If You Love Horror but Loathe Gore, These 22 Films Are For You

If You Love Horror but Loathe Gore, These 22 Films Are For You

Blog post by Maggie
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Do you love a good scare but get squeamish at the sight of blood? There are plenty of horror films that will leave you double checking your locked doors yet nausea-free. Check out this list of 22 terrifying gore-free* horror flicks available at the Library. Highlights include:

The Orphanage (El Orfanato) (2007) is a Guillermo del Toro-produced masterpiece of thrills and chills.

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If that mask alone doesn’t hook you, the plot will: Laura (Belén Rueda) and her family return to her childhood home, a mansion-like orphanage, to reopen it as a home for disabled children. Her son’s relationship with his new imaginary friend quickly becomes unsettling- and then her son disappears without a trace. Prepare yourself for ghosts, spooky mansions, and creepy children. The Orphanage partners well (but is arguably even better than) The Others and The Awakening.

Peeping Tom (1960) is a psychologically complex, supremely odd film.

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Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) takes his uncontrollable voyeurism to the next level by making a documentary in which he films his victims’ terrified faces as he murders them. Of course, the audience also becomes voyeurs by watching him. Watch this film with your film-critic-goggles on and your curtains closed.

Imagine Alfred Hitchcock paying homage to 70s and 80s haunted house and slasher films and you’d get The House of the Devil (2009).

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Desperate for money, college student Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) takes a suspicious babysitting job at a creaky Victorian mansion in the woods. Though Samantha spends most the time listening to her Walkman and eating pizza, you’ll be completely unnerved by the atmosphere of doom that pervades the film. Check out The House of the Devil if you are fascinated by progenitors of modern horror like Halloween (surprisingly blood-free) or Rosemary’s Baby.

Visit our list for all 22 Terrifying yet Gore-Free Films. For more excellent horror with varying levels of goriness see our Best Spine-Chilling Movies at APL list.

*Gore-free is a slight misnomer. Many of these films are better described as gore-light in that the filmmakers use violence to move the plot forward rather than for violence’s sake.