Brandon Engel Fall

Top 5 Summer Horror Films You MUST Watch

Monday, November 09, 2015Zena Horror


Brandon Engel 

It's no longer summer but let us reminisce...

Ah, summer. Longer days, warm weather, vacations, outdoor activities, and oodles of summertime scares via summer-themed horror films. After all, what better season is there for causing bloody mayhem than the one with the largest number of people letting their guard down while seeking much needed rest and relaxation? From road trips to rental cabins to beach vacations, our top 5 summer horror films you simply MUST watch right now has it all.



The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Common elements of these films include teenagers or twenty-somethings in groups, remote locations, and possibly a road trip or two. This film has all of these and then some. A group of five stereotypical college students take a road trip to what they assume is a deserted cabin in the middle of the woods. The monsters are also stereotypical murderous zombies and such stuff of horror film canon, but with Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard involved in the writing, directing and producing, this is stereotyping with a purpose and an engaging twist. This one is a must see if you haven’t already had the pleasure.




Evil Dead (1981)

This original classic tells of five teenagers vacationing in a remote cabin in an attempt to “get away from it all.” They find a book and audiotape of incantations, which when played awaken demons and spirits that then possess the vacationers one by one and cause plenty of blood and gore. Heck, even death and dismemberment doesn’t slow them down. This film is such an icon of the genre that it spawned an entire media franchise, including two sequels, comic books, video games, and a reunion of the original producers to release a 2013 remake.




Friday the 13th (1980)

Ah, summer camp. What better premise for a little summer horror? When a group of counselors choose to reopen the camp where a certain ‘Jason’ drowned in 1957 and where two counselors were brutally murdered in 1958, you have to wonder at their common sense. And sure enough, within a few hours of arrival, the body count starts to mount as they are one by one hacked and slashed.
This is the film that started it all for Jason Voorhees, leading to his eventually becoming the man in the mask, one of the major icons of the horror genre, known even to non-fans all over the world.



Jaws (1975)

Stepping away from the common elements for a moment, we have something entirely different in Jaws, in which a man-eating great white shark terrorizes the ocean and shoreline of fictional Amity Island in New England. There are several deaths by shark before the police chief teams up with a local fisherman and not-local shark expert to take down the monster. At the time of its release, Jaws became the highest grossing film of all time, a record broken only by the arrival of Star Wars a few years later, and won several awards for both its iconic soundtrack and editing.




Sleepaway Camp (1983)

And back to camp we go. This was made at the height of the slasher film craze of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, and it delivers the goods (and the body count) by taking out both campers and counselors alike. Cousins Angela and Ricky are sent to summer camp, where shy Angela is taunted and bullied from all sides. Unfortunately for her adversaries, all who even look at her wrong end up grievously injured or dead. On the surface, this film wouldn’t seem to have anything unique to add to the genre, but then you get to the seriously twisted ending, you’ll understand why this film is much deserving of its place on our list.

Given the enduring nature of any or all of these films, many are still available to be viewed online and regularly played on cable, from the comfort of your own bed or couch and within reach of whatever blanket or pillow you can quickly grab, clutch, or hide under. Look up one or all of the films on this list as soon as humanly possible and remind yourself that you’ve survived another summer with your taste for horror intact.

What's your Top 5 Summer Horror Films?

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