It’s here! Spring Break! That time of year when traffic in Los Angeles is a little less insane than normal (still crazy).
Also, I suppose I should mention this is also that time of year where college kids tend to flock to a sunny lakeside destination or maybe a cabin in the woods to party for the weekend. I’ll be honest here, that sounds horrible. Crowds of drunk chuckleheads being stupid and drunk in large numbers causing a drunk mob think mentality. The thought of all the bimbos and meatheads all bouncing together in a pool that’s a bit too small to the latest Ke$ha jam with the guys from LMFAO is giving me anxiety. Yep, I’d just rather hunker down on my couch and barricade myself indoors from the rest of the world. I know I’m not alone here…
So, for those of you out there who are opting for a staycation of sorts, I’ve compiled a list of 10 horror films to get you through these tough times.
“Welcome To Spring Break / Nightmare Beach” (1988)
The plot here is simple…and stupid, but in a good way I guess. There’s this local biker that was just given the electric chair. Much like Horace Pinker, he swears revenge in his last dying breath. Cut to: SPRING BREAK! Woohoo! A slew of college students are flocking to Florida for all the sun, surf and debauchery that comes with. Instead, they are met with the brutal force of…some sadistic ghost biker that electrocutes his victims. Yeah, Wes Craven would have done this better.
“There’s Nothing Out There” (1991)
Here’s the first cabin in the woods film on the list. Here, we have seven teen friends who decide to head up to a cabin on the lake for spring break. There’s a dude named Mike who seems to be a precursor to Randy Meeks with all his horror movie knowledge. He’s the one that points out the different signs that something horrific is going on. The other laugh it off as you would expect but it turns out something really is out there. Soon, each character finds themselves falling into horror cliches one would find in your typical teen slasher film.
Vacationing in Mexico, this group of American friends, accompanied by their new German buddy Mathias, decide to venture out to the ruins of a Mayan temple. Things go horribly wrong when the archeologist buddy of Mathias is murdered by local Mayan villagers. Held captive by the townspeople, it’s soon discovered that they had been lured to these ruins by….wait for it….a cluster of carnivorous creeping plants that exist in the bottom of a mine. Makes sense, right?
This Australian horror film follows a group of friends who’ve traveled to a remote section of the Outback in search of a rare Aboriginal cave painting (sure, why not?). Before they even make it to their destination, one of the friends has a freak out session in a nearby cave. In the process, she cuts herself and unbeknownst to her and her pals, she awakens something evil with her spilled blood. Soon, the annoying blonde gal gets infected with a virus of sorts and is soon transformed into an insane super toothed lady beast! SUPER TOOTHED LADY BEAST (trademark!)!
“Cabin Fever” (2002)
The directorial debut of Eli Roth, Cabin Fever follows a group of college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods only to find themselves victims of a flesh-eating virus. Roth has stated he got the inspiration for the film’s story from a real life experience during a trip to Iceland when Roth developed a horrific skin infection. The film draws from Roth’s favorite horror films like Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Last House On The Left. A good horror film to be sure, in the sense that I have a really hard time watching it.
“Jeepers Creepers” (2001)
I had originally overlooked Jeepers Creepers when it had its original theatrical run because it looked very Pumpkinhead-ish. And sure, there is an element of that here but what’s different is the humor and wit brought to this film. Showcasing the talent of a young Justin Long, the film follows a brother and sister on their drive home for spring break. What starts off as a run of the mill road trip movie, turns into something that reminded me for a while of Duel, when they encounter some crazy car stalking them on a lonely highway. Then, it turns out the car is being driven by a flesh-eating creature on the last day of its ritualistic eating spree. So, there’s that!
“Pirhana 3D” (2010)
Here’s the kind of remake of 1978’s Pirhana, which is kind of a Jaws parody…kind of. When I was a kid, Pirhana scared the crap out of me. It was like the more hardcore version of Jaws and really did keep me from going in any body of water for a while. This remake blends in the right amount of comedy and results in a really fun time at the movies. The story here takes place at Lake Victoria, a popular spring break spot. But these kids are about to experience something toothy and gruesome because a bunch of prehistoric man-eating fish were just unlocked from the Earth’s crust by an underwater tremor! Beware, the floating penis scene!
“Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil” (2010)
Horror comedies are an artform. Many people attempt them but blending the two genres take some talent and the good ones, when done right, really stand out. One of the good ones of recent years is Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil. Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are two best friends who take a vacation to their dilapidated house in the mountains. They’re lovable and a bit slow. Unfortunately, they are quickly mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids. When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys attempt to rescue her, which lead to a huge bloody misunderstanding. The film is currently available on Netflix Instant. Watch it!
“The Cabin In The Woods” (2012)
This movie, in my opinion, is hands down the best horror film of 2012. Directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods follows five friends who take a holiday at a remote cabin. They soon become victims of some stereotypical horror movie plot devices. While being a reference to dozens of horror films, some of which are in this list, the big twist in this one completely kicks you in the side of the head. Seriously, this is one genius movie.
“The Evil Dead” (1981)
It seems only right to end this list with the 1981 horror classic The Evil Dead. Based on his earlier short these film Within The Woods with which he received $90,000, The Evil Dead was written and directed by Sam Raimi and put both him and Bruce Campbell on the damn map. One of the largest cult films and voted as one of the greatest horror films of all time, the movie tells the familiar story of five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in the woods. Their vacation soon becomes rather horrific when they find an audiotape that releases demons, who one by one possess each member of the group, leading to increasingly gory mayhem.
The film spawned two sequels directed by Raimi; Evil Dead II (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992). There is an Evil Dead video game, a comic book franchise, and the franchise hero Ash Williams has become a cult icon. With the upcoming Evil Dead remake already creating tons of buzz, the talk of a sequel already in the works, an Evil Dead Musical in Las Vegas and the talks of an Army Of Darkness sequel floating about the internet, it seems that Evil Dead will never die!
What are your favorite Spring Break horror films?
Get groovy in the comments below!
Latest posts by Aaron Pruner (see all)
- SDCC: An Intimate Sunset Cruise With the Cast of History’s ‘Vikings’ - July 15, 2015
- ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Episode 5 Review: “Pink Cupcakes” - November 6, 2014
- Marvel Comics, The Future Of Robotics & More: A Chat With The Cast & Crew of ‘Big Hero 6’ - November 5, 2014
- Disney Producer Kristina Reed Serves Up The Goods On New Animated Short “Feast” - November 4, 2014
- ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5, Episode 4 Review: “Slabtown” - November 3, 2014