Here are five picks for horror flicks with an outdoors theme.
Halloween is the perfect time to sit down with a big bowl of popcorn and watch a scary movie or two.
Turn the lights off, grab that giant bowl of popcorn, get a blanket to cover yourself with and pop a DVD into the television (or turn on Netflix) to watch one of these Halloween worthy fright night films.
1. The Edge
Wonderfully acted, especially by Alec Baldwin, this 1997 film is a perennial favorite of mine. The story is simple and fairly predictable: Some guys get trapped in the wilderness and while making their way back through the wild they are tracked and harassed by a giant, death dealing grizzly bear.
A few things make this story extra gripping. One, the backstory of antagonism and distrust the men feel for one another. Two, the superb acting by everyone. Three, the realistic setting and scenes; this is exactly how you imagine people reacting in a survival situation.
This 1972 film is another brilliantly acted and fingernail chewing movie that still holds up today. Again, we've got a group of city slickers - four of them - who decide to canoe down a wilderness river before a giant hydro-dam consumes it.
They revel in the beauty of nature during their trip, until some murdering and rapacious hillbillies threaten their existence. They end up battling both their tormentors and an increasingly dangerous river.
An ecologically themed horror film that clearly capitalized on the success of Jaws, Grizzly is the land-based version of basically the same story. A gigantic murderous grizzly bear terrorizes park dwellers and rangers.
It definitely has its terrifying moments, although nowadays it seems rather campy. It spawned a sequel, but as is usually the case, Grizzly II didn't rate as well as the first. Grizzly is a good romp.
4. The Hunted
I have to admit that The Hunted is one film that I have not yet seen, so it will likely be on my Halloween viewing schedule this year. The trailer looks scary enough and the story offers an interesting twist on the old 'tried and true'.
Written, directed, and starring Josh Stewart (a real hunter and a character actor you might recognize), the story involves a couple of hunters who dream of having their own hunting television show. They head into the wilderness to film their pilot episode and soon realize that they are not alone.
There are compound bows, real hunting gear and what looks like plenty of suspenseful moments. Celebrity hunter Jim Shockey said, "This movie made me scared to go back into the woods." That's good enough for me! I'm looking forward to seeing this 2014 independent film.
5. The Grey
This 2012 film stars Liam Neeson in a by-now familiar story. A bunch of guys crash their plane into the remote wilderness and must find a way to survive and return to civilization. Along the way they are harassed and picked off one by one by a pack of vicious, man eating wolves.
It's a grim story pitting man against nature, and man doesn't always come out on top. The film tells the story in harsh and brutal terms, and the ending leaves you wondering. It is a proper horror story.
There you have it. Just remember, it's Halloween and they're only movies...don't be afraid to hit the woods afterwards!
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.