[Top 25] Best Horror Movies About Backpacking

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Prepare for some of the most heart pounding horror films experience yet.

The wilderness has a lot of potential as a setting for horror films, whether it's a pack of vicious hillbillies or a predatory creature as its villains. But all of those movies do share one thing in common—they all offer an intensely thrilling viewing experience.

Now, get your backpacks ready because we’re taking a look at the Top 25 Best Horror Movies about Backpacking.

25. High Lane (2009)

A group of friends decides to venture onto a trail high up in the mountains that have been closed for repairs. The already dangerous adventure turns into horror when they realize they are not alone.

Although it may not reinvent the sub-genre, High Lane still provides an exhilarating viewing experience that will have you clenching in suspense thanks to so many breathtaking climbing and chase scenes. The film also provides a beautiful showcase of the setting which will have you immersed in the experience. 

If you liked 2003’s Wrong Turn then High Lane is definitely right up your alley and is deserving of your time.

24. Man vs. (2015)

Doug Woods, the host of a survival series, heads into a remote forest alone to film an episode. One night, he is awakened by a loud crash, and quickly realizes that he isn't alone.

This film took me by surprise as what seemed like just another survival film turned into something very reminiscent of both The Predator with a little bit of The Blair Witch Project. Although the film’s CGI may not be the best, it doesn’t stop it from being a highly entertaining film that you should watch.

23. Turistas (2006)

Alex and his friends go to a paradise beach after surviving their bus crashing down a hill, but instead of a tropical vacation, the group finds themselves being hunted down by the locals to operate on their organs. 

Released at the height of torture porn movies, Turista provides a squeamish and exhilarating movie featuring a well-known cast including Josh Duhamel, Melissa George, and Olivia Wilde. The movie adds a bit of stylish flavor into the gory mix with beautiful cinematography showcasing Brazil's beauty.

It also has many thrilling moments like the eye scene and the surgery scene that you’ll probably look away from due to their gross nature. 

22. Animal (2014)

When plans for a weekend vacation hit a dead end, a group of close-knit friends finds themselves stranded in unfamiliar territory, pursued by a menacing, blood thirsty predator.

Animal is a fun creature feature film that will have you on the edge of your seat. It borrows a few tropes from the genre and surprisingly subverts each of them, making every single death unexpected and thrilling to watch. 

It even has surprisingly well-known actors, including Kiki Palmer and Elizabeth Gillies as the unsuspecting victims. Make sure to watch this one if you want an entertaining creature flick.

21. Blair Witch (2016)

After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.

The first Blair Witch film is an amazing found footage film so giving it a sequel seventeen years later seemed unnecessary, however, this film manages to provide a worthy follow-up by sticking closely to what made the original work while still bringing life ideas into the mix. It’s a film with so much stakes and ideas as it expands the universe of the first film.

Its setting also makes for such a thrilling and tension-filled viewing effortlessly, as everything is covered in pitch black, making it so that anything could just pop up at any moment. 

20. The Descent Part 2 (2009)

Refusing to believe her story about cave-dwelling monsters, the sole survivor of a spelunking exploration gone horribly wrong is forced to follow the authorities back into the caves where something awaits.

Most fans of the original often dismiss this direct sequel however, those who tune in were treated to an equally breathtaking claustrophobic film that continues the grim ending of its predecessor. It features plenty of gore for horror hounds.

It also has a terrific atmosphere that will make you afraid of what’s in the dark. As long as you don’t mind the hate that the film got, then you’ll enjoy the film for what it is.

19. Devil’s Pass (2013)

Based on the infamous Dyatlov pass incident, the movie follows a  group of students making a documentary about the incident but things take a turn for the worse as the secret of what happened there is revealed.

Though it may seem like just another mockumentary type of found footage film about a real-life tragedy, soon turns into a mind-bending horror film with an insane twist. It has a bit of The Blair Project flair to it as the characters explore the snowy mountain, which is a great setting.

And although the CGI for the film may not be as good, its atmosphere definitely makes up for it and makes the film much better.

18. A Perfect Getaway (2009)

Two pairs of lovers on a Hawaiian vacation discover that psychopaths are stalking and murdering tourists on the islands.

This film will take on you on a thrilling and suspenseful vacation full of doubts and suspicion. A Perfect Getaway has an amazing mystery that will keep you guessing which of the pairs could be the killer thanks to its likable cast of characters, all with their own red herring reasons. 

The film also has a rather stylistic approach in its third act that makes the action even more engaging to watch. Although the film may take a more thriller approach than horror, this whodunit mystery is a worthy watch for horror fans.

17. Yellowbrickroad (2010)

An expedition set out to explore a mysterious forest in New Hampshire where the entire population of a town died in 1940.

This here is a highly ambitious horror film that will have you creeped out due to its many intriguing mysteries that will keep you hooked throughout. It also has an amazing atmosphere that will send shivers down your spine as the film showcases many of its creepy inducing scenes.

As long as you get past the horribly done poster for the film that makes it look like the film is just another cheap film, then you’ll find a rather compelling film with so many unsettling moments. 

16. Cargo (2017)

Stranded in rural Australia in the aftermath of a violent pandemic, an infected father desperately searches for a new home for his infant child and a means to protect her from his own changing nature.

Unlike other zombie adventure films, Cargo focuses on its characters and situational drama instead of many action-packed set pieces, and because of this, what we got is an underrated, dramatic, and unique zombie film of the decade. The film is also stunningly directed with gorgeous landmarks and shots, which speaks value for Director Ben Howling’s debut.

This film provided a refreshing take on the already dead and tired zombie sub-genre, which makes it a worthy film to watch.

15. Wrong Turn (2021)

Friends hiking the Appalachian Trail are confronted by 'The Foundation', a community of people who have lived in the mountains for hundreds of years.

While this reboot may not reach the same heights as its predecessor, it still provides many of the franchise’s staples such as many inventive and gory kills and a group of unsuspecting victims that you’ll either want to see die or live. 

And although it may not feature the iconic trio of hillbillies that we all know and love, the film nonetheless is an entertaining and creepy adventure in the woods.

14. Backcountry (2014)

Alex and Jenn have left the city to go camping in the country. After setting off into the woods, they realize they've forgotten their phone and they become lost. The trip turns into a fight for survival when they are stalked by a man-eating bear.

Prepare yourself for one of the most gripping horror films to date with Backcountry. It has great performances by its actors, which will sell well to make for a thrilling viewing experience. It also has some pretty grisly scenes that will make you want to look away.

Backcountry is a film that will truly make you think twice about hiking ever again.

13. A Lonely Place to Die (2011)

A group of mountaineers in the Scottish Highlands discover a kidnapped girl and are pursued by her captors.

Although it's more of a thriller survival film than an actual horror, the film provides enough thrill and excitement as well as many heart-stopping moments that make it a worthy watch for horror fans. It also stars Melissa George who does an excellent job as the film’s central protagonist and will make you want to root for her until the end. 

The first forty-five minutes of the film deliver such an exhilarating watch and you’ll be hard pressed to find a more intriguing film that provides more excitement than this.

12. Willow Creek (2013)

A man (Bryce Johnson) and his girlfriend (Alexie Gilmore) camp in the woods to capture firsthand evidence of Bigfoot.

While most modern found footage film relies on grandiose concepts and scares, this 2013 film instead takes on a more simpler approach with its presentation, and what we got is one of the most underrated and creepy found footage horror films to date. 

The movie manages to build up its tension so well that it makes every single scene so creepy, more so for the last twenty minutes of the film which will have you on the edge of your seat.

11. Killing Ground (2016)

A couple's camping trip turns into a frightening ordeal when they stumble across the scene of a horrific crime.

Brutal, harrowing, and exhilarating are only a few of the words that can describe this underrated horror film that provides many thrills and chills. This film is a disturbing thriller with brutal violence that will make you want to look away as well as menacing villains that will make you despise them.

10. Wrong Turn (2003)

Chris and a group of five friends are left stranded deep in the middle of the woods after their cars collide. As they venture deeper into the woods, they face an uncertain and bloodcurdling fate.

While the reboot may be a decent reinvention of the franchise, nothing will ever come close to the way this 2003 original manages your heart pumping thanks to so many exhilarating scenes most notably the tree chase scene. It also has a pretty disgusting gore with great effects which will please every horror fan.

It also stars Buffy’s Faith, Eliza Dushku as the film’s final girl making this 2000s slasher a worthy watch.

9. Hostel (2005)

Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.

Hostel provides a different kind of fear, as instead delivering a film with a scary atmosphere or psychological scares, it relies on stomach-turning gore; and while it may sound terrible, the film executes these horrific and gruesome moments fairly well which makes it stands out from the rest in the genre. 

It even has a character-switching twist that subverts the genre’s established tropes, adding a bit of depth to the film. It also helped spawn the torture porn sub-genre, making it a somewhat influential film.

8. Wolf Creek (2005)

Three backpackers stranded in the Australian outback are plunged into a hellish nightmare of insufferable torture by a sadistic psychopathic local.

Wolf Creek is a dark and grim horror film that will make you scared of traveling a remote area, thanks to its amazing atmosphere and set of characters. Mick Taylor is an underrated villain that will get under your skin due to his intimidating personality thanks to the amazing portrayal of John Jaratt.     

The film also takes many twists and turns around its third act with its characters, with it subverting every single of your expectation on who will live or die. This is a film that you should watch right now.

7. Wolf Creek 2 (2014)

The film follows a young German couple, and a British tourist, who fall victim to the kidnapping and torture of Mick Taylor, a deranged xenophobic killer while traveling in the Australian outback.

If the first Wolf Creek film was a grim and disturbing tale then this sequel is a high-octane thrill from start to finish. It removes the slow-burn pace of the first film and brings you non-stop chills and thrills as the story moves from different places and characters. It also has a very painful to watch third act that will make you squeamish. 

6. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across a lost film shot by a missing documentary crew that displays their horrific final moments.

Considered one of the most deprived horror films ever been made, Cannibal Holocaust depicts a gritty and disturbing story presented as found footage. The film includes many gruesome kills and tons of real animal killings that can make for some very gut-wrenching viewing.

However, if you can manage past all of the film’s brutality, you’ll find an incredibly horrifying but great film with a commentary that will make you question society. 

5. Eden Lake (2008)

Nursery teacher Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and her boyfriend Steve (Michael Fassbender), escape for a romantic weekend away but things soon go for the worse as the two get terrorized by a group of teenagers who are set on hunting and killing them.

Although the backpacking part of the film may have only taken place at the start of the film, long before the depressing event ensues, this is still a magnificent horror film that you should watch. However, let me first tell you that Eden Lake is devoid of any kind of hope for the characters, making the film such a bleak and devastating watch.

And viewing it is even more crushing when you already know the ending of the film, making each of the thrilling scenes hard to watch. It’s a bleak and cruel film that will make you cry at the end. 

4. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

An American Werewolf in London is a horror classic that provides both humor and many terrific moments which makes for one of the most engaging viewing experiences. It has a disturbing transformation scene that’s hard to watch thanks to the groundbreaking practical effects work done in the film. 

If you haven’t seen this incredible film yet, then you are doing yourself a disservice. 

3. The Ritual (2017)

Reuniting after the tragic death of their friend, four college pals set out to hike through the Scandinavian wilderness. A wrong turn leads them into the mysterious forests of Norse legend, where an ancient evil exists and stalks them at every turn.

The Ritual is a beautiful descent to madness thanks to its many surreal imagery and psychological scares that will make you feel uneasy. And its atmosphere makes for a very unnerving viewing. Combine all of this and you’ve got one of the most unique horror movies of the modern era.

It’s currently available on Netflix too, so you can go watch it there right now.

2. The Descent (2005)

A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

The film that will give you claustrophobia, The Descent is a master class in tension as it makes you feel unsettled and would bring you anxiety thanks to its heart-pounding atmosphere as well as a terrifying setting filled with creative monsters. 

It even has a group of smart and likable characters to root for, making each gruesome death such a devastating watch. If you haven’t seen this classic yet, then make sure to put it on your watch list right now.

1. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

The Blair Witch Project is without a doubt one of the scariest and most immersive horror films ever made despite only having a simple premise of people walking around the woods with their backpacks and camera at hand. The film makes every single sound such a suspenseful event thanks to the amazing atmosphere of the film.

And even though you might already know its ending and its gimmick, each scene still makes for an effective scare that will make your entire body shiver.


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From outer space, I've landed here on earth to give you my out of this world recommendations of movies and video games.
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