Spooky Woods
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/theowl84/

Last week, we looked at films that inspire outdoor adventure. Now, we tackle the opposite.

Not many people wanted to go swimming in the ocean after watching Jaws. Same goes for these outdoor films. They’ll make you second-guess your next trip into the woods.

Man in the Wilderness (1971)

Man in the WildernessMan in the Wilderness

Set in the early 1800s, a trapper and guide (played by Richard Harris) gets mauled by a grizzly bear and left for dead by his fellow fur-traders. Surprisingly (or maybe not), he survives and seeks revenge.

Deliverance (1972)


Based on the book by James Dickey, this disturbing classic kickstarted Burt Reynolds’s career and almost ruined Ned Beatty’s. Your friends will definitely hum the familiar “Dueling Banjos” tune when they hear you’re going camping. 

Grizzly (1976)


Came out a year after Jaws and was supposed to do to camping what Jaws did to swimming. Not sure it did.

Day of the Animals (1977)

Day of the AnimalsDay of the Animals

Solar radiation leaking through the depleting ozone makes any animal living above 5,000 feet above sea level to go on a rampage, killing hikers in the area. Weird—and worth watching just because there’s nothing else like it. 

Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13thFriday the 13th

You’ll no longer dream of being a camp councilor after watching this.

Redneck Zombies (1987)

Redneck ZombiesRedneck Zombies

Chemical waste gets dumped out in the woods and mixed up with some redneck’s moonshine—making it no longer safe to wander in the local woodlot.

Alive (1993)


A rugby team takes some drastic measures to survive after their plane crashes in the Andes.

The River Wild (1994)

The River WildThe River Wild

Meryl Streep deals with armed thugs and wild rapids. The rivers were a little less crowded the year this film came out. 

The Edge (1997)

The EdgeThe Edge

Two men (played by Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin) try to survive in the wilderness after their plane crashes and a grizzly stalks them; actually there were three men but the first guy (unknown actor, of course) gets eaten by the grizzly shortly after the crash.

The Blair Witch Project (2001)

Blair Witch ProjectBlair Witch Project

Surprisingly terrifying. A low-budget but very effective movie about a group of young campers haunted by a witch. The tent scene will have you spooked for months. 

Into the Wild (2007)

Into the WildInto the Wild

Adapted from the 1996 book written by Jon Krakauer and based on the travels—and death—of Christopher McCandless in the Alaskan wilderness. 

Wolf Creek (2005)

Wolf CreekWolf Creek

Just when you thought it was safe to go backpacking… Three young pals head out hiking in the Australian Outback. Their car doesn’t start, they seek help from a local bushman and that’s when the real trouble begins.  

The Grey (2011)

The GreyThe Grey

Liam Nelson protects stranded oil-workers from a pack of wolves, following a plane crash. It’s an unbelievable but bone-chilling story, set in a frigid landscape.

Into the Grizzly Maze (2015)

Grizzly MazeInto the Grizzly Maze

Two brothers get together in the Alaskan cabin where they grew up, only to get stalked by a nasty grizzly bear. Maybe not Oscar-worthy—but it sure makes you afraid of grizzlies.

The Revenant (2015)

The RevenantThe Revenant

After watching the bear attack scene, you’ll never want to wander through the woods again.

Plan your next great adventure with explore!
Off the beaten path locations, tips and tricks, interviews with intrepid explorers and more.