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Travel Horror Movies

There’s something about travel that’s made for scary cinema over the past few years. Hostel, Wolf Creek and Paradise Lost have all portrayed a peculiar and gory perspective upon travel.

But why are travel and horror being grouped together so eagerly? Is it just that shutting our backdoor and setting out into the unknown can actually be quite a scary proposition?

Regardless of the whys and wherefores, here’s a quick roundup of horror and hotels, of travel and terror, and of backpacking and blood in the cinema.

Psycho
Fancy a night at the Bates Motel?
©Paramount Pictures

Psycho
Marion Crane steals a suitcase of cash and flees to Norman Bates’ remote hotel. She’s the only visitor and things soon get creepy. Norman acts strangely, and who exactly is living in the big house above the hotel? Things are definitely not as they seem…

Surely the original hotel-horror, Psycho will leave you reluctant to ever take a shower on holiday again.

 

 

Hostel
Paxton, Josh and Oli are promised a hostel full of beautiful women waiting for them in Bratislava. On arrival, they find just that. And then they get much, much more…

Hotel-horror in the industrial age, Hostel uses drills and blowtorches on travelers’ flesh and seems keen to persuade us never to set foot out of our native land again.

 
The Shining
“Here’s Johnny!”
© Warner Bros

The Shining
Jack and his family are stuck in the Overlook Hotel. The Hotel is haunted; it drives Jack crazy (All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!) and he turns on his poor family. Can the mystical force of The Shining save them…?

Another one to put you off hotel bathrooms for life – along with elevators, corridors and bedrooms! Our advice? Never check into Room 237. Ever. Anywhere. And if you do? Well, you’d better arm yourself and hide in the closet, because a madman wielding an axe might just be coming for you next.

 

Wolf Creek
Liz, Kristy and Ben are left stranded in the outback after their car fails to start. Along comes Mick, a hardy bushman who offers to help. But are Mick’s intentions quite as innocent as they seem?

Another backpacking gore-fest, Wolf Creek plays on the fears of anyone who has traveled in remote places. Or, for that matter, anyone who intends to go soon… So, who’s up for some hitchhiking across the wilds of Australia?

 
The Blair Witch Project
If you go down to the woods today…
© Haxan Films

The Blair Witch Project
A group of documentary makers go in search of a local legend known as the Blair Witch. While camping out in the woods, they are beset by terrifying noises and strange goings-on. Is it the Blair Witch out there in the woods?

The Blair Witch Project is probably responsible for some of the most extreme audience reactions in recent years. Some found it boring; others were so frightened they actually vomited in the cinema. Regardless of your reaction though, the film does carry one important tip. However scary you found that creepy old castle with the limping receptionist in Scotland, camping’s always about ten times worse!

 

Paradise Lost
Another recent Hollywood offering that performs unspeakable violence upon poor unsuspecting backpackers. This time, six nubile young things are drugged and robbed in a remote part of Brazil. A local teenager then leads them towards the secret headquarters of an organization that sells body parts on the black market. Can the backpackers live on with their organs intact?

The title may be a reference to Milton’s religious poem, but there’s absolutely nothing holy about this movie. Staple guns are used on heads, and organs are taken from live bodies during amateur surgery. And the film’s (ever so slightly xenophobic!) message? Never trust the locals, apparently...

 

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