15 Movies Like Insidious you must watch

By Published On: June 9, 2024Last Updated: June 3, 20243565 words17.9 min read

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Movies Like Insidious

Director James Wan, renowned for his groundbreaking low-budget movie Saw, which ignited one of the most profitable and well-known horror franchises of the modern era, achieved another hit with The Conjuring. Sandwiched between these successes, he launched the equally popular supernatural chiller Insidious.

The success of Insidious led to several sequels, with the latest installment, Insidious 5, reuniting the original cast under the direction of lead actor Patrick Wilson. While fans eagerly await the next chapter, the following horror movies like Insidious (2010) can provide ample scare and entertainment.

15 Best Movies Like Insidious

The Conjuring (2013)

Available to Stream on HBO Max

Summary: Directed by James Wan, The Conjuring is a gripping horror film inspired by the real-life investigations of paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren. Set in the 1970s, the story revolves around the Perron family, who move into a secluded farmhouse only to encounter malevolent spirits. As the Warrens step in to help, they face their most terrifying case yet, battling a dark entity that threatens to destroy the family.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, The Conjuring offers a similar blend of supernatural terror and suspense. Both films showcase Wan’s mastery of atmospheric horror and feature chilling moments that linger long after the credits roll.

Unique Features: What sets The Conjuring apart is its emphasis on realism and emotional depth. The film draws upon real events and incorporates elements of the Warrens’ investigations, grounding the supernatural occurrences in a sense of authenticity. Additionally, the performances, particularly those of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as the Warrens, add layers of complexity to the characters, enhancing the audience’s investment in their plight. With its expertly crafted scares and compelling storytelling, The Conjuring stands as a modern classic in the horror genre.

It Follows (2014)

Available to Stream on Netflix

Summary: It Follows, directed by David Robert Mitchell, is a psychological horror film that offers a fresh take on the genre. The story centers on Jay, a young woman who becomes the target of a supernatural entity after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter. Pursued relentlessly by the entity, which can take on various forms, Jay must find a way to break the curse before it’s too late. As she grapples with the terrifying reality of her situation, Jay’s relationships with her friends and family are put to the test, leading to a tense and suspenseful journey.

Comparison: Similar to Insidious, it explores themes of fear and vulnerability in the face of the unknown. Both films use inventive storytelling techniques to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, blending supernatural elements with psychological depth.

Unique Features: What sets It Follows apart is its subversion of traditional horror tropes. Rather than relying on jump scares or gore, the film builds tension through atmosphere and suspense, creating an eerie sense of dread that permeates every frame. Mitchell’s direction is complemented by a haunting score and striking cinematography, which enhance the film’s dreamlike atmosphere. With its thought-provoking premise and atmospheric execution, It Follows is a standout entry in the horror genre.

Grave Encounters (2011)

Available to Stream on Pluto TV, Tubi, Vudu, and Crackle

Summary: Grave Encounters, directed by the Vicious Brothers, is a found-footage horror film that follows a team of paranormal investigators as they explore an abandoned psychiatric hospital. The crew, led by host Lance Preston, sets out to uncover evidence of supernatural activity but quickly realizes they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. As they delve deeper into the hospital’s dark history, they find themselves trapped in a terrifying maze of hauntings and horrors, with no way out and no one coming to rescue them.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, Grave Encounters offers a different but equally chilling take on the horror genre. Both films explore the supernatural realm, with Grave Encounters focusing on the paranormal investigation angle.

Unique Features: What sets Grave Encounters apart is its use of found-footage techniques to create a sense of realism and immersion. The film unfolds as if it were a documentary, with the characters’ cameras capturing every spine-tingling moment. As the tension mounts and the paranormal activity escalates, viewers are drawn deeper into the mystery of the hospital’s haunting. With its claustrophobic atmosphere and relentless scares, Grave Encounters delivers a truly chilling experience for horror enthusiasts.

Poltergeist (1982)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist is a classic supernatural horror film that follows the Freeling family as they are terrorized by malevolent spirits. Strange occurrences begin to plague their suburban home, culminating in the abduction of their youngest daughter, Carol Anne, by vengeful entities from beyond the grave. As the family struggles to rescue Carol Anne and uncover the truth behind the haunting, they confront dark forces beyond their comprehension.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, Poltergeist offers a timeless tale of supernatural terror and family bonds. Both films explore the fear of the unknown and the lengths to which families will go to protect their loved ones from otherworldly threats.

Unique Features: What sets Poltergeist apart is its groundbreaking special effects and iconic moments that have become ingrained in popular culture. From the eerie static of the television screen to the unforgettable scene involving a possessed clown doll, the film is filled with memorable imagery that continues to haunt audiences to this day. Additionally, Poltergeist explores themes of innocence lost and the vulnerability of childhood, adding depth to its supernatural thrills. With its blend of suspense, spectacle, and heart, Poltergeist remains a cornerstone of the horror genre.

Host (2020)

Available to Stream on Shudder

Summary: Host, directed by Rob Savage, is a groundbreaking found-footage horror film that unfolds entirely through a Zoom call. Set during the COVID-19 pandemic, the story follows a group of friends who decide to hold a seance via video chat for entertainment during lockdown. However, their virtual gathering takes a terrifying turn when they unwittingly summon a malevolent entity. As the friends struggle to survive the night, they must confront the horrors lurking within their own homes.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, Host offers a modern twist on supernatural horror that taps into the fears of our digital age. Both films explore the idea of unseen forces infiltrating the safety of our homes, with Host taking advantage of contemporary technology to deliver its scares.

Unique Features: What sets Host apart is its innovative approach to storytelling and its timely themes. By utilizing the format of a Zoom call, the film creates a sense of intimacy and immediacy that draws viewers into the action. As the characters’ webcams capture their mounting terror, audiences are immersed in a visceral and claustrophobic experience. Additionally, Host cleverly incorporates elements of found footage and practical effects to enhance its realism, making it a standout entry in the horror genre. With its timely premise and pulse-pounding scares, Host is a must-watch for horror aficionados.

Lights Out (2016)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by David F. Sandberg, Lights Out is a spine-tingling horror film that explores the terrifying consequences of a mysterious entity that only appears in the darkness. When Rebecca learns that her younger brother, Martin, is experiencing the same chilling encounters that once haunted her, she returns home to confront their mother and the sinister force that lurks in the shadows. As the family grapples with the entity’s malevolent presence, they uncover dark secrets that threaten to consume them all.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, Lights Out offers a chilling exploration of supernatural terror and familial bonds. Both films delve into the fear of the unknown and the lengths people will go to protect their loved ones from otherworldly threats.

Unique Features: What sets Lights Out apart is its innovative use of light and darkness to create tension and suspense. The film’s central premise, where the entity can only manifest in darkness, adds a unique twist to traditional horror conventions. As characters navigate the treacherous terrain of a world plunged into darkness, viewers are kept on the edge of their seats, anticipating each spine-tingling encounter. Additionally, Lights Out boasts strong performances and a compelling narrative that keeps audiences gripped until the very end. With its inventive premise and hair-raising scares, Lights Out is a standout entry in the horror genre.

Sinister (2012)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by Scott Derrickson, Sinister is a chilling horror film that follows true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt as he delves into the mystery of a series of unsolved murders. Moving his family into a house where the previous occupants met a gruesome fate, Ellison hopes to uncover the truth behind the killings and write a best-selling book. However, as he unearths a collection of disturbing home movies depicting the murders, he unwittingly unleashes a malevolent force that threatens to consume him and his loved ones.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, Sinister offers a dark and twisted journey into the realm of supernatural horror. Both films explore themes of family, fear, and the haunting consequences of uncovering hidden truths.

Unique Features: What sets Sinister apart is its spine-chilling atmosphere and relentless sense of dread. The film’s use of found footage adds an extra layer of realism and immersion, drawing viewers deeper into its nightmarish world. Each home movie discovered by Ellison offers a glimpse into the horrors that lurk just beyond the surface, creating a sense of unease that lingers long after the credits roll. Additionally, Sinister features a standout performance by Ethan Hawke as Ellison, whose descent into madness mirrors the audience’s own journey into terror. With its haunting imagery and psychological twists, Sinister is a must-watch for horror enthusiasts craving a bone-chilling experience.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by Mike Flanagan, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a supernatural horror film set in 1967 Los Angeles. The story centers on Alice Zander, a widowed mother and fake medium who incorporates an Ouija board into her séances to bolster her business. However, when Alice unwittingly summons a malevolent entity during a séance, her family becomes the target of terrifying supernatural forces. As the horrors escalate, Alice and her daughters must confront the sinister presence before it consumes them all.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, Ouija: Origin of Evil offers a haunting exploration of paranormal activity and its devastating effects on a family. Both films delve into the fear of the unknown and the desperate struggle to protect loved ones from malevolent forces.

Unique Features: What sets Ouija: Origin of Evil apart is its atmospheric setting and period-specific details. Director Mike Flanagan expertly recreates the nostalgic charm of 1960s Los Angeles, immersing viewers in a bygone era filled with retro aesthetics and vintage cinematography. Additionally, the film’s emphasis on family dynamics and the bond between mothers and daughters adds depth to its supernatural thrills. With its blend of period drama and supernatural horror, Ouija: Origin of Evil offers a fresh take on the haunted house genre that is sure to leave audiences spellbound.

The Ritual (2017)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by David Bruckner, The Ritual is a chilling horror film about a group of friends who embark on a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness. After shortening through a dense forest, the group becomes lost and discovers an ancient pagan cult lurking in the woods. As they confront their darkest fears and struggle to survive against the sinister forces that haunt the forest, they realize their journey may lead to a fate worse than death.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, The Ritual offers a harrowing journey into the unknown, where ancient evil and primal terror lurk in the shadows. Both films explore themes of supernatural dread and the fragility of the human psyche in the face of malevolent forces.

Unique Features: What sets The Ritual apart is its atmospheric setting and psychological depth. The dense, foreboding forests of Scandinavia serve as a haunting backdrop for the film’s descent into madness, while the group’s fractured relationships and buried secrets add layers of tension and intrigue. Additionally, The Ritual blends elements of folk horror and creature features, creating a unique and immersive horror experience that lingers long after the credits roll. With its haunting atmosphere and visceral scares, The Ritual is a must-watch for horror enthusiasts craving a spine-chilling adventure.

Before I Wake (2016)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by Mike Flanagan, Before I Wake is a supernatural horror film that follows a grieving couple, Jessie and Mark, who adopt a young boy named Cody after the loss of their own son. However, they soon discover that Cody’s dreams manifest into reality when he sleeps, bringing both beautiful and terrifying visions to life. As they delve deeper into Cody’s mysterious abilities, they uncover dark secrets from his past and must confront the malevolent entities that haunt his dreams.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, Before I Wake offers a haunting exploration of grief, guilt, and the supernatural. Both films delve into the realm of nightmares and the terrifying consequences of tapping into the unseen forces that lurk within the human mind.

Unique Features: Its emotional depth and poignant storytelling set Before I Wake apart. Director Mike Flanagan masterfully blends supernatural horror with heartfelt drama, creating an emotionally gripping narrative. The film’s stunning visual effects bring Cody’s dreams to life in vivid detail, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Additionally, Before I Wake boasts standout performances from its cast, particularly Jacob Tremblay as the enigmatic Cody, whose innocence and vulnerability make him a sympathetic yet unsettling protagonist. With its blend of supernatural thrills and emotional resonance, Before I Wake is a captivating journey into the darkness of the human soul.

The Woman In Black (2012)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: The Woman In Black is a classic haunted house horror film directed by James Watkins, based on Susan Hill’s novel of the same name. Set in early 20th-century England, the story follows Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer who is sent to a remote village to settle the affairs of a recently deceased woman. As Arthur delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding the woman’s estate, he discovers that the village is haunted by the vengeful spirit of a scorned woman known as the Woman in Black. As he uncovers the chilling truth behind her malevolent presence, Arthur is entangled in a terrifying battle against forces beyond his comprehension.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, The Woman In Black offers a spine-tingling journey into the supernatural, where ancient curses and vengeful spirits lurk in the shadows. Both films explore the themes of grief, loss, and the unrelenting terror of the unknown.

Unique Features: What sets The Woman In Black apart is its Gothic atmosphere and chilling suspense. Director James Watkins creates a palpable sense of dread, drawing viewers into a world of crumbling mansions, mist-shrouded marshes, and ghostly apparitions. The film’s haunting imagery and eerie sound design evoke a sense of unease that permeates every scene, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. Additionally, The Woman In Black features a standout performance from Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps, whose journey into the heart of darkness is both captivating and harrowing. With its blend of Gothic horror and psychological thrills, The Woman In Black is a modern masterpiece of supernatural cinema.

The Others (2001)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, The Others is a psychological horror film set in post-World War II England. The story revolves around Grace Stewart, a devoutly religious woman who resides in a secluded mansion with her two photosensitive children, Anne and Nicholas. As Grace struggles to protect her children from the mysterious presence haunting their home, she becomes increasingly convinced that the house is inhabited by malevolent spirits. As the tension mounts and secrets from the past are unearthed, Grace must confront the horrifying truth about the haunting of her home.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, The Others offers a chilling exploration of supernatural phenomena and the unraveling of dark family secrets. Both films delve into themes of isolation, paranoia, and the sinister forces that lurk just beyond the realm of the living.

Unique Features: Its atmospheric tension and masterful storytelling set The Others apart. Director Alejandro Amenábar creates an atmosphere of creeping dread, using shadowy cinematography and subtle sound design to evoke a sense of unease. The film’s twist ending, which upends viewers’ perceptions of reality, is a testament to its narrative complexity and psychological depth. Additionally, The Others features a standout performance from Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart, whose descent into madness is heartbreaking and haunting. With its blend of psychological horror and supernatural suspense, The Others remains a timeless classic of the genre.

Crimson Peak (2015)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Crimson Peak is a gothic romance horror film that follows aspiring author Edith Cushing as she marries the charming Sir Thomas Sharpe and moves into his dilapidated mansion, Allerdale Hall. As Edith explores the crumbling estate, she discovers dark secrets hidden within its walls and encounters the vengeful spirits that haunt the corridors. As the supernatural forces grow increasingly malevolent, Edith must unravel the mysteries of Crimson Peak before she becomes its next victim.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, Crimson Peak offers a haunting tale of ghosts, secrets, and forbidden love. Both films explore the darker aspects of human nature and the horrors that lie beneath the surface of seemingly idyllic settings.

Unique Features: What sets Crimson Peak apart is its sumptuous gothic aesthetic and richly layered storytelling. Director Guillermo del Toro creates a visually stunning world filled with ornate mansions, eerie landscapes, and grotesque apparitions. The film’s blend of romance and horror, coupled with its Gothic atmosphere, evokes the classic tales of Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley. Additionally, Crimson Peak features standout performances from its cast, including Mia Wasikowska as the determined Edith Cushing and Tom Hiddleston as the enigmatic Sir Thomas Sharpe. With its blend of Gothic romance and supernatural horror, Crimson Peak is a chillingly beautiful exploration of love, loss, and the darkness that resides within us all.

Mama (2013)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by Andrés Muschietti, Mama is a supernatural horror film that tells the story of two young girls, Victoria and Lily, who are discovered living alone in a forest cabin after their parents’ mysterious deaths. Rescued and raised by their uncle Lucas and his girlfriend Annabel, the girls bring with them a sinister presence they call “Mama.” As strange and terrifying events begin to unfold, Annabel realizes that Mama is more than just a figment of the girl’s imagination, and she must confront the malevolent entity before it claims them all.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, Mama offers a chilling exploration of motherhood, loss, and the supernatural. Both films delve into the bond between parent and child and the lengths to which one will go to protect their loved ones from unseen threats.

Unique Features: Its atmospheric tension and emotional depth set Mama apart. Director Andrés Muschietti creates a sense of foreboding from the film’s opening moments, drawing viewers into a world of dark forests and haunted houses. The film’s central theme of maternal instinct adds a layer of complexity to its horror elements as Annabel struggles to come to terms with her role as a surrogate mother to Victoria and Lily. Additionally, Mama features standout performances from Jessica Chastain as the fiercely protective Annabel and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the troubled Uncle Lucas. With its blend of supernatural horror and emotional resonance, Mama is a hauntingly beautiful tale of love, loss, and the ties that bind us together.

It (2017)

Available to Stream on Various Platforms

Summary: Directed by Andy Muschietti, It is a supernatural horror film based on the iconic novel by Stephen King. The story follows a group of young outcasts known as the Losers’ Club who band together to confront an ancient evil terrorizing their hometown of Derry, Maine. The malevolent entity, known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, preys on children’s fears and has haunted the town for centuries. As the Losers’ Club faces off against Pennywise, they must confront their own deepest fears and traumas in order to defeat the otherworldly creature once and for all.

Comparison: For fans of Insidious, It offers a terrifying exploration of childhood fears and the power of friendship in the face of unimaginable evil. Both films delve into the supernatural realm and the psychological toll of confronting malevolent forces beyond comprehension.

Unique Features: Its blend of horror, coming-of-age drama, and nostalgia sets it apart. Director Andy Muschietti captures the essence of Stephen King’s novel, creating a richly detailed world populated by memorable characters and terrifying monsters. The film’s young ensemble cast delivers standout performances, bringing depth and authenticity to their roles as the members of the Losers’ Club. Additionally, It features Bill Skarsgård’s chilling portrayal of Pennywise, which has become iconic in its own right. With its blend of horror and heart, It is a spine-tingling thrill ride that will leave viewers on the edge of their seats until the end.

These recommendations capture the spirit of Insidious with their elements of supernatural terror and psychological suspense. Each film offers a unique twist on the genre, ensuring that fans of movies like Insidious (2010) have plenty of spine-chilling options to explore while awaiting the next chapter in the franchise.