10 Home Invasion Horror Movies With A Twist

Shifting allegiances, meta stingers and disabled badasses. These twists will get you where you live.

Martyrs 2008
Wild Bunch

Home invasion movies contain an extra element of terror that goes beyond the scares of your standard horror flicks. There is something deeply and uniquely disturbing – and yet at once compelling – about watching people be attacked in their safest place. This vicarious thrill brings us closer to the edge than watching spaceship crews fight aliens many galaxies away or spelunkers face creatures in unexplored caves, because home is very much in the here and now for most of us.

Aside from breaking one of the most sacred social conventions, some home invasion movies really don't play by the rules. They zig when we expect them to zag, and land us with a whopping great twist that pulls the welcome mat right out from under our feet.

A cunning twist can take many forms, whether it's a redrawing of the usual boundaries, an early reversal of the status quo, or a last-minute sting that shifts our perspective on everything we've seen so far. And, while such narrative hijinks can be (and often have been) mishandled by less self-possessed writers and directors, these are 10 home invasion horror movies in which the twist comes to define the film.

10. No One Lives (2012)

Martyrs 2008
Milk & Media

While No One Lives (2012) definitely doesn't start out as a home invasion film, it manoeuvres itself into this position once the action is well underway and a few bodies are already on the pile.

Luke Evans stars as Driver, a seemingly innocent and everyday guy passing through a small town on the way to a brighter future. Unfortunately for everyone, him and his girlfriend Betty (Laura Ramsey) encounter a gang of hoods who want nothing more than to mess with them and rob them, which leads to Betty's death and the discovery of the pair's biggest secret. Turns out, Driver has kidnapped the wealthy heiress (Adelaide Clemens) whose face has been plastered all over the news, and, though the gang flee with her to their hideout, there's no putting Pandora back in the box.

Driver traps them in their own home and bloody murder ensues, as he won't be satisfied until every one of them is dead. No One Lives operates in a strange kind of grey area not just in terms of genre – Is it a home invasion horror, is it a revenge thriller? – but also in morals, where you find yourself rooting for the gang and the Driver at different times, but also where, ultimately, everyone is in the wrong.

Contributor
Contributor

Writer, editor and lifelong critic of test screenings, money men and films-by-committee. Currently editing and open to offers of representation for his transgressive, class-conscious coming-of-age novel Everbloom.