Backwoods horror films are easily some of the most terrifying types of movies. Unlike supernatural films or creature features, the stories are based in reality and often inspired from true crime stories and serial killers. At the same time, the topic can easily spawn dark comedy as they feature hillbillies and cliches. Either way, there have been some fantastic additions within the genre. Now, let’s take a look at 10 awesome backwoods horror films!
Jug Face (2013)
A small clan in the woods worships a supernatural pit that requires sacrifices in exchange for healing powers. The pit reveals the next victim to a man who makes clay jugs, leading him to make a jug in their likeness. When Ada discovers that she and her unborn baby are the next sacrifices, she hides the truth and brings wrath on the community. As odd as all of this sounds, Jug Face has several intense moments with both the pit and insane families. Lauren Ashley Carter, who is criminally underrated as an actress, gives a solid performance as Ada.
Redneck Zombies (1989)
Troma is known for tacky, absurd, low-budget films and Redneck Zombies is no exception. The film’s tag line is “They’re Tobacco Chewin’, Gut Chompin’, Cannibal Kinfolk from Hell!” When a group of country folk discover a barrel of toxic waste, they decide to use it in their moonshine. This, of course, turns people into zombies. It is best to go into this film with low expectations on quality to get the most enjoyment.
Motel Hell (1980)
Let the fun begin as cannibalistic siblings run a motel that doubles as their hunting grounds. Setting up traps on the local highway, they “plant” fresh victims in their garden behind the motel. Motel Hell is rich in black comedy and has fun mocking popular horror movies. Definitely a low-budget B-horror done right.
Wrong Turn (2003)
It is no coincidence when two cars encounter separate roadblocks on country backroads, causing them to collide. They soon become hunted by disfigured, inbred cannibals throughout the hills of West Virginia. There are plenty of cringe-worthy moments and fun kills, not to mention a great alternative rock soundtrack. The series currently has six films and counting.
Wolf Creek (2005)
Set in the Australian outback, tourists traveling through a state park are stranded when their car inexplicably breaks down. With no one in sight for miles, they reluctantly accept help from tow truck driver Mick Taylor. Of course, once they arrive at his garage, they quickly discover Taylor’s sadistic side. The film has an intense grindhouse feel and does not shy away from violence, especially to women. Taylor is one of the best villains in modern horror and went on to star in a fantastic sequel.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)
If done right, horror and comedy can go hand-in-hand seamlessly, as seen in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. The film takes every backwoods horror stereotype and turns them on their heads. When two hillbillies get mistaken for killers, a group of college students start attacking, only to kill themselves in the process. This prompts one of the best lines ever as Tucker tells Dale, “These kids are coming out here, and killing themselves all over the woods!” The film gets better with every viewing and is rumored to have a sequel in the works. Fingers crossed.
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
As one of the most controversial films in horror history, I Spit on Your Grave graphically depicts a woman’s abuse and rape. The scenes are extremely hard to watch and seem to go on forever. After being left for dead, she eventually begins seeking revenge against her attackers. The film was been banned in several countries, slammed by critics, yet still found a strong audience. It was remade in 2010, which managed to bring the controversy back to light.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
The story follows a family traveling in an RV who gets ambushed by a group of mutants from the desert hills. There are many violent and disturbing scenes, including a young mom breastfeeding an adult mutant by force. The film maintains an overwhelming sense of dread and no one feels safe. Although the original is a Wes Craven classic, the Hills Have Eyes remake manages to outshine its predecessor. Craven stayed on as producer and agreed that the project should go to director Alexandre Aja after watching his masterpiece, Haute Tension (High Tension). Aja’s art director, Grégory Levasseur, also came on board as a writer. As the duo’s first American production, they did an incredible job.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003) & The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
In Rob Zombie’s directorial debut, House of 1000 Corpses introduces several characters who have gone on to be modern horror icons, including Otis B. Driftwood, Baby Firefly, and Captain Spaulding. The same characters were featured in the film’s follow-up, The Devil’s Rejects, as well. Horror fans instantly took to the ultra-violent, white trash family, giving both films a strong cult following. Zombie pays homage to several horror films, including Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Motel Hell. The awesome soundtracks feature Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers Band, The Ramones, and, of course, Rob Zombie.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
This list wouldn’t be complete without the ultimate of backwoods horror films- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Tobe Hooper’s low-budget film featuring Leatherface and his killer crew went on to be one of the best and most original slasher films in horror history. It has spawned an epic franchise and paved the way for many others. It is a staple in the genre and a must see for any horror fan.
It’s easy to see that backwoods horror films have been represented by some amazing films over the decades. Please let us know if your favorites made the list!