We’ve all been spending a lot of time in the house lately, haven’t we? Everybody is restless, everybody is stressed, and everybody is scared. That’s okay! For freaks like us, it’s a good thing we’ve got enough creepy content to push all of those bad feelings into to last us multiple lifetimes.
They say everybody has a different way of coping, and I know I am always open to suggestions, so why don’t we take a look at how some fictional characters deal with spending an unprecedented amount of time in one place. Below are 10 perfect films to watch if you’re looking for more housebound horrors. You might just find something to make the time at home pass by a little easier.
10. Gerald’s Game (2017)
Handcuffed to a bed and trapped after her husband dies on top of her during some kinky foreplay gone wrong, Jessie (Carla Gugino) has to fight evils from her past as well as real-life, flesh-and-bone threats to survive. I will take any opportunity I am given to gush about Mike Flanagan’s beautiful adaptation of this Stephen King novel, deemed “impossible to translate to screen” by many. If you’re feeling stir-crazy from being cooped up for so long, maybe it’ll be helpful to remind yourself: it could always be worse.
9. Await Further Instructions (2018)
Extended family. Christmas Day. Trapped inside one house together. This movie is horrifying enough without the addition of cryptic instructions coming through the TV, and a mysterious black goo surrounding the house. If you’re quarantined with family right now, try throwing this movie on, if you dare. You’d be amazed at the socio-political (and economic) arguments this movie could lead to. Don’t worry about it, you can thank me later.
8. Dogtooth (2010)
In this Greek drama film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, three adult children are forbidden by their father to leave the family home and have no real knowledge of the world outside their walls. Living in an often horrific reality entirely detached from the one we are familiar with, Dogtooth is a fascinating and disturbing look at a life that is almost unimaginable. If you, like myself, are also an adult child who has moved back in with your parents during this time, see if this one will spice up movie night a bit. I guarantee it will.
7. You’re Next (2011)
A young woman goes along with her boyfriend for the weekend to celebrate his parents’ wedding anniversary with his entire family. To further complicate this situation, everyone in the house starts getting picked off one by one, by murderers wearing animal masks. This movie is shockingly funny and makes a great double feature with Ready or Not. This one may be a helpful watch to gain a little perspective for those of us that feel like we’re living in an endless family reunion gone wrong.
6. Cujo (1983)
So this one is not so much trapped in the house, but rather trapped in the car. Home is where the heart is though, right? Either way, a mother and her young son end up stranded after their car breaks down in the yard where a rabid, murderous dog resides. I imagine this is how it feels to be a parent of a young kid right now juggling working from home while also homeschooling their child. Hats off to you, parents. Hopefully there isn’t a massive dog trying to tear you limb from limb as well.
5. Unfriended (2014)
Overwhelmed by the amount of group video calls you find yourself on every week? Well, why not kick back and relax with a movie depicting an hour and a half long Skype call as it descends into complete mayhem. A group of teenagers is terrorized by the ghost of a dead classmate who has infiltrated their Skype call, forcing them to stay on the line or face an incredibly gruesome murder. I highly recommend watching this one on a laptop if you can, it’s just so immersive and fun.
4. Eli (2019)
In Eli, a young boy forced to live essentially in a bubble as he battles a rare disorder that causes him incredible pain anytime he comes into contact with the outside world. He and his family travel to an isolated manor for him to undergo experimental treatment only to find that the manor is super haunted. I think we’d all love an impenetrable hazmat suit like Eli’s, but maybe this movie can provide some creative inspiration for a completely quarantined sanctuary.
3. Flowers in the Attic (1987)
After their father unexpectedly dies, four children travel with their mother to stay at their grandparents’ mansion where they are locked up in one bedroom and forbidden to leave. The only other place in the mansion that they have access to is, you guessed it, the attic. Based on the very saucy V.C. Andrews book, this movie definitely taps into some of the feelings that may come along with prolonged confinement. Worth noting, there’s also a 2014 Lifetime adaptation of Flowers in the Attic that I recommend just as highly.
2. The Lighthouse (2019)
Two men work together maintaining a lighthouse, but when they end up stuck inside said lighthouse for longer than anticipated, their sanity rapidly begins to unravel. From the reckless amounts of drinking to the vicious arguments about what to eat for dinner, this movie hits all the high emotions of surviving quarantine, and for me at least, was one of the first movies I put on once it became clear how long we were going to be hunkering down in our homes.
1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
It feels like this one almost goes without saying, but here I am, saying it anyway! One of the very earliest examples of a zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead follows a group of mostly strangers who are trapped inside of a farmhouse together as zombies try to break in and devour them. This movie holds up ridiculously well and still creeps me out to this day. That’s not to mention the plethora of information there is to discover online about the production, release, and legacy of this film. That’s sure to kill a few hours while you’re stuck inside.
Let us know what your favorite trapped in the house horrors are over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit. and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club! And, if these claustrophobic movies aren’t enough for you, check out our list of Cabin Fever Movies too. Stay spooky (and safe).