The 10 Best Horror Movies About CampingPublished on 04/03/2023 · 6 min readLooking for some spooky flicks to get you excited for camping this year? Check out these ten top recommended horror movies about camping!
Photo by Derek Sutton
It takes a brave person to watch horror films about camping and still have the guts to actually go camping, but for those who love both, we've got you covered. In this article, we're counting down the top 10 best horror movies about camping. From iconic classics to modern-day thrillers, these films will have you on the edge of your seat, wondering what's lurking in the woods or hiding in the shadows of your campsite!
1. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Three film students leave the comfort of their homes to head into the woods to capture some footage for a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. As they venture deeper into the woods on their camping trip, strange things begin to happen, and they realize that they may not be alone. The camping trip becomes a descent into terror as they are haunted by strange occurrences, and the tension builds as they become more and more lost in the woods.
2. Friday the 13th (1980)
In this well-loved classic, camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake are preparing for the summer season when they are stalked and killed by an unknown assailant. Thanks to the remote location of their camp, the counselors are all alone in the woods with no access to outside help. As they are picked off one by one, the tension and fear build, and the camping trip becomes a camper's worst nightmare. If you’ve seen this film, check out the most recent reboot of this franchise, the 2009 version of Friday the 13th, which takes place in the same eerie woods as the original.
3. Cabin Fever (2002)
A group of college students renting a cabin in the woods becomes infected with a deadly flesh-eating virus that causes them to slowly rot away while on their camping trip. The camping setting heightens the feeling of isolation and desperation as the virus takes hold and the friends turn on each other in a bid for survival.
4. Backcountry (2014)
Based on a true story, this horror-thriller film follows a couple who decides to go on a camping trip to a remote Canadian wilderness. Despite the warnings of a local guide, the couple sets out into the woods, thinking they are well-prepared for the adventure. But as they hike deeper into the woods, they realize that they may have bitten off more than they can chew. They encounter a territorial and deadly bear that begins to stalk them, forcing them to fight for their lives. The movie effectively captures the beauty and brutality of nature and shows how quickly a seemingly idyllic camping trip can quickly turn into a life-or-death situation.
5. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
This ‘80s cult classic follows a shy and awkward girl named Angela who is sent to summer camp with her cousin. At camp, Angela struggles to fit in with the other kids and becomes the target of bullying and ridicule. As the days go on, strange and gruesome accidents start to happen, and the campers begin to fear for their lives. Sleepaway Camp is a classic slasher film that expertly uses the summer camp setting to create a tense and suspenseful atmosphere. The movie is known for its shocking twist ending that has become one of the most talked-about and controversial scenes in horror movie history!
6. The Ritual (2017)
If you’re looking for a backpacking-specific horror tale, this one’s for you! This film is based on a novel and follows four friends who go on a hiking trip in the Swedish wilderness to honor their friend who died tragically. As they trek along, the group decides to take a shortcut when they become lost and begin to experience strange and terrifying occurrences. They soon realize that they are being hunted by a mysterious force. On their own in the remote wilderness of Sweden, they must fight for their survival. The film features a strong cast of characters and explores themes of guilt, trauma, and the power of belief.
7. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
More in the comedy horror genre than just straight horror, this film will have you laughing and feeling a little scared. Two well-meaning hillbillies, Tucker and Dale, are mistaken for serial killers by a group of teens on a camping trip. Misunderstandings and accidents lead to a mounting body count in the woods as Tucker and Dale try to prove their innocence and survive the night on their ill-fated camping trip.
8. Deliverance (1972)
A 1972 thriller movie, this film follows four friends from the city who go on a camping and canoeing trip along a dangerous river in the Georgia wilderness. Along the way, they face numerous obstacles and challenges and encounter hostile locals who threaten both their safety and their sanity. Whether you're a fan of camping and outdoor adventure or not, Deliverance is a thriller/horror flick that will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you with plenty to think about long after it's over!
9. The Ruins (2008)
A group of friends vacationing in Mexico decide to leave the hotel and embark on a camping trip to tour a remote archaeological site hidden in the jungle. But the camping trip goes awry as the friends become trapped in the jungle with no way out. As they climb the ancient ruins, they discover that the plants are deadly and that they are not alone on the site. Their once carefree sightseeing trip becomes a terrifying ordeal as they are hunted by an unseen force that lurks within the vines and the ruins.
10. The Descent (2005)
A group of women goes on a caving expedition in the Appalachian Mountains, but things quickly take a turn for the worse as they become trapped in the caves. The remote mountainous setting adds to the movie's claustrophobic terror as the women are isolated in the caves with no way out. As they explore deeper into the caverns, they uncover a terrifying secret looming in the darkness. This one is my personal favorite, probably because I would never find myself on a camping trip involving caving!
These 10 camping horror movies offer a mix of suspense, terror, and thrill, all set against the backdrop of the great outdoors. From iconic classics like Sleepaway Camp and Friday the 13th to newer entries like The Ritual and Backcountry, these movies are sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone brave enough to watch them. Just be warned—if you're planning a solo camping trip anytime soon, maybe save these movies for another time. After all, you never know what might be lurking in the woods!