Filmmakers recognize that you don’t always need dialogue to convey terror and frighten their audience. With the use of creepy music, jumpscares, and/or visual scenes, these horror movies can twist your stomach in knots and keep you on the edge of your seats. With little to no dialogue, watching these horror movies allow viewers to feel and experience the dread and panic on the screen instead of listening to characters drone about descriptions and expositions.
5 Best Horror Movies With Little To No Dialogue
Sure, it may not be easy to sell a film without much dialogue but these following horror movies managed to impress us with very few words.
# 1 | A Quiet Place
John Krasinski directed, wrote (with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck), and starred in this post-apocalyptic science fiction. A Quite Place circulated around his character’s family as they raise their children in a world where blind extraterrestrial monsters with an acute sense of hearing inhabit it. The said monsters have annihilated the Earth’s human and animal populations as it attacks anything that makes noise. Aside from hypersensitive hearing, they also have a body covered in armor making them invulnerable to bullets and explosives.
The Abbott family – father Lee (Krasinski), mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt), sons Marcus (Noah Jupe), Beau (Cade Woodward), and congenitally deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds). Igniting terror deep in the viewers’ hearts, the movie starts with a traumatic experience. While out in the open, they go barefoot and communicate in American Sign Language to avoid creating much noise. Four-year-old Beau gets drawn to a battery-powered space shuttle toy, but Lee takes it away due to the noise it could make. However, Beau still gets the toy and activates it while they walk home.
Unfortunately, a nearby monster kills him before Lee can save him. At the time, the characters have yet to speak out loud and the movie has already given us something to be terrified about. The best stuff goes unsaid, which becomes certainly appropriate. They also made silence sound so terrifying. The movie also shows that suicide-by-scream remains an open-ended possibility. This means that one has to suppress noise, not even a rational howl of rage or horror or despair at what is happening or what has happened.
# 2 | Hush
Mike Flanagan directed and edited the slasher film. Hush circulated around dead horror writer Maddie Young (Kate Siegel). She lost her abilities to hear and speak after a bout of bacterial meningitis at age thirteen, losing both permanent after a botched corrective surgery. Hoping to advance her career as an author, she lives in an isolated home in the woods with her cat. Her friend Sarah visited her one evening to return a copy of her book. Later that night, on the other hand, a masked killer with a crossbow attacks Sarah and chases her to Maddie’s house.
Unfortunately, Sarah’s pleas for help as her bangs on the door go unnoticed. Realizing that Maddie is dead, the man quickly decides to make her his other victim of the night. He sneaks into her house, steals her phone, takes photos of her, and sends them to her. Then, she realizes that someone may be stalking her. The man cuts the power to her house and sabotages her car to prevent escape. Despite her disability, she continues to fight off the man in a game of cat and mouse.
The old-fashioned home invasion thriller gets a twist with silence as it builds tension and allows the terror to simmer. The psychotic killer’s motives remain vague and maybe, he’s just a lunatic killing for fun. Hush also doesn’t resort to jump scare tactics. Although it didn’t come without the loud music, it was only because of a pouncing cat. The movie didn’t fall back on tricks to keep the audience engaged in what remains a largely silent film.
# 3 | High Tension
Alexandre Aja directed and wrote the French slasher film. High Tension circulated around best friends Alex (Maiwenn Le Basco) and Marie (Cecile de France). They traveled to the country for the weekend to stay at Alex’s parents’ house. They arrive and Alex gives Marie a tour of her house before settling down for dinner. After dinner, Marie and Alex get ready to go to bed. While Alex sleeps, Marie lies on her bed and masturbating. The latter hears the doorbell ring and Alex’s father Daniel wakes up just to answer it. However, the man on the door turned out to be a serial killer who slashed Daniel’s face with a straight razor.
Then, the man pressed Daniel’s face between two spindles of the staircase, shoving a bookcase towards his head, and decapitating him. This awakens Alex’s mother who finds Daniel dead as the killer approaches her. Hearing the mother’s screams, Marie quickly arranges the guest room to make it appear that no one stayed there during the night. When the killer inspected the room, he doesn’t find her there and gets out. Creeping downstairs, she finds Alex chained in her bedroom and promised to find help as she snuck into the parents’ room to find a phone. After hearing thuds, she sees the killer murder Alex’s mother, brutally slashing her throat.
Promising to free Alex, she sneaks into the kitchen, takes a butcher knife, and hides when the killer comes back. He drags Alex into the killer’s truck as Marie follows, hiding with her. However, the bloodshed doesn’t end there. High Tension has little dialogue due to characters trying to be quiet, not engaging in long or meaningful conversations. The movie also remains a nerve-jangler that keeps the level of suspense high, throwing in moments of black comedy, and turns everything on its ear in the final ten minutes. It also prides itself with the blood and gore, reveling in the fact that it didn’t settle with the run-of-the-mill splatter film.
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Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.