WE'RE TRAPPED !! Every single one of us is going through the absolute pits of hell right now, and by the look of things, this is going to be all of our lives now for the next few months! We as horror fans have been preparing for this for years, stocking up our horror collection and becoming quite good at staying indoors and keeping ourselves occupied.
In saying that, nothing has ever prepared us for this virus, or for becoming a literal hermit crap for months on end. If you ever think your life is hard, let's take a moment and think back to some horror films in which characters have endured something similar with higher stakes, and by higher stakes I mean death, fear, and torture. Look no further than this list of my Top 10 horror movies that has its characters, like ourselves, trapped indoors with no escape.
Look at these movies and be thankful that we are not them, and that we have the pleasure of enjoying their torture, not enduring it. Dig in.
Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Romero's OG Night of the Living Dead may have single handedly kicked out the zombie sub-genre and wrote the rulebook of its existence, much deserving of its historical status within cinema history. However I am taking the time to discuss the brilliant 90's retelling directed by Tom Savini, which was one of the first zombie movies I seen and has stuck with me since then. The effects (obviously) get a huge update, and the zombies in this are truly scary, the claustrophobic atmosphere is as palpable now as it was back in the 70's, and story is just as effective. 1990's Night of the Living Dead still stands as one of the strongest remakes within the genre, given how close it sticks to its source material, without ever tarnishing's Romero's reputation or becoming pale in comparison. It really is a blast to watch, and the haunting score mixed with practical effects still stand the test of time, even in our post 28 Days Later zombie world that we live in.
You're Next (2013)
This next entry is arguably (and please argue with me on this I dare you) one of the best horror movies of the 10's, and ultimately the strongest home invasion film the sub-genre has ever seen; You're Next is a powerhouse of a slasher film, twisting cliche's and audience expectations to create one of the most unpredictable and downright amazing final girls of all time. Whilst this movie by no means is any sort of representation for quarantine, our Animal masked invaders do a good job in ensuring nobody makes it out of that house alive, and when someone does it doesn't take them long before they have an axe to the side of their skull. Wingard's eye and ear for building tension is truly superb, and once the suspense and action begin to unfold we are blessed with some of the most entertaining and off-kilter home-invasion scenes the genre has ever seen. If you're going to be stuck in an apocalyptic world with anyone, you'll wish you were stuck with Erin!
Who would have thought a Sam Raimi alligator hybrid would be a secret recipe for sheer entertainment? Bitch not me. When Crawls trailer first surface it appears as nothing but some cheap and passable b-movie schlock that would sit next to Sharknado on Syfy's shelf of so bad its good viewing, expect with better CGI. To everyone's surprise Crawl turned out to be a highly entertaining and electrifyingly intense experience, pop-full of jump scares and chase sequences to have you clawing at the edge of your seat. The whole affair is so enjoyable, and its simple premise's level of campiness is elaborated upon majorly, in true Raimi fashion. If you haven't seen it, then please do dive deep into this one, as I shared your same concerns for not watching as you have, and I haven't looked back since. Quentin Tarantino also named it one of his favourite movies of 2019 so how's them apples!
Any of the Evil Dead films could work in this list, particularly the first two, but I chose to focus primarily on Fede Alvarez's 2013 remake, as it handful of attractive cast are stuck in a scenario a lot more plausible than simply staying at a creepy cabin in the woods. Our leading lady Mia is going clean, and her friends and brother take themselves to this cabin to seclude her from her addiction, and to stand by here whilst she goes full on cold turkey. Of course once the book of the dead is introduced (thanks for nothing Eric you tit), the demon does everything in its power to make sure these folk are going nowhere. From flooding the only exit out, to possessing Mia, our attractive bunch find themselves trapped with nothing but chaotic violence awaiting them. Expect nothing but all-out carnage and gore, and a worthy remake to an 80's classic.
This little under the radar French surrealist horror has its elite dancers trapped indoors during a snow blizzard as one of them spikes the punch, leading to a series of paranoid and sadistic happenings within the group. Not only is Climax a thing of cinematic beauty, sporting wonderfully fluid cinematography that is as disorientating as it is effective, but the dance scenes are also magnificiantly hypnotising and gorgeous. This wonderful hybrid of art and horror manifests a surreal image that will stay with you long after the film is over, and despite not having any jump scares or moments of terror, manages to conjure up a cinematic experience that is nothing short of haunting. Catch me on Netflix how bow dat.
Gerald's Game (2017)
We think being trapped in our house is bad? try being handcuffed to a bed whilst your dead husband is being munched on by a stray with dog, with you next on the menu. This Netflix film adaption of Stephen King's story is captivating with suspenseful simplicity that manages to keep you hooked from the moment our leading lady Carla Gugino is handcuffed to the head of her bed. From that moment onwards we are forced to endure gruelling intensity that adds new elements throughout its runtime to keep audiences and its trapped heroine on tender hooks. The less I say about this the better, but with Mike Flanagan (Oculus, The Haunting of Hill House, Hush) adapting a Stephen King story you can only imagine how great it can get.
Don't Breathe (2016)
Back with another entry from Fede Alvarez, who evidently has a knack for trapping people inside a house and building some really suspenseful moments around it. Don't Breathe is a different beast from Evil Dead, in that it relays on subtly and the absence of chaos to really capture its own sense of suspense and terror, which it does so wonderfully. The music and score is the biggest selling point of this one, as it drives the narratives whilst amping up the nerve-shredding intensity notch by notch, scene by scene. I mean this unsettling atmosphere never holds up, and manages to pack a punch stronger than its last, pulling a couple of twists and turns along the way. Now this is one home K definitely would not want to be trapped in during these tough Covid-19 times.
The found footage sub-genre has bared some of the worst and best horror has had to offer, the latter being a rarity especially over the last 20 years. Aside from some greats like Blair Witch Project, and arguably Paranormal Activity, very little where as genuinely terrifying as Spanish cult classic [Rec], which set a new standard for both found footage and zombie movies. Very little have been able to match the level of terror and claustrophobia orchastrated by 2007's [Rec], and I doubt anything will ever be able to recreate or match its level of sheer brilliance (nice try Quarantine, but no cigar). Now this is a great quarantine film to watch in these dark and gloomy days.
The Cabin in the Woods
I am blurring the lines of being "trapped indoors" with this choice, but the whole element of entrapment is still very much at play here, probably more so than anything else on this list. Yes, the characters in this may not be trapped indoors per-say, this they are trapped in an inescapable nightmare game that's soul purpose is to kill all the cliched teens off or watch the world crumble and die if failing to do so. Our list of stereotypical slasher characters are trapped in a hologram cage in which they are dealt a flurry of slasher tropes in an attempt to kill them off in the name for a ritual to keep the gods below content. Of course in good apocalyptic fashion, we are presented with the latter option, and due to some brilliantly selfish reasoning, or final two survivors, The Virgin and The Fool would rather let the world end than save it. Quite poetic really when their thought process is clearly on "what's the point in trying to save it", and that lack of sympathy that comes with letting the whole world end, because what's the fucking point right? Moral of the story: Play by the rules, do as your told and just maybe the world won't end.