"This is MY house.
I have to defend it!"
"A man's home is his castle, but it shouldn't have to be his fortress."
The main character's home comes under attack or siege by some sort of malign force, whether it be foreign, criminal or supernatural. He or she then has to look after the safety and security of his or her person, possessions, family and possible guests, either by driving away the invader(s) or by keeping them at bay until The Cavalry
wide-ranging trope: Can be found in The Western
(native braves besieging a Determined Homestead
), Horror Films
(monsters terrorizing an isolated country home) and Crime Thrillers
(burglars attempting to break into an otherwise quiet suburban dwelling and terrorizing the inhabitants).
"Home Alone" Antics
is a Lighter and Softer
, Played for Laughs
version, which doesn't necessarily have to take place in a house. It's interesting to note that the main difference between the two is the age of the defender: to a kid, fighting off burglars inside your house sounds like a wacky adventure. To a parent, it sounds like a nightmare
Subtrope of Die Hard on an X
; compare All Your Base Are Belong to Us
and The Siege
- In Shenandoah, a farmer struggles to keep his farm free from both sides of the Civil War. He manages, but his son and daughter-in-law are murdered/raped by ruthless scavengers.
- Poltergeist: A family's home is invaded by ghosts and their youngest daughter is kidnapped by them.
- The Strangers. A couple is threatened in their home by three masked assailants.
- Parodied in A Christmas Story, where Ralphie's desire for a BB gun for Christmas leads to a fantasy where it proves key to defending their home.
- The Amityville Horror: A family moves into a house that is infested with an evil presence that drove the previous owner to murder.
- Paranormal Activity: A young couple is harrassed by a demon in their new home.
- In the movie Zathura, the house was launched into space and had to be defended against meteors and attacks by aliens.
- Inverted in Hostage. As the movie title would suggest, the kids want the cops to get into the house to reclaim it. A good portion of the movie deals with the cops efforts to save the children in the house.
- In the climax of Small Soldiers, the main characters use their house as a fortress to defend against an army of killer toys.
- Attack the Block is about London delinquents defending their tower block against an Alien Invasion.
- Last stretch of Alone in the Dark (1982) has the main villains attacking Dr. Potter's house.
- The final dramatized encounter with the Fouke Monster in The Legend of Boggy Creek shows the creature attacking a housed shared by two families.
- The farmhouse siege in The Book of Eli.
- The Purge has a family trying to fend off a bunch of criminals trying to invade their heavily fortified home during a night were all crime is legal.
- The climax of Skyfall, at the Bond family estate after which the film is named.
- In A Brother's Price, the Whistlers, who, despite legally owning their land already, act much like a Determined Homesteader family, are trained to do this. All of them. Yes, even the toddlers. When their house is (briefly) under siege at the beginning of the novel, while the parents and elder sisters are away, they all immediately know what to do. The potential attackers, Princess Rensellaer and her guard, wisely decide not to attack, but wait until the proper authorities arrive and sort it out.
- The Amityville Horror.
- The latter half of the first Artemis Fowl novel is about the title character's manor coming under siege by Elves.
- In Pact, the Thorburn family home of Hillsglade House repeatedly comes under siege from various supernatural creatures seeking to destroy the local diabolists, including a priest of Dionysus. However, the most successful invaders are two witch hunters, a pair of Badass Normal locals.
- In Book One of North and South (Trilogy), some thugs ride up to Mount Royal to seize Madeline, only to find that the Mains have set up armed guards to shoot in an unsurvivable crossfire if it came to fighting.
- In Book Two, a coalition of freed slaves and ex-slavers raid the property, only to be driven out.
- In Book Three, Mont Royale attracted the ire of the Klan itself. Seems the locals didn't take too kindly to Madeline assisting and educating the local blacks. They attacked the property in Book Three, causing a fire which reduced the property to cinders. More Klansmen were killed than Mains, so we can call this one a draw.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured this several times. There were sieges of Buffy's house, the library and the school, the Magic Box, Giles' apartment, Xander's basement, and several other sites.
With expansions the same thing can happen in "The Sims 3
- The Castle Doctrine (website here) is an MMO based on this premise: each player character is a man building a Death Course into his house to protect his family and his safe ... and simultaneously a thief, invading his neighbors' houses to steal the money from their safes (or families).
- In a The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror", Homer & family have survived a nuclear attack from France, but others in town have become mutated. The mutants attack the Simpsons in their home, but then they are moved by the love Homer & Marge show for each other.
Flanders: You know, I don't see any reason why freaks and norms can't get along!
Freaks: (all mutter in agreeing tones)
Flanders: We can all work together to build a Utopian society, free of violence, hate and prejudice!
Marge: That sounds beautiful, Ned. And let me just say my family and I share your vision for a better - NOW!
(Marge and the kids draw shotguns, and blast the freaks a couple of feet back, leaving them in a pile.)
Hm, friends with mutants. Rrright
- A heated topic of discussion in the United States is the concept of "Castle Doctrine", from the phrase "a man's home is his castle", a legal argument that an individual has the right to use deadly force to protect his home and property within, as opposed to only being allowed to protect life and limb (non-Castle Doctrine laws generally require you to show that you are unable to escape your house before considering the use of lethal force to be justified). Laws regarding this vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, as do personal opinions. Not to Be Confused with "Stand Your Ground", a legal doctrine that states that an individual can use deadly force to protect themselves anywhere, even when retreat is arguably an option, which is an even more heated topic of discussion.