10 Horror Movies That Prove You Should Never Get Lost in the Woods
When it comes to horror movies, there are loads of age-old techniques that are used to frighten an audience. Whether it’s a cleverly timed jump scare or a classic spooky setting, horror movies definitely have their tried-and-true tropes. In fact, one of the most common backdrops for the genre is the woods. There’s just something about a thick forest cutting characters off from civilisation that adds a whole other layer of creepiness to a horror movie. With so many films that fall under this category, let’s look at some of the best horror movies that take place in the woods.
A group of friends embark on a backpacking trip through Sweden to honour a dead member of their inner circle. After one of them gets injured, the group decide to take a shortcut through a thick and treacherous forest. Upon entering these woods, the group wind up getting lost in the labyrinth of trees. To make matters worse, a terrifying and unknown force also stalks them as they try to find their way out.
Inspired by true events from director Bryan Bertino’s childhood, The Strangers will keep viewers awake with paranoia. The film follows James and Kristen, a couple who are processing a failed marriage proposal in James’s childhood home located deep in the woods. Due to the uncomfortable atmosphere, the duo are often apart, leaving both of them open to three masked intruders. The invaders show no fear or remorse, displaying only feelings of enjoyment as they play with their prey.
The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project might be one of the most influential horror movies of all time, as it’s often credited for the rise in popularity of the found-footage genre. Told through the perspective of a shaky camera recording, the film follows a group of people lost in the woods and terrorised by an unseen force that leads them deeper into the wilderness. The film’s raw presentation gives it an authentic feel that will literally make you think these events could’ve very well happened.
After receiving a disturbing phone call from local Japanese police, Sara organises a trip to the Aokigahara Forest – also known as the Suicide Forest – to look for her lost twin sister. The police inform Sara that they believe her sister went there to end her life, prompting Sara and her friends to try to find her before it’s too late. The forest, however, holds many supernatural secrets that test the group’s resolve.
Set in colonial America, The Witch follows a family banished from their Puritan town and forced to relocate to a farm on the edge of a secluded forest. When a witch kidnaps the family’s newborn, eyes turn to Thomasin, the eldest child who was with the baby at the time. As more oddities crop up around Thomasin, her parents grow increasingly concerned that she has been touched by the devil.
The Evil Dead
Starring genre-beloved Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams, the original Evil Dead is a must see for any horror buff. Ash and his friends decide to vacation in a cabin in the woods that’s haunted by an unseen force. When the cellar door swings open by itself, Ash and Scott investigate the scene and find both a tape recording and a book that has the ability to call forth the dead. After listening to a recording of a ritual, terrifying supernatural events begin to unfold all around them.
The Cabin in the Woods
As the name suggests, this movie follows a stereotypical group of teenagers destined to be picked off one by one as they journey to an old cabin in the middle of the forest. While this starts off as a Friday the 13th rip-off, expectations are subverted when it’s revealed that a group of researchers are pulling the strings. The film offers a meta message about horror clichés, while also delivering an authentically frightening experience.
Friday the 13th
We can’t have a woodsy-horror-movie list without mentioning Friday the 13th. This classic focuses on a group of teen camp counsellors who are hunted down by Jason, a masked killer who drowned in the nearby lake when he was a youth. While this film has been remade and rebooted over the years, the original Friday the 13th is a definite must watch for fans of the slasher genre.
Tucker & Dale vs Evil
Tucker & Dale vs Evil is a shining example of a strong horror comedy done right. When a group of stereotypical teens stumble across Tucker and Dale fixing up a cabin in the woods, they mistake the duo for crazed hillbilly killers. However, as various events unfold, the harmless duo wind up looking more and more suspicious in the eyes of the teens.
A group of college students venture to (you guessed it) a cabin in the woods for their spring break. Little do they know, a hermit living in the area contracts a blood infection from his dog and passes it onto the group. Bert, the first of the group to show signs of the infection, chooses to stay silent about his symptoms, putting everyone else at risk.