10 Horror Movies to Gear You Up for Summer Vacation

Photo: Pixabay.com
It’s June. Memorial Day is over, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently eased up on pandemic restrictions. There is pent-up demand for travel. Americans are raring to go.

Can’t wait to dip your toes in the water, to bury your feet in the sand? 

While you’re waiting for your vacation to start, I’ve compiled a list of 10 horror movies or horror movie franchises to get you in the holiday mood.

How is being scared comparable to rest and relaxation, you ask? Horror fans will understand. Horror, especially vicarious horror, is fun.

The movies are listed in no particular order. Comment below if I’ve omitted any of your favorites. 

1. Friday the 13th (1980)


A franchise comprising 12 movies altogether, with the first released in 1980.

Teenage counselors are preparing to reopen Camp Crystal Lake. Someone stalks and eliminates them one by one. A franchise so popular Jason Voorhees practically is a household name.

2. Cabin Fever (2002)


A franchise of four movies starting from 2002.

College graduates fall victim to a flesh-eating virus after they rent a cabin in the woods. Over-the-top disgusting.

3. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

College students are offered up as sacrificial lambs to backwoods zombies to appease a greater horror. This horror comedy is a cult favorite. I give it bonus points because it stars the delectable Chris Hemsworth. Edgy, with lots of thrills and clever dialogue.

4. The Ruins (2008)

While on vacation in Mexico, a group of tourists visit an ancient Mayan ruin in the jungle. They soon find out why the locals won’t let them leave.

5. Jaws (1975)

Four movies in the franchise starting from 1975.
Photo: Pixabay.com

There’s nothing that says beach vacation like a stay at Amity Island. Until you see what’s in the water. 

Be warned, however, that after you watch the movie, you’ll be hearing its theme song in your head for days to come.

6. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)


Four movies: 1977 and sequel; remake 2006 and sequel.

A suburban family is driving through the Nevada desert on vacation when their car breaks down. They are attacked by a family of depraved cannibals.

7. A Perfect Getaway (2009)

A newly married couple is in Hawaii for their honeymoon. Unfortunately, serial killers may be on the loose.

8. From Dust Till Dawn (1996)


Three movies starting from 1996. 

A family on vacation is taken hostage by a pair of bank robbers and made to drive their camper into Mexico. Even worse, they end up in a vampire lair. Who would have guessed Salma Hayek could transform into such a terrifying bloodsucker?

9. Fantasy Island (2020)

A group of people visit an island tropical resort where they hope to see their dreams come true. Instead, they find nightmares. I added this movie to the list largely because of fond memories of the TV series of the same name.

10. Burnt Offerings (1976)


A writer rents an old country estate for himself, his wife and his son for the summer. He gets a discount, in exchange for which his wife has to bring meals up to the owners’ mother, who lives on the mansion’s top floor. The writer’s wife begins to fall under the mansion’s sinister influence.

Pro tip: Always read the fine print.

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