Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that causes sufferers to fear and often avoid situations which cause them to feel trapped or helpless. For many people, these feared circumstances involve being in public or scenarios such as riding the bus or waiting in line, but can also include environments which are either too wide open, or too confining. The underlying fear is that if something bad such as a panic attack happens, the person who suffers from agoraphobia won’t be able to acquire help easily. With all of these possible scenarios in mind, the clinical understanding of agoraphobia doesn’t feel like too far a leap from the colloquial belief that persons with agoraphobia simply fear and avoid leaving their homes. After reading about these five films, you may believe they have the right idea.
This short list contains a variety of movies with the underlying theme that leaving your safe, warm house is a terrible idea. In fact, as you read over this list, you’ll probably begin to think that going outside at all is something that you should leave to the professionals.
Don’t Go in the Woods (1981) aka. Don’t Go in the Woods…Alone!
This movie was a 1981 slasher, and the title alone made it an obvious choice for this list. Fortunately the title isn’t all this movie brings to the table! This film features a lot of gore, to the point that it was actually banned in the United Kingdom in the 1980s as a “Video Nasty. Due to the ban, this particular film wasn’t released in the UK in its uncut version until 2007! This film follows the standard slasher pattern where the killer’s approach is to “kill everyone you can find with whatever you can”, and there are only a handful of movies whose villain accomplish the task better. That effectiveness put this movie at the top of our list of films that are sure to make you want to stay indoors.
This film has received mixed reviews because of the campy nature of the acting, the excessive gore, and the perceived inability to hold its own as a horror film. Some critics complain that it doesn’t add anything new to the genre, but I would argue that for a horror fan, it isn’t entirely necessary that a film add so much as it is necessary that the film do what it attempts well. Hatchet definitely drives home the idea that leaving your house, even with the intention of being a tourist or going fishing, is a terrible life plan. If you’re still on the fence, note that the film held its own at a variety of film festivals when it was released and features enough camp and tongue-in-cheek humor to be planted firmly in the ‘homage’ category. This bloodbath is a win-win for many viewers. If you appreciate B-movies and films which (obviously) don’t take themselves too seriously, then this movie is for you.
Frightmare is the creation of noted horror writer and director Pete Walker. And it provides plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t leave your home for social events of any stripe. (Even if your motive is to have tea with a charming middle aged woman who’s offering tarot readings in her country home.) Pete Walker is a favorite in the horror genre who specialized in horror and sexploitation films, so the fact Walker wrote and directed a thrilling movie which centers around a family with cannibalistic tendencies and inklings of mental instability should be a surprise to no one.
The Cabin In the Woods (2012)
Life would be better for everyone if the main characters in Cabin in the Woods had simply decided to stay home for the weekend rather than embarking on a camping trip. Truth be told, that can be said for a variety of horror films. In fact, “don’t go camping” is all but the staple horror survival advice of many slashers. Although this movie tries to make the viewer more introspective than the average horror film, it is still an incredibly enjoyable horror flick. It is interesting because it takes things a step further than many horror movies dare go, suggesting a possible explanation for many of the reasons why staying inside is the safest option in all situations. The bottom line is, that regardless of why you stay indoors, you have made the right choice.
This movie was added to the list to remedy those instances when it feels like a getaway in the countryside is needed. When you feel the need to recuperate from the daily grind, look to Eden Lake for a swift reminder to ignore that impulse. The movie centers around a young couple’s vacation into the countryside for rest and relaxation. Unfortunately for the movie’s heroes, although they could trust one another they couldn’t rely on the safety of their small town destination any more than the city they left behind.