Summertime Madness: Best Horror Films To Beat The Heat

Summertime & Horror Go Hand In Hand

With temperatures rising around the country, many are finding solace inside their homes. Popping in a good horror film and having a thrilling time is the perfect way to beat the heat. Summertime horror is very specific with themes of outdoor adventures, beach time trouble, or vacation mayhem. These scorching genre pieces can range from gruesome to comedic for there’s something for everyone!

Below is a list of films that would make any hot day a little cooler.

Let me know your favorite on the list and comment below if you agree with my picks!

Honorable Mentions:
– ‘The Shallows’ (2016)
– ‘Motel Hell’ (1980)
– ‘Jeepers Creepers’ (2001)

Cabin Fever (2002)


– ‘Cabin Fever‘ makes for a great summer viewing. The film that launched Eli Roth’s career also became a massive cult classic. Replacing slasher and demons with a flesh-eating virus reinvented how scary cabin trips can be.

The Burning (1981)


– In the cluttered times of 80’s horror, it takes a lot for a slasher film to standout. That’s why ‘The Burning‘ is not only a great summertime horror but one of the best genre pieces. All it took was Harvey Weinstein and a scary pair of garden shears.

Hostel (2005)


– ‘Hostel‘ is a must-see before taking any vacation. The second Eli Roth film on the list might say something about how scary Roth thinks holidays are. Like ‘Cabin Fever‘, the pleasant idea of relaxation is crushed by some bloody torture.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)


– You can feel the heat radiating from the screen in ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘. Filmed in the dead of summer in Texas, the heat drove the cast & crew mad during production but it led to an amazing piece that encapsulates summer and horror.

Tourist Trap (1979)


– Summertime leads to a lot of road trips and it can easily be a nightmare. ‘Tourist Trap‘ takes that emotion and adds a terrifying slasher. This predates an even more iconic summer slasher on this list and inspired films like ‘House of 1000 Corpses‘.

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)


– This has to make the list, it has summer in the name! Kidding aside, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer‘ is one of the last slasher films that worked. Following ‘Scream‘ is difficult but the Fourth of July-set horror film holds its own.

Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (2010)


– The newest film on this list places so high because it keeps the idea of summertime horror alive. Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) just want to enjoy their vacation home in the woods but face the worst evil of all…college kids on summer break!

Sleepaway Camp (1983)


– There’s something special about ‘Sleepaway Camp‘. Not only did it pave the way for transgressive and shocking horror but it constantly battles ‘Friday The 13th‘ as the best summertime slasher. This is a film you have to see to believe!

Friday The 13th (1980)


– While 1978’s ‘Halloween‘ made fall the perfect season for horror, ‘Friday The 13th‘ made an argument for summertime horror. The slasher film could’ve relied solely on the titular holiday but it went further with the summer camp setting.

Jaws (1975)


– There is no other film that sums up summertime horror more than ‘Jaws‘. Steven Speilberg’s early masterpiece single-handled coined the term “summer blockbuster“. Most of the films on this list wouldn’t exist without the shark epic.

EJ Moreno
EJ Moreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at