10 Horror Movies Where You Don't See The Monster

Nothing is scarier than, well, NOTHING.

The Cabin In The Woods

Rarely is even the most elaborate and convincing special effect scarier than the power of the human imagination, as the horror genre has proven time and time again over the years.

Though the overwhelming majority of horror movies do eventually dispense with the innuendo and give audiences a long, lingering glimpse at their grotesque monster in act three, every so often a film comes along that just...doesn't.

Some filmmakers dare to keep the focal threat internalised, its tangible form hidden off screen either through creative camerawork or a more palatable series of human hosts.

In any event, these 10 movies all kept their focal monsters - whether demons, giant moth-men, ancient deities, or ghosts - hidden from view for the entirety.

Whether a result of budgetary constraints or the filmmaker's sheer desire to exploit our primal fear of the unknown, it was brutally effective in each and every case.

That's not to say that all viewers were left happy by these subtle, low-key approaches, but they were certainly preferable to the directors instead trying to convince audiences with a lousy creature prop, that's for sure...

10. Hereditary

The Cabin In The Woods

Ari Aster's sublime directorial debut Hereditary revolves around a bereaved family who are terrorised in their home by an increasingly malevolent supernatural presence.

It's revealed at the end of the film that the Graham family has actually been targeted by a coven, of which protagonist Annie's (Toni Collette) deceased mother was a member.

The various tragedies befalling Annie and co. are part of a ploy by the coven to find a suitable male host for Paimon, the demon they worship.

At the film's terrifying conclusion, the host turns out to be Annie's doomed son Peter (Alex Wolff), who is incapacitated and unable to fend off Paimon as he takes possession of his weakened body and mind.

Yet Aster smartly never once lets us see Paimon in any sort of tangible form, only as drawings in a book, as he possesses the various members of the family, and perhaps as the mysterious blue light occasionally projected in their presence.

The fact that Paimon is basically hiding in plain sight for so much of the movie only makes him that much creepier, and no guy-in-suit antics or pitch-shifted demonic growling could ever match that.


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.