There are literally hundreds of diagnosable phobias out there (my personal favorite is hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia or the fear of long words... which I'm also sure is fake but hey, the Internet says it is so). However, outside of clowns, which is a 100% legitimate fear, thank you, fear of confinement or small spaces is one of the most common phobias out there. Films like the upcoming Snowpiercer or As Above, So Below partially rely on the panic that comes from being trapped in small area where you have no control to terrify their audiences.
These are my favorite claustrophobic horror films! Do you have a favorite that didn't make the list? Let me know in the comments!
In space, no one can hear you scream when you're trapped in a confined space, in the dark, and you're being hunted by a bloodthirsty alien. Everything about the original Alien film was terrifying, but one of the most unsettling elements was by far how the crew of the Nostromo quite literally had nowhere to run from the danger.
Before there was a Saw or a Hostel, there was Cube. Seven strangers wake up to find themselves trapped in a series of cubes that are rigged with horrible devices set to spring at the slightest misstep. Even when the group is attempting to work together or manages to avoid the trap, it doesn't change the fact that they are confined in horribly tiny little rooms. Cube will leave you breathless.
The Descent (2005)
Even if you remove the disgusting little molemen from Neil Marshall's The Descent, this movie would be terrifying. When a group of woman go cave exploring, they get lost and quickly become trapped in the underground labyrinth. When they are stalked by carnivorous cave dwellers as they try to find their way back to the surface, it's not nearly as terrifying as the idea that they are completely lost and helpless underground.
(For the record, Devil is NOT from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan. It's actually from the mind of Agatha Chrisite, in that it's an almost identical plot to And Then There Were None. It even features the same twist. But maybe that's why it's a good movie... Shyamalan actually didn't conceive of it himself. He basically stole it.)
What could possibly be more frightening than being trapped in an elevator for any amount of time? How about being trapped in an elevator with SATAN? That is the premise of Devil, a surprisingly effective little film set almost entirely in an elevator. So for someone with a fear of small spaces to begin with, this one is sure to stress you right out.
Right at Your Door (2006)
Many people haven't seen this terrifying thriller, which is a shame because it's truly frightening. After a man seals himself inside his house when a dirty bomb is detonated in Los Angeles, his wife is prevented from joining him to prevent cross-contamination. Everything about this entirely plausible movie is totally paralyzing, especially it's devastating conclusion. Watch Right at Your Door... You won't regret it!
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