Summer is in full swing. It’s a time for barbeques, beaches and of course, horror movies! As an avid horror fan, I love all horror movies, all year round, but there are some films that are even more fun during certain seasons/under certain weather conditions (for example, watching The Shining or 30 Days of Night when you’re snowed in for the day). It was no easy task, but I managed to narrow down my list of favorite summer horror movies to five, so here goes…
5). Friday the 13th: This movie needs no introduction. In addition to watching it every Friday the 13th, I also find myself re-watching it every summer. Camp Crystal Lake (and the surrounding area) is the perfect setting for a summer horror movie. The first two films are my personal favorites (and most fun for summer viewing), but the rest of the series is pretty awesome, too. The 2009 remake is also tons of fun!
4). Cabin Fever: For those who haven’t seen it, you need to change that! Long story short, a group of college grads rent a cabin in the woods (the cabin alone should tip you off to the fact that things don’t go well from there… any horror fan can tell you that no one ever stays in a cabin in the woods and has a pleasant experience!). After an encounter with an ill stranger, the group members start showing symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis (otherwise known as a flesh-eating disease). Cabin Fever is gory, sickening and so much fun! It one of my two favorite Eli Roth films (Hostel being the other) and it certainly falls into the “summer horror” category. The not-as-good, but still worth watching sequel is also pretty gruesome.
3). The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Once again, no introduction is needed. The setting of Texas in the summer makes this a perfect addition to the list. The movie also affects me on a deeper level for a couple of reasons (yup, it’s time for an anecdote). My husband’s family lives in Texas and let me tell you, summers in Texas are intense! Secondly, on our first trip to visit my in-laws almost a decade ago, our car broke down in the middle of nowhere. It was around midnight and there were no street lights to be seen (I’m from New York, so I’m used to street lights) and both of our cell phones had no signal. There was nothing but open fields all around us. A couple stranded at night in the middle of an abandoned road: if this doesn’t sound like the makings of a horror movie, I don’t know what does! I truly expected Leatherface to come running out at us with a chainsaw in hand! Anyhoo, both the 1974 original and the 2003 remake are intensely creepy and loads of fun! A sequel was released earlier this year: Texas Chainsaw. It was not my cup of tea, but I did love the way it tied in with the original.
2). The Hills Have Eyes: What could possibly be scarier than watching the all-American family get picked off in the middle of a New Mexico desert by a family of radiation-exposed, psychotic mutants? Wes Craven’s 1977 original is a fun movie, but I prefer the 2006 remake. Alexandre Aja is one of my favorite horror directors and I absolutely adore the remake! His French horror films are amazing (see Haute Tension for proof), but for those who are not fans of dubbing/subtitles, he directed Piranha (2010) and wrote screenplays for P2 (great movie!) and the remake of Maniac, which I can’t wait to see!
1). Jaws: I love sharks every bit as much as I love horror movies, so needless to say, I have been a huge Jaws fan since around the age of five. The sequels are fun, but the original is too amazing for words. Based on the novel by Peter Benchley (which is one of my favorite summer reads, especially when I’m at the beach!), the film is brilliantly directed by Steven Spielberg and absolutely perfect in every way (despite the many, many, many obstacles that the cast and crew faced during filming).