If you want to book a romantic night with your sweetie at an out-of-the-way hotel, you might want to double-check the directions. In Fear, now on home video, shows what happens if you don't -- you get lost in the woods, and then terrible things happen. This British movie follows in the fearful tradition of other horror movies that have gotten lost in the woods.
by Peter Martin
The Last House on the Left (1972)
Wes Craven's shocker begins with a kidnapping in the city before taking the action to the backwoods, where truly horrifying crimes are carried out upon hapless victims.
Friday the 13th (1980)
What teenage kid doesn't want to spend the summer by a beautiful lake, in the middle of a shady forest? Unfortunately for the new counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, they must pay for the sins of their unwatchful predecessors.
Just Before Dawn (1981)
A classic scenario -- five teens head into the woods to frolic and have fun, ignoring warnings from a park ranger -- gets turned on its head in a thriller that relies heavily on an unforgettably creepy atmosphere.
The Evil Dead (1981)
A classic scenario -- five teens head into the woods to frolic and have fun -- becomes very claustrophobic when demonic evil is unleashed. The supernatural forces tear the friends apart, in more ways than one.
The Howling (1981)
Director Joe Dante deftly balances gruesome horror and dark comedy in a movie that pays homage to classic werewolf tropes, while updating it with a furious sense of the macabre. The movie takes full advantage of an ocean-adjacent forest.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The woods! The woods! An amateur documentary film crew gets hopelessly lost in the woods, to the point where they don't know up from down. But they know enough to get completely freaked out by what they're seeing and hearing.
Cabin Fever (2002)
Stop me if you've heard this one before: five young people head into the woods to frolic and have fun ... OK, what Eli Roth's directorial debut lacks in originality it makes up for with a virus that consumes flesh and exposes emotions in the scariest ways possible.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
A military training exercise in the Scottish Highlands turns into a fight to the death for a squad of soldiers unexpectedly battling werewolves. Director Neil Marshall's thriller is jolting and visceral.
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)
A rare case in which the sequel exceeds the original, this one ups the ante with a group of reality show contestants struggling to survive against a canny family of cannibals.
Modus Anomali (aka Ritual) (2012)
It's best not to worry about the plot of this perplexing Indonesian horror movie. Instead, sit back and allow the gloomy, backwoods atmosphere and intense characters to suck you into a world where nothing is as it seems.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
A merry ride into action-horror territory, the movie tells a grown-up fairy tale with smarts, compassion, and a great sense of what attracts us most to legendary stories. And it takes place largely in a splendid forest where anything can happen.
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