Everyone is looking to social distance right now. With the ongoing pandemic, the thought of escaping into the beauty and solitude of nature is an alluring and captivating thought to the entire world...
But, then again, the woods tend to be filled with monsters, giant animals, madmen, and supernatural forces, so maybe the woods aren't as peaceful as people think. Here's a list of 10 movies that are guaranteed to make you afraid of the woods. From slasher classics to inbred murderers, these movies will make you never want to leave your cramped city apartment ever again.
10 Deliverance (1972)
When a group of Atlanta businessmen—including Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds—decide to take a canoeing trip through rural Georgia, they get more than they bargained for. They stumble upon a community of hostile, backwoods mountain folk who are enraged that a giant hydroelectric dam is about to be built, destroying their community. The mountain people are prepared to terrorize, rape, and murder any outsider they can find. This isn't a movie for anyone squeamish...
9 Exists (2014)
In Exists, a group of friends decides to escape the city for a weekend and head out to a cabin in the East Texas wilderness. Little do they know that they're being stalked by none other than sasquatch.
Exists is so interesting because it uses many elements of a slasher film, but it combines them with the pure power and size of bigfoot, creating one of the most terrifying killers in horror history.
8 The Evil Dead (1981)
Upon entering an old cabin in the woods for a wilderness getaway, a group of friends soon discover a basement filled equipment used for necromancy. One of them then accidentally awakens the dead and the group finds themselves fighting for their lives.
7 Cabin Fever (2003)
Cabin Fever tells the story of a deadly flesh-eating virus that spreads throughout the woods due to a contaminated river. Unfortunately, a group vacationing in the woods don't realize this until their skin starts falling off.
Eli Roth's horror classic won't just make you afraid of the woods, but it will also turn even the dirtiest person into a terrified hypochondriac. Strangely enough, just 14 years later in 2016, Roth wrote and produced a Cabin Fever remake, which received terrible reviews.
6 Bird Box (2018)
Bird Box turned out to be an unexpected phenomenon that dominated Netflix and social media for weeks after its release. In fact, a Netflix analysis revealed that the film had been watched by 89 million households within the first four weeks of release, being one of the biggest streaming hits of all time.
The film centers around Sandra Bullock's character, Malorie, as she's forced to outrun dangerous supernatural entities that cause anyone who looks at them to commit suicide.
5 The Strangers (2008)
The Strangers was intended to be a modest horror success, but it turned into a massive hit, even spawning a 2018 sequel. The movie stars Liv Tyler as a woman who joins her boyfriend for a trip to his secluded boyhood summer cottage. Soon after arriving, the couple is stalked and harassed by a group of masked strangers.
The film has taken on a new life, becoming a horror classic and sparking numerous debates about what the plot's real-life inspirations are. There have even been academic papers written about the movie, discussing its themes of violence, interpersonal conflict, and a rejection of bucolic life.
4 Wrong Turn (2003)
Many fans would argue that Wrong Turn is the defining role of star Eliza Dushku, cementing her as one of horror's reigning scream queens. The film, which centers around a group of friends being hunted throughout the woods by inbred cannibals, was a modest success upon release. But, soon after, it found a solid cult audience who introduced the movie to others. Before long, Wrong Turn, which had only made a profit of $16 million, became a franchise of six movies, with a reboot currently in production.
3 Predator (1987)
Predator, which starts off looking like some Rambo-ripoff, quickly turns into a life-or-death struggle for a group of soldiers in the Central America rainforest as they find themselves being hunted by an invisible alien. Much like James Cameron's Aliens, Predator walks the tightrope between action and horror and does it flawlessly, creating scenes that are both full of high-tension while also being filled with explosions, gunfire, and Schwarzenegger. Predator not only became a profitable franchise, but it's also known for its crossovers with the Alien franchise.
2 The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Easily one of the most polarizing horror movies of all time, The Blair Witch Project follows a group of college kids making a documentary for their film class. The kids end up being stalked by a supernatural legend known as the Blair Witch, and the entire ordeal is portrayed through the video cameras of the students.
Upon release, the movie was marketed as being a real story and comprised of actual footage found in the woods. In a world before the internet had completely connected everyone, it was a valuable marketing tool and helped the movie gross over $248 million at the box office.
1 Friday the 13th (1980)
Jason has been many places: Manhattan, suburban Ohio, even space, but his favorite habitat tends to be summer camps and the woods that surround them. In fact, when most moviegoers think of being chased through the woods, Jason is one of the first images that comes to mind.
Jason has done a lot of killing in the woods. From cabins, to tents, to lakeside docks, to girls running through the forest at night... Jason can be anywhere at any time, and that is what makes Friday the 13th so damn scary.