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9 Motherhood Horror Movies Will Nurture Your Appreciation for Horror

These movies are the fruit of horror's womb. 

mother, young son, and dog checking for monsters under son's bed
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  • Photo Credit: Causeway Films

Motherhood. It’s a powerful time in a woman’s life, when she transitions from being an individual being into something more. She grows the baby inside her womb, shares her body to keep the baby alive, and in some ways, has the child as an extension of herself for years after.

While that experience can be incredibly fulfilling, it’s easy to see how those same moments are ripe for horror. The fear of childbirth, the terror of keeping your baby and children safe.

 Motherhood is, in many ways, a constant state of worry and uncertainty. It makes sense that horror has been diving into these moments and peeling them back, exploring and examining these tenuous years in a mother’s life.

Ranging from questionable pregnancies to mothers desperate to keep their children safe, here are nine horror movies about the terrors of motherhood. 

Rosemary’s Baby 

Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) is on top of the world. A new bride, her and her husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move into a gorgeous new apartment.

But after she gets pregnant, Rosemary starts to suspect something dark is happening in the building. And her baby might be at the heart of it.

Praised as being one of the greatest horror films of all time, it taps into how the wonders and joys of motherhood can turn into a nightmare.  

The Babadook 

What would you do to protect your son? That’s the question at the heart of this harrowing film. On the way to deliver her first baby, Amelia Vanek’s (Essie Davis) is turned upside down when a car accident kills her husband.

She’s mostly managed to raise six-year-old Sam (Noah Wiseman) on her own, but when a children’s book character comes to life and terrorizes them, Amelia struggles to stay in control and keep Sam safe. 


Reeling from the death of her mother, Annie Graham (Toni Collette) struggles to reconcile her difficult childhood with the woman who stepped in to help with Annie youngest daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). When tragedy strikes again, Annie turns to a support group member to help her communicate with the dead.

But instead of finding peace, Annie unravels as dark secrets about her family’s history threaten to destroy what little of her family remains. 


In the ashes of a burned house, a new home is built. The young couple (Jennifer Lawrence & Javier Bardem) that lives there enjoys a peaceful existence; until a mysterious couple arrives and brings chaos in their wake.

Newly pregnant, struggling to keep the ravenous fans of her husband’s writing away, the once-idyllic country estate becomes a menacing landscape that turns their isolation from safety to danger. 

Mommie Dearest 

Starring Faye Dunaway, Mommie Dearest tells the story of an abusive Joan Crawford through the lens of her oldest adopted daughter’s autobiography.

While the movie was initially criticized as being bizarre and over-the-top, and the family has contested the level of abuse portrayed, it has since gained a cult following.  

We Need to Talk About Kevin 

It’s every mother’s worst nightmare: realizing that you’ve raised a monster. But is that the whole story?

Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton) was once a successful travel writer. Now, she lives alone, surrounded by hostile neighbors, and visits her son in prison.

As she reflects on where she went wrong, we’re swept into the horror of what happens when a reluctant mother and a difficult child can’t find common ground. 


When a father loses everything and tries to kill his two daughters, they’re saved by a mysterious entity they come to call Mama. It helps them survive the wild forest for six years.

But when they’re rescued by their uncle, Mama follows them, determined to keep them safe—no matter what.

A terrifying tale of motherly love that never dies, and the lengths a mother will go to keep her children by her side. 

The Others 

Every mother makes mistakes. That’s what makes this movie so haunting and powerful.

Alone in the aftermath of WWII, Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) cares for her two young photosensitive children while she waits for her husband to return to their estate.

But when Anne (Alakina Mann) starts insisting that she’s being visited by a young boy, his parents, and an elderly woman, Grace is forced to confront a dark truth from her past that she’d do anything to keep buried. 

Huesera: The Bone Woman 

Valeria (Natalia Solián) wants nothing more than to get pregnant. She pours her heart into building a nursery, resorting to praying to any higher power that might listen. When she finally finds out she’s pregnant, her joy is quickly cut short when she is visited by a supernatural creature

The struggle forces Valeria to look at why she wanted to be a mother and how far she’s willing to go to give her baby the life it deserves. The shocking revelations and uncomfortable ending challenge viewers to ask what a good mother is and how the answer might be far different than they believed at the start of the film.