For as long as the woods have existed, humans have found ways to get themselves killed in them. Whether it’s via wolves, bear traps, or inbred cannibals, the uncharted forests have claimed lost souls for decades. Why anyone would want to rent an isolated cabin in these unforgiving landscapes is anyone’s guess, but thankfully it keeps the horror genre well-fed.
The Cabin in the Woods is one of the best horror comedies of all time as it perfectly parodied The Evil Dead and other “cabin in the woods” movies while providing its own take on the genre. Here are ten of the best films in the sub-genre that are not The Cabin in the Woods.
Updated on May 14, 2023, by Ty Weinert:
Despite being over a decade old, The Cabin in the Woods remains one of the most beloved horror comedies. It cleverly pokes fun at the tropes of the genre while creating its own classic. Even though the recent Evil Dead Rise abandoned a cabin in favor of an apartment building, there are still plenty of movies like Cabin in the Woods to check out.
12 ‘Cabin Fever’ (2002)
The directorial debut of Eli Roth (Hostel, the upcoming Borderlands movie), Cabin Fever takes the classic “cabin horror movies” formula and puts a unique spin on it. When five friends rent a cabin after college graduation, they soon fall victim to a flesh-eating virus.
The film finds terror in a villain that is literally killing the characters from the inside. While the film is gruesome and appropriately bloody, it is also full of dark humor and never takes itself too seriously, helping to elevate the body horror. You will never want to shave your legs again.
Watch on Starz
11 ‘The Killage’ (2011)
A low-budget effort from Australia, The Killage follows 11 co-workers as they are sent to a cabin in the woods for a weekend team-building retreat. What begins as a trip full of bonding activities soon escalates into murder, as a killer picks them off one by one.
The Killage is very stupid but very funny, as it lampoons the slasher genre. Each character is purposely a stereotype, from the dorky photography nerd to the muscle-obsessed jock. While mostly a comedy, the film also delivers quality kills as everything from toothbrushes to bongs are used to dispatch the cast.
10 ‘Cold Prey’ (2006)
A slasher hailing from Norway, Cold Prey finds five young friends up in the mountains for a snowboarding trip. After one of them breaks his leg, they seek refuge in a nearby abandoned hotel. They soon discover they are not alone, however, as a killer is roaming the halls of the isolated building.
One of the best horror movies to come from Norway, Cold Prey trades the woods for the equally unforgiving snowy mountains. With the threat of hypothermia constantly hanging over them, the friends simply can’t just run away from the hotel, creating an extra layer of tension.
Watch on Viaplay
9 ‘Friday the 13th’ (1980)
When a group of counselors arrives at Camp Crystal Lake to prep it for the upcoming summer season, they are faced with something far worse than annoying children. As an unseen figure begins to murder the counselors one by one, they attempt to survive the night inside the remote cabins surrounded by nothing but dark woods.
While the original is not the best Friday the 13th movie, it is the one that started the series and helped usher in the slasher craze that engulfed the 1980s. Long before the series went to hell and to space, the original Friday the 13th incorporates some mystery elements as the killer always remains off-screen until the closing moments.
Watch on Prime Video
8 ‘Severance’ (2006)
When a group of munitions company employees are forced to travel to Hungary for a team building weekend, they soon find themselves trapped in the mountains. With a masked man hunting them down, the co-workers must not only figure out why he is after them, but also how they can stay alive.
Severance is one of the best British horror movies of the 21st century, and one of the most underrated horror comedies. Each member of the cast delivers as they all perfectly bring to life someone we have all worked with before, from the overly enthusiastic Gordon (Andy Nyman) to the always-stoned slacker Steve (Danny Dyer).
7 ‘Evil Dead’ (2013)
While 2013’s Evil Dead is often considered a remake of the original classic, it works more as an alternate take on the source material. With her drug addiction on the verge of ruining her, Mia (Jane Levy) agrees to spend time at an isolated cabin with her brother and their friends, in an effort to beat her addiction by going cold turkey.
Soon enough, the cursed Necronomicon is discovered and evil is unleashed upon the unsuspecting youths. The clever choice to make Mia an addict plays into the narrative as her friends find it hard to believe her when she starts ranting about the evil stalking them. A worthy successor to the original, Evil Dead is filled with enough gore and bodily dismemberment to keep any genre fan happy.
Watch on Tubi
6 ‘Bloody Hell’ (2020)
One of the best horror movies to come from Australia, Bloody Hell follows ex-con Rex (Ben O’Toole) who flees to Finland to escape the notoriety surrounding his release. Seeking to start a new life, Rex is soon abducted by a local family and wakes to discover he is missing a leg.
With a large part of the film taking place inside the family’s basement, Rex often talks to an imaginary version of himself. There are also plenty of flashbacks as we discover what crime caused Rex to be imprisoned, as he attempts to turn the tables on his captors in a suitably brutal fashion.
Watch on Prime Video
5 ‘Dog Soldiers’ (2002)
When a routine training exercise in the countryside runs afoul of a pack of werewolves, a small army unit is forced to seek shelter in a nearby farmhouse. Coming together in the face of insurmountable odds, the men are forced to use every ounce of their army training in an effort to survive the night.
The canines in this film are big and mean, anything but cuddly as they drip blood from their maws and rip people limb from limb. While there are not many werewolf movies going around, Dog Soldiers stands as one of the best.
Watch on Starz
4 ‘The Trip’ (2021)
When an unhappy married couple (Noomi Rapace and Aksel Hennie) head to a remote cabin for a holiday, it is revealed each is intent on murdering the other. Their schemes are put on hold however when a more dangerous threat emerges, forcing the couple to work together if they want to survive.
Another genre film from Norway, The Trip is a very dark comedy. It takes great delight in torturing its protagonists, with most of the humor coming from the misfortunes of its characters. The movie delivers in the blood department, and will appeal to anyone who loves their black comedies ultraviolent.
Watch on Netflix
3 ‘Tucker & Dale vs. Evil’ (2010)
Best friends Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are a pair of good-natured rednecks, traveling to their cabin in the woods to spend the weekend fishing and drinking together. Soon enough, they run afoul of a group of stuck-up college kids, who suspect the kind locals of actually being deranged inbreds.
After an accident leads to one of the teens being rescued by the rednecks, her friends suspect them of kidnapping her. What ensues is a hilarious series of misunderstandings as the youths keep accidentally killing themselves, causing more and more blame to fall on Tucker and Dale. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is one of the most inventive horror comedies out there, and is a creative take on the horror movie with hillbillies genre.
Watch on Prime Video
2 ‘Evil Dead II’ (1987)
The definitive movie about cabin in the woods, Evil Dead II takes the original and rockets everything up to 11, adding a welcome dose of humor to the mix. When sales clerk Ash (Bruce Campbell) takes his girlfriend into the woods to stay at a remote cabin, they soon unleash the powers of the Necronomicon.
One of the best horror movies of the 1980s, Evil Dead II delivers the gore. Campbell is a delight as Ash, and the legendary character earned most of his trademarks in this film, such as his chainsaw arm. Directed by Sam Raimi before he went on to make the original Spider-Man trilogy and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Evil Dead II is a groovy good time.
1 ‘Misery’ (1990)
One of the finest films based on a Stephen King novel, Misery follows novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan), who crashes his car while traveling through a harsh blizzard. Rescued by nearby nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), Sheldon is forced to stay at Annie’s house as he recovers from having both his legs broken in the crash.
An obsessive fan of Sheldon’s, the seemingly kind Annie soon reveals darker intentions after disapproving of his latest manuscript. After Annie threatens to keep him locked up forever, the bedridden Sheldon attempts to escape his tormentor in this claustrophobic tale.
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