5 Best Horror Siege Movies


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.


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      1. Dan Bishop October 28, 2011 at 4:14 am



      2. Natalie Amora Otenti November 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

        splinter is good!!

      3. Paul Reeves November 19, 2011 at 3:44 am

         It’s not really horror, but I think Red Eye totally counts as a great siege movie.

      4. Brandon Gist January 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm

        Watching Dawn of the Dead as we speak!

      5. Rebmat Evol January 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm

        Splinter was filed about 30 miles away from me here in OKC. Very surprised and glad to see it on this list…great movie and it needs some exposure

      6. Rebmat Evol January 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm


      7. Dan Lewski January 18, 2014 at 10:47 pm

        I really liked Splinter, watched it twice now. That scene with the arm (you know the one I mean) is superbly done, very realistic. It’s a great little film which riffs off of The Thing. Speaking of which, my favourite siege film has to be Carpenter’s The Thing, trapped by both the life-form and the elements. Tense, foreboding stuff.

      8. Sean O'Donnell January 18, 2014 at 10:59 pm

        But the Thing is not outside trying to get in? Carpenters siege film, although not horror, is Assault on Precinct 13, which is a good little flick. Feast was a siege movie, but unfortunately the script was much better than the finished product.

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca January 19, 2014 at 8:15 pm

          I loved FEAST and would have put it on the list for sure!

      9. Paul Lancaster January 18, 2014 at 11:01 pm

        Also, the majority of John Carpenter’s movies

      10. Tim Bearden January 18, 2014 at 11:43 pm

        I’ve owned Splinter on Blu-ray since right after the first time I saw it. Went right out and bought it for the collection.

      11. Vincent Brancatisano January 19, 2014 at 12:23 am

        Prince Of Darkness might fit this category too.

      12. Simon J Clayton January 19, 2014 at 8:58 am

        an old 80’s one called the siege, again not really horror but entertaining.

      13. Brian griffiths January 19, 2014 at 11:09 am

        30 days of night good example of siege horror

      14. black angel January 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm

        how about these?
        The descent….(girls trapped in the cave) or flight of the living death..

      15. Faith Rightout January 19, 2014 at 7:17 pm

        Sucky list there’s thousands of “siege” movies out there go watch em then make a new list.

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca January 19, 2014 at 8:11 pm

          Faith Rightout rather then tearing down others why dont you share your own list? Give me 20 that you think are better and why. Otherwise you are just trolling and around here that does not fly. We will respect you and expect you to return the courtesy. Disagree but do so with courtesy

        • Chuck January 19, 2014 at 11:49 pm

          It’s easier for some people to be negative than productive.

        • First Time Poster Long Time Watcher January 20, 2014 at 6:54 am

          Rabble rabble rabble!

          I actually was disappointed when I read this list… because I’d already seen all 5 (+ the Ramero movies) and loved them but was hoping to discover another gem in the process…

          Splinter was a fantastic film filled with solid scares, realistically intelligent characters making decisions you think you’d also make all the while not relying on a ton of kills to fill out the movie. I loved Wingham (becoming a personal favorite) and Wagner (had never seen her in anything else) in this buying their characters completely… no real complaints here.

          The Mist didn’t waste anytime and though one could argue the characters were all fairly cliche, the movie more than made up for it by taking the very less traveled path with their respective fates… *spoiler alert* It still leaves me bothered when I picture the female cashier dying in front of her long time crush… Not to mention the ending was teh ballz

          Tremors is a classic with Kevin Bacon and full of cheese… ’nuff said.

          I never really heard of Romero so I can’t really give my opinion here on him…

          I’ll admit that From Dusk Till Dawn is a bit of a reach as far as siege films go as most of the movie is getting to the last stand; however, the movie is awesome, the last stand is everything you’d want when holding off the hoards of the undead in a Mexican brothel, and if I were to die I couldn’t think of a better way then by vampire Selma Hayak… my god… Selam Hayak, man!

          A couple of other decent to good siege movies are…

          The Day- I’m pretty sure it was produced by WWE but was pretty decent.
          Right at your Door- Gotta check this movie out.
          The Divide- Pretty great movie with an interesting take on how carnal humans could become.
          Shaun of the Dead- Same thing I said about ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ but I’d have to put this in my top 5
          Home Alone- The ultimate siege movie… and really… those two guys (hilariously goofy or not) were going to straight up murder Macaulay Culkin if they had of gotten their hands on him… which is pretty damn dark when you think of it.
          Evil Dead- Worthy of a mention though it could be argued that the evil was in the house to begin with.
          Jaws- I know it’s a stretch… but they DID prepare for a fight against the terror of the sea… it’s just that they were in a boat and not in a house… a houseboat would have made for a good compromise.
          Raid Redemption- Not REALLY a horror movie… and the good guys are the ones who are doing all the siegeing.


      16. Paul Chinn January 19, 2014 at 8:41 pm

        the strangers.your next.dawn of the dead original.state of emergancy.the decsent

      17. Chuck January 19, 2014 at 11:48 pm

        Aliens is, I think, a great siege flick. Sci-fi or horror, your choice.