With the release of Blair Witch, we look at some classic and less-known horror films that exploit our fear of the backwoods
In the wake of the release of writer Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard‘s deluxe second sequel to 1999’s found footage, deep-woods horror classic The Blair Witch Project (read Alan Cerny’s positive review here and my less favorable critique here), we thought we’d take a look at a handful of both classic and lesser known forest-set fright flicks that similarly exploit our fear of things that lurk in the forest.
We all know why the backwoods horror film works, why it affects us. Or at least why it affects those of us who are more accustomed to the creature comforts of city living. The woods are wild. Untamed and full of as much danger as beauty. For many of us, the woods are an alien world. And horror films have long exploited this fear of being removed, isolated, cut off from society, devoid of technology and left to our own devices.
It’s a given that those that call the woods their home – both animal and human – might not want us there. They might see us as hostile, a threat. Or maybe, they just see us as prey. Maybe they see us as easy pickings, a crime that they can get away with.
Or maybe there’s something darker, more ancient, lying dormant in those woods, waiting to wake up and drag us down with it.
Either way, the woods are scary and the trees have teeth.
So take a bite out of these nine brutal and unsparing cautionary tale of evil explorations. Watch these films and you might toss away your sleeping bag and not ever leave your house again…