7 Best Movies About Camping

One of the things that can make camping more enjoyable is watching camping movies. They might give you ideas for things to try on your next trip. You could also pretend you’re in one of your favorite movies on your next adventure. In case you haven’t seen any or don’t have a favorite, here’s a list of some of the best camping movies. Spoiler alert, most of these will be horror movies and these entries will include some plot summary. 

Stand by Me (1986)

Stand by Me is a classic movie based on a Stephen King novella titled, “The Body.”  Unlike most of the movies on this list, it’s not all horror & monsters. This film is a coming of age story that follows a group of boys as they go on a hike to see the rumored body of a local. The novella was based on an actual experience King had in his youth, minus the body. The story encompasses the point in one’s life when innocence begins to fade and the nostalgia of childhood friendships. It’s funny, endearing, and stays with you long after you watch it. It’s an absolute must-see. 

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

This is a movie that falls under a few genres. At its core, Sleepaway Camp is a slasher/mystery film with some elements of comedy and set to the backdrop of a summer camp. One of this movie’s strengths is its cast of characters. In addition to that, there are scenes with good dialogue and writing that can entertain audiences of all ages. If you’re a fan of slashers, you may also enjoy the convoluted kills. The killer reveal in the end is controversial and remains one of the most talked about aspects of this film. 

Blair Witch Project (1999)

When talking about camping movies, it’s hard not to mention the Blair Witch Project. With an estimated budget of $60,000, this 1999 film popularized the found footage subgenre of horror. The movie follows three student filmmakers venturing out into the wild to shoot a documentary about a local legend, the titular “ Blair Witch.” The movie also had some really strong web marketing at the time that added a layer of mystery to it. This was one of the factors that contributed to its success. The movie itself builds suspense well and has horrifying moments that stick with audiences, earning it a spot on this list.

The Ritual (2017)

Ritual is a movie you might not have heard of. It is a more recent creature feature from 2017 that creates suspense very well with wide shots that hide the monster throughout the film. The unfortunate death of a friend brings a group together to honor his memory with a hiking/camping trip through Sweden. Through nightmares, we follow one of the characters as he works through survivor’s guilt while trying to discern what’s reality and what isn’t. The acting from the group is superb and the chemistry between the characters makes you feel for them as things get worse. With beautiful shots and sound design, this film also stands out on a technical note. 

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

This entry may be a surprise, especially to fans of the Evil Dead franchise. This sequel makes our top 7 list because it is more accessible to audiences than its predecessor. Evil Dead 2 takes the horror elements of the original and expands on them, adding some slapstick comedy for good measure as well. This film brings us back to the cabin in the woods where an evil book resides and haunts the group of people that stay there. Evil Dead 2 also sees the return of Bruce Campbell’s iconic character, Ashley J. Williams. His comedy chops and commitment to the role contributed to the series’ success. Another reason this sequel makes the list is that it has several moments and lines that most people think of when they hear “Evil Dead.” With a hand attack, a chainsaw arm, and other practical effects, this film also has fun gags that other movies today lack. Check it out and have a good laugh. 

Cabin in the Woods (2011)

Cabin in the Woods is another more recent film that makes its way onto our list. Although the title is as generic as it gets, this movie is a unique horror comedy that takes a creative approach to the horror genre as a whole. It does something different while paying homage to many of the classics that came before it. It also has a great dose of dark comedy, making it a fun watch overall. This film portrays a completely different kind of camping experience when a group of young students go out into the woods to enjoy a break from their day to day lives. Cabin also thrives from its creative mixing of practical and computer generated effects. 

Friday the 13th (1980)

Finally, we come to one of the biggest camping movies on this list. It was tempting to put the whole series in this slot, but Friday the 13th (1980) spawned the movie franchise that gave audiences one of horror’s most iconic figures, Jason Voorhees. Most of the movies in this series deal with camping at a location called Crystal Lake. The first few actually dealt with various summer camps around Crystal Lake. Thus, it is a camping movie through and through, as well as one of the first that come to mind when people think of camping movies. For a lot of people, it brings back memories of camping, adolescence, or seeing their first scary movie. This movie isn’t as gruesome as other horror movies, which makes it more tolerable for those who are easily disturbed. But if you do enjoy that aspect of horror movies, we encourage you to check out the rest of the series as well. 

Christian Burgos

Christian Burgos

Although I’ve never strayed too far from my home in New York City, I hope to change that by exploring new places soon. As a writer who’s beginning to settle into his craft, I seek out adventures and new experiences to inspire my work. When I’m not writing articles about camping, I’m writing short horror stories for my podcast, Wickedly Insidious Pages.

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Camping Is Easy® was founded by lifelong friends who shared a passion for both the great outdoors and the gear required to enjoy it to the fullest. Erik & Alex now travel the world searching for the best camping spots all while reviewing the products they use along the way. Thanks for visiting!

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