ONTD Original™ - Halloween Edition: 40 "Bottle" Horror Movies & Thrillers



Do you get nervous in an elevator? How about if the elevator suddenly stopped? If you woke up in a room full of strangers, and you're all chained down, would you know how to escape? Probably not. And neither do most of the people in the following flicks. Here are forty horror movies and thrillers involving "bottle" scenarios. They're trapped in a room, or in some kind of confined space, or the story takes place mainly in an enclosed setting.

The Hole
2001

A psychotherapist is brought in to help investigate a case where three out of four students died after spending their holiday inside an abandoned bomb shelter.

The Hole is an entertaining take on criminal procedure. The younger cast has good chemistry, and the ending is, while not unpredictable, memorable and harsh.

Panic Room
2002

A mother and her daughter hide in their new townhouse's panic room as their home is invaded by strangers.

Jodie Foster, replacing Nicole Kidman after she sustained an injury, is compelling in this mainstream thriller. The dialogue isn't anything to rave about, and Jared Leto's performance is laughable. But Panic Room is tense fun.
ATM
2012

Three co-workers are trapped inside an ATM booth on Christmas Eve while a dangerous hooded figure waits outside.

The basic idea for ATM is good, but the actual movie is really not. For one thing, who parks that far from an ATM in an empty lot? It was obviously done to further the plot along. The characters aren't so much the problem with this movie. It's the writing that ultimately brings it down.
Cube
1997

A group of strangers wake up inside a cubed room that has hatches leading to other rooms. The people try to figure a way out as well as learn why they're in there to begin with.

It's kind of amazing what this movie pulled off with such a small budget ($350,000). While it wasn't a runaway box office hit, Cube really paved the way for modern horror and thrillers about people stuck together in a confined space. The explanations are vague, which may work in the story's favor. There are two sequels that overexplain. In 2015, Lionsgate announced a remake was in the works.
Shuttle
2008

Two friends back from a vacation celebrating one's engagement make the mistake of accepting a ride on a stranger's shuttle bus. Along with three men aboard, the women are held hostage by the driver.

The story takes a very dark turn halfway in, and the ending is so bleak that you'll regret watching this otherwise anxiety inducing thriller.
Green Room
2015

When a punk band witnesses a crime at a neo-Nazi venue, they are confined to the green room, awaiting their fate to come.

The director's other movie, the revenge drama Blue Ruin, is arguably better written and more structured, but both the stellar cast and the impulsiveness of Green Room make it worth watching. This was one of Anton Yelchin's last movies before he died in 2016.
Exam
2009

Applicants vy for the same job at a prestigious company. They are placed in a room where they are given a blank paper with no stated question. This causes friction among the group as they search for the question.

This excessive British thriller makes good work of its single-room setting and collection of characters, who all border on stereotypes. However, viewers can't avert their eyes as events start to unfold.
Rope
1948

Two men host a party after murdering a friend. They even get bold enough to keep the body in the apartment, inside of a chest, during the party.

The acting and dialogue are superb in the engaging and tatut Rope. The chemistry between John Dall and Farley Granger alone is captivating, especially when one remembers the controversial homosexual theory that has followed this movie since its release.
Devil
2010

A security guard and several stranger get stuck inside one of the elevators at the office building he works at. The group of people begin to turn on each other, leading onlookers in the security room to think that something bigger is at play.

This isn't the first movie to have people trapped in an elevator, but it's probably one of the better ones. Not to say it's profound or even well written. It's just entertaining enough to revisit every so often.
Bear
2010

A pair of siblings and their respective significant others come across a bear en route to a party. When one of the men kills the bear, the beast's mate attacks. The four people are trapped inside their van as the bear waits outside.

Goodness gracious, this movie is awful. A character actually wonders if the bear is doing this to them because it wants them to work their problems out. Really?
Senseless
2008

A wealthy man's captivity and torture inside of a small room is streamed online.

This low-budget indie torture porn stars Roswell alum Jason Behr. It's depraved and pointless. Perhaps the original novel by Stona Fitch that it is based on is better.
Blackout
2008

Three strangers are stuck in an elevator together during a power outtage. One of them is a killer.

Amber Tamblyn, Armie Hammer, and Aidan Gillen star in this suspenseful thriller that requires one to suspend their belief.
Beneath
2013

A group of young people are trapped on a boat in the middle of a lake with a giant, carnivorous fish swimming around them.

The characters are all exasperating in this creature feature, but somehow their combined obnoxiousness makes Beneath more (hate) watchable than it deserves to be.
Captivity
2007

A young fashion model awakens in a basement after being abducted. Her unknown assailants then torture her.

If there was an award for "Best Pressed Chest Aganst Glass Poster," then Captivity would win hands down. But since that category doesn't appear to exist anywhere, Captivity is left to survive on its other merits. Where are they, though?
Altitude
2010

Young people flying by private plane to a concert are attacked by a large creature in the sky.

Altitude is like a high concept episode of Goosebumps. With a better set of characters and a script revision, this would have been better. There aren't enough movies about atmospheric, Lovecraftian beasts out there.
My Little Eye
2002

In an effort to win a prize, five contestants in a reality web series share a secluded house together. Tension rises as they receive strange messages from the outside world.

The voyeur horror My Little Eye was a little ahead of its time before the whole found footage trend started up. It even borrows from an earlier movie called Kolobos. It's a nice little hidden gem featuring Bradley Cooper in a small role.
Frozen
2010

Three people get stranded on a ski lift at an empty resort.

All that space around them, but nowhere to go. You'd think a movie about some randoms stuck on a ski lift would be boring. Yet Frozen manages to be entertaining enough.
House of 9
2005

Nine strangers are abducted and left inside a mansion under surveillance, where they are told that the last one alive will win five million dollars.

British celebrities Peter Capaldi and Kelly Brook co-star in this Saw clone with a touch of Battle Royale and Big Brother. It's not high art by any stretch of the imagination, but it'll do.
Phone Booth
2003

A man lured inside of a phone booth is told by a sniper that he will be shot if he leaves.

Joel Schumacher gives us a confined thriller with Colin Farrell as the lead. It's never scary, but there are tense moments.
Curve
2015

A bride gets into a car accident after picking up a dangerous hitchhiker. Now, she's trapped inside of her car as the psychotic man lurks outside.

Julianne Hough muddles her way through an average script that never goes as far as it really could. Curve could have been better, but the writing never takes a chance on itself.
Nine Dead
2009

Nine people are held captive by a madman. Every ten minutes, one of them will die until they figure out their connection to each other.

Melissa Joan Hart stars in this C-list quality Saw ripoff co-produced by her mother. That pretty much sums up how bad this movie is.
Elevator
2011

Guests on their way to a company party at the top of a high rise building get stuck together inside an elevator. As they panic, they turn on each other.

It's no coincidence this came out around the same time as Devil. It's more straightforward, though, than that movie. Joey Slotnick plays an annoying and racist comedian in this. That will likely test your patience.
10 Cloverfield Lane
2016

A woman wakes up in an underground bunker after a car accident. Two men tell her that the world outside is now uninhabitable.

This is a spiritual sequel to Cloverfield, the 2008 sci-fi monster hit. John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead shine in this riveting psychological thriller. The ending could have been better, though.
Would You Rather
2012

A woman, in need of money to help her sick brother, accepts an invitation to a game at a mansion. If she wins, the host will pay for her brother's treatment. The cost of losing, however, is higher than she and the other guests ever expected.

Would You Rather is a mean-spirited movie about people stuck in a situation because of bad choices. It reels you in, makes you root for characters. Then it sucker punches you with the ending.
Last Shift
2014

A rookie cop left alone in a police station during the late shift believes that she is being haunted.

While the movie's plot is thin, Last Shift boasts a welcomed amount of creepiness.
Pontypool
2008

A radio shock jock and his crew hide inside a radio station from a virus outbreak currently taking place outside.

This Canadian quasi-zombie horror relies on its limited setting because of the small budget (about $32,000). So do not expect any action scenes. Pontypool has a surprising amount of hype that one should avoid if they actually want to enjoy the movie.
Steel Trap
2007

Guests are invited by a mysterious host to a closed off New Year's Eve party in an office building. It turns quickly into a game of survival as the host hunts them all down.

Steel Trap is an English language slasher produced in Germany. It's no Saw, but the awful acting and dialogue makes this an unintentionally hilarious winner.
Hunger
2009

Five strangers wake up in an enclosed area with a connecting room containing enough water for thirty days and a surgical knife.

Painfully by-the-numbers. Bearing that in mind, it provides some entertainment.
Trunk
2009

A single mother is locked inside of a serial killer's trunk.

How did this movie cost over a million to make? Trunk didn't receive any accolades back then, but hey, the heroine tries whatever it takes to free herself. And she turns the tables around at the end. Got to give her some credit.
Circle
2015

A group of fifty people awaken in a dark and inescapable room where someone is killed by unseen captors every two minutes. They quickly learn that they can actually vote for who dies rather than it let be random.

For what is essentially a bunch of people standing around in a room for a little over eighty minutes, Circle is surprisingly enjoyable and unpredictable.
Buried
2010

An American truck driver wakes up buried alive in a coffin in Iraq. All that he has with him are a lighter and a cell phone. His abductor says the buried man will die if he does not get someone to pay the $5 million ransom by 9 PM.

Ryan Reynolds amazingly pulls off his role rather well in this nerve-wracking thriller.
247°F
2011

A man and two women get locked inside of a sauna.

Apparently something like happened in Georgia, which the movie is based on. That being said, 247°F is pretty terrible. You can tell it was made for a quick buck and likely got a decent return when it hit shelves and on-demand services.
Nailbiter
2013

A mother and her three kids get caught in a tornado on the way to pick up the father from the airport. They take shelter inside a cellar in the meantime. However, they're not alone as something very hungry waits in the shadows.

Considering the production budget was $300,000, this indie horror looks pretty good visually and effects wise. The acting is a bit iffy, but for what Nailbiter is, it's far from being the worst independent horror movie to come out in recent years.
Blind Alley
2011

A woman is stuck inside a laundromat with a serial killer.

One would think such a thin premise wouldn't work for a movie over an hour long, but this Spanish flick defies that idea. From the charming opening credits to the end, this movie is full of little surprises.
Beneath
2013

Trapped 600 feet below ground, a group of miners go mad as the air becomes toxic.

Don't confuse this with the killer fish movie also on the list. Many have made that mistake. The idea of being stuck underground is daunting, but Beneath somehow ends up more derivative than it should have been.
The Descent
2005

A group of friends go spelunking in an unexplored cave system. Not everyone will be coming out.

Even non-horror fans enjoy this cramped, airless creature feature. The ending is both joyless and memorable.
Fermat's Room
2007

A host nicknamed Fermat invites three mathematicians and one inventor to a home to solve puzzles. They soon learn this is a trap as the walls of a room are closing in on them, and only solving the puzzles will save them.

This Spanish movie thinks it's smarter than it really is, but this mix of Saw and Cube is rather fun once it picks up the pace.
Saw
2004

Two strangers wake up in a room with a dead man holding a revolver and a tape recorder on the floor. To live, the two men must complete puzzles set up by their captor known as Jigsaw.

When anyone thinks of this niche in horror, they probably think of Saw. While it can be argued that the franchise in general is torture porn, the first movie was a smartly written thriller with a great ending.
The Park
2003

When an amusement park reopens fourteen years after a terrible accident, a reporter goes missing inside. His sister and her friends eventually get lost inside the park, too, as they try to find him. What follows makes them realize that the park never should have reopened.

This is a shockingly bad movie from Hong Kong. The set pieces are well made and spooky, and there is the 3-D appeal, but otherwise, The Park isn't worth waiting in line for.
The Collector
2009

When a desperate man targets a wealthy family's home to rob, he ends up having to save the family inside from a sadistic serial killer that has set up traps all around the house.

Torture porn should have ended here because The Collector is an underrated, gory entry that does what other movies before it failed to do. The protagonist is a compelling anti-hero, and the Collector himself is a creepy villain. The house traps might be a little too farfetched, but the movie doesn't hold back. The direct sequel, The Collection, is shorter yet even more over-the-top


This poll is closed.

Are you good in stressful situations?

Yes
23(27.4%)
No
25(29.8%)
Yes, but only if it's someone else's situation
36(42.9%)


Do confined spaces bother you, ONTD?

[Other entries in my ONTD Original™ - Halloween Edition series]