Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

12 Creepy Movies Like Girl In The Basement Every Horror Fan Should See

The following article includes mentions of child abuse.

Released in early 2021, "Girl in the Basement" was inspired by a horrific true-crime case that sadly had far too many similarities to the events on screen. Shortly before her 18th birthday, Sara's controlling father decides he isn't willing to let his daughter leave his life, and makes the unthinkable decision to lock her in the basement of the family home. For over two decades Sara is subjected to repeated instances of abuse by her father, with the rest of her family completely oblivious to his heinous crimes.

The abhorrent subject matter of the film is only made harder to stomach by its cramped and inhospitable setting, as Sara is left with no choice but to adapt to the prison she calls home. As hard as it is at times to watch, "Girl in the Basement" is a morbidly compelling look into the darkest aspects of humanity. Let's discuss some of the most claustrophobic films in the same spirit as "Girl in the Basement," though we'll try to round it out with a few picks that aren't quite as bleak.

The Girl Next Door

Not to be confused with a certain raunchy mid-2000s comedy of the same name, "The Girl Next Door" is heavily inspired by a disturbing true-crime story much like the one in "Girl in the Basement." Set almost entirely during the late '50s, it follows a teenage girl named Meg Loughlin who becomes the target of a continued campaign of abuse led by her aunt Ruth. She isn't the only one to torment Meg, however, as other children in the neighborhood and even Meg's own siblings become at times unwilling accomplices in her torture.

As the violence escalates, it becomes increasingly clear that Meg's odds of escaping her living nightmare are getting slimmer by the day. Her only hope for justice lies in the hands of a teenage boy named David, who himself struggles to avoid the wrath of Meg's abusive aunt. The many parallels to its real-world inspiration make "The Girl Next Door" a tough film to sit through when you remember just how much of the events unfolding truly happened. Despite its intense material, audiences with an interest in true crime and a strong stomach to match will find this one a must watch.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Green Room

Being imprisoned in a room at the hands of a controlling relative is the stuff of nightmares, but it's a whole lot worse when your captors are members of a deranged group of neo-Nazi skinheads. That's just the predicament the members of an East Coast punk band find themselves in while on tour, after they become witnesses to a brutal murder in a remote club's green room. Now held captive in the same room as the grisly crime, it becomes apparent that the band's fanatical captors don't plan on letting them leave the venue alive.

One of the bleakest picks on our list, "Green Room" doesn't pull any punches when it comes to delivering on gritty violence. Though it stumbled at the box office, critics and audiences have since recognized it as worth the watch. Just make sure you're in the right mood for it, as even the happiest ending we can hope for is still undeniably grim. If you still aren't sold on this one yet, fans of both "Star Trek" and the "X-Men" films will be excited to hear that beloved actor Patrick Stewart has a starring role in this one, though his performance puts our love for him to the test as he portrays Darcy, the ruthless leader of the violent gang.

Berlin Syndrome

A key element of a truly great horror film is when it thrusts its protagonists into unfamiliar places. Some of the all-time classics such as Suzy Bannion visiting a school full of witches in "Suspiria" or the Torrance family staying at the desolate Overlook Hotel in "The Shining" play with the idea of being in a completely unfamiliar place, exposing both our heroes and the viewer to a level of vulnerability. Another perfect example of this concept is the story that unfolds in "Berlin Syndrome," as a wanderlust Australian girl named Clare (Teresa Palmer) finds herself smitten by a Berlin native who isn't quite what he seems.

After spending a night with her newfound lover Andi (Max Riemelt), Clare wakes up to find herself trapped in his apartment. When he returns home that night, it seems to be nothing more than a simple misunderstanding. That is, until the same thing happens the next day and she finally realizes just how dire her situation is. Andi's behavior becomes increasingly abusive as the days drag on, with Clare's captor living a seemingly normal life as a schoolteacher by day and trying to mold her into a perfect partner by night. To make matters even worse, Clare discovers that Andi's repeated threats of violence may be serious, when a shocking discovery in the apartment-turned-prison reveals she might not be the first woman to fall prey to him.


Likely best known for their work creating the pop culture phenomenon that is "Stranger Things," the Duffer brothers have undoubtedly proven their mastery of all things horror. But we'd be willing to bet most fans probably aren't familiar with their underrated and equally mysterious film "Hidden," which got its quiet release less than a year prior to the debut of "Stranger Things."

A prevailing theme throughout many of our choices involves people trapped in a location where the greatest danger is someone, or something, keeping them from leaving. But in "Hidden," the true threat is what's lurking above. After a mysterious plague ravages the country, a small family is forced to take refuge underground to survive the onslaught. Though they have everything they need to survive within the confines of their bunker, whatever it is that's decimated the population of those less prepared desperately wants to claw its way inside and destroy what little they have left. Though it doesn't have any of the Lovecraftian horrors present in the Duffers' acclaimed series, "Hidden" delivers on all of the claustrophobic tension that fans of "Girl in the Basement" would expect.

The Loved Ones

What should be a normal adolescent life is forever shattered for teenager Brent (Xavier Samuel) after he causes a horrific car crash that leaves his father dead. Still reeling from the event months later, we see that he's been thrust into a downward spiral consisting of substance abuse and self harm. A brief respite from his grief presents itself in the form of his school's prom, which he plans on attending with his girlfriend Holly. But after a passing interaction in which he rejects the advances of another teenaged girl named Lola (Robin McLeavy), he soon finds out she just can't take no for an answer.

Turns out Brent's not-so-secret admirer has a penchant for bloodshed that makes the prom scene from "Carrie" look tame in comparison. After kidnapping Brent and tying him to a seat at the family table, he's forced to endure Lola's twisted version of prom night. Totally grotesque, dripping with blood, and at times funny in the most uncomfortable way possible, "The Loved Ones" definitely isn't a pick for fans with weak stomachs. That said, its parallels to "Girl in the Basement" should be pretty easy to pick up on, and it's a unique twist on the formula thanks to its unhinged female antagonist.


Director M. Night Shyamalan shocked audiences with the release of "Split," since it was both a stealth sequel to a previous fan favorite film of his, as well as a decidedly more horror-focused take on the concept. The twisted story follows the downward spiral of Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy), whose mind serves as a battleground for a number of different personalities all vying for control of his body. While one personality known as Barry is the most level-headed and dominant of the group, others such as the violent Dennis and fanatical Patricia threaten to unseat Barry's spot in the forefront of Kevin's mind.

A seemingly inevitable shift in the balance of power puts Dennis in total control of Kevin, and this is where the film takes a turn from psychological thriller to downright horror. Dennis soon kidnaps three girls, whose situation only goes from bad to worse when it's revealed that a previously unseen and malevolent personality known only as "The Beast" may soon emerge from the recesses of Kevin's mind. Since it doesn't share any of our featured film's true-crime inspiration, the cramped and violent scenes showcasing Kevin's split personalities and his victims make "Split" just slightly more fun than "Girl in the Basement." While we won't reveal the surprising connection to the director's past work present in this one, just know that it wouldn't be a proper Shyamalan movie without a signature twist ending.


Speaking of M. Night Shyamalan, the 2010 film "Dogtooth" dove headfirst into a story similar to Shyamalan's "The Village," albeit on a much more condensed scale and with much warmer reception from critics and audiences alike. Set entirely within an unnamed family's home, a domineering couple have forbidden their children from ever leaving the house, raising them to believe in mythical threats that lurk outside the property's tall fence. Now adults, the three children have grown up with a warped sense of what type of behavior is normal, thanks to their mother and father's bizarre style of parenting.

Calling their lifestyle quirky would be an understatement. Some of the more unusual activities the family engages in, such as pretending to be dogs, highlight their borderline insanity, while a number of uncomfortable sexual scenes within the family show just how far removed from society they've become. Though the children have grown up without learning many of the mannerisms that make us human, their innate curiosity about what lies beyond their known world gives them a chance at freedom. It's not quite a horror film, but the matter-of-fact way in which its disturbing subject matter is portrayed makes "Dogtooth" a thoroughly unsettling and creepy experience to sit through that at times feels all too real.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.


Perhaps one of the greatest authors of our time, Stephen King has more than a few novels that have become pop culture touchstones. But the film adaptations of his works can admittedly be a bit hit or miss. Though it did well financially at the time and even earned Kathy Bates an Academy Award for Best Lead Actress thanks to her incredible performance, the 1990 film "Misery" hasn't enjoyed its time in the spotlight as much as some of King's other works, making it one of the more underrated films based on one of his novels.

After renowned author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is involved in a car accident that leaves him unconscious on a remote stretch of country road, he's fortunate enough to be taken in by a woman named Annie Wilkes (Bates) living nearby. As luck would have it, Paul's newfound caretaker bills herself as his biggest fan. When Annie reads Paul's latest work, however, things take a turn for the worse as she proposes a few changes that aren't just suggestions.

Being held captive by an obsessed fan would be bad enough, but the desolate setting and Annie's violent nature make "Misery" a particularly fitting title for this film. While the frosty setting makes it an obvious pick for a snowy weekend night, it's a great choice for any devoted horror fan no matter what time of year it is.


Ditch the mountains of Colorado for the rolling hills of Appalachia and swap a deranged literary nut for something even more sinister, and you'll start to get a good idea of what this one's all about. Comparisons to "Misery" aside, "Spell" is a fun romp through its backwoods setting that stays unique by taking a deep dive into the occult and all its unsavory aspects.

After receiving word that his father has passed away, Marquis Woods (Omari Hardwick) decides to revisit a life he worked hard to leave behind. While piloting a small plane with his family on board to attend the funeral, a rogue storm sends them all plummeting back down to earth. When Marquis wakes up, he finds himself in the care of an affable woman named Ms. Eloise (Loretta Devine), whose approach to healing is at odds — to say the least– with modern science. After she's revealed to be a practitioner of hoodoo and seemingly on board with the idea of human sacrifice, Marquis has no choice but to do everything he can to save himself and his family before they become her next victims.

If you're on the hunt for another pick in the surprisingly vast subgenre of horror featuring folks trapped in homes with less than hospitable hosts, this one may just leave you spellbound.

10 Cloverfield Lane

An unknown enemy has launched a full scale invasion of the United States and decimated the population. Or has it? That's the burning question on Michelle's (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) mind after she wakes up from a car crash with a fuzzy recollection of what happened next. What she does know is that she's been chained to a wall deep underground in a bunker belonging to a possible lunatic, who insists that an unspecified apocalyptic event has left the outside world uninhabitable.

Her captor, Howard (John Goodman), has clearly spent years preparing for a day like this, as evidenced by his extensive stock of all the supplies needed to weather the supposed doomsday. Michelle quickly proves that she's one of the smarter horror movie protagonists out there by not believing a word he says, and immediately begins plotting her escape. Things take a turn for the bizarre however, when the evidence starts mounting that her mysterious roommate might just be telling the truth. Despite its small scale setting, "10 Cloverfield Lane" is a gripping thriller full of twists and turns that'll keep you guessing about what's really going on all the way to the end.


Imagine being trapped in a cold, metal room with an unseen trap somewhere inside, just waiting to have you meet a grisly demise. At least if you're clever enough to make it out alive, you're in the clear, right? Well, that's not the case in this 1997 cult classic, which sees five complete strangers trapped together in a nightmarish maze searching for a way out. With no explanation of how they arrived, they soon discover that many of the rooms aren't as unassuming as they might seem. While not every room they advance to contains a puzzle, the ones that do have deadly repercussions for failure.

As the group methodically trudges through the brutalist labyrinth, they discover more about each other's murky pasts. When a shocking revelation about the true nature of the cube comes to light, it's worth asking if any of its prisoners will ever escape alive. Though this one is set in the far-flung realms of sci-fi, it manages to be just as claustrophobic as any of the other picks on our list, and a great choice for anyone looking for a film that will make you feel as trapped as "Girl in the Basement."

The Descent

After a horrific tragedy rocks Sarah's life and takes her family from her, she begins the long and painful process of grieving. A year later, hoping to get her mind off the horrific events she's still reeling from, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) reunites with a group of her friends for what's supposed to be a fun bonding trip. Instead of going to a warm beach or on a scenic vacation though, the girls decide to head deep into a remote cave system that her friend Juno (Natalie Mendoza) assures everyone is completely safe. As we soon discover, however, Juno is — to put it politely — a huge liar.

Problems crop up almost immediately when the entrance to the cave collapses behind the spelunkers, leaving them with no clear way out. As the initial panic wears off and they commit to trying to find a way out of the caverns, an entirely new danger makes itself known as the cavers realize they're not the only ones down there.

Though our protagonists aren't stuck in a basement in this one, the predicament they find themselves in is arguably far more terrifying. Trapped deep underground and pursued by ravenous mutants is just about the worst way to spend a vacation, which is why we consider "The Descent" worthy of being ranked among the greatest horror films ever made.