Top 10: The best holiday-themed horror movies

Last week saw the start of the longed-for summer holidays for many younger people. This year it’s exceptionally hot – the heat seems to be getting to us all. Sometimes the best solution to distract from the high temperatures is a casual movie. We have prepared a ranking of the top ten summer-summer-themed movies, or rather only one genre of those: horror movies. The list includes, among others, a slasher about a famous killer in a hockey mask, a classic by Tobi Hooper and a comedy set against the backdrop of an axe and a chainsaw.

Vacation horror movies – TOP 10

“Friday the 13th” (1980)

The first instalment in the “Friday the 13th” series is included by convention. It’s, of course, a great, classic horror film, but – as you probably know – it pulled off a whole long-running series that, by now, consists of twelve slashers (the last one from 2009). They’re classics when it comes to holiday camping horror cinema, and the main anti-hero Jason Voorhees has become an iconic figure over the years.

The most recommended sequels are: “Friday the 13th II” (1981), “Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter” (1984), and “Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives” (1986).

“The Final Girls” (2015)

A comedy-horror with a time-travel theme. A group of modern teenagers attend a “B” grade scare show. During the cinema screening, they are all transported straight back to the 1980s. Taissa Farmiga stars here as a girl whose mother was a horror movie star of the golden era of stalk n’ slash movies. The character must solve the mystery of the past if she wants to make it back to 2015.

The witty yet surprising and gripping picture is available to watch on Netflix.

“Fear Street” (2021)

Speaking of Netflix, another recommendable holiday slasher is the second instalment of the “Street of Fear” series, subtitled “1978”. The year is, of course, the time of action; so expect retro aesthetics and pleasantly nostalgic guitar sounds. The film takes place at a summer camp for teenagers, but it’s not for the youngest – there’s no shortage of scenes of graphic violence, nudity and vulgarity. In the 1980s, “Street of Fear 2” would have earned a juicy “R” from the MPAA censorship organization. That, of course, is a compliment. The cast includes “Stranger Things” star Sadie Sink.

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974)

A horror classic often cited as the flagship of its genre, and one of the snazziest horror films ever made. It is said that during the filming the temperature on the set exceeded 40 degrees Celsius, yet Tobe Hooper continued to “torment” his actors in front of the camera (in the film they are terrorized by a Texas psychopath, the iconic Leatherface). The result is a slasher that is intense, terrifying and realistic, burning with feverish emotion.

“Sleepaway Camp” (1983)

This camp slasher received rather mixed reviews shortly after its release, but today is often regarded as a camp classic. It’s all thanks to its shocking, sharply over-the-top ending, which has to be seen with your own eyes to be believed. Sleepaway Camp’s strengths lie in its beautiful natural surroundings, its camping grounds set on an enchanting lake, and its unmistakable scenes of teenage slaughter.

The best summer horror movies – ranking

“The Burning” (1981)

“Arson” is a distant cousin to “Friday the 13th.” After the premiere, it was even suggested that the film is a rip-off of the Jason series. That’s quite an oversimplification because, despite the similarities, the film has its own ace in the hole – a completely original woodland maniac, Cropsy, who kills his victims with giant secateurs. Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander, and Fisher Stevens all started their careers in this low-budget slasher. It was also one of the first films from the Miramax studio, founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

“Just Before Dawn” (1981)

One of the most atmospheric forest horror films of the 1980s. Four students take a tent camping trip deep into the wild forest. They want to relax in nature; they admire the beauty of undiscovered nature. The idyll lasts only for a while, as one moment the three protagonists come across the corpse of a friend. It turns out that there is a murderer in the forest. Or maybe there are two of them?

Unlike many of the gory slashers of the first half of the 1980s, “Just Before Dawn” was well received by critics. The film was praised for its shudder-inducing soundtrack, uncharacteristically hushed tone for this type of cinema, and beautiful cinematography.

“Summer Camp” (2015)

At a language camp in Spain, a mysterious virus transforms the campers into bloodthirsty monsters. A fierce fight for survival begins. Lots of surprising twists and turns and some really good acting (the cast includes Diego Luna and Jocelin Donahue). Worth it!

“Cabin Fever” (2002)

Eli Roth’s first film won him a lot of fans among horror fans. A mysterious, ulcerated man knocks on the summer house of a group of students. He is chased away, but soon one of the trip’s participants starts to suffer from the same illness. A waking nightmare begins, and a tragic finale is inevitable… In 2016, a reboot of the film was made, directed by Travis Zariwny.

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