Entertainment: 15 Most Unsettlingly Realistic Horror Movies, According To Reddit

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There are plenty of great horror movies that focus on supernatural terror or creepy monsters. However, sometimes the scariest thing a movie can be is grounded in reality. If the audience watches the horror unfold on screen and knows something like that could actually happen, it can be quite unsettling.

  15 Most Unsettlingly Realistic Horror Movies, According To Reddit © Provided by ScreenRant

These movies rely simply on the evil that can exist in the real world and the threats that are very much possible. These types of stories will deliver the typical horror movie thrills with scares that may stay with viewers a little longer.

UPDATE: 2022/10/01 by Colin McCormick:

The horror genre in 2022 has offered a lot of fun movie choices, from the blockbusters like Nope to the indie sensations like Pearl to the return of beloved franchises like Halloween Ends. But there is still something alluring about a movie in which the audience can imagine these frightening things really happening. And there are even more horror movies that fans on Reddit have identified as being terrifying in how realistic they feel.

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The Hitcher (1986)

  • Available on Hulu, HBO Max and DIRECTV

A truly great movie villain can elevate any horror movie, even if it is just an ordinary human who is threatening the main characters. The Hitcher plays on the paranoia everyone has heard about the dangers of picking up hitchhikers as a young couple finds themselves targeted by a relentless killer they meet on the side of the road.

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Along with Rutger Hauer's unsettling performance as the villain, many fans found the movie's tension comes from believable scenarios. Redditor Mynci appreciated that "the story doesn't ride on the main character's stupidity to work."

The Vanishing (1988)

  • Available on The Criterion Channel

The Swedish horror movie The Vanishing is not packed with scares and blood, but is still remembered for one of the most unsettling endings in movie history. It follows a man searching for his wife who went missing during a road trip as well as the man responsible for her disappearance.

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Redditor shifty1032231 called The Vanishing "a brilliant movie and goes against all conventions." That is certainly true of its ending which proved that villains don't always get what they deserve.

Midsommar (2019)

  • Available on Showtime and DIRECTV

Florence Pugh gives one of her best performances in the creepy horror movie Midsommar. Pugh plays a young woman dealing with a recent devastating loss who joins her boyfriend and his friends on a trip to a Swedish midsummer festival where things quickly turn bizarre.

Despite the bright and beautiful surroundings, the story is filled with a foreboding sense of doom in every scene. Redditor GombaPorkolt admitted it manages to achieve a scary tone even though it is "not at all centered around the killings or anything violent."

Zodiac (2007)

  • Available on Paramount+, Hoopla and Pluto TV

One sure-fire thing to add an extra eerie factor to a horror movie is having to focus on real events. While it can be hard to believe some horror movies' claims of being based on a true story, Zodiac is unsettling for how accurate it is.

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The movie chronicles the investigation into the Zodiac Killer murders in the San Francisco area in the 1970s. along with being meticulous in the details of the case, Redditor elvaOscura3 found that Zodiac has a "tense atmosphere that stays past the credits."

The Strangers (2008)

  • Available on Fubo TV and USA

There have been a number of memorable masked killers in horror movies over the years. But while Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers feel quite outlandish, the threatening killers in The Strangers feel grounded in a deeply disturbing way.

The movie revolves around a couple in their secluded cabin who are terrorized by a gang of masked villains for seemingly no reason. Redditor IVIrG found the seeming senselessness of the attack to be "Definitely terrifying and just overall disturbing."

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

  • Available on AMC+, Roku, Vudu, The Criterion Channel, Tubi, Shudder and Plex

So many horror movies have featured serial killers as their main antagonists, but Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer took a new approach by featuring the murderer as the protagonist. Michael Rooker stars as the titular character who goes around dispatching victims one at a time.

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The movie seems uninterested in showing any redeemable aspects of the character, and as Redditor DylanTaylor1 put it simply "deals with human evil." The character study of a killer makes him more unsettling than classic slasher villains.

Misery (1990)

  • Available on Fubo TV, HBO Max, Showtime and DIRECTV

Stephen King stories can often deal with supernatural aspects, with everything from monster clowns to vampires. However, Misery is one adaptation of King's writing that makes the audience squirm with its grounded approach.

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James Caan stars in the movie as a novelist who is injured in a car accident and is nursed in isolation by an obsessive fan. Kathy Bates's performance as the seemingly unassuming person who becomes gradually more terrifying really elevates the movie and makes it "creepy as hell" according to Redditor Blindows.

Cape Fear (1991)

  • Available to rent on Apple TV

Though the original Cape Fear is a classic itself, Redditor slingoo claimed the "Scorsese remake is scariest" version of this story. The movie stars Scorsese's longtime collaborator Robert De Niro as a man released from prison who sets out on a mission of revenge against the lawyer he blames for putting him there.

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De Niro's Max Cady makes for a truly imposing villain, not because he cannot be killed or has some special powers, but because his determination makes him relentless. He truly feels like all of his disgusting and horrific acts are justified.

Hush (2016)

  • Available on Netflix

Home invasion movies are particularly effective as grounded horror stories because it puts the danger in a place most people feel safest. Hush adds an interesting twist on the material that makes it all the more memorable.

The movie follows a deaf woman who is randomly targeted by a masked killer as she attempts to defend herself. The terrific use of tension worked for many fans, and Redditor BreezyBlink found John Gallagher Jr.'s against-type casting as the killer a "really interesting thing to watch."

Eden Lake (2008)

  • Available on Roku, Vudu, Kanopy, Tubi, Redbox and Plex

A lot of these realistic horror movies start with something mundane and unthreatening only for the horror to emerge unexpectedly. Such is the case with Eden Lake which stars Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender as a couple on a romantic getaway who run into a group of youths looking for trouble, and is suggested by one Redditor as the ultimate in realistic terror.

RELATED: 10 Horror Movies Where The Main Characters Lose, According To RedditThe young age of the villains in the movie makes it all the creepier especially as they cannot be reasoned with and are doing all this brutal stuff for fun.

Psycho (1960)

  • Available on Peacock Premium

Alfred Hitchcock is the master of suspense, but of all his movies, Psycho remains the most terrifying to most viewers. The movie follows a young woman who, while on the run, stops at a roadside motel run by the creepy Norman Bates and his mother.

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The movie unfolds with so many shocking twists that were ground-breaking upon its release. It also helped introduce the idea of a seemingly mild-mannered person being a dark and sadistic killer underneath. When it comes to grounded horror movies, Redditor KingEuronIIIGreyjoy theorized that Psycho is "probably one of the most OG examples."

Martyrs (2008)

  • Available on Vudu, Tubi and Plex

The French movie Martyrs follows two young women who befriend each other while growing up in an orphanage. Years later, one of the women confronts her dark past which is linked to a mysterious and sadistic cult that is looking to discover the truth about the afterlife.

The movie is a brutal experience and certainly not for everyone. But while some of the characters believe in supernatural elements, Redditor Pjoernrachzarck pointed out the movie is a story of "true human horror."

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

  • Available on Hoopla and Tubi

While many grounded horror movies seem to be modern stories, Redditor VJDargil acknowledged that Bone Tomahawk gives "a western twist" to the genre. Kurt Russell stars as a sheriff who leads a posse to hunt down a group of cannibals.

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There have been plenty of movies that show the brutal and violent life in the Old West, but few are as gruesome in their depiction as Bone Tomahawk. It is an engrossing and surprising adventure with moments viewers won't soon get out of their heads.

The House That Jack Built (2018)

Available on AMC+, Tubi and DIRECTV

Filmmaker Lars von Trier is known for his challenging and often disturbing movies. While stepping into a story about a serial killer, The House That Jack Built ranks as one of his most unsettling projects.

The movie stars Matt Dillon as a serial killer and simply follows him around as he commits his sickening crimes. Like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, spending so much time with such an evil character is difficult, even if Redditor Puddinhead420 admits they "consider it a dark comedy."

Green Room (2015)

  • Available on Showtime, Fubo TV, Kanopy and DIRECTV

One of the most effective things a horror movie can do is relate a feeling of hopelessness for the heroes. Green Room very much delivers this in the simple yet gripping story of a punk rock band who finds themselves trapped by a gang of neo-Nazis.

The violence is brutal yet matter-of-fact and the actions of the movie's villains are so cold and calculating that it is bone-chilling. Redditor Dalsiandon also pointed out that "Patrick Stewart was terrifying" as the leader of the Nazi group.

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Best International Horror Movies of the 1970s .
International horror movies have their own horrific edge, something especially seen in these scary films from around the world in the 1970s.The 1970s saw a boom in international horror cinema, where the world's international anxieties, politics, and threats were explored in some of the most unnerving movies of all time. While the U.S. pumped out movies about slashers and supernatural possessions, the rest of the world developed horror flicks that confronted the scariest subjects of the decade. Here are the best international horror movies of the 1970s.

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