Terrifying Trespassers: A Cinematic Exploration of Unwanted Company
It’s dark. The middle of the night. Wait, did you hear that? The sliding door to the back of your house? That creak in the floorboard? Did the dog just bark, or was that a dream? You’re all alone in your home… but are you?
This month, Pete Wright, Tommy Metz III, and Ray DeLancey come together for a tour of 15 home invasion horror films spanning nearly 50 years. Although Pete has always disliked this subgenre, he challenged himself to watch these films to gain a new appreciation for them. He was surprised by the range of styles that qualify as “home invasion” horror, from thrillers to stalking films to “Home Alone fever dream” scenarios. For this episode, the trio focused on films that explore the fear of being violated in your own home, the tension between safety and vulnerability, and the danger that can lurk within the home itself.
The fear that comes from these films is rooted in their near-universal relatability. The familiar setting of the home heightens terror, and these films often explore how easily one’s home can be breached. They also frequently examine vulnerability, survival instincts, and relationships between family members in extreme circumstances.
Want to watch along? Check out the Letterboxd watchlist that accompanies this episode for the movies included.