As FlixChatter’s horror correspondent, you might assume my favorite season is fall…and you’d be right. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy summer! I love grilling in the backyard, relaxing at the beach (slathered in 70 SPF sunscreen), and roasting marshmallows around a bonfire. And just because fall is the traditionally spooky season doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of horror movies to enjoy in the summer. Below are five movies that will chill you on even the hottest days.
Yes, this is an obvious one, but it absolutely belongs here. Jaws isn’t just one of my favorite horror movies- it’s one of my favorite movies in general. To this day, it makes people afraid to go in the water. The Ben Gardner jump scare moment gets me every time I watch it, even though I know it’s coming. And Robert Shaw’s haunting third-act monologue is extraordinary.
2. The Wicker Man
No, not the baffling 2006 Neil LaBute remake- the original. The beautiful, eerie, 1973 British folk horror film may be a cult classic, but it’s still well-regarded critically, and Sir Christopher Lee, who plays the enigmatic Lord Summerisle, regarded it as his best film of the over 275 he appeared in. The performances are excellent, the cinematography is breathtaking, and the score, composed by Paul Giovanni and performed by the band Magnet, is one I listen to constantly.
3. Friday the 13th
Full disclosure: this is the horror franchise I am least familiar with. As fun as the original is, I’ve never been as interested in its sequels or remakes the way I’ve been with the Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween movies. That said, the first film is a classic for a reason; the tension is high throughout, there are some creative kills (one featuring a young Kevin Bacon), and the twist ending is iconic.
4. Sleepaway Camp
I know the ending of this movie is a little problematic, and there are people who can discuss that particular topic better than I can (I’d recommend the transgender representation in horror episode of the Dead Meat podcast), but Sleepaway Camp is still worth a watch. It has some of my favorite lines of dialogue in any slasher movie, and the practical effects, while not necessarily all good, are certainly memorable.
5. The Cabin in the Woods
I figured I should include one movie not from the 70’s or 80’s, and as disenchanted as I am with Joss Whedon, I can’t help but enjoy this one. It’s a great blend of horror and comedy to the point that even people who don’t like scary movies enjoy it, and there are so many fun easter eggs scattered throughout, especially toward the end. It’s a movie I can watch multiple times and find something new to appreciate with each viewing.