Horror is a lot of things.
It can be shocking, emotional, fun, disgusting and anything in between. What horror can also be is lacking in the blood and gore and still be a great ride of film making and film watching. And the list I’ve compiled, these aren’t “family friendly” or even like “kid friendly”, maybe a couple of them but I think majority are for the teen/older audiences who can determine what is real/fake.
So what qualifies as a horror movie with no blood and/or no gore? Well, movies that leave things open for interpretation, psychologically testing you, it depends on the atmosphere and creating the tension without visually showing us the blood and gore.
Without any more delay, let’s talk about them.
Universal Horror/Monsters (1931 + )
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
It Follows (2014)
Freaks (1932, done before ‘pre-code’ films, they can’t remake this movie nowadays)
The Changeling (1980)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, remake is well done too)
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
The Wicker Man (1973, please save your sanity by watching the original)
Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989, it’s just bizarre with a lot of wtf moments)
Carnival of Souls (1962)
Digging Up the Marrow (2014)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968, I don’t discuss this film often or at all because of its director but the film is still great)
Diabolique (Les Diaboliques, 1955)
The Ring (2002, also watch the original)
The Babadook (2014)
Paranormal Activity (2006)
Cat People (1942, remake is worth mentioning from 1982)
13 Ghosts (1960)
Night of the Demon (1957)
Tourist Trap (1979)
I was noticing a trend with a lot of films being released in 2014.
The other bigger trend is either earlier horror releases where blood/gore was not necessary or possibly thought about at all. On the other end, a lot of the films that are post that time, especially 2010s, horror has gotten more modern, sophisticated, well aware of what they are making and that you don’t need it to go far in order to make your movie have the same kind of punch.
I personally love horror that has little to no blood or gore because those send me on a spiral of “let’s mentally mess you up” unless you are Hereditary. I am still not over that film. It’s been a year or so. Wow.
Some on this list that are highly, highly recommended are Tourist Trap, Cat People, Carnival of Souls, Freaks, and The Wicker Man. These were surprising watches of how much I enjoyed them and I am such a huge fan and advocate for early horror prior to the 1960s. Even the 70s, I think, was a great time for horror because once the 80s hit, it’s very oversaturated and a lot of the HUGE franchises started then.
So what movie would add to this list? Which are your favorites or ones you haven’t seen but you’d like? Leave a comment below!