What’s scarier in cinema than haunted house horrors? I’d wager not much. A house is a place where you are meant to feel safe, a place that is meant to protect you from the outside world, a place that’s meant to feel like home. That place suddenly turns on you, and now you have to escape its clutches. Movies like Hereditary are all about exploiting this primal fear through the power of cinema.
Hereditary follows the story of a family, haunted by a mysterious spirit after their grandmother’s death. They soon begin to uncover some grave secrets about their own ancestry, a secret that aims to chase them into their deaths. Hereditary was a huge success, earning over $70 million in the box office internationally upon release.
This movie is a harrowing story that has been called “the scariest movie of 2018”. If you’re looking for other chilling haunted house horrors, to keep you shivering with fear beneath the blankets, then here are 15 movies like Hereditary for you to watch.
List of Movies like Hereditary
1. Insidious (2010)
Insidious follows the story of a married couple who get into dire straits when their son enters a comatose state, and begins to get possessed by a group of demons. These demons begin to haunt their home through manifestations in their son, quite similar in premise to movies like Hereditary.
Insidious has its fair share of scares, both silent creeping ones and sudden jump scares, a good mix in terms of horror. It has an added twist with the inclusion of the astral realm. Its quality sound design means its atmosphere but visually and sonically are as captivating and gripping as any other horror movie out there.
2. A Haunted House (2013)
A Haunted House goes the comedic route with a story about a couple, named Malcolm, played by Marlon Wayans and Kisha, played by Essence Atkins. Together they move into a new home only to discover that it is haunted. This haunting manifests due to Kisha being possessed by a demon.
Malcolm tries all he can to help banish the demon that has possessed his wife. It’s a satirical haunted house horror-comedy that got bad critic reviews but was able to secure impressive box office numbers irrespective of this, as fans found it considerably entertaining. Check this out if you love movies like Hereditary.
3. The Shining (1980)
Things get serious quickly following that last one with Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The Shining follows the story of Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, a man who takes over as a winter caretaker for the secluded Overlook Hotel. He moves into the hotel with his wife Wendy and his son Danny, but things take a turn for the worse as he begins to have sinister visions.
The Shining is one of the greatest horror films of all time, and the benchmark that movies like Hereditary are compared to. The Shining opened to mixed reviews but has since aged so well that it is regularly placed on numerous greatest movies lists. The Shining is a must-watch.
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4. The Haunting (1963)
The Haunting follows the story of Dr John Markway, an anthropologist who visits a haunted house, known as Hill House alongside two selected women. They soon get more than what they bargained for, as manifestations begin to ensue, with strange sounds and occurrences taking place in the house.
Another haunted house horror for fans of movies similar to Hereditary, The Haunting is a truly terrifying watch that scared the early cinema audiences of the 60s. It is also one of the more visually ambitious movies of that era, and if you’re wondering how you can get to watch it, you can check out its DVD release.
5. The Deep House (2021)
The Deep House is another extremely haunting haunted house horror similar to films like Hereditary. This movie follows two YouTubers who take a deep dive into a French lake, and find a house that has been submerged underneath its surface. They soon discover that the house was the setting of many an insidious crime.
The atmosphere of The Deep House is first of all molded to perfection. It’s a unique premise that is only able to be pulled off due to the technical expertise on show by the crew, and the convincing performances by the cast. If you’re looking for something completely out of left field, then The Deep House is the one for you.
6. The Amityville Horror (2005)
In The Amityville Horror, we are faced with a story centered on Ryan Reynolds’ George Lutz and Melissa George’s Kathy, a couple who move into a new quaint house located in the town of Amityville, New York. They soon realize that the reason the house was so cheap was due to the rumors of it being haunted. A rumor which they soon see to be true.
The Amityville Horror was a box office success, opening with $107 million to its $19 million budget. It’s a creepy horror, with slower building scares as opposed to some of the more bombastic scares that can be found in movies similar to Hereditary. Still, its subtle horror can make for an enthralling watch, if that is more your style.
7. Paranormal Activity (2007)
Paranormal Activity is yet another haunted house horror similar to films like Hereditary. It just might be THE modern haunted house horror, and has since been viewed more and more over the years as a classic. The movie follows the story of Katie and Micah who move into a haunted home. They hope to capture this phenomenon with the help of hidden cameras.
Directed by Oren Peli, Paranormal Activity was a game changer due to its found footage style of filming, a style that was used in its sequels, and was soon also replicated in a number of other films. Paranormal Activity broke the record of another horror movie for best box office numbers in comparison to its budget, as it made $194.2 million off of a $15,000 production budget.
8. 1408 (2007)
John Cusack is Mike Enslin in 1408, a psychological haunted house horror which centers on Enslin, an author who upon being warned not to lodge in room 1408 of a New York City hotel. He ignores these warnings, and soon becomes trapped in the room, where he experiences some truly terrifying phenomena.
1408 makes use of psychological horror more than just mere scares, and has been particularly praised for Cusack’s acting performance which more than elevated the movie as a whole. This movie also features Samuel L. Jackson in a supporting role, so it doesn’t lack in the talent department. If you love films similar to Hereditary, there’s a good chance you’ll love this.
9. The Orphanage (2007)
From haunted hotel rooms to haunted orphanages, that’s where we’re headed to in The Orphanage. The movie is centered on the story of a woman who moves back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage. Things take a creepy turn when her son starts to talk to a new ‘friend’.
The Orphanage is a truly unnerving film, in a similar vein to movies like Hereditary. None of its scares feel cheap, and it’s more of an atmospheric horror that will make for a real nail-biter. Regarded as one of the best horror films of 2007, if you’re looking for some quality haunted house flicks, then this is the one for you.
10. His House (2020)
His House follows the story of a Sudanese refugee and his family, who escape their war torn country, and move to a quaint English town to start all over again. They soon discover that all may not be as it seems, and that there seems to be an evil presence in the heart of this town.
A straight to Netflix movie, directed by Remi Weekes, His House was released to critical acclaim, with praise particularly reserved for its socially relevant messaging all wrapped into a deeply enthralling horror story. If you like films similar to Hereditary, you’ll like this one.
11. What Lies Beneath (2000)
What Lies Beneath follows the tale of Harrison Ford’s Dr Norman Spencer whose wife, Claire, played by Michelle Pfeifer, claims to be hearing voices of a lady in their home. He doesn’t believe her at first, but the haunting starts to manifest in more concrete ways, threatening to derail his and his wife’s lives.
What Lies Beneath makes for a thrilling ride from start to finish, one which you cannot be too sure of what will happen next. It’s a spooky haunted house horror similar to movies like Hereditary, and if you’re looking for slow building scares, then you’re in the right place with this movie.
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12. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
A Tale of Two Sisters is a South Korean psychological thriller written and directed by Kim Jee-woon. The film centers on the story of a released mental asylum patient who returns home with her sister, but soon begins to see premonitions of a ghost which haunts her and the house.
This movie was a boundary breaking movie for South Korean cinema, being the first South Korean movie to be screened in American theaters. It’s a truly disturbing piece of cinema with a dark setting, and if you were drawn to those qualities in movies similar to Hereditary, then the same will apply here.
13. Poltergeist (1982)
The strangest things always seem to happen to the most normal of families, and this is very much the case in Poltergeist, a story about a Californian family known as the Feelings. The Freelings are going about living their normal lives until one day when ghosts start to talk to them through their television set.
Poltergeist spawned some of the most iconic and scariest scenes in horror movie history, and has even been named by the Chicago Film Institute as the 20th scariest film ever made. If you’re looking for haunted house horror films like Hereditary that can chill you to your bones, then you have to check out Poltergeist.
14. The Uninvited (2009)
The Uninvited follows the story of Anna, played by Emily Browning, who begins to notice some changes and movement in the store of her home. She soon discovers that the cause of these changes is the ghost of her mother, who is out for revenge, after discovering that her husband was dating her murderer.
Emily Browning was praised for her acting performance as Anna, which was more than impressive, especially for an actor of that age. The movie has some very impressive cinematography and some truly shocking scenes in the mix. For fans of movies like Hereditary, it’d be nice to check this out also.
15. The Innocents (2021)
A truly disturbing horror similar to movies like Hereditary, The Innocents is centered on a group of four children who discover they have supernatural powers while on their summer holiday. They spend their days roaming the forests, but soon discover that there is something sinister hiding beneath the surface.
The major characters are all well portrayed due to an absolute master class in child acting. This movie also manages to touch on some deeper themes like abuse, parenthood and autism. It’s all in all a wonderfully written story that you should try to see for yourself if you haven’t.
Here are some movies like Hereditary full of scares that didn’t quite make the list but you can watch regardless:
- Things Heard & Seen (2021)
- The Evil Dead (1981)
- The Entity (1982)