There are few things in life that are more satisfying than a great siege film. With horror films it may be a little difficult to distinguish the classic “haunted house” film from a siege movie, but the difference is the motivation for being stuck in the enclosed area.
Siege films can be defined as films that take place in a single location that has been barricaded and secured by our plucky main characters with an overwhelming force surrounding the structure. For the sake of brevity and this list, the overwhelming forces are going to be supernatural and forcing our main characters inside of a location from the outside rather than something like a haunted house that won’t let anyone leave.
So without any delay, here are 5 Great Supernatural Siege films that shouldn’t be missed.
The Mist (Dir: Frank Darabont – 2007)
In a small town in Maine (like everything Steven King has ever written), a mist rolls into town which happens to have come from some sort of portal into a world of monsters that want to kill everyone. Our main characters become locked inside of a massive grocery store trying to wait out the terrifying creature-filled mist with obviously horrible conclusions. What makes the film so successful is the fact that the monsters outside are ominous and able to attack from any location due to the reduced visibility.
The monsters are extremely varied and appear to the viewers on screen for the first time just as they appear to the characters in the situation for the first time. This makes it very difficult to combat them and survive which isn’t exactly aided by the massive plate glass windows covering the entire front of the store. This is the perfect time of the year to revisit The Mist, but if at all possible, make sure you watch the black and white version. It’s the superior version and the mist itself becomes even more dark and foreboding.
Tremors (Dir: Ron Underwood- 1990)
The entire population of the small town of Perfection come under siege as a prehistoric sand creature comes up from the ground and picks people off one by one. Imagine a scenario where you get to totally relive the childhood game of “The Floor is Lava”, except it’s the entire ground outside and instead of just losing the game you will get eaten and pulled into the ground by tentacles that come out of the monster’s mouth.
It’s a very nontraditional siege movie where the attackers are underground creatures, and the confined characters spend a large chunk of the movie on rooftops, but nonetheless, the serious tone of the ridiculous premise totally make the film work (somehow, I know it sounds ridiculous, but its awesome). If you haven’t seen this one in a while or for some insane reason, haven’t seen it at all, you might want to check it out again, it doesn’t get worse with age.
From Dusk Till Dawn (Dir: Robert Rodriguez – 1997)
Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn is a film that will forever hold a special place in my heart for being the first hard R film that I was completely conscious of the fact that I was war too young to be watching such adult material. In this case, the siege of the film occurs when a small group of aimless vacationers and two criminal brothers decide to hold up in a trucker bar/strip club for the night when all hell breaks loose.
I mean that literally since the place is populated by vampires and then summarily attacked by a whole lot of other secondary vampires (that are not hot chicks for some reason). Not only does this add to some interesting situations, but it takes the whole sexuality of the vampire and turns it on its head from the classic romantic image of what a vampire “should” be. It’s a modern day classic for its brutality, its fantastical story, and its George Clooney.
Romero Trilogy (George Romero – 1968, 1978, 1985)
There are somewhere between 50 and 100 thousand zombie movie that completely fit this template, so for the sake of ease, I’m going to go ahead and pick the granddaddy of all zombie movies and go with the Trilogy of Night of The Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead from the legendary director George Romero.
Not only did he popularize the entire zombie subgenre, but he essentially made the template of what a zombie movie should be. The movies should never be about the zombies, but about the characters being confined to an area and what they need to do to survive. IT’s a shame that so many more modern zombie films just completely miss this mark and put gore and death in the forefront over well developed characters.
Splinter (Dir: Toby Wilkins – 2008)
This film came very much under the radar from the director of the Grudge 3 (I didn’t even know there were three of those) and starting making a name for itself on the festival circuit. Rightfully so, this film about some kind of virus that overtakes the human body and exists only to take over and occupy other human beings while making their host bodies jut out some kind of weird splinter virus (not just a clever name).
The monster/virus/whatever traps three people in a gas station with backstories that I would only be ruining if I went any further than that. FUN FACT: The gas station attendant who gets killed at the very beginning of the film is the same actor who played Skinny Pete on Breaking Bad?
I didn’t know that till right now. Anyways, of all the films on this list, this is probably the one that you haven’t yet seen and that is completely understandable due to its nonexistent box office and B movie premise. That shouldn’t deter you, so do yourself a favor and check out a film that will remain a cult classic for a long time.
Don’t like my choices? Well then let me hear about it in the comments! Also, attractive single ladies feel free to leave their phone numbers.