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10 Outdoor Horror Films That’ll Terrify You

Sometimes the body calls for rest days. Grab some popcorn and a blanket and enjoy a good scare from the couch. The outdoors—particularly the woods—have long been the backdrop for some of the most terrifying slasher films. Could these 10 horror films make your next venture out into the woods a little more heart-pumping?

Backcountry (2014-R)

The outdoors have long been the backdrop for the most terrifying slasher films. Here are 10 outdoor horror films to watch on a rest day.
Image by IFC Midnight

Based loosely on a true story, Backcountry follows an Ontario couple who camp in the remote area of Missinaibi Lake in Missinaibi Park. While camping in the backcountry, Alex and Jenny get lost searching for a waterfall Alex remembers from his childhood. His ego gets in the way by ignoring foreboding signs on their way back to camp, including a black bear paw print and a deer carcass. You’ll have to watch to get the rest of this thriller. Filming took place in Powassan, Ontario and Caddy Lake, Manitoba.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, AMC+, YouTube, Apple TV, Google Play, Tubi 

Cabin in the Woods (2011-R) 

The outdoors have long been the backdrop for the most terrifying slasher films. Here are 10 outdoor horror films to watch on a rest day.
Image by Lionsgate

If you are looking for a mixture of laughter and terror, Cabin in the Woods is a good choice. When friends visit a secluded cabin in the woods, they are in for a big surprise, and a stop at a rundown gas station provides some foreshadowing. Watch in horror as these friends are put through a science experiment from your nightmares. The movie was filmed at Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. The “Secret Cove Cottage” is located in Half Moon Bay, British Columbia. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Max YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV, Vudu

Deliverance (1972-R)

The outdoors have long been the backdrop for the most terrifying slasher films. Here are 10 outdoor horror films to watch on a rest day.
Image by Warner Bros.

Backwoods locals terrorize a group of four adult men on a canoe trip in this 1972 thriller starring big names like Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, and Ned Beatty. Based in the mountains of Georgia, the locals don’t appreciate anyone visiting their woods. To make the visitors pay, the residents stalk and attack the group of men while they try to escape the rugged terrain and swift water. Director John Boorman said the movie was based partially on real events, although nothing was ever confirmed. The film was shot in Rabun County in northeastern Georgia. The canoe scenes were filmed on the Chattooga River on the Tallulah Gorge.

Where to watch: Stream for free on Tubi. Rent or purchase on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu.

Friday the 13th (1980-R)

The outdoors have long been the backdrop for the most terrifying slasher films. Here are 10 outdoor horror films to watch on a rest day.
Image by Paramount Pictures

The movie that had teens dreading going to summer camp in the 1980s, Friday the 13th takes place at Camp Crystal Lake in New Jersey. Throughout the movie, Mrs. Voorhees (portrayed by Betsy Palmer) takes revenge on the camp counselors who were responsible for her son’s drowning death at the camp. Her hockey mask-wearing son Jason continues her legacy for 12 more slasher movies in the series. While most of the indoor scenes were filmed in Hope and Blairstown, New Jersey, Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco in Hardwick Township, New Jersey is where the Camp Crystal Lake scenes were filmed. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video and Paramount +

Gretel & Hansel (2020-R)

The outdoors have long been the backdrop for the most terrifying slasher films. Here are 10 outdoor horror films to watch on a rest day.
Image by Orion Pictures

In this twist on the classic German children’s tale of Hansel and Gretel, two siblings escape their stepmother who has gone mad and stumble upon a house deep in the woods with a generous owner (the witch) who lures them in with food and more. The siblings must resist the temptation and escape the terror deep within the forest as they fight for their lives. The movie was filmed in Dublin, Ireland with some reshoots in Langley, British Columbia. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV

The Blair Witch Project (1999-R)

The outdoors have long been the backdrop for the most terrifying slasher films. Here are 10 outdoor horror films to watch on a rest day.
Image by Haxan Films

Filming a fake documentary, three film students head to the woods of the Black Hills in Maryland to film footage at the sites of various spooky legends, including the Blair Witch. The three disappear, and their video footage is found one year later, thus creating the movie audiences see. This low-budget film plays on the audience’s own imagination, creating tension and fear. The movie is filmed in the historic town of Burkittsville, Maryland. Outdoor scenes were filmed at Seneca Creek State Park, Maryland. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Tubi, Vudu, Paramount, YouTube

The Evil Dead (R-1983)

The outdoors have long been the backdrop for the most terrifying slasher films. Here are 10 outdoor horror films to watch on a rest day.
Image by New Line Cinema

Called a campfire story made into a movie and the start of many cabin-based terror films to come, The Evil Dead (originally called The Book of Dead) was once deemed too intense for viewers. When five college friends head to a remote cabin in Tennessee, they become possessed by spirits that terrorize their lives after finding The Book of the Dead. If you are in the mood for a bloodbath, this film has it all. A sequel was released in 1987, alongside a remake/reboot in 2013. Evil Dead Rise, released in 2023, is not a reboot or sequel but follows some of the plot of the other movies. A remote cabin located in Morristown, Tennessee is where most of the film was shot. 

Where to watch: AMC+, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu 

The Watcher in the Woods (1980-PG)

outdoor-horror-films-thatll-terrify-you
Image by Walt Disney Productions

When an American family moves into a home in the British countryside on the edge of the woods, they sense a strange presence. The owner of the home, who lives in the guesthouse, realizes the family’s one daughter resembles her own daughter who disappeared 30 years ago from an abandoned chapel in the woods. Strange lights, floating objects, and hauntings bring terror to the family, especially the younger daughter. The film is based on the 1976 book by Florence Engel Randall with an adaptation filmed in 1997. Filming took place in a studio and in Buckinghamshire, England. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video (1980 and 1997), Amazon (1997), Vudu (1997)

The Witch (2015-R)

outdoor-horror-films-thatll-terrify-you
Image by A24

Set in the woods, this horror film follows a religious family banished from their community in the 1600s that moves to a farm in New England. Witchcraft and devious deeds, including baby snatching, conjure fear and evil amongst the family. The ending scenes in the woods bring a horror viewers will never forget. The Salem Witch Trials had a heavy influence on Robert Eggers’ screenplay. Filming took place in Kiosk, Ontario, Canada.

Where to watch: Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Apple TV, Google Play 

Willow Creek (2013-R)

outdoor-horror-films-thatll-terrify-you
Image by Dark Sky Films

While most know Bobcat Goldthwait for his comedy, as a director of horror, he makes a big slash. Trying to determine whether Bigfoot exists, two young campers set out to document what they find. Audiences rave about the 20-minute sequence that makes you squirm in your seat as you watch the couple hiding in their tent as something large continues to stomp through the woods. Real residents from Willow Creek, California are featured in the film about their belief in Bigfoot. Filming took place at Lake Arrowhead in California’s San Bernardino National Forest, as well as Willow Creek, Bluff Creek, and Louse Camp, California. 

Where to watch: Google Play, Amazon Video, Vudu, Plex, Tubi

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