Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Top 10 Scary and Terrifying Travel Movies

I recently wrote up a post of my top ten travel inspiring movies. And that's all fine and well - but what are the movies that you should never watch before you travel? What are the ones that will make you curl up into a tiny little ball, shivering on your shag carpeted rug, making you never want to step out into the real world ever again? That's what I'm going to discuss here.

This list will show you the dark side of fictionalized travel with people ending up in torture chambers, spread across miles and miles of ocean floor, and even served up on the night's menu. Be warned - if you are about to travel, you may best avoid these macabre reminders of potential fears brought to light.

10. The Beach
For those who love offbeat travel, the beach is - well it's either for you, or not for you. These travellers acquire a map that leads them to an island inhabited by a community of travellers. Wishing to avoid the everyday, ending up with the same picture postcards as millions who have come before, these two take a chance and leave the mainstream behind. Of course, it all goes terribly wrong.

9. Snakes on a Plane
It's campy, it's quirky, and it's actually not that terrible. But after you've seen this movie, you'll want to sit cross legged on every flight from here until the end of days. And when something does brush against your feet, you'll think to yourself, "am I sure that's just my carry-on bag's strap?" On the plus side, it makes bathroom smoke alarm tampering look quite simple.

8. The Ruins
If you choose to go see some ruins, this movie would have you believe that it's best to avoid those of Mayan origin. After disturbing something mysterious these travellers try to find their way through the vine covered ruins, only to find themselves ultimately both vine covered, and vine filled. Bodies thrown asunder, human sacrifice is back on the menu in this movie.

7. Hostel
In your mind you may know that no hostel is like this. You may be sure they are safe, and wonderful, and a great place for travellers. But for a few weeks after watching this film, you'll want to question that brand new Hosteling International membership card. This movie is torture porn, pure and simple, and I recommend it is avoided by all - not just travellers.

6. Deliverance
Cue dueling banjos and you'll have one of the most memorable riffs stuck in your head for hours. It's fine if you can't manage to get that to clear out, but when you have visions of people making you "squeal like a piggy," you'll definitely rethink that trip out of suburban bliss.

5. Open Water
Two Americans took a tour boat out to the great barrier reef to have a good time scuba diving around. It is this experience that a number of people come to Australia to experience. However - things don't go quite as planned when the boat's captain fails to count all the passengers for the return trip. The American couple is left alone, in open water. To make matters worse, this is no mere piece of fiction. This is documented fact.

4. Psycho
Psycho has been heralded as the king of terror movies for some time, and in this world of slasher films, and torture porn some may wonder why. When you pull of the road late at night, desperate for a nights sleep so you can pick up your road desperate to pick up your road trip again in the morning - and then stuff like this starts to hit the fan? Then - you'll understand.

3. Alive
Alive - it's a classic tale of survival... right after a plane crashes into a mountain. If you have a slight fear of flying this isn't going to make it any better. And on top of that, it doesn't help matters any that this happens to be based on a true story.

2. Blair Witch Project
There's nothing quite like a little hike through the forest to get yourself in tune with nature. When travelling the Canadian West Coast, stumbling through the large forests near and around Vancouver Island can be one of the most rewarding experiences. And here you thought you just needed to watch out for bears.

1. Jaws
That's right - Jaws. This movie is still keeping people out of the water. Except in Australia - there you say there's a shark, they'll ask how far out it is, and if it keeps a good twenty meters away, then it's safe to keep surfing. Mind you, these are the same people who once lost a Prime Minister out at sea, so I'm not sure if you'd want to follow their example.

Bonus Television: Lost
The thing about this one is, I'm not sure if you are terrified this will happen to you, or if you secretly wish that it would. To each their own, I suppose.

Wrap Up
So that's the list - if you're feeling brave, why not have a movie marathon and watch them all before your next vacation? It's understandable if you don't, of course.

If you think there are other movies that travellers best avoid, that were not listed here - feel free to add them in the comments below.


  1. Oh god, I think it was around Christmas break in grade 11 that the trailer for The Ruins was in theatres, and I was going to more movies than usual over the break. Every time I was in a theatre and it came on I'd go "AGAIN?!" and cover my eyes until it was over. Buh.

  2. Damn, I lost my previous comment. Anyway, here it is again. There's a new film starring Milla Jovovich set in Hawai'i. Perfect Getaway, is it? Have you seen it?

    The Beach remains my fave backpack movie / book of all time! Go, Richard! LOL!


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