A few weeks ago, my husband and I watched a horror film that centred on a couple getting lost and ultimately meeting their own demise in the woods. It was incredibly scary. Afterwards, I turned to Geoffrey and said that there was no way that I would be going camping this summer. Then we watched another one. My previous comment was only solidified after the second movie.
I stewed over the films for a few days, and because I cannot experience anything in life without thinking about how I can turn it into a blog post, I thought why not scare my readers just as I scared myself? It’s surprising how many camping horror films are in existence, especially on Netflix! I chose five movies that are easily accessible, just for you fine folks. Enjoy!
1. Willow Creek (2013)
Synopsis: Found footage movie Willow Creek is a radical departure in Bobcat Goldthwait’s career after directing a string of black comedies. In the great American tradition of people venturing into the woods and encountering absolutely pants-wetting terror, what starts as two dorks with a video camera having a lark in a national park metastasizes into something much deeper, darker, and queasier. Set in Humboldt County, California, Willow Creek centers on Jim (Bryce Johnson) a Bigfoot believer whose idea of a romantic getaway is to head deep into Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California, video camera in tow, trying to shoot his own Bigfoot footage at the site of the Patterson-Gimlin film. That 1967 fragment of footage purporting to show Sasquatch striding along a dry riverbed became a key artifact in the cryptozoology community, and Jim dreams of nothing more than setting foot on the actual location where it was shot. His long-suffering girlfriend, Kelly (Alexie Gilmore), agrees to tag along for the ride, despite the fact that she thinks Bigfoot has about as much chance of being real as leprechauns.
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
2. The Descent (2005)
Synopsis: A group of close female friends on a yearly adventure vacation find themselves trapped and hunted in a series of caves by an unknown force that lurks in the shadows, in the second horror feature from writer/director Neil Marshall. After suffering a devastating car crash one year before, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) is lured to the States with her friend Beth (Alex Reid) to a special spelunking trip by the fearless Juno (Natalie Mendoza), who abruptly fled from the U.K. after Sarah’s accident. Along with two old friends and a new acquaintance of Juno’s, the group embark on a cave expedition that takes a turn for the worse after a rock fall leaves them stranded in an uncharted cave with no map and only a handful of supplies to last them the rest of the trip. As tensions arise in the group, they are faced with another danger — one whose love of the dark is as strong as its lust for blood.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
3. Preservation (2015)
Synopsis: Preservation follows brothers Sean (Pablo Schreiber), a recently returned veteran, and Mike (Aaron Staton), a hedge fund manager, who head out of town to hunt in a closed nature preserve with Mike’s wife, Wit (Wrenn Schmidt) – a brainy anesthesiologist – in tow. With Sean unhinged from his stint in the military, and Mike distracted by career ambition, this was not the romantic getaway Wit was hoping for. But soon the trio is threatened by an unseen menace, and the hunters become the hunted. A camping trip in the woods turns into a contest for survival. When the brothers are stalked and ensnared, Wit must unleash her own animal instincts or else end up a trophy.
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
4. Honeymoon (2014)
Synopsis: Young newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) travel to remote lake country for their honeymoon, where the promise of private romance awaits them. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods. Treadaway and Leslie give captivating leading performances as a couple that takes new love to disturbing depths. With romance slowing giving way to terror, writer/director Leigh Janiak puts her unique stamp on this intimate, chilling thriller.
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
5. Don’t Blink (2014)
Synopsis: Ten people arrive at a secluded mountain resort to find it completely deserted. With no gas for the return trip, the visitors are forced to stay and investigate the mystery surrounding the abandoned lodge.
Rotten Tomatoes: 23%
The next time you are in your tents in the middle of nowhere, and you hear a branch snap in the distance, please remember this post. Then run for your lives!
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