I’m writing this post from Bratislava, Slovakia.
To be honest, I was a little hesitant to come here because the only things I knew about this place come from a few movies: Hostel (Parts 1 and 2) and Eurotrip.
Both portrayed this place as an example of a backwards, “evil” Eastern European city. The truth is this is a great city, full of cool and interesting people.
Now in honor of my misconception about Bratislava, I’ve decided to put together a small list of 20 travel horror movies I feel make people too scared to leave their home. (But if you’re brave enough..you might want to learn how to start a new life and be able travel to any spot in the world.)
To give you a taste of these flicks, I’ve included the trailer to the ones I could find on YouTube. I do have to warn that some of these images are fairly strong. So if you’ve got a weak stomach, then you might want to skip them.
Let’s start with the one that gave me the idea for this list:
#1- Hostel (Parts 1 & 2):
My opinion? I don’t recommend watching these movies…I’m not even sure why I did. The premise is a bunch of backpackers go to Bratislava, get drugged and then end up being tortured to death by millionaires who pay for the privilege of dissecting young people. Yeah, it’s as messed up as it sounds.
#2- Wolf Creek:
This movie features a trio of backpackers traveling through the Australian Outback who encounter a lunatic that (surprise, surprise) finds unique ways to torture and kill them.
#3- The Human Centipede:
I refuse to see this flick out of principle because the trailer completely horrified me. But for the sack of this list it’s perfect. Basically the film two young backpackers (are you sensing a trend here?) encounter a mad German scientist who decides to connect three people, basically forming a ‘human centipede.’ This is one of those movies that make me wonder what’s wrong with the world. With that said, here’s the trailer…it’s pretty awful.
#4- Blair Witch Project
This is a film that features another trio of characters who go camping in the woods of Maryland to research the myth of the “Blair Witch.” Shot with a “home video” camera, this movie does a great job of scaring you without using gore or special effects.
#5- Friday the 13th (Parts 1 through Infinity):
I had to include this ‘cautionary tale’ film series about camping. Everyone knows the premise so I won’t rehash it here. On a side note, as a kid I stayed in a campground that was the supposed setting for the first film. For some reason I had a lot of trouble sleeping during the nights I stayed there.
This isn’t exactly a horror movie, but if you watch the scene where Ned Beatty ‘squeals like a pig’ you’ll never want to go camping in Georgia.
Here’s another gory camping movie. This one feature a bunch of dumb, overly-sexed college kids who get infected with a strange disease…it’s definitely not for those with weak stomachs.
#8- An American Werewolf in London
This is a classic example of why it’s dangerous to backpack through Europe. Two young Americans travel through the English moors when one gets killed by a werewolf, while the other gets bitten and is infected with curse of lycanthropy. Of course, fun and shenanigans happen when he ends up in London in hairy situation. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).
#9- Touristas (Paradise Lost):
Once again, we have a movie that features a bunch of backpackers. This time they’re traveling through Brazil when they encounter a bunch of locals who like to harvest organs from “gringos” and donate them to a hospital in Rio de Janeiro.
#10- The Ruins:
This film is a warning about the dangers of messing around with ancient ruins. Traveling through Mexico, two couples meet a German who brings them to a Mayan temple ruin in the jungle. Of course, the locals aren’t too happy with this idea and neither is the evil, vine-infesting temple.
#11- The Descent
If you’ve seen this movie, then you’ll probably avoid traipsing around dark, mysterious caves. The basic premise is six women get trapped in a cave system in the Appalachian Mountains where they’re pursued by a bunch of man-eating humanoid creatures.
#12- The Hills Have Eyes:
This is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen…but it’s great for this list. Basically it’s a family traveling through a desert that gets waylaid by a group of mutants.
#13- Texas Chainsaw Massacre:
Yet again we have another road trip movie that features a group of cannibals. In this one it’s a group of young people traveling through rural Texas where they’re hacked to pieces by a deranged family.
#14- The Hitcher:
I like this movie because it’s a great example of the bad things that can happen when you pick up a hitchhiker. The main character is basically tormented by a hitcher and is framed for a number of murders. It’s one of those movies that do a great job of combining a bit of gore with a whole lot of suspense.
#15- Brokedown Palace:
I like this example of what happens when you try to transport drugs through an airport. You get locked away in a brutal, Thailand jail.
#16- The Thing:
This isn’t exactly a travel movie. But “The Thing” is one of those films that’ll chill and horrify you enough to never go near Antarctica.
#17- Tourist Trap:
Here’s another oldie, but goodie. This film features a group of teenagers that come across an old ‘tourist trap’ filled with mannequins. It’s another reminder to never go into places that has any sort of doll…pretty creepy if you ask me.
#18- A Perfect Getaway:
A thriller movie that involves three couples hiking through a remote part of Hawaii. Of course, it turns out that one of these couples has murderous intentions.
#19- Open Water:
If Jaws wasn’t enough to scare you away from the ocean, Open Water will put the final nail in the coffin. This movie features a couple who goes scuba diving, but gets accidentally left in the open water (clever title, right?). The rest of the film shows them scared out of their minds as they realize they’re going to become shark chum.
Of course I couldn’t leave out the granddaddy of all the “this is what happens when you go to strange places” movies. It features a young woman who travels out west, ends up in a hotel run by a demented cross-dresser and gets brutally stabbed in a shower.
On another side note, for many years my mom was terrified of the “shower scene.” Of course this didn’t stop my dad from playing a practical joke on her one day while she was showering. I think he slept on the couch that night.
Hopefully I did a good job of listing a bunch of movies that’ll never make you want to travel again. But if I missed any, feel free to list them below.Take Action. Get Results.