20 Vacation Horror Movies RANKED - Horror to Scare You Out of Your Speedos

20 Vacation Horror Movies

Welcome to Knockout Horror and to another Horror Movie List. We have been covering a lot of vacation and holiday themed horror movies lately. I figured it was probably about time I brought a few of these together in list form. With this in mind, I’d like to welcome you to our list of 20 Vacation Horror Movies Ranked.

Vacation Horror Thrills

Vacation horror, also known as Holiday Horror, has been a pretty popular subgenre for at least the past 20+ years. Whether it be The Hills Have Eyes, Hostel, The Descent or The Cabin in the Woods. A group of friends heading out to an unfamiliar location for a few days of fun. Only to be confronted by killers, maniacs, monsters and spirits is always a workable setup for any kind of horror movie.

The great thing is, vacation doesn’t simply mean a holiday in the sun. It can be a Christmas Vacation, a weekend getaway, a bridesmaid party. There are all sorts of scenarios that can play out. This is a subgenre of horror with a ton of variety.

I won’t be covering any of the aforementioned movies in this list, though. Instead, I am going to focus on 20 Vacation Horror movies that I have already covered on this site. That way, I can tell you whether they are worth watching or whether you should simply give them a miss. Some of these movies will be familiar to most horror fans while others, perhaps, are a little less well known. Hopefully I can help you find something you may have missed.

I have to clarify something, as well, before we start. Not all of these movies come with a glowing seal of approval. Some of them are a bit poo. But you might enjoy them so you should probably check them out anyway. These ratings are only my opinion, as well. I am sure plenty of people would rank these movies differently and that’s fine. Lots of these movies are available free to watch on Tubi. We have reviewed all of them so click the title to read the full review. Without further ado, on with the list.

20 – Uninhabited (2010)

Awkward Aussie, tropical island, vacation horror from Bill Bennett is up first in this list and boy is it a mediocre one. Following a young couple spending a few days together on a completely abandoned, isolated, island in the middle of nowhere. Only to realise that they might not be quite as alone as they initially thought. This is a movie with a decent premise and a great location but fairly poor execution. Uninhabited just never manages to make the most of its tropical island paradise setting.

Uninhabited - 20 Vacation Horror Movies Ranked

Wooden acting from Henry James makes this one an awkward watch in parts. And the couple’s almost military style base camp robs the movie of feelings of vulnerability and isolation. The end may surprise some and some might enjoy the slow paced story. But it is definitely not one of my favourite vacation horror movies out there. I should hasten to add, however, that some people do really like this movie. We awarded Uninhabited 1.5/5 in our review. Some cheeky bugger has uploaded the full movie to YouTube so go give it a search. It is also available included on Prime Video.

19 – Outback (2019)

We are back off to the land down under once again next for some silly survival horror shenanigans with Mike Green’s Outback from 2019. Following the story of a pair of American tourists heading out to Australia for some fun in the sun. Only to find themselves completely lost and fighting against the odds in the middle of the outback. This is a movie that features one of the dumbest people in horror history. Not only does he embarrass himself on the flight over by proposing to his girlfriend (who refuses). But he also manages to get the two of them completely lost.

This movie has proved popular on Knockout Horror with both my review of it and my Outback Ending Explained article doing pretty well. I think much of that is down to the makers claiming that Outback is based on a true story. A claim that is pretty much bogus with the only remotely similar account of tourists surviving in the outback coming from after the movie’s release. Making the farcical survival tactics used all the more ridiculous. Still, if you have a high tolerance for survival stupidity and don’t mind the stretching of logic. You might like this one. I didn’t and awarded Outback 1.5/5 in my review.

18 – The Resort (2021)

A group of friends head to an isolated part of Hawaii to investigate a supposedly haunted, abandoned, holiday resort in this extremely strange movie from Taylor Chien. Slow moving to start only to rush at a breakneck speed towards the end in its final 15 minutes. This is a movie that fits the vacation theme very nicely but just isn’t that good. The Resort doesn’t really do anything for much of its length. Content to take the journey to the holiday resort extremely slowly. When it gets there, it decides it is time for action which leads to a poorly executed and, frankly, bizarre last act.

The Resort (2021) - 20 Vacation Horror Movies Ranked

The most that The Resort has going for it is its pretty cast and its gorgeous location. Outside of that, it is a mix of pointless exposition, terrible effects, scareless sequences and no tension. We awarded The Resort 1.5/5 in our review.

17 – 14 Cameras (2018)

What would happen if you took the voyeuristic fun of 13 Cameras and moved it from a residential home into a holiday home? 14 Cameras would happen, of course. This is, basically, more of the same but with a larger cast. As 14 Cameras sees our creepy perv Gerald (played by the late Neville Archambault) renting out a home to a family of vacationers looking for some rest and relaxation. And spying on them in the showers, in the pools, while they sleep and while they change. It’s pretty basic stuff, to be honest.

14 Cameras is a step below its predecessor but that isn’t saying much. This is still a movie that lacks in any real suspense and much of the intriguing spying and voyeurism has been replaced with formulaic, teen horror, garbage. Gerald is still creepy and the holiday home setting offers an interesting setting. But 14 Cameras never really manages to be anything other than a mediocre vacation horror. We awarded 14 Cameras 2/5 in our review.

16 – Shark Bait (2022)

A bunch of American tourists (with suspiciously flaky, occasionally English, accents) head out to a tropical holiday resort for a week of partying. Only to introduce a pair of stolen jet skis to each other at high speed, end up in the drink and find themselves fighting for their lives against a killer shark. It is pretty basic stuff but this British Tubi Original manages to be fairly watchable for the most part.

Shark Bait (2022)  - 20 Vacation Horror Movies Ranked

It doesn’t do anything new and tends to get lost in some of the relationship drama and nonsense. But if you are looking for a shark movie to fill in an hour or so of your time. It’s probably a better option than a lot of the Asylum Movies crap that is floating on the surface as of late. I am looking at you Shark Waters and Blind Waters. It’s just a shame that the cast, aside from main girl Nat (Holly Earl), are so unlikable. We awarded Shark Bait 2/5 in our review.

15 – The Beach House (2019)

Apocalyptic fun in the sun next as a young couple head to a beautiful holiday home for a week away. Only to be met by some unexpected guests who begin to show signs of a mysterious infection. The Beach House starts as one type of movie before transforming into something completely different. Critics love this one but the audience seems to have a completely different opinion. With the bizarre aesthetics and strange story putting plenty of people off.

The Beach House is light on the horror and even lighter on explanation. As it seems to be working with purely the foundation of an idea. An idea that is never expanded on and never manages to be anything more than a few brief scenes of tension and suspense. Hidden Exposure’s Liana Liberato stars though she doesn’t manage to elevate The Beach House above rather middle of the road horror. Some may enjoy some of the sci-fi themes. But, for many, there is just too little substance here to really enjoy the movie. We awarded The Beach House 2/5 in our review. This one is, again, on Shudder.

14 – Killing Ground (2016)

We are back to Oz for this next one as a relaxing camping getaway turns horribly brutal in Killing Ground by Damien Power. Killing Ground doesn’t go into any major level of exposition for why its events happen. They just do, as a family taking a camping trip together are tortured by a pair of ruthless killers. Reminiscent of other vicious Aussie horror movies like Wolf Creek. This is a film that is not for everyone.

Tiarnie Coupland from Killing Ground

I always have to preface this suggestion by mentioning the fact that I didn’t enjoy Killing Ground. Despite this fact, a lot of people do. This is a movie that I found to have little purpose beyond simply depicting violence towards women and children. Something that I take issue with when it is not built around a substantial story. There is no story here, no suspense and no build up. It is plain old torture porn with little to nothing else going on. Like I said, some people find it to be a significant movie and you may just really enjoyi it. We awarded Killing Ground 2/5 in our review.

13 – The Wretched (2019)

A different take on Witches in our next movie The Wretched. As teenager Ben (John-Paul Howard) faces off against a thousand year old witch while spending the summer holidays with his dad. The Wretched does the whole witch thing a little differently from most films and, often, it works well. It also manages to subtly address childhood fears of abandonment with its tale of divorce and a creature that can make people forget about their kids.

This isn’t my favourite movie in the world but it doesn’t ask too much of the viewer and is often quite effective. This would make for a great teen horror or, simply, a movie that you can switch off your brain and enjoy. Despite my average review, a lot of people really enjoy The Wretched. Our The Wretched Ending Explained article is consistently popular suggesting plenty of people check the movie out every week. Maybe you should too. We awarded The Wretched 2.5/5 in our review. It’s on Netflix right now.

12 – Superhost (2021)

A pair of travel vloggers head to a desirable holiday home to spend a weekend enjoying the surroundings and blogging their adventures. Only to be met by a host who is just a little bit too eager to please in social media influencer, vacation horror, Superhost by Brandon Christensen (Still/Born). This is one of those movies that would be difficult to recommend if it wasn’t for one thing. In the case of Superhost, that one thing is the performance of Gracie Gillam as host Rebecca.

Superhost Horror Movie Ending Explained

Gillam is on top form as she channels her inner Annie Wilkes in what is one of my favourite horror performances in ages. She turns Superhost from a run of the mill thriller to a genuinely compelling horror movie. The only problem is, there isn’t nearly enough of Gillam on screen. Outside of her, this is a rather boring movie with little to recommend. Still, the social media influencer approach to vacation horror does make for some interesting scenes. We awarded Superhost 2.5/5 in our review. It’s on Shudder.

11 – The Rental (2020)

Dave Franco’s voyeuristic vacation horror The Rental sees two couples heading to a stunning holiday home for a long weekend of drinking and fun. Little do they realise that the house they are spending time in is rigged with hidden cameras that threaten to reveal secrets that the group would prefer to remain hidden. The Rental spends most of its length being a drama movie focused on interpersonal relationships and shifting group dynamics. Before suddenly transforming into a high paced slasher movie with little to no warning.

This is a film that isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. Which is something of a shame as it is well shot, nice looking, and features a competent cast. It’s hard not to feel as though the creators didn’t really know where they wanted to go with it. Instead rushing the ending and trying desperately to throw in a pointless twist. This is a movie with a slow build and an unsatisfying ending. Still, if you are looking for simple vacation horror thrills and lots of relationship drama. You might really like The Rental. We awarded it 2.5/5 in our review. You can watch it on Netflix.

10 – Fractured (2016)

Interesting British thriller up next as a couple head to a beautiful holiday home in the countryside for a weekend of relaxation. Only to feel like they are being watched the whole time. Could it be the couple’s unfamiliarity with the unfamiliar residence, or is it something more sinister? This is a cool little movie that seems to fly under people’s radar a little. What, at first, seems like a rather middling suspense horror with little in the way of new ideas. Quickly flips the script on its head and becomes far more interesting and far more unexpected.

Rebecca (April Pearson) undressing in Fractured

Some absolutely awful dialogue does hamper things a little. And the former English Soap Opera cast can be hit or miss. With Louisa Lytton doing the best job which is no surprise to anyone who knows of her. But the twist that Fractured throws at the viewer makes the movie all the more interesting. I found this to be a genuinely enjoyable movie, awarding it 3/5 in my review.

9 – The Retreat (2021)

Enjoyable cat and mouse horror with LGBT themes next with The Retreat from Pat Mills. A couple, Valerie and Renee (Sarah Allen and Tommie-Amber Pirie), head out to a cabin in the woods for a pre-wedding getaway only to find the cabin empty and their friends missing. On further exploration, the pair begin to realise that they may have just walked into a trap. A trap that will leave them fighting for their lives against a group of hateful bigots.

The Retreat is a lot of fun and features an extremely likable couple trying their best to survive. LGBT themes take centre stage as our character engage in a game of cat and mouse through the woods and lake that surround the cabin. It’s a movie that can be a little too dark at times and never manages to expand on many of its more intriguing plot points. But it has some genuine high points and features some legitimately tense moments. We awarded The Retreat 3/5 in our review. It’s on shudder now.

8 – The Deep House (2021)

A pair of YouTubers head off to the south of France on a working vacation. Hoping to uncover the mystery of a supposedly haunted house. Only to find that it is actually located deep under the surface of a lake. Prompting the pair to skip the vacation hotspot and head out on an underwater excursion into a submerged home from hell. The Deep House takes old fashioned haunted house thrills and places them deep under water. Offering up the opportunity for a whole range of new scares.

The Deep House - 20 Vacation Horror Movies Ranked

Whereas the dialogue is pretty bad and the acting very mixed. The Deep House gives viewers the chance to experience a brand new take on what is a tried and tested horror formula. It flags a bit in the middle but the final twenty minutes make this movie worth your time. Especially if you are looking for a completely different take on an old style of movie. We awarded The Deep House 3/5 in our review.

7 – Infinity Pool (2023)

Completely weird, psychedelic, vacation horror from Brandon Cronenberg next. Infinity Pool sees a man’s life changed for ever when he runs over a local person in the small holiday resort that he is vacationing in. What initially seems like a horrible tragedy. Eventually turns into the man discovering a world of sex, drugs, excess and debauchery with a group of people who don’t play by the rules. Infinity Pool is about as strange a movie as you might expect from someone bearing the Cronenberg name.

This is a fascinating horror that engages heavily in brutal violence and graphic sexuality. All while weaving together a story that never really quite feels completely cohesive. Infinity Pool gets lost in its own excesses on a number of occasions. Feeling confused and a bit directionless but it is always interesting, despite this. Mia Goth is captivating here and the psychedelic, almost art house, style feels like a throw back to something from the 70s. It is not going to be for everyone, though. We awarded Infinity Pool 3.5/5 in our review.

6 – Sissy (2022)

More Aussie horror next and this one is absolutely nuts. Directed and written by Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes. Sissy follows the story of Cecilia. A social media influencer who unexpectedly meets her estranged best friend from high school while out shopping. Only to find herself spending the weekend with her on a bridesmaid getaway that will dig up a part of her that she thought was long buried. Sissy is crude, violent, and genuinely hilarious in parts. A must watch if you enjoy horror with a sense of humour.

Sissy Horror Movie Review

Well acted, particularly by Aisha Dee, and playing on themes of warped self image, social media obsession, and the fake personalities we present online. Sissy feels very apt for today’s younger generation while maintaining traditional slasher thrills. It’s a bit long and some people may not enjoy the movie’s focus on comedy. But Sissy is another great example of just how damn good Australian horror can be. We awarded Sissy 3.5/5 in our review. You can check it out on Shudder.

5 – Speak No Evil (2022)

Brutal and sadistic Danish horror from Christian Tafdrup next as a couple take a vacation to Holland to spend some time with a family they barely know. Not wanting to be rude or upset their hosts. Bjørn (Morten Burian) and Louise (Sidsel Siem Koch) find themselves trapped in an increasingly unpleasant cycle of events with no immediate way out. Will they stand up for themselves or will their even present need to please lead them down a path of destruction?

Speak No Evil was written as something of a commentary on the overly polite nature of middle class Danish society. A subject that might be difficult to understand for most of the world. But something that makes for a horror movie that is deeply unsettling and legitimately uncomfortable in parts. This is a movie that absolutely frustrates some viewers and leaves others feeling extremely confused. The somewhat unsatisfying ending can feel silly to some but, given the story at hand, it is entirely fitting. I really enjoyed this movie as a completely different take on vacation horror, awarding Speak No Evil 3.5/5 but it is definitely not for everyone.

4 – Funny Games (2007)

Funny Games follows the story of a family spending a week at their vacation home. Only to be brutally attacked by a pair of demented men looking to cause mayhem for no good reason. Funny Games is brutal, uncomfortable, and deliberately ridiculous. This is the Naomi Watts and Tim Roth starring, shot for shot, US remake of the 1997 Austrian original. And something of a controversial suggestion when it comes to horror and for more than one reason. Funny Games isn’t interested in rules and remains an incredibly meta piece of horror story telling to this day.

Paul, Peter, and Annie from Funny Games  - 20 Vacation Horror Movies Ranked

Director Michael Haneke decided to reshoot the movie for English speaking audiences but made virtually no changes to the original. Making the disdain cast on this version of Funny Games somewhat comical. Both movies are virtually the same, only this one features a far more well known cast. Roth and Watts are fantastic here and Haneke’s tale of violence for violence’s sake is still as captivating as ever. Haneke wrote this movie as a commentary on the blood lust of mainstream media and it acts as an index finger pointed at the viewer. That doesn’t stop it being incredibly disturbing, though. Despite the lack of onscreen violence. Not for everyone but a compelling commentary on people’s attitudes towards violence. We awarded Funny Games 3.8/5 in our review.

3 – Influencer (2022)

Influencer follows the story of a popular social media influencer who heads out on a vacation alone to Thailand. Going through relationship troubles, Madison (Emily Tennant) is determined to have a good time but is struggling to find her way. That’s when she meets the free spirited and experienced CW (Cassandra Naud) who introduces her to a whole new way of enjoying her vacation. But is there more to CW than meets the eye?

Influencer (2022) Horror Movie Review

Shudder Original, Influencer is one of those movies that comes along without much fanfare and ends up being an incredibly enjoyable watch. What seems like just another Social Media Influencer movie (Click the link for a social media influencer themed list) at first. Quickly transforms into a captivating story that is both easy to engage in and tons of fun. Cassandra Naud is a star in the making and keeps you hooked throughout. The plot twists and turns when you least expect it. Leading to a movie that is one of the more entertaining of the past year or so and one of my favourite vacation horror movies. We awarded Influencer 3.8/5 in our review. You can check it out on Shudder right now.

2 – Calibre (2018)

Calibre follows the story of a pair of friends heading out on a hunting getaway in the Scottish highlands. After a night of drinking and partying. The pair hit the road early to get to the woods. Little do they realise that they are about to find themselves in a life or death situation that will test the limits of their friendship. Calibre is like nothing else on this list. It’s also, to be honest, not really a horror by the strictest standards. It is more of a thriller but it is an utterly captivating one that keeps you engaged from the start right through to its gritty conclusion.

Slow moving, tense, and full of suspense. Calibre’s character driven drama and small village setting gives the movie something of a folk horror feel. It never lets up and keeps the tension going for the entire length of the movie. Offering a conclusion that is both satisfying and brutal. The excellent performances from Jack Lowden and Martin McCann add to the realism of the movie. Making it easy to invest in their situation. Calibre is a great movie if you are looking for holiday horror that is completely different. We awarded Calibre 4/5 in our review. You can check it out on Netflix.

1 – Midsommar (2019)

A dysfunctional couple travels to Sweden for the annual mid summer festival. Only to find themselves surrounded by a group of people with disturbing customs and a completely foreign way of living in Ari Aster’s critically lauded follow up to Hereditary. This is a folk horror that manages to shock the viewer on numerous occasions. While bring together a story of betrayal, grief, and pagan ritual set against a colourful backdrop of gorgeous fields and hills. Midsommar is a movie that aims to disturb and unsettle more than it does scare.

Dani, Pelle, and Christian from Midsommar

Midsommar receives comparisons to The Wicker Man and that is understandable to a degree. But the story here is one of fractured relationships and open wounds rather than a crime mystery. A completely different take on vacation horror. Swapping the bikinis and beaches for permanent sunshine and pagan cults. This is a movie that is no less effective and disturbing that Aster’s previous offering. I am not the world’s biggest fan of Midsommar and find that it gets a little lost at points. It’s a long movie that sometimes stumbles on its narrative. Perhaps a sign that Aster’s vision is sometimes greater than his ability to create. But it is a movie that is wildly popular and completely deserving of a watch. We awarded Midsommar 3.5/5 in our review but I completely recognise its significance which is why it is number 1 on this list.

Thanks for Reading

Thanks for reading. I will definitely be following up on this topic in the future. I have more movies that follow a similar theme so look for another list in the future. I might even put together an ultimate list that only features movies that are actually worth watching.

I hope you found something interesting to check out on this list. Why not stick around? If you fancy something completely different. Why not take a look at our most recent list of 25 Stalking and Voyeurism Themed Horror Movies or our list of 20 Awesome Australian Horror Movies? You can also check out our horror movie reviews, our horror movie ending explained articles and more horror lists. I update 5 times a week and most of my articles are epics so if you enjoy a read, you know where to come.