So you’ve decided to spend Friday the 13th weekend at a beautiful, remote campsite, huh? Well after the sun sets, be sure to download, stream, or bring along your well-loved DVD of these horror movies set deep in the woods or at a camp (you know, a place that looks just like where you are right now!). Below we present a list of movies from gory slasher pics and “found footage” to thrillers and dark comedies!
1. Friday the 13th
1980, Rated R
Let’s get this one out of the way, shall we? Everyone who loves a good horror flick knows about Friday the 13th where a group of camp counselors are butchered one by one. This classic is set at Camp Crystal Lake and is the quintessential summer camp slasher movie, spawning numerous sequels and knock-offs! Enjoy the scares and the nostalgia with this one. Whether you’re enjoying some scares in honor of Halloween or simply enjoying a fun Friday the 13th, this movie shouldn’t be skipped.
1988, Rated R
An often overlooked cult fantasy horror movie, Pumpkinhead follows a father who seeks revenge for his son’s accidental murder by asking a witch to conjure up a demonic monster to hunt and kill the group of teenage campers responsible. Not only a traditional horror movie, the story is a strong parable and warning against revenge. Lance Henrickson’s performance as the grief-stricken father transformed by vengeance is one you won’t easily forget.
3. The Evil Dead
1981, Rated NC-17
Another cult classic, the story follows Bruce Campbell’s iconic character, Ash, and his friends’ trip to a “cabin in the woods” where they accidentally release demons. The over-the-top gory mayhem might be too much for some tastes (including a graphic attack by trees), but the black humor, original camerawork and visuals have landed it consistently on lists of the top horror movies of all time.
1972, Rated R
This thriller is not for the faint of heart, featuring a harrowing river-rafting trip through the back-country that pits city slickers against hillbilly moonshiners. Widely acclaimed, the Deliverance was selected for preservation in the United Stated Film registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty all turn in critically acclaimed performances. But don’t let the honors fool you. You’ll never go river rafting in the Georgia wilderness again after seeing this movie, nor will banjo music ever be the same.
5. The Edge
1997, Rated R
What seems at first to be an exciting survival story of 3 men (including Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin) stranded in the wilderness and hunted by a killer bear after a plane crash, quickly turns into mind games between an older millionaire and the jealous younger photographer in love with his model wife. If you watch this one while out in the wild, be sure you trust your companions (and aren’t in bear country!), or you’ll be cutting the trip short.
6. The Descent
2005, Rated R
The rare horror movie with an almost-exclusively female case, this adventure follows a group of friends – and experienced spelunkers – who explore a previously un-charted cave together out in the middle of nowhere. The trip quickly goes horribly wrong following a cave-in, then gets even worse when they encounter strange humanoid predators, and must fight to survive and escape the caves.
7. The Blair Witch Project
1999, Rated R
A pioneering “found footage” movie, The Blair Witch Project presents the story of 3 student filmmakers who set out into the woods of the Black Hills to create a documentary about a local legend, the Blair Witch. Their search, and the footage they shoot, becomes the suspenseful and harrowing movie we watch. While the movie may feel dated now that similar, faux-documentary horror movies have flooded theaters, the undeniable dread and the forest’s quiet menace are something to put a chill down any camper’s spine.
8. Cabin Fever
2002, Rated R
One of the more unique entries into the “cabin in the woods” sub-genre, this movie mixes many of the classic tropes – unknown disease and infection, the dangerous hermit or stranger, a rabid dog, and suspicious, murderous back-woods folks all framed by a vacation trip to the woods by a group of young friends. Not for viewers with a weak stomach, this movie mixes gore with dark humor as the friends fight a gruesome disease, dangerous townsfolk, and each other.
9. Sleepy Hollow
1999, Rated R
Beautiful and atmospheric, this cinematic re-imagining of the classic Washington Irving tale about the Headless Horsemen by gothic filmmaker Tim Burton is an exciting combination of mystery, supernatural, and horror. When police constable Ichabod Crane, played by Johnny Depp, is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of decapitations, he soon realizes that the murderer is the supernatural Headless Horseman controlled by a mysterious master.
10. The Witch
2015, Rated R
Another horror mystery set in New England’s past, The Witch chronicles an isolated (and exiled) Puritan family torn apart by witchcraft, black magic, and possession when their baby disappears and the oldest daughter becomes their prime target for suspicion. As the evil lurking in the forest escalates into more and more frightening death, the real culprit, and the target, is revealed. This slow-building movie is tense and thought-provoking, rather than relying on the typical audience-pleasing shocks of most horror movies.
11. The Watcher in the Woods
1980, Rated PG
One of Disney’s live-action films targeting young adult audiences in the 80’s, many adults today are still haunted by this unexpectedly creepy supernatural horror movies. When two young sisters move into a manor in rural England, they quickly begin seeing and hearing strange things in the woods nearby. They soon embark on solving the mystery of the disappearance of a young girl during the solar eclipse 30 years earlier.
12. The Cabin in the Woods
2012, Rated R
A group of young friends take a trip to a remote cabin in the woods… stop me if you’ve heard this one before. But The Cabin in the Woods turns the cliche on it’s head when fighting off backwoods zombies suddenly turns into a fight against the mysterious technicians controlling the monsters and chaos from an underground facility in order to complete a “ritual” that is humanity’s last hope. This horror comedy is a must-see for any horror fan.
13. Tucker and Dale vs Evil
2010, Rated R
Another subversion of the usual horror tropes, this hilarious horror comedy centers around a group of college students who are convinced that the hapless rednecks (Tucker and Dale) who live nearby their remote cabin in the woods are murderous psychopaths. Meanwhile, they’re only trying to help, while the teens die gruesome deaths one-by-one in their desperate attempts to escape. Soon Tucker and Dale are fighting for their own lives.
As always, come back every day on the RVUSA blog for the RV Find of the Week on Monday, Travel Destination Tuesday, Featured RV Dealer on Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, and RV Tips and Tricks on Friday. Leave us a message below if you have any thoughts, memories or comments. We’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to receive our daily blog posts directly in your inbox, click here to join our free email list.