Attack the block

High-rise horror, action and thrillers.

The plot usually involves someone having to fight their way up to the top of a block or fight their way down and out. Common set pieces include room-to-room fighting and poorly lit corridors, so I've also included films set in larger apartment buildings, which has a very similar feel even if they aren't as far off the ground (although far enough that the fall would be lethal).

The theme has become popular for zombie films and their cousins amongst the contagiously violent, as it takes the siege element introduced in Night of the Living Dead (which was heavily influenced by The Last Man on Earth) and raises the stakes to new heights.

See also: Hoodie horror, which often takes place in tower blocks. In addition, Don't Ever Get in the Elevator! is a list of lift/elevator-based films (not my list but I know the creator). Although it might seem the opposite of subterranean horror, there are some films that are essential set in inverted tower blocks, like Resident Evil and Fortress.

Comments: As I don't have a Facebook account I cannot interact with the new comments system, so have switched it off and replaced it with a thread on the message board.
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1.
Attack the Block (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion. (88 mins.)
Director: Joe Cornish
“ Here for the thumbnail graphic, list continues below: ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
2.
The Towering Inferno (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
At the opening party of a colossal, but poorly constructed, office building, a massive fire breaks out that threatens to destroy the tower and everyone in it. (165 mins.)
Director: John Guillermin
“ The classic film that heavily underlined our fears of the tall edifices. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
3.
Shivers (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact. (87 mins.)
“ Body horror with contagious violence overtones. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
4.
The Lift (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A lift begins displaying some erratic behavior, like trapping some party goers and nearly suffocating them... (95 mins.)
Director: Dick Maas
“ See this list, for more elevator horror. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
5.
Tenement (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A drug selling and violent street-gang terrorize the renters of a big trashy apartment-house. (94 mins.)
Director: Roberta Findlay
 
6.
Demons 2 (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A group of tenants and visitors are trapped in a 10-story high-rise apartment building infested with demons who proceed to hunt the dwindling humans down. (88 mins.)
Director: Lamberto Bava
 
7.
Enemy Territory (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An insurance salesman inadvertently gets trapped after dark in an apartment building that is terrorized by a street gang called "The Vampires." (89 mins.)
Director: Peter Manoogian
 
8.
Die Hard (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. (131 mins.)
Director: John McTiernan
“ The defining film for the high rise action. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
9.
Poltergeist III (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Carol Anne is staying with her aunt in a highrise building, and the supernatural forces that have haunted her previously follow her there. (98 mins.)
Director: Gary Sherman
“ Might win the prize for earliest use of the looming towerblock on its poster. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
10.
The Tower (1993 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
Before Tony can get to work on the first day of his new job, he manages to lock himself out of his appartment... (120 mins.)
Director: Richard Kletter
“ A crossover with murderous machine movies. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
11.
Urban Ghost Story (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
After a car accident, Lizzie lies dead on the roadside - slowly she is taken into the light - but is... (82 mins.)
 
12.
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Computer scientist Hannon Fuller has discovered something extremely important. He's about to tell the discovery to his colleague... (100 mins.)
Director: Josef Rusnak
 
13.
The Shaft (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
When the express elevators in the Millennium Building, one of New York's most famous landmarks, start to malfunction and behave in erratic ways... (111 mins.)
Director: Dick Maas
“ Remake of The Lift. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
14.
28 Days Later... (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. (113 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
“ One act plays out in a tower block under attack by the infected. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
15.
Dark Water (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A mother and her 6 year old daughter move into a creepy apartment whose every surface is permeated by water. (101 mins.)
Director: Hideo Nakata
 
16.
Breaking News (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When an ambulatory TV news unit live broadcasts the embarrassing defeat of a police battalion by five bank robbers in a ballistic showdown... (90 mins.)
Director: Johnnie To
 
17.
Night Watch (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle. (114 mins.)
 
18.
Dark Water (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A mother and daughter, still wounded from a bitter custody dispute, hole up in a run-down apartment building. Adding further drama to their plight, they are targeted by the ghost of former resident. (105 mins.)
Director: Walter Salles
 
19.
Day Watch (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A man who serves in the war between the forces of Light and Dark comes into possession of a device that can restore life to Moscow, which was nearly destroyed by an apocalyptic event. (132 mins.)
 
20.
Mulberry St (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A deadly infection breaks out in Manhattan, causing humans to devolve into blood-thirsty rat creatures... (84 mins.)
Director: Jim Mickle
 
21.
[Rec] (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying. (78 mins.)
 
22.
Quarantine (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A television reporter and her cameraman are trapped inside a building quarantined by the CDC, after the outbreak of a mysterious virus which turns humans into bloodthirsty killers. (89 mins.)
“ The [Rec] remake. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
23.
[Rec] 2 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In order to ascertain the current situation inside, a supposed medical officer and a GEO team step into the quarantined and ill-fated apartment building. (85 mins.)
“ This list doesn't include Quarantine 2, which goes off in its own direction and isn't a remake. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
24.
The Horde (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
An end of the world battle between gangsters, cops and zombies. (90 mins.)
 
25.
Against the Dark (2009 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  
When most of the population of Earth is infected with a virus and transformed into flesh eaters and blood drinking creatures... (94 mins.)
Director: Richard Crudo
“ Big hospitals can offer the same kind of challenges. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
26.
Rammbock (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Just when Michael arrives in Berlin to visit his ex-girlfriend Gabi, a terrible virus starts spreading across the city at a rapid pace... (63 mins.)
Director: Marvin Kren
“ It is a relatively low block of flats but it comes with a lot of the similar aspects to the high-rise ones. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
27.
The Raid: Redemption (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A S.W.A.T. team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs. (101 mins.)
 
28.
Attack the Block (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion. (88 mins.)
Director: Joe Cornish
 
29.
The Veteran (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A soldier returning from the war in Afghanistan uncovers a conspiracy involving the intelligence services and a gang of drug dealers. (98 mins.)
Director: Matthew Hope
 
30.
Dredd (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO. (95 mins.)
Director: Pete Travis
“ Although some people moaned that Dredd seemed like a rip-off of The Raid, attacking city blocks is a recurring theme throughout Dredd's history (as highlighted early on with the 1981 story "Block Mania"), but this list also demonstrates that the general theme goes back a long way too. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
31.
Citadel (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children who committed an act of violence against his family years earlier. (84 mins.)
Director: Ciaran Foy
 
32.
Tower Block (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Several months after witnessing a murder, residents of Tower Block 31 find themselves being picked off by a sniper, pitting those lucky enough to be alive into a battle for survival. (90 mins.)
 
33.
Kill Zombie! (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
The bizarre story takes place in Amsterdam-West, where a virus turns people into bloodthirsty zombies. Although much blood is flowing and many limbs chopped off, there is a lot to laugh at in this bizarre horror comedy. (90 mins.)
“ For the later parts of the film, where they need to storm an office block to rescue someone (unfortunately, it is also the building a space station has crashed on, rather delicately, so is the epicentre of the zombie outbreak). ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
34.
Comedown (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  
Six friends who turn the deserted the tower block they lived in as kids into a pirate radio station soon learn they are not alone, as a resident psychopath begins hunting them down. (90 mins.)
Director: Menhaj Huda
“ Rather by-the-books slasher, that offers absolutely nothing new to the field. ” - Mighty_Emperor
 
35.
Devil's Tower (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  
When Sid's friend goes missing, he and new girl Sarah investigate disappearances in their tower block. Uncovering the secret of a vengeful ghost possessing a horde of zombies, they must fight for their lives - and their souls. (82 mins.)
Director: Owen Tooth
 
36.
Vertical Village (2012 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Joel has lived in an apartment, on the top floor of a high-rise block for years, when he realises that something strange is happening to the building... (17 mins.)
Director: Johan Bergqvist
 
38.
Containment (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
What happens when a epidemic breaks out, but you're kept in the dark? Anything can happen. Slowly the residents realize that they will all die unless they come together. (77 mins.)
 
39.
Zombie Fight Club (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  
It's the end of the century at a corner of the city in a building riddled with crime - Everyone in the building has turned into zombies... (95 mins.)
Director: Joe Chien