There’s something about the rush while watching horror movies that instantly reels us in. Especially with Halloween just around the corner. Not that there’s a specific time of year to watch scary movies. But they seem to be especially effective in October. Many movie watchers and horror fans are scrambling to their nearest movie rental store to grab a handful of their favorite scary movies to binge on. Whether it be a slasher, a thriller, a drama or a straight up gore fest, October is the time of the year where all of our inner Freddy Kruegers and Jasons are waiting to break out and get their fix. This is the season when we go home on the weekends to curl up on the couch, dim the lights a little lower than normal and prepare for the thing we have been waiting for all year; a movie that will truly haunt us.
We all know there are numerous types of horror films. And we’ve got you covered with a series of films that’s sure to scratch that itch! We have our serial killers, kidnappings, blood baths, ghosts, hauntings, exorcisms and so, so, many more. But we have decided to create a different kind of list. Not the typical list you think of when preparing for a horror movie binge. This list features movies where people went on what was supposed to be a fun trip, and thrillingly took a gruesome turn. We have a feeling you’ll be horrifically entertained by any one of these films.
Don’t worry, no spoilers… just a few teasers.
15. Wolf Creek
Wolf Creek is a 2005 Australian horror movie where three backpackers become stranded in the outback with a broken down vehicle and their unknown rescuer is a serial killer. With the premise of fixing their vehicle, the serial killer takes them captive. There are many kidnap horror films out there where you know what is going to happen, but Wolf Creek is hard to predict. It does have a Texas Chainsaw Massacre feel to it and there are some intense and gory scenes. One of these scenes is particularly gruesome— a girl’s fingers get hacked off and her spinal cord gets severed leaving her paralyzed.
Wolf Creek is a decent film and a howling good time for a large part of it. The issue is that the film does tend to drag a bit and is almost too long for viewers to stay interested, but it is creepy, intelligent and memorable. We hope your vacation plans of exploring Australia don’t take a wrong turn in the outback.
This 2005 thriller, directed by Eli Roth, is almost unbearable to watch at times with its guts and gore splashing you right in the face. From someone’s Achilles heel getting snipped, to someone’s eye hanging out of its socket then being cut by a pair of scissors, Hostel slashes from right to left and leads you blinded with disgust. A ruthless bloodbath, this film tells the story of three bachelors who decide to backpack through Amsterdam and go to a Slovakian hostel to get a taste of sex and drugs. Little do they know what terror and hell awaits them.
Considerably one of the most revolting movies, this fun trip takes a torturous turn and a sadistic one. Hostel will have you grasping every tendon praying you will never have to feel such bone crushing agony as the screaming sounds of drills ring through your ears… along with your screams.
13. You’re Next
You’re Next is the next best horror film you will watch. It is about the Davidsons family who are wealthy but very distant. In an attempt to make their family come together, husband and wife, Aubrey and Paul, decide to invite their four children over to their vacation home. But the weekend getaway takes a horrific turn when they get attacked by murderers wearing animal masks and carrying crossbows. Directed by Adam Wingard, who just directed the recent 2016 Blair Witch, this film has some fresh angles for a slasher movie and Wingard is a master at intensifying the cat and mouse game. For having what in today’s standards is considered a low budget, the film is striking and has noble and gruesome special effects.
With many twists and turns this thriller definitely titillates and sets up the perfect home invasion movie. It has a slow build-up, but that only lends to the final outcome. You’re going to want to watch this movie next on your list of horror movies.
12. High Lane
High Lane was the 2009 French action thriller directed by Abel Ferry that told the story about a group of friends vacationing in the mountains when they venture onto a trail that has been closed and realize someone else is up there with them. That someone doesn’t want them up there. This is a decent horror film from France that is by no means a gore fest but makes you feel a little nervous about the next time you go hiking. If you are afraid of heights, this film will add to that fear.
The film could almost be separated into two parts. The first half feels as if it is man vs. the wild, trying to survive what the great outdoors throws at him. The second half feels more like a film about man vs. monster. The movie is a mixture between The Descent, Wrong Turn and a little bit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. All in all, it is suspenseful and has its moments but it is an average film that totally spirals out of control by the end.
11. Cabin In The Woods
Cabin in the Woods is, in horror films, a masterpiece. This film takes five college friends to a remote cabin in the woods where they become victims of zombies and other terrifying creatures. All the while, they are completely unaware that two scientists are manipulating what’s going on from an underground facility. The movie offers up some big names such as Chris Hemsworth and Jesse Williams as two of the college students and Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford as the two scientists.
The film targets and goes after the typical horror movie clichés, and that’s what makes it so brilliant. Filled with horror and humor it scores on the entertainment level. It is wicked and dark and an original and rare horror film. This is a movie where we see rats in a maze and the viewers, along with the two scientists constructing it, are waiting to see if the participants will ever escape. If you haven’t seen Cabin in the Woods we won’t ruin it for you but we must say, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
10. The Descent
Remind us to never go spelunking again. We know you won’t after you watch this 2005 thriller. The Descent told the tale of a girl named Sarah who goes cave exploring with some friends when they become trapped and are being hunted by predators; very hungry and flesh-eating predators. The main thing that makes this film thrive is the intensity carried throughout. You find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into the storyline. Seeing these women in the film trying to crawl through very tight spaces and holes, all while in a dark and haunting abyss, leaves the viewer feeling claustrophobic themselves.
It’s gory, it’s smart, it’s unnerving and will leave you psychologically exhausted, but for the better. Get ready to plunge into madness and chaos if you decide to watch The Descent. Oh, and be prepared also to cancel that trip you had planned with your friends to go cave diving. We have a feeling you’re not going to make it.
We have all heard stories about bear attacks, but this film brings the story to life on screen. Backcountry is a 2014 thriller drama about a couple who goes camping in the woods and soon finds themselves lost in the territory of a vicious black bear. The reason this movie is so haunting is because it could actually happen in real life. The film starts off slow but then increasingly picks up. Surviving in the wild is no easy task and Backcountry shows how true that is.
The bear attack itself is only a small part of the film but it is brutal and intense nonetheless. This is a movie that shows you what it is like when people are unprepared and have no experience in the wild. This camping trip takes a grisly turn you won’t want to miss.
8. Cabin Fever
We predict after watching this one you’re going to end up feeling quite sick. In this 2002 horror comedy a group of college students decide to rent a cabin in the woods to celebrate spring break when they soon become infected by a flesh-eating virus that has infected the water supply. The film is directed by Eli Roth who is also known for directing Hostel and The Green Inferno.
A gut-wrenching movie that is so disgusting you will want to stop eating your jumbo sized popcorn and throw it away in the nearest trash. In fact, you probably won’t want to eat or drink anything for a week. With so many horrible camping movies out there though, Cabin Fever does a decent job. However, we must warn you, prepare for the grisly bathtub scene where a razor starts to shave off more than hair. What Psycho did for showers, Cabin Fever does for bathtubs.
7. The Ruins
Here is a film where a group of friends’ Mexican holiday goes awry, or shall we say, gets ‘ruined’. They decide to visit an archaeological dig in the jungle where human-eating vines live. The 2008 horror film, directed by Carter Smith, is an odd story about tourists who are in an unfamiliar environment and get attacked by carnivorous vines. A very disgusting film where at one point one of the characters cuts into a woman’s back, uses his fingers to dig around in it, and pulls out a lengthy vine that looks pretty much like a tapeworm.
A weird story that is more gross than scary. It is a decent film that will have you squirming and engaged no matter how utterly ridiculous it actually is. Long story short, don’t go visit a remote Mayan ruin in the Mexican jungle. It seems that trip might take a turn for the worst.
6. The Evil Dead (1981)
The Evil Dead is one of the greats when it comes to horror movies. The film is original, energetic, and not one that people should see if they have a weak stomach. Directed by Sam Raimi, a fresh-off-the-block director at the time with a very small budget, he created a crude cult classic. In this 1981 fantasy thriller, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) and his friends go to a cabin in the woods for a night and find an old book. They read it aloud and unknowingly awaken the dead and release evil spirits and demons. They then have to fight for their lives.
The film has created a media franchise and sparked video games, comic books, two sequels and now has its own television series on STARZ called Ash vs. Evil Dead which stars, once again, Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams. This is a movie where a fun trip takes a gruesomely wrong turn and leaves viewers screaming at the end, along with Ash himself. If you haven’t seen it ‘join us’ and be a part of the group that has. You won’t be disappointed.
5. The Blair Witch Project
The 1999 horror film, which was recently made into a remake this year called Blair Witch, is touted as one of the scariest films of the 90s. The entire thing is filmed through a video recorder and tells the tale of three film students who travel to Maryland to do a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend. All is well until the students get lost in the woods. Directed and written by Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick, the film had a budget of $60,000 but terrified and attracted enough people to earn a total of $248.6 million at the box office.
The abrupt ending throws the audience through a huge loop and leaves you clinging to your seat. The film has a few tricks up its sleeve making it a definite treat, and perhaps trick, for movie watchers. The Blair Witch Project still leaves campers today shaking in their tents and keeping a close watch on the dark and looming forest. After all, you never know what might be lurking in the woods.
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
In this 1974 thriller, Sally and her brother, Franklin, travel with three friends to visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas. They are then attacked by a group of psychopaths, notably one who wears a mask of human skin. Directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, the movie was based on the famous serial killer; Ed Gein, who did wear human flesh, scalp and faces. Here, we have a genuine classic and a nightmare which makes it all the more real for the viewer. A raw film that is sure to make your imagination run wild.
Leatherface, the psychotic man with a chainsaw, remains one of the greatest horror characters of our time. The picture doesn’t try to be funny which makes it even better because of it. An unnerving masterpiece, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre will go down in history as one of the greats for the horror genre, and one of the greatest movies where a fun trip took a gruesome turn. Watch this film if you haven’t already.
3. The Hills Have Eyes
Based on Wes Craven’s 1977 cult classic, The Hills Have Eyes was a 2006 remake directed by Alexandre Aja. In this film we have a family road trip that takes a ghastly wrong turn when they become stranded in a government atomic zone. Thinking they are the only ones in this abandoned wasteland, they soon find out they’re being hunted by a brutally disfigured mutant family who are cannibals. It seems when a fun road trip takes a gruesome turn in movies, cannibals are normally just around the corner. Most remakes normally miss their mark, but this one does a decent job at following the original. The cast delivers a pretty average performance, which is decent when it comes to slashers, and the gore factor pulls no punches.
The Hills Have Eyes is not a cookie-cutter film. It is disturbing, unpleasant and has malicious characters that make any viewer want to look away, or at least peak through their covered faces. From an icebox filled with human body parts to severing fingers with an axe, and a mutant named Big Brain who has a large descended head that nearly touches the ground, the movie certainly deserves to be on this list.
2. Wrong Turn
A gory film that is a bloody good time. The 2003 slasher film starred Eliza Dushku as a girl named Jesse who goes on a trip with her friends when all of a sudden (sound the Dah Dah Daaah) their car tires get punctured and they are stuck in West Virginia. They soon find themselves trapped in the woods being hunted by (what else) hungry cannibals looking for their next meal. The main thing that made this movie so great was the disfigured and gruesome cannibals. There were a total of three, named Three Finger, Saw Tooth and One Eye. Three Fingers is a skilled trapper and usually toys with his prey. Saw Tooth is the largest and strongest of the three. The last to form this deformed group is One Eye, who has a deformed eye and is one of the dumbest characters on film ever.
Although the movie has a simple plot, it gets right down to business and is a very entertaining horror flick. The film ended up becoming a series that has a total of six movies. It seems a lot of people were making the wrong turn. Just a heads up, if you decide to go on a trip with a group of your friends, make sure you pack a spare tire.
Sometimes a dream vacation can actually be a total nightmare. Turistas is a movie that knows this better than most. The 2006 thriller starring the handsome Josh Duhamel and a stunning Olivia Wilde, is about a group of young backpackers who are traveling and vacationing in Brazil when their bus crashes leaving them stranded in a rural jungle that has a deadly secret. There is gorgeous scenery throughout but that alone can’t save such a hideous movie. The acting is stale and the storyline is very predictable. It is gruesome and bloody and has a similar vibe to the film Hostel. Especially during the scene where you see one of the characters sedated, lying in a makeshift operating room while her organs are being removed.
By horror movie standards this movie is only average. Relying too often on the normal clichés it misses the pulse of what makes a horror film frightening. However, after seeing Turistas we have a feeling you might end up unpacking your suitcase.