The Best Underrated Survival Horror Movies (And Where to Watch Them) (2023)

Ask any horror fan what their favorite movie is, and it’s most likely to be something like Nightmare on Elm Street, The Conjuring, or maybe The Shining. Not that there’s anything wrong with those choices, but a sub-category in the horror genre that often gets forgotten is wilderness survival horror. Maybe it’s not as easy to get spooked by the concept of starvation and exposure to elements from the comfort of your couch, but for those who enjoy exploring the wilderness, these movies can make you rethink your next camping trip.

Just because a horror movie takes place in an outdoorsy environment doesn’t necessarily mean it fits into this sub-category. For example, Wrong Turn is about a group of people who happen to be stuck in the backwoods of West Virginia. They are trying to survive and get out of those woods, yes, but mostly because of the cannibalistic inbred mountain men that inhabit those woods. Here are a few basic ingredients to create a great survivalist horror movie. First and foremost, the main antagonist should always be sourced mainly from the environment. Extreme heat or cold, wild animals, infection, starvation, and dehydration are all things that can and will kill a person if they are not adequately prepared. The protagonist(s) will have to use their brains and available resources to survive.

The Edge, starring Anthony Hopkinsand Alec Baldwin, is a perfect example of wilderness survival horror. Yes, Baldwin’s character does try to kill Anthony Hopkins's character in the movie, but he’s not the main antagonist. The bear that is stalking them, as well as the extreme Alaskan wilderness, presents the largest threat to the characters. The fact that a flock of geese caused their plane to crash in the first place is just another example of the dangerous unpredictability of nature. With winter drawing closer, so many folks are looking to get one last camping trip in before the cold sets in. But before you plan your next vacation, you might want to give some of these movies a watch first.

The Best Underrated Survival Horror Movies (And Where to Watch Them) (1)

Related:How ’Deliverance’s Survival Horror Channeled the Vietnam War

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Backcountry (2014)

The Best Underrated Survival Horror Movies (And Where to Watch Them) (2)

Written and directed by Adam MacDonald (Slasher), this movie really changes your perspective on who sits on top of the food chain. Alex (Jeff Roop) takes his girlfriend Jen (Missy Peregrym) on a camping trip in a national park. He refuses to take a map from the park ranger, stating he knows the park very well. He injures his foot early on, and when they make camp at the end of the first night, they meet Brad (Eric Balfour), who tells them he is a tour guide for the park. Insulted by how Brad flirts with Jen and insinuates that they would be better off with him as a guide, Alex takes Jen off the marked trail the next morning.

They come across the mauled remains of a deer shortly before they realize that they are lost. And once they set up camp, a grizzly bear is drawn in by the scent of Alex's foot injury, raising the stakes even higher. Traumatized, injured, and lost, Jen has to find her way back to civilization before the bear catches up with her.

Backcountry is available to stream on Kanopy and Shudder.

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Jungle (2017)

The Best Underrated Survival Horror Movies (And Where to Watch Them) (3)

This Australian film is actually based on the true story of Israeli explorer Yossi Ghinsberg and his harrowing experience in the Amazon rainforest. The movie was written by Justin Monjo (Farscape) and directed by Greg McLean (Wolf Creek). Daniel Radcliffe stars in the lead role of Yossi, who plans to venture into the jungles of Bolivia with his two friends, Marcus (Joel Jackson) and Kevin (Alex Russel). They meet an Austrian man named Karl (Thomas Kretschmann), who claims to know of an undiscovered indigenous tribe that he can bring them to see. After some trepidation, the trio decides to set into the rainforest with the Austrian as their guide.

Without giving too much more of the story away, this movie will leave you having second thoughts about venturing into jungles of any kind, especially with a stranger. Jungle is available to stream on Roku and Prime Video.

Long Weekend (2008)

The Best Underrated Survival Horror Movies (And Where to Watch Them) (4)
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Another Australian film (to be fair, nature in Australia is especially scary), directed by Jamie Blanks (Urban Legend), this one is actually a remake of the 1978 film, Long Weekend. Also titled Nature's Grave, this movie stars Jim Caviezel (Frequency) as Peter, who is planning a camping trip with his wife, Carla (Claudia Karvan) at a remote beach on Australia’s NSW North Coast. There’s palpable tension between the couple, which only gets worse as the movie goes on. Peter runs over a kangaroo carcass, flicks a lit cigarette out his window, and overall the couple displays an egregious lack of respect for nature.

Not long after they get their campsite set up, nature starts pushing back against their intrusion. It starts slowly, like getting stalked by a possible shark, then getting a biting ant infestation at their campsite, but nature’s retaliation escalates quickly in this movie. It stands as a solid reminder to “leave no trace,” when you’re a guest in mother nature’s house. Long Weekend is available to stream on Roku.

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The Canyon (2009)

A newlywed couple decides to take a mule ride down into a large canyon with a tour guide named Henry (Will Patton). Nick (Eion Bailey) and his wife Lori (Yvonne Strahovski) are interested in seeing petroglyphs but are told they are another half-day ride away. Along the way, Henry is bitten by rattlesnakes, and the mules run off.

Forced to continue on foot, Henry soon dies of his rattlesnake bite, leaving the newlyweds on their own to navigate out of The Canyon. They are faced with the elements, injuries sustained from attempts to climb, and a pack of ravenous wolves. So much for a relaxing honeymoon adventure. The Canyon is available to stream on Roku.

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Frozen (2010)

The Best Underrated Survival Horror Movies (And Where to Watch Them) (6)

No, this isn’t the movie with the singing and talking snowman. Written and directed by Adam Green (Hatchet), Frozen follows Parker (Emma Bell), her boyfriend Dan (Kevin Zegers), and Dan’s best friend, Joe (Shawn Ashmore) hanging out at a ski resort. Just before the resort closes for a long weekend, the three of them convince the ski lift attendant to let them go up for one last run for the night. When the other attendant sees three skiers come down the slope shortly after, he assumes it’s the same trio and shuts down the lift, trapping Parker, Dan, and Joe high above the ground.

After Dan attempts to jump down, breaking both of his legs in the process, a pack of wolves sets in on him, leaving Parker and Joe watching helplessly from above. Nobody is coming to rescue them, they will freeze if they stay put, and they will get attacked by wolves if they climb down. Singing “Let It Go” isn’t going to get them out of this Frozen nightmare.

Frozen is available to stream on Amazon Freevee and Roku.

Related:Why the 'Hatchet' Series Was Just What Horror Needed

Open Water (2003)

Open Water is the perfect survival movie for shark lovers. Loosely based on true events from 1998, this movie is about a couple who charter a scuba diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef and get left behind by their boat. It was written and directed by Chris Kentis (Silent House).

Blanchard Ryan (Beerfest) and Daniel Travis (Thank You For Smoking) decide that a scuba trip will be the perfect opportunity for them to spend some quality time together as a couple. They board a scuba charter with 18 other divers and make their way out to sea. The two separate from the group during the dive, and before they can rejoin, the boat leaves the dive site after a miscount of the returning divers. After they realize they’ve been left behind, the realization sets in that the boat will not be returning for them and that they’ve also drifted away from the dive site. It doesn’t take long for the resident sharks to start eyeing them up as their next meal. Will someone notice they are missing and send out rescue boats before it’s too late?

Open Water is available to stream on Prime Video.

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Rogue (2007)

The Best Underrated Survival Horror Movies (And Where to Watch Them) (8)

Yet another Australian survival horror film, also written and directed by Greg Mclean (Jungle). An American travel journalist, Pete McKell (Michael Vartan) joins a group of tourists on a crocodile-watching river cruise in the Northern Territory of Australia. Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill) leads the expedition as Kate Ryan, a wildlife researcher. The group spots a distress flare further up the river and investigates, only to find a half-sunken wreck. As they get closer, something large below the surface crashes into their boat, damaging it irreparably.

They manage to steer it to a small island in the middle of the river, but Kate realizes they are in the middle of the crocodile’s territory and that the river will rise at night, covering the island entirely. They will have to find a way to cross the river to the mainland before they fall prey to the gigantic man-eating crocodile. The crocodile in question is loosely inspired by a 17-foot saltwater crocodile named “Sweetheart,” who was responsible for several boat attacks in the 1970s.

Rogue is available to stream on Plex, Tubi, and Vudu.

The Grey (2011)

The Best Underrated Survival Horror Movies (And Where to Watch Them) (9)
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Written, directed, and produced by Joe Carnahan (Death Wish), this survival horror movie brings us back almost full circle to The Edge. You’ve got a plane crash in the brutal wilderness of Alaska, wild animal attacks, and tension between the survivors that put each other in peril. Liam Neeson (Taken) stars as John Ottoway, a sharpshooter working for an oil company in Alaska. His job is to keep the packs of wolves away from the workers who drill for oil. After his last day on the job, he boards a plane set to take him and several other men to Anchorage for their 2-week furlough.

The plane hits heavy turbulence, causing it to fall apart, crashing deep in the Alaskan wilderness. He and the other survivors of the crash find themselves deep in the wolves’ territory and have to find a way to be rescued as the wolves pick them off one by one. The Grey isn't streaming with any of the subscription or free-with-ads services but it is available to rent or purchase on Amazon, Google Play, and Apple TV.

FAQs

Is there a horror movie where no one survives? ›

'Night of the Living Dead' (1968)

Romero's Night of the Living Dead follows a small group of strangers who seek shelter in a deserted farmhouse. With zombies piling up outside, and tensions growing inside, things look increasingly bleak.

What movie has the most jump scares? ›

1. The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013) The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia is far and wide the most 'jumpy' horror movie ever made with 32 jump scares to enjoy throughout the film. Set in 1993.

What is the bloodiest horror movie? ›

This scene alone is claimed to have used over 50,000 gallons of blood, earning Evil Dead the record of being the bloodiest film of all time.

Who is No 1 horror movie? ›

All Time Worldwide Box Office for Horror Movies
RankReleasedMovie
12017It
22007I am Legend
31975Jaws
42019It: Chapter Two
67 more rows

What is the scariest movie Top 5? ›

The List: Top 5 Horror Movies Of All-Time, As Ranked By Experts
  • The Exorcist (1973) ...
  • Halloween (1978) ...
  • Paranormal Activity (2007) ...
  • The Shining (1980) ...
  • It Follows (2014)
7 days ago

What horror movie has no deaths? ›

Freaks (1932)

Although the movie is indeed hard to watch, there are surprisingly no recorded kills. Even near the end, when all the "freaks" gang up on the two antagonists, Hercules and Cleopatra, they are never killed.

What is the world's shortest horror? ›

The world's shortest horror story was originally published in 1948; it was written by Frederic Brown, and consists of two sentences. It reads: "The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door ..."

What is the easiest horror movie to survive? ›

WARNING: Spoilers below.
  • The Babadook (2014).
  • The Amityville Horror (2005). ...
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978). ...
  • It (1990). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 97% ...
  • Child's Play (1988). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 98% ...
  • The Exorcist (1973). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 100% ...
  • The Ring (2001). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 100% ...
  • Candyman (2021). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 100% ...
29 Oct 2021

What is the secret Netflix code for horror movies? ›

Horror — Code 8711
CategoryCode:
B-Horror Movies8195
Creature Features6895
Cult Horror Movies10944
Deep Sea Horror Movies45028
12 more rows
26 Sept 2022

What horror movie is based on a true story? ›

The Amityville Horror (1979) Arguably the most famous horror film based on horrifying, allegedly real events, The Amityville Horror has spent more than four decades giving audiences a permanent case of night terrors with the story of a young couple and their house in Amityville, New York haunted by violent spirits.

What is the most watched thing on Netflix? ›

Stranger Things 4

What movie has the most f words? ›

The 10 Most Profane Movies of All Time, Ranked by The Number of F-Bombs
  • Alpha Dog (2006) - 367 f-words. ...
  • Straight Outta Compton (2015) - 392 f-words. ...
  • Casino (1995) - 422 f-words. ...
  • Nil by Mouth (1997) - 428 f-words. ...
  • Summer of Sam (1999) - 435 f-words. ...
  • Uncut Gems (2019) - 560 f-words. ...
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - 569 f-words.
1 Jun 2022

What movie had the first Jumpscare? ›

Poster for Cat People (1942), which featured the Lewton Bus, the first jump scare.

What is the best jump scare ever? ›

The following films and sequences have utilized these tricks and executed some of the most effective jump scares in horror.
  • 8/11 Hereditary (2018)
  • 7/11 Psycho (1960)
  • 6/11 Lights Out (2016)
  • 5/11 [REC] (2007)
  • 4/11 What Lies Beneath (2000)
  • 3/11 Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
  • 2/11 Jaws (1975)
  • 1/11 Se7en (1995)
29 Aug 2022

What horror movie has the best kills? ›

Warning: Some of these images are graphic in nature and depict scenes of violence and death.
  1. The shower scene (Psycho — 1960)
  2. The chestburster (Alien) ...
  3. Brody shoots the shark (Jaws) ...
  4. Cutting the cord (Ghost Ship) ...
  5. Death by defibrillator (The Thing — 1982) ...
  6. Charlie loses her head (Hereditary) ...
  7. Face freeze (Jason X) ...
16 Oct 2022

Who is the strongest horror movie serial killer? ›

Though there are many to choose from, here is the list of the strongest horror movie villains in cinema history.
  1. Death (Final Destination)
  2. Pennywise the Dancing Clown (It) ...
  3. Pazuzu (The Exorcist) ...
  4. Deadites (The Evil Dead) ...
  5. The Thing (The Thing) ...
  6. Mister Babadook (The Babadook) ...
  7. Pinhead (Hellraiser) ...
11 Oct 2022

What is the No 1 movie in the world? ›

All Time Worldwide Box Office
RankYearMovie
12009Avatar
22019Avengers: Endgame
31997Titanic
42015Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens
67 more rows

Which movie is banned in India? ›

Nationwide
DateFilm
1994Bandit Queen
1996Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love
1996Fire
2001Paanch
39 more rows

What is the saddest death in a movie? ›

Top 20 Saddest Movie Deaths Ever
  • #8: Rue. ...
  • #7: Brooks. “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994) ...
  • #6: Wolverine. “Logan” (2017) ...
  • #5: Jenny. “Forrest Gump” (1994) ...
  • #4: Guido Orefice. “Life Is Beautiful” (1997) ...
  • #3: Johnny Cade. “The Outsiders” (1983) ...
  • #2: Jack. “Titanic” (1997) ...
  • #1: John Coffey. “The Green Mile” (1999)
13 Aug 2022

What horror movie has the saddest ending? ›

The Saddest and Most Emotional Horror Movies, Ranked
  • 8/8 The Woman in Black.
  • 7/8 The Fly.
  • 6/8 Dark Water.
  • 5/8 The Others.
  • 4/8 A Quiet Place.
  • 3/8 Hereditary.
  • 2/8 The Mist.
  • 1/8 Train to Busan.
8 Jun 2022

What are the 3 rules to survive a horror movie? ›

Rules to successfully survive a horror movie remember: Dewey is the one who quotes them and these rules are:
  • Never trust your love interest.
  • The killer always has something to do with the past.
  • The first victim always has a circle of friends that the killer is a part of.

What is the scariest story ever written? ›

A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

What is the scariest quote? ›

No one escapes from life alive.” “Maybe all the schemes of the devil were nothing compared to what man could think up.” “The monsters that rose from the dead, they are nothing compared to the ones we carry in our hearts.” “Listen to them, the children of the night.

What's the scariest day of the year? ›

Halloween - The Scariest Day of the Year.

What horror movies should I avoid? ›

HORROR MOVIES INFORMED FANS SHOULD AVOID
  • How Awful About Allan (1970 TV Movie) PG | 73 min | Horror, Thriller. ...
  • Ghost Story (1981) R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller. ...
  • The Stuff (1985) R | 87 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi. ...
  • Sleepwalkers (1992) ...
  • Army of Darkness (1992) ...
  • Haunted (1995) ...
  • Thinner (1996) ...
  • Apt Pupil (1998)

What is the scariest movie without Jumpscares? ›

The 10 Best Horror Movies Without Jump Scares, According To...
  • The Mist (2007) ...
  • As Above So Below (2014) ...
  • The Fly (1968) ...
  • The Blair Witch Project (1999) ...
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) ...
  • The Innocents (2021) ...
  • Eden Lake (2008) ...
  • Rosemary's Baby (1968)
23 Oct 2022

Is there a hidden menu on Netflix? ›

At the top of the Netflix home screen, you should see a new option -- Browse All -- next to My List. Click that to search manually or scroll through the subgenres available. Use the code 5475 and you'll unlock a trove of romantic comedies on Netflix.

How do you unlock a hidden Netflix? ›

Netflix secret codes to unlock hidden genres
  1. Action & Adventure: 1365.
  2. Action Comedies: 43040.
  3. Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 1568.
  4. Action Thrillers: 43048.
  5. Adult Animation: 11881.
  6. Adventures: 7442.
  7. African Movies: 3761.
  8. Alien Sci-Fi: 3327.
22 Feb 2022

How do I open the Netflix secret menu? ›

You would write down five three four nine or. If you wanted to see Netflix is secret menu associated

Did Michael Myers ever talk? ›

Michael does not speak in the films; the first time audiences ever hear his voice is in the 2007 Rob Zombie reboot. Michael speaks as a child at the beginning of the film, but while in Smith's Grove he stops talking completely.

Is Chucky real? ›

While creator Don Mancini took inspiration from his childhood and horror stories that came before, the character of Charles Lee Ray, aka Chucky, is completely fictional.

What was the first true horror movie? ›

Just a few years after the first filmmakers emerged in the mid-1890s, Mellies created “Le Manoir du Diable,” sometimes known in English as “The Haunted Castle” or “ The House of the Devil,” in 1898, and it is widely believed to be the first horror movie.

What has been #1 on Netflix the longest? ›

TOP 10 on Netflix in the World with the longest streak
1.Squid Game53 days
2.The Queen's Gambit46 days
3.Stranger Things44 days
4.Bridgerton39 days
5.Money Heist37 days
158 more rows

What is Netflix #1 movie of all time? ›

"Red Notice" is Netflix's biggest original movie ever, with 364 million hours watched in its first month.

What is the most watched thing ever? ›

The following is the list of the all-time most watched single-network television broadcasts in the United States by average viewership, according to Nielsen. Of the 32 most-watched broadcasts, 30 are Super Bowls. Super Bowl XLIX, with 114.4 million viewers, is number one.

› entertainment › horror-mov... ›

If you're in the mood to watch one of those films and realize that reality is scarier than fiction, here's a look at some that are available for streami...
2017's British wilderness horror The Ritual, directed by David Bruckner and written by Joe Barton, has not been officially attributed to any particular true...
Get ready for blood, guts, gore and ghosts while watching the best horror movies to stream on Netflix now. The best horror movies have scares in store for every...

What is the scariest movie in the world based on a true story? ›

The Amityville Horror (1979) Arguably the most famous horror film based on horrifying, allegedly real events, The Amityville Horror has spent more than four decades giving audiences a permanent case of night terrors with the story of a young couple and their house in Amityville, New York haunted by violent spirits.

Has a black person ever survived a horror movie? ›

Keith David is arguably one of the first Black characters to survive a horror flick. (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

What is the scariest story ever written? ›

A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

What scary characters are real? ›

11 Creepy Movie Characters Who Were Based On Even Creepier Real People
  • 'Halloween' — Michael Myers. ...
  • 'Dead Ringers' — Elliot & Beverly Mantle. ...
  • 'Scream' — Ghostface. ...
  • 'The Hills Have Eyes' — Papa Jupiter. ...
  • 'Silence Of The Lambs' — Hannibal Lecter. ...
  • 'Night Of The Hunter' — Harry Powell. ...
  • 'Taxi Driver' — Travis Bickle.
27 Nov 2018

What is the horror movie on Netflix that is based on true story? ›

The Watcher” Trailer – Ryan Murphy's Netflix Series Based on Creepy True Story Arrives in October.

Which iconic horror character has the most kills? ›

Chucky from the Child's Play franchise has 47 kills to his name across eight movies. Yet perhaps what makes Chucky all the more terrifying is that he has conceptual roots in real life. Up next is the truly terrifying Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street.

Is House of Darkness a true story? ›

Inspired by true events. It recounts the mysterious case of a San Francisco family who claimed that a dark force was responsible for the tragic events that unfolded.

What was the first horror movie ever made in color? ›

The resulting film, The Curse of Frankenstein (d. Terence Fisher, 1957), was the most important horror film since Universal 's Dracula (US, d. Tod Browning, 1931). Its contemporary impact was immense; it was the first horror film in colour, and its critical reception was savage.

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