10 Best Movies With An Unseen Enemy

Your imagination is the best special effect.

Paranormal Activity
Paramount Pictures

There are so, so many movies that fall apart when it comes to the villain reveal, either serving up a painfully predictable baddie or a rubbish special effect.

As such, it's little surprise that some filmmakers simply opt never to show the antagonist on screen at all, relying on clever gimmickry to conceal the malevolent presence from audiences - and maybe the movie's characters, too.

Typically, this narrative device skews to the horror genre more often than not, with budgetary limitations forcing directors to get creative, while occasionally it's a purely story-driven decision to subvert expectations and give viewers something fresh.

These 10 movies all did unique and memorable things with unseen and invisible enemies for our heroes, whether supernatural forces or the simple off-screen unknown.

Had the filmmakers decided to give us front-and-center glimpses of the antagonists, these films wouldn't have been nearly as effective or iconic as they turned out. Instead, the results were distinct in ways most of their genre brothers were not.

And don't worry, The Happening didn't make this list...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.