25 Hiking, Backpacking and Camping Horror Movies RANKED - Because You Are Never Safe Outdoors

25 Camping Hiking and Backpacking Horror Movies RankedCover

Welcome to Knockout Horror and to another Horror Movie List. Today we are taking a look at camping, hiking and backpacking themed horror movies in our list of 25 Hiking, Backpacking and Camping Horror Movies Ranked. Now when most people talk about subjects like camping, they will bring up movies like Friday the 13th, Cabin in the Woods, Summer Camp etc. But that’s not really what we are looking at here. I mean, what’s scary about spending time cosying up in a cabin with all the mod cons and a solid roof over your head?

Absolutely nothing! We need an altogether different kind of fear. A far more visceral one. The type of horror movies we are looking at today are the ones that feature people backpacking, hiking, or camping outdoors using only tents, crude cooking tools and their wits to survive. No houses, no cabins, no protection. Just a few people, the elements, and a bunch of things eager to torment and torture them.

Scares Under The Stars

The great outdoors is a theme that is incredibly effective when it comes to scares. There are just so many ways to approach it. Are you being followed while out on a hike in the middle of nowhere? Is someone, or something, pacing around your tent while you huddle up inside. Is someone watching you from the treeline as you attempt to find a place to bed down for the night? There are so many things to be terrified of. Be it people, animals, or something otherworldly.

The sense of isolation, the vulnerability and the ever looming dark all hang over you as you cower in the middle of nowhere with only a thin layer of fabric for protection. There’s a good reason why camp fire ghost stories are a thing. When you abandon the comforts of your home for sleeping under the stars. You are already acutely aware of just how exposed you are. Throw in a spooky tale and you are primed for a night of flinching at every cracked branch and every rustled tree.

25 Hiking, Camping and Backpacking Horror Movies

All of the movies we are looking at today follow themes of hiking, backpacking or camping. The thing is, these themes have to be central to the horror at hand. This means we won’t be including movies like Eden Lake that just so happen to feature hiking scenes. Shit has to hit the fan while out on a hike, while backpacking or while camping.

I have tried to avoid going with a completely obvious list here. I want to throw in a few lesser known movies, some low budget stuff, and just some stuff that you may never have seen. With this in mind, I won’t be featuring remakes of the same movie, sequels or the like. I am looking at strictly one movie per series. Many of these movies I have reviewed, I will get around to all of them in due time. I should add, as well, that not all of these movies are actually worth a watch. You have been warned. Without further ado, let’s take a look.


The Nothing (2020)

We are kicking things off with a not particularly great camping horror movie. And by not particularly great I mean absolutely awful. Clayton Thompson believes the best way to create, is to get in touch with oneself. The best way to do that? By heading out in to the woods to make a terrible found footage camping, survival, horror movie with an obnoxious protagonist and no scares. Nice one Clayton!

25 Hiking, Backpacking and Camping Horror Movies Ranked - The Nothing

I described Clayton as a mountain man version of James Corden in my review of The Nothing and that about sums it up. If you fancy spending an hour or so listening to an annoying person scream into the darkness. This movie may just be for you. I mean, it has a guy hiding in a tent in it so that is something, right? We awarded it 1/5 in our review.


Something Walks in the Woods (2023)

More camping horror at number 24. A video goes viral depicting a supposed spirit crossing a treeline at the same time every day. Wanting to get to the bottom of the mystery while maybe making a few sweet YouTube bucks in the process.

25 Hiking, Backpacking and Camping Horror Movies Ranked - Something Walks In The Woods (2023)

Bill Howard (yes, another self name character played by the director, writer, producer much like Clayton Thompson above) sets out to spend a night in the woods with nothing but a tent and a camera. Some weird stuff happens and we all have a bit of a yawn. Why do so many horror writers forget to put scares in their movies? Still, Bill is a more likable dude than Clayton so you may enjoy this one a little more. We awarded it 1/5 in our review.


Chest (2022)

We have another found footage horror for you next as a group of documentary makers head into the woods of Appalachia to investigate the mystery of a magical chest hidden somewhere within. Lots of camping, a bit of backpacking, lots of cliched horror characters and a few moments ripped straight from The Blair Witch Project take centre stage here.

Unfortunately, it’s all pretty boring and uneventful. The ending goes right off the rails in an attempt to do something different but it is a bit too little and a bit too late. Poorly acted, ugly, badly filmed and just generally a bit crap. I awarded this one 1.2/5 in my review and don’t recommend it.


Uninhabited (2010)

Gorgeous scenery and one of the most well stocked camp sites I have ever seen in a camping horror movie are the stars of the show in Aussie horror Uninhabited. A young couple decide to spend a week away camping on a beautiful desert island only to realise they may not be as alone as they initially thought.

25 Hiking, Backpacking and Camping Horror Movies Ranked - Uninhabited

Cue encounters with crazy locals and a mystery that goes a tiny bit deeper than it initially seemed in this horror thriller. This is a movie replete with foreshadowing and devoid of scares. Still, it does try to do something fairly interesting with the ending and the location is amazing. It might be worth checking out if you fancy a camping movie set in the sun. We awarded Uninhabited 1.5/5 in our review.


Feral (2017)

Scout Taylor-Compton starring in a below average, low budget, horror movie? Never! A group of friends hike deep into the woods to spend a weekend partying. Only to find themselves being hunted by someone, or something, hell bent on turning them into blood thirsty creatures.

Feral is predictable, silly, bare bones and low effort. But what did you expect from a movie like this? There’s some fairly decent gore but too many of the things here feel overly familiar. Still, it’s worth a watch as a sleepover movie to laugh at with friends.


YellowBrickRoad (2010)

Hiking and camping are prominent themes in this horror that has a lot of potential but doesn’t quite realise it. In 1940 an entire town full of people watched The Wizard of Oz before abandoning everything they owned and hiking into the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Fast forward to 2008 and the location of the trail they hiked has been released to the public. Prompting a film crew to hike the very trail the townspeople took to uncover the mystery of their disappearance.

Cassidy Freeman stars in this hiking horror movie that manages to do a fair amount right for much of its length. Only to blast it out of its ass in the last quarter. Some serious missteps mar what is, otherwise, an okay movie. Watchable, but don’t expect too much as the majority of the potential here is seriously squandered.


The Forest (2016)

Natalie Dormer plays double duty in this movie about a woman hiking deep into the notorious Aokigahara Forest to investigate the supposed suicide of her twin sister.

The Forest (2016)

What starts as a fairly interesting mystery horror set in an incredibly haunting location full of tension and atmosphere. Quickly abandons its attempts to build a logical plot and unsettle the viewer with buckets of tension. Instead opting to play to type as a typical jump scare horror with no depth and an unsatisfying end. Probably worth a watch purely for the brilliant location and some of the earlier, unsettling, moments of the movie. I can confirm that there is no Logan Paul filming dead bodies in this movie either, so that is good.


Exists (2014)

One of a few Bigfoot movies in our list today. Exists follows a group of friends hiking deep into the Texas woods to spend a weekend partying. Only to find themselves being rudely harassed by a big hairy bastard with a propensity for hitting trees with sticks and smelling like shit. It’s your usual Bigfoot movie but does have some fun moments of tension early on. Definitely worth a watch if you want to go on a cryptid binge.

Its reputation seems to have improved after it was panned on release. Interesting story; My fiancee and I were watching this movie on a streaming service of ill repute and rather enjoying it back when it first released. Only for the movie to be copyright claimed half way through and taken down. By the time we managed to find another version, it was like we had watched a totally different film with the second half being pretty damn bad.


Mercy Falls (2023)

British camping horror next as a woman hikes deep into the Scottish woods with a group of friends looking for the location of a cabin left to her by her late father. After making camp in the middle of the woods and sharing drinks around the fire. It soon becomes clear that the random hitchhiker they brought along to be their guide may not be quite who she seemed.

Fairly tense thriller fun is the order of the day in Mercy Falls as a cat and mouse game of hide and seek takes place across the sprawling Scottish landscape. This is a movie that is rather derivative, extremely predictable and a bit silly in parts. But it is still worth a watch if you need to scratch that thriller itch. It’s hard not to enjoy the performance of the fantastic Nicolette McKeown, as well. We awarded this movie 2.2/5 in our review.


Survive The Hollow Shoals (2018)

This camping horror movie follows a survival expert as he sets himself a challenge to survive out in the Georgia Hollow Shoals for 60 days with minimal supplies. After a few days of relative calm. Zach begins feeling like he is being watched. Setting off a series of events that will make him regret ever stepping foot into the woods alone.

This is a pretty decent, ultra low budget, one man effort that is much more watchable than the similar themed Something Walks in the Woods and The Nothing. Survive the Hollow Shoals feels like a meeting between The Blair Witch Project and the television series Alone. There’s a few decent jump scares and a few stand out moments that make this worth checking out. I awarded it 2.7/5 in my review. You can watch this movie as part of a series of shorts on YouTube.


Killing Ground (2016)

This is a camping horror movie that I have covered a number of times in a number of different lists. I always have to point out that I don’t like Killing Ground anywhere near as much as some people. Meaning it normally falls towards the bottom of my lists. I always feature it, though, as plenty of people like it a lot.

Tiarnie Coupland, Maya Stange and Julian Garner from Killing Ground

It follows the story of a family taking a much needed weekend camping trip for some rest and relaxation. Only to have their worlds turned upside down by a pair of ruthless men who refuse to leave them alone. This is one of those movies that could best be described as violence for the sake of violence. It is brutal and can be a difficult watch which makes the lack of plot a little bit frustrating. Still, a lot of people like it and it definitely fits the camping theme so you might want to check it out. I awarded it 2/5 in my review.


Coming Home in the Dark (2021)

Keeping with the theme of ridiculous levels of violence and minimal plot. Coming Home in the Dark is a New Zealand hiking horror thriller about a family out on a hike where they are met by two violent drifters determined to make their lives hell.

This is another ultra gloomy movie that is likely to piss a few people off for its sheer level of bleakness. Think Speak No Evil levels of “What the Fuck”! Still, if Killing Ground deserves a mention then so does this because Coming Home in the Dark is scarier and more effective. A noteworthy debut for director James Ashcroft. Not for everyone but worth a look if you don’t mind a lot of brutality. This movie is on Netflix.


Willow Creek (2015)

You remember Bobcat Goldthwait, right? The comedian who played the screechy voiced dude in the Police Academy series. Well, did you know that he is a massive Bigfoot fan? So much so that not only has he starred in a few documentaries on the subject. But he also wrote and directed Willow Creek.

Willow Creek (2013)

Willow Creek is a Bigfoot horror movie that sees a couple head out on a camping trip, completely unaware that they are about to hike right into the home of the curious cryptid himself. The majority of the scary parts of this movie take place in a tent but, surprisingly, it actually works. Managing some great moments of tension and a few legitimately great scares.


Cub (2014)

A relentlessly bullied young boy heads out on a hike with his scout group. Only for the group to find themselves lost in the mountains. After a night of scary campfire stories. Sam becomes convinced he has met a real life monster. Little does he know that he is closer to the truth than he realises. This is a quirky Belgian horror that doesn’t quite nail the landing.

An interesting premise and some tense buildup is wasted as the scout group are forced to run for their lives in a landscape full of traps. Some serious leaps of logic are required to stay invested and the movie loses its feet but it is still a pretty fun ride. Very different from most of the movies on this list due to its predominantly child cast.


Gaia (2021)

I might be cheating a little with this one but it fits the whole camping, survival, thing pretty well. A pair of park rangers head deep into the woods on a routine mission. Only for one of them to find herself injured and completely alone. After being rescued by a pair of survivalists living in a crude shelter in the forest. She begins to notice that all might not be as it seems in the world around her.

Gaia Horror Movie Review

This is a cool, ecologically, aware horror movie that features excellent acting, some trippy visuals, a haunting location and monsters stolen right from The Last of Us video game series. Tense and definitely worth checking out. Gaia is a bit of a different approach to the whole camping and hiking thing but it really works. We awarded Gaia 3/5 in our review.


Devil’s Pass (2013)

A group of hikers head into the mountains of Russia to attempt to discover what really happened during the Dyatlov Pass incident. Little do they realise that they will be left wishing they never found out exactly what went on all those years ago.

Devil's Pass

This movie was originally supposed to be titled The Dyatlov Pass Incident and preempted the recent fascination with the event by a number of years. It leans pretty heavily into the facts from the incident before going in some genuinely crazy directions. Devil’s Pass is pretty effective in parts and fairly enjoyable. Especially if you happen to have any interest in the actual true story of what happened. What’s with the naked woman on the cover, though? She must have nipples like chapel hat pegs.


Significant Other (2022)

Scares are mixed with sci-fi in this camping horror movie. A couple in a struggling relationship take a trip out into the woods for some camping. Completely unaware that an awkward marriage proposal will be the least of the couple’s concerns. As something that crashed in the woods has brought an otherworldly malevolence to the place that threatens to consume them both.

This is one of a few science fiction themed camping horror movies that does a nice job of crossing genres. Significant Other features a few twists and an interesting story though it does get a little bit crazy here and there. Still, it’s a rewarding, albeit flawed, ride if you stick with it.


The Interior (2015)

A young man who seems to live a purposeless life. Is suddenly diagnosed with a significant illness. Wanting to escape the chaos of everyday life. He abandons everything and heads deep into the woods of British Columbia to confront his fears. Not realising that they may very well consume his mind completely.

Patrick McFadden as James from The Interior

When I think of camping horror, I think of The Interior. It’s not an absolutely fantastic movie that does everything right. It is simply a quiet little indie movie that manages some seriously effective tension and at least one brilliant scare. It’s not going to be for everyone. It is far closer to a character study and an exploration of existential crises than it is a horror and critics like it more than most viewers. But if you can get past the first half, there is a story here that manages to channel the feelings of isolation and fear while out in the open better than most movies around. I awarded The Interior 3.2/5 in my review.


Man Vs. (2014)

A reality television star heads out into the Ontario wilderness to film for the new season of his survivalist show. Only to find himself stalked by a mysterious figure that appears to not be human. This is a cool little camping horror movie that combines horror, survival, reality TV and science fiction together in a rather unique package.

Man Vs. (2017)

Man Vs works so well because it is incredibly believable as a survivalist reality show for much of its length. Committing wholeheartedly to the presentation of the reality TV aspect which helps to immerse the viewer in the world and adds to the tension tremendously. The movie falters during the final 15 minutes or so but, for the most part, it works brilliantly. It’s like nothing else on this list and is absolutely worth checking out.


Backcountry (2014)

We’ve had a couple of Bigfoot movies so why not a slightly more realistic and tangible threat? Backcountry sees an argumentative couple heading out for a camping trip into the backwoods where they find themselves completely lost in the territory of an aggressive black bear. Backcountry starts as a relationship drama before turning into a brutal tale of survival against the odds.

It’s one of the better bear movies and keeps the tension going for much of its length. It also happens to be based on the real life story of Jacqueline Perry and Mark Jordan who were attacked by a bear in Missinaibi Lake provincial park back in 2005. Adding a unique feeling of feasibility to the events taking place. I enjoyed this one more on a second viewing.


Wolf Creek (2005)

Based on the real life story of Ivan Milat, the Backpacker Murderer. Wolf Creek follows the story of three backpackers stranded in the Australian Outback finding themselves at the mercy of a brutal and sadistic serial killer intent on causing them harm. Wolf Creek kicked off a wave of fantastic Australian horror movies and offered up an even gorier alternative to movies like Hostel.

The torture and sadism are unrelenting here earning this movie a notorious reputation. Not one of my favourite movies on this list but consistently popular to this day and very important in the grand scheme of Aussie horror. When it comes to backpacking horror, Wolf Creek is one of the most well known and one of the best.


The Ritual (2017)

David Bruckner’s fantastic The Ritual was something of a surprise for me. I was a big fan of his V/H/S segment Amateur Night but really was disappointed with Siren so didn’t know what to expect. My fiancee and I headed to the cinema with a friend to check it out, purely on a whim, and ended up really enjoying The Ritual.

The Ritual

It follows a group of friends heading into the Swedish forest in memory of their deceased friend. Before finding themselves stalked by something that will lead them to an ancient evil hidden deep in the woods. The Ritual goes in directions that you might not initially expect and succeeds pretty well at it. It’s tense and effective and the woods feel imposing throughout. The Ritual lets itself down a little bit with it’s ending but it is still worth checking out if you are looking for some hiking horror. It’s on Netflix.


A Lonely Place to Die (2011)

We are back to Scotland next with Hiking Horror Movie A Lonely Place to Die by Julian Gilbey. Starring the fantastic Australian actor Melissa George. This movie sees a group of hikers stumbling across a young girl hidden in a chamber buried in the landscape. Realising they need to get her to safety, the group begins the perilous trek back to safety with the kidnappers in close pursuit.

This is a fun cat and mouse style thriller with some serious tension and some fantastic, exhilarating, scenes set alongside mountains and ravines. The element of danger is ever present thanks to the unforgiving land our characters are navigating but the movie does let itself down here and there. There are some serious leaps of logic and the ending leaves a lot to be desired. Still, this is a crowd pleasing thrill ride that is easy to enjoy.


Midsommar (2019)

I am sure you knew that this one was going to come up and, to be honest, you could flip the number 1 and number 2 movies based on preference. Let’s be real, so many people dislike number 1 that it is a bit of a controversial choice. Ari Aster’s follow up to Hereditary sees a couple head to Sweden to camp during a small town’s Midsommar festival. Only to find themselves at the centre of horrific and bizarre rituals that take place under the never setting sun.

Dani, Pelle, and Christian from Midsommar

Aster bucks typical horror convention by setting the entire movie in the blinding sun but, somehow, it works. It is unsettling and genuinely horrifying in parts. Maintaining much of what made Hereditary great while paying homage to horror movies that came before it. Midsommar is still a creepy and effective folk horror that is pretty much a must see for any horror fan. We awarded Midsommar 3.5/5 in our review which I know is perhaps a little low but the movie didn’t quite grab me the way it did other people.


The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Three friends head deep into the woods to make a documentary about local legend The Blair Witch. After finding themselves completely lost, the group begin to lose their minds as well as something appears to be toying with them each and every night. I know this is a controversial one and there are a number of classics movies that could go here. Deliverance for example. But as a 90’s kid, The Blair Witch Project was the first horror movie that exposed me to the terrifying endlessness of the woods. I had already watched Deliverance and it was the people that made that movie scary. In The Blair Witch Project, it felt like the woods were the antagonist.

The Blair Witch Project (1999) Review

A lot of people dislike this movie but I can’t help but appreciate just what was achieved with such a small budget. It is effective and punches way above its weight. It scared me more on a second viewing than the first one and I still enjoy it to this day. I think it is one of those movies that inspired most of the movies on this list, as well. Not to mention a whole generation of film makers who realised that they could bring their visions to life with the minimum of equipment. The Blair Witch Project is a much more important horror movie than many people are willing to give credit for. I don’t actually think horror would be anywhere near what it is today without it. It shaped modern horror film making and deserves its roses and I will always shout about that. We awarded The Blair Witch Project 4/5 in our review. You can also add the reboot The Blair Witch here as a bonus entry too.

Thanks for Reading

So that is 25 Hiking, Backpacking and Camping Horror Movies Ranked. I know some of you will disagree with some of these. I know some people will notice some glaring omissions. But if I included all the big hitters I couldn’t have included some of the lesser known movies and then I would simply be copying every other list like this out there. I hope you find a few movies here to check out.

If you are looking for more, why not check out my previous list 20 Vacation Horror Movies Ranked – Holiday Horror? Spoiler alert, Midsommar is in that list too. 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.