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10 Camping Movies to Get You Ready For a Hot Summer Binge

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Summer’s almost here and it’s time to grab your gear and take the kids camping… and scare yourself silly! Aren’t sure what to pack? Don’t worry, we have the survival guide to some of the scariest, far out and fun horror films to prepare you for survival at camp!

There are plenty more camp movies, mind you, but this is a list of the ones that really have a certain mood to them that bring me back to being younger and going on camping trips and growing up watching horror films during the summer. So here they are in no particular order.

Evil Dead (1981)

Considered to be one of the most frightening and inspirational horror films, so what better place to start? It’s the first work of horror legends Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi and also has copious amounts of gore and tension mixed with some humor that is sure to keep you entertained the whole time.

A group of four friends are headed to a cabin in the woods for brews, food, and a good time. Absolutely nothing can sour this little vacation… well, that is until they stumble upon the Necronomicon in the basement and accidentally summon the demonic deadites!

One by one they are taken over by the evil forces until the iconic sole survivor Ash must battle (and mutilate) his now possessed friends if he wants to make it to morning. Evil Dead also spawned two sequels, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn and Army of Darkness, which are both worthy successors of the original, becoming goofier with each installment.

Cheerleader Camp (1988)

It’s the peppiest camp around for adults to play teenagers getting slaughtered, like 80’s icon Leif Garrett. He, along with his girlfriend and other members of their cheer squad, head off to Camp Hurrah to train for the finals and bring home the gold… or whatever it is cheerleaders win.

One of the cheerleaders, and our heroine of the movie, Allison, is having bizarre visions and nightmares of the other campers being murdered, but it turns out that the nightmare is a reality! It’s a pretty damn silly movie and doesn’t get more complicated than I described.

I think the film is most notable for having actors that are clearly in their mid-thirties playing high schoolers. I know just about every film does this, but some of them sport stubble, have crow’s feet and Leif Garrett is rocking a serious widow’s peak. Not only that, they come off as very unconvincing cheerleaders.

One, in particular, is an overweight “kid” with an obsession with spying on girls with a camcorder, which ironically captures his fate. I remember I use to confuse this one with a Friday the 13th film when I was younger. Or maybe it’s because this one is very middle of the road, blending in with all other slashers.

The Burning (1981)

Kids are always up to no good, as the unfortunate Cropsy learns when a prank goes bad, engulfing him in flames and scarring him for life. That doesn’t stop him from returning to camp and exacting bloody revenge!

The campers at Camp Stonewater fall victim to Cropsy’s revenge after a rafting trip goes awry, leaving them to be stranded and separating the group as they look for means to escape. Soon, awkward Alfred discovers Cropy’s presence and tries to warn the others before it is too late.

On paper, it sounds pretty straightforward, but The Burning is a very unique slasher film that is more than what it seems to be, although until a few years ago, the film could only be seen in its heavily edited form (this was mostly due to the famous raft scene). For starters, the film has a very interesting dynamic between the kids, developing believable friendships and a bully that torments Alfred.

The kids are played by an amazing cast, including a young Jason Alexander (George from Seinfeld), Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit 1 & 2), and Holly Hunter (blink and you’ll miss her)! And not to mention, who else would you get to kill these campers in horrific ways by none other than Tom Savini, who passed on Friday the 13th Part 2 to do this film.

You round that off by having Rick Wakeman of 80’s mega synth band Yes do the score and you have yourself one of the best slasher films of all time.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

I could have put just about any of the entries from the Friday the 13th series on the list, but the sixth in the series offers something none of the sequels has: kids actually camping at Camp Crystal Lake. None of them are butchered, unlike the aforementioned The Burning, but that doesn’t stop ol’ Jason from busting through the cabin door and scaring the heebie-jeebies out of them.

Jason is accidentally brought back to life by his adversary Tommy Jarvis (making him the only recurring character, aside from Jason, in the Friday the 13th series) in a very Frankenstein-like manner. Tommy escapes and tries to warn the local authorities that Jason is on his way back to Camp Crystal Lake, now renamed Camp Forest Green, but in typical horror movie fashion, they don’t believe him.

Unfortunately for the counselors, as well as some corporate fatcats on a paintball retreat and residents of the area, who are dispatched of in messy ways upon Jason’s arrival. Personally, this is my favorite of the series as I feel it has the most distinguishable and unique style of the bunch, as well as having a parodic sense of humor that makes it an incredible amount of fun.

Madman (1982)

You want a camp slasher that’s full of mood and atmosphere, topped off with over-the-top kills?

It’s the last day of camp for kids as their head counselor Max tells them the legend of Madman Marz, who murdered his wife and child and was hung for his crime… but his body disappeared. His name is never to be spoken above a whisper, so of course the loudmouth, idiot kids shout his name and dooms them all too horrific and violent deaths.

Sure enough, Marz appears with superhuman strength and begins to butcher these poor counselors vividly, one of whom is played by Gaylen Ross from Dawn of the Dead, as she struggles with her relationship with TP. Having said that, these counselors have pretty decent chemistry and you tend to root for them, but watching them meet a graphic demise outweighs that.

The film balances false secure, innocent moments with alarming and vicious slasher moments very well and as I stated earlier, it has a nice soft moonlight glow to it, playing into the false sense of security. It truly is movies like this that put me in the mood for slashers and camping.

Highly underrated, it’s an absolute must-see that paces well and packs a punch, but don’t expect a happy ending.

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

If there ever was a quintessential summer camp horror flick, this would be it. The film centers around young Angela and Ricky being sent to camp by their nutty aunt.

Ricky connects with old friendships and is shunned by last summer’s girlfriend, Judy, who has it in for poor Angela. As Angela is picked on by the campers (and a sleazy cook), they soon start to die terribly. Camp Arawak’s bitter old owner, Mel, refuses to believe there could be a murderer until his hot young tail (yes, it’s implied he’s having a relationship with one of the counselors) winds up dead.  Mel suspects it’s Ricky since the kids disappearing have it out for Angela. But he couldn’t be the killer, could he?

Sleepaway Camp feels like a light-hearted summer romp type of comedy at times, then takes a dark turn when one of the kids is killed. At times, you will forget you are watching a horror film, being lulled into its charming antics, and then like a suckerpunch, it catches you off guard and drops you with intense death scenes.

What makes it so shocking (aside from some of their ages), is how well developed these characters are and the honest relationships they have with each other, which makes it heartbreaking when you know what’s coming to them.

It’s a classic in my book and has one of the most ghastly twist endings of all time. Its sequels, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, go for a slapsticky comedic route and happen to star the sister of famous rocker Bruce Springsteen, Pamela.

Return to Sleepaway  Camp attempted to return to its original roots, but didn’t possess the same charm and shock and failed miserably. Also, if you happened to buy the Sleepaway Camp box set from Best Buy, it included a fourth disc that contained the footage for the aborted fourth sequel, Sleepaway Camp: The Survivor.

Just Before Dawn (1981)

Often called a mix between Deliverance and Friday the 13th, Just Before Dawn centers around, what else, a group of youngsters on a camping trip? However, something in the woods is waiting for them, but that something is not what you’d be expecting.

It’s not a masked killer, nor is it a creature, but a family of inbred madmen, unbeknownst to a local forest ranger played by George Kennedy. During a night of drinking and one drink dancing around a fire, they are approached by a local redneck and warned to leave, but do they listen? Of course not.

It doesn’t take long after that for the chuckling pair to arrive and gut these campers and as their number dwindles, they realize they need to reach the forest ranger and call for help… if they can make it.

Just Before Dawn is something just a little out of the ordinary that’s well worth a watch. It also features a drunk Mel from Sleepaway Camp as a hunter.

The Forest (1982)

Men are better camper than women. It’s a fact… or at least it is according to the macho characters in this film.

Wanting to prove to their husbands that they are just as good as survivalists as they are, Sharon and Teddi venture off into the woods for a weekend of camping with their significant others, Charlie and Steve, who are meeting up with them later. After all, how hard can camping be?

Teddi is an expert since she read how to do it in a book. Soon, everyone’s survival skills are put to the test once they are being hunted down by a maniac who lives in those woods, hunting human prey and eating whatever he catches! Luckily, a pair of ghost children warn our survivors of the danger that lurks.

It’s a slow burn, boasting the most on-screen hiking montages in cinema history and having very little in the blood and guts department, but it’s filled with camp (no pun intended) classic, like bad acting and ridiculous dialogue.

They also try to flesh out the film’s killer, giving him a tragic backstory and one disturbing scene where Charlie and Steve, unaware of who their camping guest is, accept his invitation to dinner and eat the roasted remains of one of the characters.

Don’t Go in the Woods (1981)

Also confusingly known as Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone due to (possibly) an odd tagline placement, it’s another film that is in tone with The Forest, being extremely campy and incredibly hammy, but that’s what makes it so good.

By now, you’re probably used to seeing, “A group of friends go camping and someone kills them.” It may be simplifying the synopsis, but… that’s what it is! A hysterical, grizzly man who looks like he hasn’t showered and wrapped himself in camo netting runs around an unknown wooded area and butchers everyone he encounters with a machete.

There is a focus group of campers that serve as our main characters, but most of their scenes are meandering around, being lectured on how dangerous the woods are by their guide, and then it will cut to another random person out in the woods getting their arm severed off or stabbed to death.

The effects are laughable and when you mix that with ludicrous character reactions, Don’t Go in the Woods is a great time to be had. It has a noticeable amount of sleaze to make you feel unclean, but you’ll be glad you watched it.

Night of the Demon (1980)

Ever hear the legend of Bigfoot and how he ripped some biker’s weiner off? Or how he twirled a camper in his sleeping bag like he’s a Shot Put champion and impaled the poor guy on a tree branch? No? Well then hunker down, because this is one strange Video Nasty.

Often confused with Night of the Demons or the 1957 monster flick of the same name, this film, believe it or not, doesn’t feature a demon. At least, not by definition. The entire film is told by a bigfoot survivor, a teacher of anthropology at a local college, in flashback form, as he and his students search for the legend.

The film is a little disjointing, cutting back and forth between the class standing around and talking in flannels to graphic scenes of Bigfoot’s murderous rampage (as silly as the special effects are). Along their journey, they discover that the monster they have been seeking is actually the spawn of a woman who was supposedly a witch (at least according to her father) after she was raped.

For a low-budget b-movie, there is quite a bit going on in this movie and they certainly are pushing the boundaries. Their encounter with a sasquatch in the climax is a hilarious and bloody montage of slo-mo, gut-slinging fun that you don’t want to miss.

Until next year, campers, zip-up that tent tight!

[This article has been updated since it was first published in May 2022]

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The Best New Horror Movies Coming to Streaming Platforms This Week

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It’s a new week and that means new horror films! This week we are in for a treat; December means Christmas horror movies are upon us. So, grab some eggnog and cookies, let’s get spooky.

There’s Something in the Barn-December 5th-VOD

There's Something in the Barn

I love Christmas horror. It provides such a fun juxtaposition between the goofy holiday movies we expect around Christmas and the blood and gore we get from horror. There’s Something in the Barn gives us all of this wrapped in a bow.

There’s Something in the Barn takes this theme to the next level by also adding in some culture clash. This new horror flick places an American family in Norway for the holiday. As expected, the characters don’t adapt well. This film leans a bit more on the camp side but still looks like it’s worth a watch.

Monsters of California-December 5th-VOD

Monsters of California

Monsters of California has been getting some positive buzz recently. Not only because Blink 182‘s Tom Delonge directed and produced the film. This film gives us the suburban fantasy that we have all been dreaming of.

Monsters of California is a conspiracy theorist’s dream. It turns out monsters are real, and the government has been hiding them the entire time. This new coming of age horror flick looks like it will be a fun ride for fans, if not explicitly gory.

Everyone Will Burn-December 5th-VOD

Everyone Will Burn

We talked about what to expect from Everyone Will Burn recently. If you didn’t catch that one, Everyone Will Burn gives us one of my favorite themes in horror. We get to see a murderous psychic child in action.

If you enjoy that kind of thing as much as I do, then this new horror flick is for you. This is also a great choice for fans of international horror or just psychological horror. regardless of what side of horror you are on, this looks like a fun one.

Black Mold-December 7th-Tubi

Black Mold

It’s always a good sign when a horror flick chooses a subject material that can affect anyone. I am unlikely to need to hunt down a catholic priest because of demonic possession. But it wouldn’t surprise me if someone discovered black mold in my home.

Thinking about it, that may explain some of the things in my life. Black Mold is far from the first horror film to explore this concept but based on the awards it’s received it may be the best. If you are looking for something new on Tubi to watch this week, give Black Mold a try.

Lord of Misrule-December 8th-VOD

Lord of Misrule

Speaking of the Catholics, our next new horror film centers around a Catholic priest. Lord of Misrule is our newest addition in the folk horror subgenre. I am a big fan of folk horror in general.

There’s something about pitting the old gods versus the new that scratches a special place in my brain. There’s a reason The Wicker Man is considered one of the greatest horror films ever made. If you are a fan of folk horror, give The Lord of Misrule a shot.

Raging Grace-December 8th-VOD

Raging Grace

We also discussed Raging Grace recently. This new horror flick focuses on chasing the American dream from the perspective of an immigrant family. And it looks like it will provide this in a terrifying light.

Raging Grace will also focus on the terrors of working in the service industry. The main theme of this film seems to be unjust power hierarchies and I am here for it. If you like a little social commentary in your horror, go watch Raging Grace.

The Cello-December 8th-VOD

The Cello

We have Tobin Bell (Saw) and an evil cello, do you need more? It’s a tale as old as time. A musician needs a new instrument and buys a mystical piece from a mysterious shop owner who is definitely not the devil.

The Cello looks like it’s going to be a bit on the slow burn side of the spectrum. But who doesn’t love a good physiological horror.? And it has Tobin Bell in something other than Saw, so that’s a plus.

Santa Isn’t Real-December 8th-VOD

Santa isn't Real

Our newest neo slasher is Santa Isn’t Real. It isn’t clear if this is supernatural or not, but it is definitely full of cheesy goodness. Whether that was intentional or not doesn’t really matter.

This may not be the strongest looking entry on this list. But I have been surprised before. It’s important to never judge a horror flick by its trailer. If you want to give an indie film a chance this week, go watch Santa isn’t Real.

The Sacrifice Game-December 8th-Shudder

The final new horror flick this week is the Shudder original The Sacrifice Game. Luckily for us it’s another Christmas horror film. The Sacrifice Game is absolutely making the Christmas watch list this year.

Shudder is known for bringing us the best original horror flicks year after year. Not all of them are amazing but they normally get points for being different. If you want to see what kind of present Shudder came up with for us this year, go watch The Sacrifice Game.

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All of the New Horror Films Releasing This Weekend

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It’s a new week and that means it’s time for new horror films! This week has everything a horror fan could want to see. From big budget triple-A films, right down to international and indie films. Make sure to schedule some time to get spooky this week, there are a bunch of new films to watch.

Raging Grace- December 1st-Theaters

Raging Grace Poster

Immigrant and service industry horror has been on the rise recently and it has created some amazing entertainment for horror fans. Films like His House and No One Gets Out Alive have shown audiences a vision of horror that they may not have considered before.

Raging Grace looks to combine these two concepts into a bone chilling horror film. This new horror flick delves into subjects like classism and just how hard it can be to chase the American dream.


Don’t Suck-December 1st-Theaters

Don’t Suck Poster

Who doesn’t want to see a horror comedy with Jamie Kennedy (Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell)? Don’t Suck is a new horror film about a vampire who wants to be a standup comedian. Why? I assume because living forever is incredibly boring.

Sure, this film looks a little on the nose as far as the plot goes. But who knows, maybe this will be the breakout horror film of the year. If not, it will probably still be good for a few laughs, even if they weren’t intentional.


As We Know It-December 1st-VOD

As We Know It Poster

This new horror flick has everything a horror fan needs. We get zombies, conflict between an ex-girlfriend and a best friend, and just watching real people try to survive the end of the world. It even focuses on the humor of the situation.

Wait, I think we may have already seen a film like this. Even if it isn’t the most original concept, As We Know It looks like it will be a funny addition to any horror watch list this weekend.


Everyone Will Burn-December 1st-Theaters

Everyone Will Burn Poster

Ah, murderous psychic children, the cornerstone of all the best horror movies. Some people think that this trope has been done to death, but I disagree. If it didn’t work, then Stephen King (IT) wouldn’t keep putting it in every third story.

Everyone Will Burn is the newest addition to this list of terrifying films. And it looks like it’s going to pack a punch. If you are a fan of revenge thrillers or just creepy kids in general, make sure to add this one to your watch list.


Godzilla Minus One-December 1st-Theaters

Godzilla Minus One Poster

This film doesn’t need much of an introduction. If you aren’t already familiar with this giant monster then you should clear your calendar for the next month because you have some films to catch up on.

This new version of the classic tale takes us back to the beginning. Godzilla Minus One may be giving us a movie that we more or less have seen 100 times, but let’s be honest, we all know we are going to love it anyway.


It’s a Wonderful Knife-December 1st-VOD/Shudder

It’s A Wonderful Knife Poster

I love it when a studio just says screw it, what if Jason was actually Santa Clause? Sadly, that’s not exactly what we are getting here. But honestly, it’s the closest we could all hope for. And it’s coming home just in time for Christmas!

This new Christmas flick is campy, bloody, and I love every second of it. Between this and films like Freaky and Happy Death Day, we are getting ever closer to a horror version of all of our most nostalgic films. If you didn’t catch this one in theaters, make sure to catch it at home this weekend.


Loop Track-December 1st-VOD

Loop Track Poster

What do you get when you mix outdoor survival, conspiracy theories, and a monster hiding in the woods? Our last new horror flick this weekend, Loop Track. This little thriller looks like it is going to tap into one of our oldest fears, the fear of the unknown.

This looks like someone placed The Predator in Australia and just set a camera up to record. Now, as usual, this film will likely be one of those are they delusional or is the monster real type of flicks. If that’s the kind of horror you need in your life, make sure to check out Loop Track this weekend.

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Sequels & Remakes Will Dominate Horror Cinema in 2024

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I hope you loved the original horror movies that came out in 2023 because 2024 looks like it’s going to be filled with many sequels and remakes.

Of the original 2023 fare, we got M3GAN, When Evil Lurks, Cobweb, Thanksgiving, Totally Killer, and Last Voyage of the Demeter (technically a prequel?). Sequels included Exorcist Believer, Evil Dead Rise, Scream VI, and Insidious: The Red Door. Not a bad mix, right?

But 2024 already looks like sequels and remakes are going to be the dominant theme, at least according to the Facebook page What to Watch. They posted a list of horror movies they see as coming out in 2024 –some confirmed, some not. Although the list is a little flawed as some of the movies aren’t even listed on IMDb yet (Arachnophobia remake) it is still an encouraging omen of what’s ahead.

They also listed mock-up movie posters, but even though they are fake, we can appreciate the artist’s concepts nonetheless.

Below are the films they list and their respective posters. We only included movies that are actually listed on IMDb, and we added The Strangers.

Keep in mind what COVID didn’t push back in production, the actors’ and writers’ strike did. So expect release dates to change, maybe even into 2025. Note that the phony Scream 7 one-sheet says 2025, but the official IMDb page says 2024.

Scream 7

The Strangers Chapter 1

Final Destination 6

Beetlejuice 2

The Crow

The Conjuring Last Rites

Smile 2

Constantine 2

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