There’s so much to appreciate about classic horror movies in which a demon takes over a picture-perfect little home. And 2011’s Insidious, along with the other films in the franchise, do just that. So much so that, once you run through the franchise, you’re going to be on the hunt for more movies like Insidious that’ll scare you on the same profoundly unnerving level. Because, well, people are weird, and we’re hard-wired psychologically to chase the adrenaline spike that comes with genuine fear.
In Insidious, Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson play the Lamberts, parents who move into a creepy older home when their son falls into a coma. Soon, strange things start to happen — to the point that they call in some paranormal investigators and a psychic, to treacherous results. Roger Ebert gushed over the flick in 2011, writing, “What is the malevolent presence? Why is it there? What does it want? What can it gain from the hapless Lamberts? The answers to such questions must necessarily remain theoretical at a metaphysical level, but at a practical level, the purpose of the presence is to generate startling bangs at frequent intervals, materialize unexpectedly, look horrifying and be a nuisance. Its purpose, in short, is to go BOO!”
So, if you love movies about haunted houses and demonic presences, these flicks like Insidious are for you. Just be forewarned: The films on this list are unsettling enough to make you check under your bed and close all the closet doors in the house before going to sleep at night.
Movies Like Insidious That’ll Haunt You
1. The Others (2001)
This 2001 movie stars Nicole Kidman as a very religious mother who moves her and her two kids to the countryside in England during World War II. Her kids start to tell her that they are seeing ghosts, and while she initially believes that it’s just the household staff playing tricks on them, she eventually realizes that things are worse than they seem. Between the creepy fog, the period setting, and the wild twist at the end, this is a must-see movie if you love the genre.
2. Crimson Peak (2015)
Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Charlie Hunnam star in this horror movie directed by Guillermo del Toro. What is it about the English countryside that begets so many good ghost stories? In this one, a couple, played by Wasikowska and Hiddleston, moves to an old home full of secrets, where his sister, played by Chastain, is also living. Wasikowska’s character begins to communicate with the dead in an attempt to reveal those secrets, but it turns out the danger might be more human than that.
3. Winchester (2018)
Helen Mirren stars in this ghost flick set in an old house just out of San Francisco. The house isn’t any old house — it’s seven stories and contains hundreds of rooms where Mirren’s character is actually imprisoning ghosts. It’s a lot, so make sure the kiddos are safely tucked in bed before you hit “play.”
4. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
This Korean movie by director Kim Jee-woon is graphic and terrifying. One of the sisters returns from a mental health institution after her mother’s death only to find that her dad has remarried in her absence. Together, the two sisters, reunited by their shared hatred of their stepmother, do what they can to make her life miserable. However, it turns out that someone else’s vengeance is also at work.
5. Hereditary (2018)
From the very beginning, Hereditary is intense. As much a tale about a family’s struggle with grief — shout out to Toni Collette and her incessant wailing after a major plot twist early on — it’s also a tale about a house full of literal demons. The ending is confusing, but that also might just be the point.
6. The Amityville Horror (2005)
A family moves into a new house that is much spookier than the regular hiccups of a new home. Turns out the land the house is built on has a very disturbing history, and the tragedy hasn’t gone away. Its darkness has found a way to seep into the family’s mind. Rage and horror fill the family home as they discover the house’s secrets.
More Movies Like Insidious to Watch
- Lights Out (2016)
- Malignant (2021)
- The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
- The Boy (2016)
- The Conjuring (2013)
- Poltergeist (1982)
- Mama (2013)
- Deliver Us From Evil (2014)
- The Other Side of the Door (2016)
- It Comes At Night (2017)
- The Lodge (2019)
- The Grudge (2020)
- The Possession (2012)
- Annabelle (2014)
- The Possession of Hannah Grace (2018)
- Lake Mungo (2008)
- Oculus (2013)
- Sinister (2012)
- Ouija (2014)
- The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
- Paranormal Activity (2007)
- Isabelle (2018)
- The Amityville Horror (2005)
- Case 39 (2009)
- Drag Me to Hell (2009)
- The Messengers (2007)
- Aftermath (2021)
- The Secret of Crickley Hall (2012)