Overlooked and underrated movies are speckled amongst the sea of bad horror. Allow me to steer you in the direction of some good films.
Horror Movies Set in Small Towns Like Eden Lake
Sometimes a horror movie dictates that unsuspecting victims already live inside a secluded location. Other times a hapless solitary figure or tourist group wanders into a place where everything looks normal but isn't.
When you know something is awry but can't put your finger on why it sets the pulse racing. These are my favorite types of movies to watch, films that let you know there is impending unknown doom. Horror movies that utilize this set-up leave me feeling sated, especially I know there are dangers lurking around every corner.
This is a rated list to get you going if you love small or remote-location horror films.
One of my personal favorites is also The Killing Ground (2016) which has a full review on ReelRundown.
#5 30 Days of Night (2007)
30 Days of Night, an excellent horror movie. It is an excellent example of a remote location. Taking place in Alaska, the sun does not rise for 30 days in the Winter. The perfect place for a group of vampires to hang out and live.
There isn't much to the story. It's a simple narrative where some vampires decide to take advantage of Barrow's long Winter and set upon the small township to hunt when and how they choose. With no pesky sunlight to think about, it's a bloodbath all Winter long. 30 Days of Night has one or two plot holes; why would a hermit investigate an Alaskan Town. Or why does the population only have three guns in total? The pace is a little sloppy at times, given the need for interpersonal backstories. It's got snow, vampires, and a small town in a remote location. How can it be bad?
The director of this film has so many fantastic films and series under his belt, it would be ridiculous if it were a flop. David Slade's done bits of Breaking Bad, Black Mirror, Hannibal, Hard Candy (2005), and a tonne of music videos. The original concept for 30 Days of Night is based on a bunch of comic books.
I quite enjoyed the sequel too, Dark Days (2010) and the ending is particularly good.
#4 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre sets a marked bar for closed-off and remote setting horror movies. Marketed as a true story to get the audience's viewership, this classic slasher film made enough money to become one of the highest-grossing tales of its time despite being made for $300 000. Filmmakers rakes in over $300 million. However, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is not a true story. But, is it inspired by the real-life serial killer Ed Gein who dug up corpses. Ed Gein made all sorts of macabre things out of bones and skin and additionally killed two people.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre takes place after a group journey to Sally's family homestead to visit her grandfather's grave. They want to investigate rumors about grave robbing in the area.
I think I have seen this movie a dozen times if not more. Many viewers will recognize certain scenes, themes, or ideas used in tonnes of popular horror since its release in 1974. A crazy murderous family living in a remote location killing people one by one. If you like this style of slasher horror try; Wrong Turn, The Hills Have Eyes, or House Of Wax.
The formidable filmmaking duo of Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel both went on to make some of the best-known horror films ever after the success of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre ( Last Night at the Alamo and Eaten Alive.). During the theatre release, classifications changed several times with an original rating of X in 1976. The horror movie was threatened with fines of morality charges from some USA states after locals informed officials of the disgusting content of the film.
Whatever your impression of the film, I never tire of watching this.
#3 Get Out (2017)
So what if Get Out won an award for Best Musical or Comedy instead of the best horror movie award it deserved. Horror films often get overlooked as a genre label worthy of awards. Not only was Get Out's appropriate horror genre niche misappropriated, but Get Out was also embroiled in massive debates about racial themes such as;
- newsworthy attention to missing black people vs white people and,
The story for "Get Out" follows a black man who uncovers a terrifying secret when he joins his girlfriend at her family's estate. Performances are Oscar-worthy, the pacing is nailbiting and the story will remain in your minds-eye for years to come. This film is scary in all the right places and disturbing to the core.
The film only cost $4.5 million to make compared to its ginormous bucket load money, raking in $255 million worldwide at the box office. This psychological horror movie was the directorial début for Jordan Peele. Before being a big name in horror and sci-fi cinema circles, after "Get Out", Peele went back to lighter filmmaking like Captain Underpants and Big Mouth (television series.)
#2 Eden Lake (2008)
Eden Lake is a movie mentioned frequently in my horror circles when people ask for something scary and tension-filled to watch. That's how I found it and it certainly hits the mark.
The tale concerns Jenny and Steve who decide to take a romantic trip to a lake in the English countryside. Sounds lovely right? Well almost. Soon after arriving and setting up to camp, their relaxing weekend is interrupted by some rambunctious teens and their very scary dog. Not one to let such things scare him, Steven defends his manhood and his woman with some words and the teens disappear.
In the morning things go from bad to worse and then terrifying as the group of feral youngsters decide that tourists are not welcome in Eden Lake.
Is there a fear of hoodies in Britain? I don't know. But if there isn't Eden Lake is a film that may very well induce one. I did google 'Fear of Hoodies' and a large variety of articles came up so indeed there might be. The fear is real. Those that have seen Eden Lake will understand why there is a reason to beware of anyone wearing a hoodie. This movie is shocking, violent and will leave lasting psychological scars.
Trailer, The Lost Boys
#1 The Lost Boys (1987)
Set in a small beach town called Santa Carla, The Lost Boys movie will always be close to my heart. It never loses its appeal and has stood the test of time since it's released over 30 years ago. For a film with a large population, the narrative makes it feel secluded. The city has a secret and that secret is vampires.
The Lost Boys made vampires cool and young and virile and we love it for that.
If you haven't managed to see this classic horror-comedy movie, I recommend putting it on your watch list for the soundtrack alone. The story evolves as Michael and Sam discover the town they now live in is run by a gang of vampires. When Michael falls for Star, a member of the group, he's initiated into it causing all sorts of trouble. I became a little obsessed with both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman (who is one of the Frog brother vampire killers) after seeing this film.
My very favorite scene is the one with Corey Haim singing in the bathroom while washing his hair as his brother Michael (Jason Patric) fights off his newfound vampire thirst.
Want More Secluded Location Horror Movies? Here Are 10 More
The Wicker Man
The Island of Summerisle
The Hills Have Eyes
The New Mexico desert
Aokighara Forest, Mount Fuji
6 Rivers National Forest, Humboldt County
A Cure for Wellness
Rockwell Falls, North Dakota
Children of the Corn
Gatlin, Nebraska (fictional town)
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