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Here Are 5 Classic Horror Movies To Watch This Summer

by Chris Harper
"Summer of '84"

Summer is right around the corner and when it comes to beating the heat, horror may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But there is something about the season that just screams horror with its celluloid cannibalistic barbeques, killer fish, and deadly road trips.

Here are five cool films that will not only gear you up for summer but will tide you over till Halloween comes around.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Streaming on Tubi, Shudder

The definitive seasonal classic about an idyllic summer afternoon that turns into a harrowing nightmare for a group of five youths who fall prey to a depraved family of cannibals.

Disturbing and relentlessly intense, Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre has been shocking audiences for over 40 years. A first of its kind, it pushed the boundaries of horror with its graphic violence and gruesome imagery. Director Tobe Hooper traps the audience in a literal house of horror. Nothing says summer like a good barbeque with a clan of cannibals!

Piranha (1978)

Streaming on Amazon Prime

When mutant piranhas are accidentally released from a secret research station into a river, it becomes a race against time as the toothsome fishes head downriver toward a summer camp and lakeside tourist attraction.

Exciting, thrilling, and pure 80’s B-movie madness, Piranha is an obvious rip-off of Spielberg’s Jaws with its low-budget special effects, cheap scares, and lackluster performances. Despite the film’s flaws, Piranha still manages to have plenty of bite with fun kills, campy humor, and ample amounts of carnage that make Piranha a summertime must-see.

The House on Sorority Row

Streaming on Tubi

Set around the first days of summer, Sorority Row follows seven sorority sisters that throw a graduation party playing a cruel prank on their house mother ending with (spoiler alert) the sisters accidentally killing her. Unlucky for them, someone witnessed it and now the girls are being picked off one by one.

Released in the heyday of the slasher, House on Sorority Row has often been overlooked. The film plays out more as a whodunnit thriller than your typical 80’s slasher. Heightened with moments of suspense along with some wild and crazy antics, House on Sorority Row makes for the perfect summertime movie.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Streaming on HBO Max

Summer wouldn’t be complete without dumping a dead body into water.

Loosely based on the novel by Lois Duncan, I Know What You Did Last Summer follows four friends who accidentally hit someone on a coastal mountain road. They make the fatal mistake of dumping the victim’s body into the ocean. One year later, the four friends find themselves the target of a hook-wielding maniac seemingly out for revenge.

Hooking you in with its whodunnit plot, I Know What You Did Last Summer is a dark, revenge-filled slasher film with nerve-shredding tension that offers some genuine scares including one of the best chase scenes in horror history. The film, being set on July Fourth, it’s a must-have for any Fourth of July party.

Summer of  ’84

Streaming on Shudder

It’s summer 1984 — the perfect time to be 15 years old and free. But when neighborhood conspiracy theorist Davey Armstrong (Graham Verchere) begins to suspect that his police officer neighbor might just be a serial killer, it’s time to grow up quickly. He enlists the help of three friends to spend their summer vacation spying on the suspect, gathering evidence. But as they get closer to the truth the investigation becomes a lot more deadly.

A Shudder exclusive, Summer of 84 is packed full of nostalgia with an 80’s retro vibe similar to Stranger Things. More a suspenseful thriller than a straight-up horror movie, the film plays a tension-filled game of cat and mouse between Davey and his neighbor Wayne Mackey (Rich Sommer).

Influenced by such films as Rear Window and Disturbia, Summer of  ’84 is a knockout suburban thriller that is sure to give you nostalgic feels for the summers of your youth.