan Hawke) doing his best to protect him and his family.