Scary Movie Series: Why Camping is Never a Good Idea

don't go to campOkay, so I admit, I am a total horror movie fiend. I love the thrill of wondering if the hero/heroine will survive. I love the fact that no matter what, if being chased, all female characters will inevitably fall down so the ridiculously slow killer can catch them. Probably while she is semi-nude. I love that if a character has sex, they might as well have painted a giant target on their forehead with a sign saying “kill me next” on their back. I love that dark, ominous tones always hint at the violence ahead. There’s a comfort in the predictability.

For the month of October (the scariest of all months), I will be sharing with you a few scary movie picks that are personal favorites of mine. Today’s installment shall be known as Why Camping is Never a Good Idea.

So, if you’re thinking to yourself, how do I end my young life without actually committing suicide? Answer: go camping. Preferably at a place with a nickname. How about “Camp Blood”? Sounds like a good time waiting to happen! Oh, hey, let’s make sure wherever we camp is nice and remote so no one can hear us scream. That guy with the mask? I’m sure he’s just the new art instructor at camp, showing off his mad mask-making skills. FACT: People who wear masks will murder you! Watch these movies and take notes, people!

1. Friday the 13th (1980)
How can you not love a movie about a drowned boy and the mother who avenges him? How can you not love a movie starring a young Kevin Bacon? How can you not love a movie with special effects by Tom Savini? How can you not love a movie that has a creepy old guy screaming at the counselors that they’re all “doomed”? (Side note: If a guy tells you that you’re all doomed and that the camp you’re staying at has a death curse, you should maybe not stay there. I’m just saying.) I also highly recommend catching part 2 of this series when Jason Voorhees himself does the slicing and dicing.

2. The Burning (1981)
This little movie was actually written before the Friday the 13th movies and stars a young Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame. This is one of the first offerings of the Weinstein brothers and also features the special effects of the legendary Tom Savini. Years ago, at Camp Blackstone (Sounds quaint!) some campers thought it was a good idea to play a prank on the camp caretaker. Five years of reconstructive surgery and physical therapy later and Cropsy is out for revenge! You will never look at rafts the same again!

3. The Evil Dead (1981)
This series began with a simple camping trip. Just some friends, a cabin in the woods, oh, yeah, and THE BOOK OF THE DEAD. Let’s make some s’mores! Bruce Campbell shines in this movie. As does the creamed corn they used to simulate zombie guts.

4. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
This movie is a must see! People are dropping like flies at this camp in the most delightful of ways! I kid you not, someone is murdered using a pot of corn on the cob. The ending is like something out of The Crying Game. I highly recommend checking out the sequels—they star Bruce Springsteen’s sister, Pamela Springsteen, as the crazed killer.

5. Cheerleader Camp (1988)
What could possibly go wrong at a remote cheerleader training camp you ask? Besides former 70′s pop star, Leif Garrett, trying to carve out an acting career? The scariest thing in this movie is Leif Garrett. This movie is spectacularly cheesy. If you don’t know who Leif Garrett is, watch this clip.

6. Campfire Tales (1997)
Okay, so the kids in this movie aren’t exactly camping, but they are telling ghost stories around a campfire. Did I mention that there’s a crazed killer on the loose? This movie contains several vignettes, so it’s like a bunch of mini scary movies in one. Each story ends with a twist, the biggest twist being the ending of the movie.

7. Cabin Fever (2004)
Okay, not exactly a slasher flick, but it really did give me a healthy respect for flesh-eating bacteria. I didn’t shave my legs for 2 weeks after watching this movie. The flesh-eating bacteria probably would have been more attractive.

Join me next week for the second installment of my scary movie recommendations: Why Babysitters Aren’t Paid Enough.

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Written by krista

19 Comments

  1. Polly

    This is the best! I’m a huge horror fan myself, and the Friday the 13th series is by far my favorite, even the horrible remakes. Apparently they are going to remake The Burning. I just think that’s ridiculous. I have the Sleepaway Camp boxset. I love how serious the first one is, and how cheesey and silly the 2nd one is. I love it!

  2. Avatar of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    I still remember seeing Friday the 13th for the first time. I wasn’t allowed to see horror films, but begged and begged to watch this on HBO with my Mom. We were both totally surprised and scared out of out minds at the end! All kinds of awesome.

    Krista, do you like the new genre of horror films too? Stuff like Saw. Is there a name for them? They seem so…extreme. Not your classic boogey man in the woods type of stuff.

    .-= stef´s last blog ..I wear black on the outside cause black is how I feel on the inside… =-.

  3. Avatar of Tyna Werner
    Tyna Werner

    Whee – this is awesome, Krista! Help me out here, I remember having a similar experience as Stef. I wasn’t allowed to see horror movie but a friend and I snuck in a viewing on HBO of (I think) the first Friday the 13th. My eventual viewings of most horror movies has clouded my mind. But, the first one had that great gotcha ending, right? Where some chick is floating in a raft on the lake and a creepy, slimey, Jason pops out to get her! Terrifying!

    Welcome Polly! Love that you have the box set of Sleepaway Camp!
    Can’t wait to read about the perils of babysitting!
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..Etsy – 4 for Friday – Dogs! =-.

  4. Avatar of Cori
    Cori

    I haven’t seen any of those movies. Mainly because I’m a big scaredy cat and have a pillow in front of my face anytime the dark, ominous tones start, but also because I wasn’t old enough to watch any of them when they came out. I have seen and love The Shinning, Scream (the first one), and even though it’s not really a Horror movie, Adventures in Babysitting.

    Also the remake of Amityville Horror was the first real scary movie I saw. HOLY COW. Talk about scary. Good thing Ryan Reynolds had his shirt off a lot to distract me!

  5. Avatar of winnie
    winnie

    I can no longer watch scary movies! I hate them! Espeically the old grainy 70′s ones like the Evil Dead, which i actually own because of my husband’s obsession with horror movies. A few of us actually watched the Evil Dead not too long ago. I thought i’d be fine being that its old, and ridiculous but it still scared the hell out of me! Texas Chainsaw Massacre?! Forget it! The re-make and the original i couldn’t sit though. I think i made it for about 20 minutes and had to leave the room.
    Cori, Adventures In Babysitting? if you’re considering that to be even remotely scary then you have me beat being a scardy cat! that is so funny!

  6. Avatar of krista
    krista

    Polly—Welcome! I have that Sleepaway box set, too! The second one made me laugh out loud constantly!
    Stef—I don’t know what these crazy kids nowadays call the new genre of horror, but I refer to it as “Torture Porn”—I hate it. It’s not suspenseful, just gross. I won’t watch any of the Saw or Hostel movies. Blech.
    Tyna—That was the first Friday the 13th—the lone survivor managed to paddle out to the middle of the lake in a row boat and it’s daybreak and you hear this peaceful music and then BAM, deformed kid pops out of the water and pulls her in. YIKES!
    Cori—I was never into horror movies, but the original Scream made me realize that they’re not really scary, just kind of funny, so I get my enjoyment from the ridiculousness of them. I think Adventures in Babysitting most definitely qualifies as a horror movie. Babysitting 3 kids? MEEP!

  7. Avatar of suzan
    suzan

    Krista it’s almost as if you are my long lost sister! I love horror movies and I even watch the new ones like One missed call or last house on the left all though hey are more suspense vs horror. I know it’s not a camping movie but Blair Witch is a movie in the woods. I watched a boot leg of that about 6 months before it came out in the theater and everyone started talking about it. I was 19 and hadn’t been that scared by a movie in a long time. Friday the 13th was probably my 1st scary movie too. My BF screamed and started to cry and we got in trouble with her mom. I still love to go camping but I must admit that it takes me forever to fall asleep because I’m listening for a ma hatchet man in a crazy mask and a hook hand to come kill me. Of course I won’t get killed though because I make sure to wear sweatpants and long sleeves….no crazy hatchet man goes after a fully clothed person!

  8. Avatar of krista
    krista

    Susan—I don’t know if my Dad got around, but anything’s possible I guess :) I am convinced that you will survive a psycho attack if you are wearing a lot of clothing, so you shall be eternal, my dear!
    I’ve only been camping a couple of times and you know I’m the jackass who sings the weird music from Friday the 13th to freak everyone else out, substituting “He he he he ha ha ha ha” (sounds like creepy lamaze…) for “Kill kill kill kill die die die die”.
    That One Missed Call was so bad it was good! It’s like, duh, don’t answer the phone! What’s really wrong is I bet it costs you minutes to hear your own death. Mrrr…
    Years ago, I actually lived near Burkittsville, MD where Blair Witch took place and it was such a cute, quaint, normal little town. It didn’t have a sign with the town’s name on it, though, because people kept stealing it. That movie was hella spooky!

  9. Avatar of Mike
    Mike

    My first horror movies were also the first movies I saw on a VCR. I was 8. My brother had just returned home from the Army (he’s 13 years older than me) with a panasonic top loading VCR. He rented Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Spasms.

    I love old school horror movies. I too am not a big fan of the new films. I don’t find them to be particularly scary as much as gorey. Plus, I can not stand remakes. I want to see new and interesting ideas. Hollywood are you listening?

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  11. Avatar of christy
    christy

    Krista you rule!! This is a great post! I think these movies are why I never liked camping :)
    I’m with all of you on new horror. I can’t watch it. My favorite horror turns the clock wayyy back.
    I have a bunch of silent horror & of course universal monster horror, like the ever so handsome Bela In Dracula or Boris in Frankenstein!! Thump thump!!
    But the 80′s horror really did the job.. My brother has a Michael Meyers mask and scared me half to death on my last visit!!! I was driving down their almost one mile driveway through the woods when he stepped dressed as Michael Meyers.. with either an Ax or a baseball bat, I can’t remember I blocked it out.. but I swear I almost ran him over!! & then it dawned on me.. hey he’s been trying to scare me since I was a toddler..It’s not Michael.. there is no Michael.. right!! He finally took the mask off and was laughing.. ahhh he got me good:)

    I still think Rosemary’s Baby and the Shinning are 2 of the scariest movies ever!!

    Can’t wait for the babysitter installment Krista!!!

  12. Avatar of suzan
    suzan

    It’s a very very very windy day in eastern pa …… Great night for a scary movie. The est par of watching a scary movie is getting freaked out by noises in the house or outside. Branches against windows, wind howling down the chimney or through the exhaust fan in the kitchen…..a few months ago I was watching haunted history at night alone in the house. One o the bunnies was making a rukus(sp?) so I went to investigate. My husband has a curio cabinet with a glass back in his train room where the naughty bunny was playing. I went in to the room in the dark, when I stood up from scooting the bunny out from under a table I went to adjust my ponytail and I happened to look into the mirror at the same time, screamed and almost peed myself because I thought my reflection was a person raising an ax! I scared the crap out of the bunny and turned all the lights on in the house until Wayne came home. I felt like an idiot

  13. Avatar of tiffany
    tiffany

    Great post Krista. I remember having scary movie night as a teenager. We would have sleepovers and watch as many scary movies in one night as we could. We were all too scared to fall asleep and usually stayed up all night. One of my favorites was Motel Hell. Did you ever see that one?

  14. Avatar of krista
    krista

    OMFG!!! Tiffany!!! I totally remember “Motel Hell”—especially the people sausage. I watched that movie when it first came out on beta…I think I was maybe 5 by then…anyhoo, it left an impression. I still get squeamish when I eat sausage and part of me always wonders if maybe there’s a person in there. Note, I still eat the sausage. Yeah. I’m a weirdo :)

  15. Avatar of krista
    krista

    Okay,so I just watched Sleepaway Camp tonight and I just realized something—the one camp cook in this is James Earl Jones’ father, Robert Earl Jones. I was thinking, “Gee, he reminds me of James Earl Jones…” and lo and behold, he is his father. That makes this movie more awesome!!!

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