In 2016, Fede Álvarez released the followup to his feature-length debut Evil Dead. This time around, though, the story was original and the movie was in no way a remake. Don't Breathe premiered at South by Southwest in 2016 before hitting theaters that following August. The film went on to rake in a staggering $157 million against a $9 million budget. This was quite the feat for distributor Screen Gems.
Don't Breathe concerns three small-time criminals living in a shambling economy. They break into a house they suspect to be home to a small fortune. Unfortunately for the thieves, the blind homeowner is prepared to protect his domain — and a dark personal secret — at all costs. For anyone who loved this sinister subversion of the home invasion story, here are ten other movies to watch if you liked Don't Breathe.
10 Crush The Skull (2015)
Four burglars target a house they failed to fully scope out beforehand. Once inside, they become trapped in what feels like an impenetrable fortress. And to make matters somehow worse, the deranged owner is holding someone else captive. Can these criminals escape, or will they never live to tell the tale of their greatest heist?
Based on two short films of the same name, Viet Nguyen's Crush the Skull is a low-budget dark comedy that flips the script with desirable results. The story utilizes both its affable cast and limited setting so well.
9 The Fear Inside (1992)
Meredith is a mother and a children's book illustrator. She is stricken with agoraphobia, a condition that makes her so anxious, she does not leave her house. Yet when a pair of crazed criminals infiltrates her home, Meredith is forced to face her fear so she can protect herself and her young son.
Christine Lahti and Dylan McDermott lead this nutty and rather sleazy, made-for-cable thriller. The movie never avoids tropes, but it's surprisingly stylish when it wants to be. The Fear Inside is one tense movie just waiting to be rediscovered.
8 Blind Fear (1989)
A blind employee in charge of the switchboard at a New England lodge loses her job. On her last night at the empty lodge, she engages in a game of cat-and-mouse with a band of criminals.
This little-known 1989 thriller sounds a lot like Wait Until Dark, a 1966 play turned into a 1967 film starring Audrey Hepburn. They share an immediate similarity, but there's less emphasis on closed spaces. You won't feel as confined in Blind Fear as you did with Wait Until Dark, but there is a twist at the end that makes this one worthwhile.
7 Deadly Games (1989)
In the French action-horror Deadly Games, a young boy defends his home from a deranged man dressed as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. The movie involves the child setting homemade booby traps to catch his foe.
Though this film is noticeably more violent in its execution, Deadly Games (3615 code Père Noël in French) is thought to be the inspiration behind the 1990 box office hit Home Alone. The similarity was so striking, director and writer René Manzor once threatened to sue the makers of Home Alone for unofficially remaking his film.
6 Hush (2016)
After the age of thirteen, Maddie lost her hearing and the ability to speak. Now as an adult, she is an author who lives in an isolated house in the woods. One night, a masked prowler shows up around the house. Once he realizes his would-be victim cannot hear him nor can she speak, this homicidal intruder removes his mask and adjusts his plan.
Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) goes for more overt thrills in Hush. The stakes are higher and the violence is more great. Plausibility isn't exactly applicable here, but Flanagan crafts an otherwise taut, high-strung horror outing that will make you jump again and again.
5 The Collector (2009)
A handyman named Arkin is in severe debt. So, he stakes out a wealthy family's house he works at. When he breaks in at night, he finds the homeowners caught in elaborate, fatal traps set by someone in a mask. The tables are now turned and Arkin is emboldened to save his former employers.
The Collector is as outlandish as the traps seen in the film. It's a vicious movie where an antihero is given the ultimate chance for redemption. A sequel called The Collection was released in 2012, and another entry titled The Coll3cted is currently in the works.
4 Scream For Help (1984)
Christie is an average teenage girl living in an idyllic town. Everything seems normal except for the fact that Christie believes her mother's new husband is planning to kill her. The teen follows her stepfather around, looking to catch him in the act. Instead, everyone thinks she's just acting out because she doesn't want to see her mother remarried. The truth is, Christie is on to something. And it's up to her save her mother before it's too late.
Scream for Help is a truly strange movie that has been ridiculed since its debut. The final result bears little resemblance to Tom Holland's (Fright Night) original script. It's true Scream for Help feels more comedic than scary. Yet you can't help but be in awe when watching this over-the-top home invasion thriller.
3 Intruders (2015)
Anna's agoraphobia does not allow her to leave her home. Not even for her brother's funeral. So when three criminals break in, she cannot escape. However, things are not what they appear to be when one looks at Anna. For she has a secret that will shock everyone.
In a bid to differentiate itself from other similar movies, Intruders (also known as Shut In and Deadly Home) changes the rules of its own game halfway in. This narrative pivot is more than welcome as this new direction feels both devious and refreshing.
2 Panic Room (2002)
A single mother and her daughter move into a house with a built-in panic room. This amenity definitely comes in handy, too, when criminals break in shortly after they move in. Unfortunately for the new homeowners, the thieves are after something hidden inside the panic room.
Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart go head to head with Jared Leto in this highly enjoyable suspense thriller that never loses your attention. This anxiety-inducing movie is rife in back-and-forth drama and action. In addition to Foster nailing her role as the protective mother, Leto serves up an unforgettable performance as the bungling villain.
1 You're Next (2011)
During an awkward family dinner held inside a remote mansion, the guests are attacked by armed men hiding behind animal masks. These savage trespassers, however, failed to realize one of the dinner guests is a highly trained survivalist. Now with her prowess and an assortment of make-do weapons at her disposal, the lone woman systematically picks off the killers.
Adam Wingard's You're Next nails the fine line that rests between horror and comedy. By that, this slasher maintains a steady sense of gallows humor amid all the unadulterated mayhem and bloodshed.