Internet Horror Films

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies

“I have lost all sense of time. Have I been here for a few hours? Days? Months? What is the use of going on. If it wasn’t for being a coward, I would have ended it long ago. I never knew I would be left after the world has ended. I guess I will sit here and rot along with the rest of the ruins of humanity.”

When your internet is gone, you realize how much of our lives revolve around it. I am sitting here looking at a lightning bolt going through my little world emblem on my laptop. Today makes day 5 of spotty to no internet. Apparently, the government has told our internet provider to fix the slow and lagging service for the kids who now have to attend school online. So the provider is updating/overhauling the servers on both cellular and regular DSL lines. And that makes doing research for articles null and void (And streaming, Facebook, Youtube, etc.). So I can either sit here and wait for the end of the world (or when the Internet comes back on), or I can write about something I don’t need the Internet. I picked the latter.

The internet is ubiquitous and has become a human necessity. It intersects with nearly every aspect of our lives and imposes on the world around us. If we ever get another EMP pulse, the world will fall back to the stone age. However, on a happier note, it’s a fruitful avenue for horror potential. From supernatural cyber shenanigans to human viciousness unleashed through anonymity, there’s a lot of cruelty and terror to be found on the internet. So we are going to spotlight some of the most entertaining films about the World Wide Web. Naturally, these are in no particular order, and I know I will miss one. So forgive and take pity on me. I’m working Internetless here. I’m practically a caveman rubbing sticks together.

 Searching 2018


Indy film Searching isn’t only remarkable for its “desktop” filmmaking style. The story is predominantly shown on smartphones, computer screens, and other electronic devices, and its online nature lives up to and delivers the “internet” element. However, the movie also boasts a captivating and chilling mystery about a father (John Cho) searching for his missing daughter.

Besides the way it is showed and the story, John “Harold” Cho shines as the dad. Well worth the watch just for that.

 Unfriended: Dark Web 2018


We learn what’s the scariest thing on the internet? Its users. The supernatural element in first Unfriended makes for a fun, cheesy entertaining time. But this sequel goes straight into bleak quasi-realness that manages to linger with you in a very different way. This is one of the scariest movies I have ever watched. No, it isn’t like the run of the mill scary, but think about the real-life horrors that actually do exist in the darkest pockets of the Internet. That makes this film palpably scarier. By placing the action squarely online from social media messages down through to pre-pandemic video calls, the real-time action gives the scenes an immediacy that wouldn’t have been possible with a typical techno-thriller. Monster and fantasy do not scare me. Things that are possible do. Freddy and Jason are fun, however, psycho nutjobs that lurk in the dark parts of the web do.

If A Serbian Film or Human Centipede 2 is too much for you, then this might be the film for you. It is harsh and raw but not as explicit. It will definitely make you think about engaging a stranger on the Internet.

 Tragedy Girls 2017


These girls dig into the intoxicating pull of social media and serve a dish of brutal kills and uncomfortable, awkward humor. Of course, every drippy bit of satire is elevated by the presence of Brianna Hildebrand and Alexandra Shipp as our heroic murderers. The duo delight in the bad behavior and violence, punctuating every action with peppy authenticity. All of this intelligence and thought would be for naught, though, if the film failed to achieve the basic principles of its genre. 

They're vapid, social media parasite narcissists. 

The Den 2013


Full-on terror of the Internet. We watch as a woman’s life is interrupted by a tech-savvy killer, but what starts as an intimate betrayal of technology becomes something far scarier for her and those in her life. 

One of those films few people have seen, but deserve to be seen. Another one of those scary movies where the fear is real for the simple fact it could be true.

Hard Candy 2005


Ellen Page stars as a 14-year-old girl that uses an online chat to lure a 32-year-old creep (Patrick Wilson) out for coffee so she can get him to admit to being a pedophile. 

Another one of those films where it might not be for everyone because of the subject matter. But I will say I was satisfied by the ending.

Pulse 2001


The film follows characters weaving their way through Tokyo and eventually crossing paths following the discovery that people are vanishing or dying, and that strange traces of them are remaining on their computers.

It is one of those surreal Japanese films that I had to watch a few times to absorb everything and understand what was going on fully. It also used infrasound, because it was spiking my anxiety in places. So a warning for people with sensitivity to infrasound. Side note: you get to see (or reminded if old enough) how crappy the Internet was. Dial-up was loud and did suck.

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