Today: July 19, 2024

Ten Top Claustrophobic Thrillers

Most film fans will admit to revelling in the glory of siege thrillers. Who doesn’t somewhat sadistically enjoy sitting comfortably, watching those on screen suffer the horrific, claustrophobic stuff of nightmares? In homage to all films that have incidentally saved on expensive production costs by filming the entire movie in (mostly) one setting, we pay tribute to the newly crowned leader of said genre – Green Room – starring Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots. We’ve listed some of the most genius, gripping films to get you in the mood. Ready your inner Houdini, here are the top ten movies all claustrophobes should give a wide berth.

Green Room
The ‘Ain’t Rights’ band are struggling for money and jump at the chance to play a gig for actual cold hard cash. They soon come to regret their decision when the audience turns out to be filled with neo-nazi skinheads. Whilst about to high-tail it out of there, the band soon discover evidence that the insalubrious gang are up to no good, and end up trapped in the Green Room with the machiavellian club owner intent on getting them out, but more importantly, keeping their secrets safe.

127 Hours
This film is all the more horrific for being based on the real life happenings to one Aron Ralston (James Franco), a climber whose mis-adventuring leaves his arm trapped between rocks with no one to help and no escape. Faced with the unenviable decision of whether to free himself minus a limb or stay put facing certain oblivion, this Danny Boyle classic is a must-see.

Panic Room
A very wealthy woman buys a new home, post-divorce, from a chap who had some issues with paranoia. Which comes in handy when a home invasion means Meg (Jodie Foster) and her young daughter (a pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart) need to use the panic room he built. Only it turns out what the bad guys want is in that Panic Room.

Jack (Keanu Reeves) and Annie (Sandra Bullock) find themselves on a bus rigged with explosives set to go off if the speedometer of the bus drops below 50mph. Any passengers leaving the vehicle will be shot by unhinged baddie Howard (Dennis Hopper). Can Jack and Annie save the passengers, and themselves?

Paul (Ryan Reynolds) awakens to find himself in a box, buried deep in the Iraqi desert. There’s 90 minutes of oxygen left and Paul has only a cigarette lighter, and mobile phone, replete with rapidly-draining battery, and abysmal signal to try to escape.

The Shining
A caretaker, his wife and young son are holed up in an abandoned hotel for the winter. Jack Nicholson gives his greatest performance as a man losing the plot, hastened by the spooky, nefarious goings-on in the haunted hotel itself.

Hard Candy
The story of this film involves a revenge plot by the young Hayley (Ellen Page) who raids the home of Jeff (Patrick Wilson), a suspected paedophile. A psychological cat and mouse game that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Famous writer Paul (James Caan) crashes his car and is rescued by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). He is cared for by the apparently kindly superfan, until he realises she isn’t intending to let him go. Ever. Stephen King at his very best.

Stuart (Colin Farrell) unwittingly answers a ringing phone in a booth and finds himself the target of a sniper hidden in a surrounding building. Not only does the caller know alot of Stuart’s secrets, this happens to be a very busy phone box and the regulars want in.

I Am Legend
Will Smith is the only man alive, looking for a cure to a nasty healthcare experiment gone wrong. The result of this experiment, some clever and sadistic monsters, look for him when darkness falls, targeting his armoured home.

Green Room is on Blu-ray and DVD on September 19th.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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