Friday, June 25, 2010, it's vacation; I can't be bothered to make a clever title

There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a vacation plan. Too bad most are simply one-way tickets taking you straight into horror movie hell. 


Cabin In the Woods

Sometimes you just want to get away from it all, snuggle into a flannel and tap into your inner woodsy hermit. Too bad this usually ends in zombification, skin-rotting disease, sexual abuse via forestry or genital mutilation. What, you think Evil Dead, Cabin Fever, and Lars Von Trier's Antichrist are exceptions to the rule?

Athletic Excursions

Most of us prefer to exercise our alcohol tolerance during a vacation, but there are the bizarre few who escape to foreign lands in order to best be active. Serves these physical overachievers right for encountering such horrors. Robert Fuest's 1970 chiller, And Soon the Darkness, follows two fit young women exploring the French countryside via bicycle, working their legs so much that it becomes impossible to run away from the mysterious menace hunting their ten-speed path. Similarly, the kickass girl group at the center of The Descent could be enjoying leisure tours of the Appalachian Mountains, but sadly, the only thing they learned from Deliverance was that a sleeveless red leather jacket looks good in the wilderness.

Snowy Escape

If you're like me, you see the sweltering heat of summer as a preview of hell, making a winter getaway in June as close as you'll come to the pearly gates. It makes perfect sense for the Norwegian med students to snowmobile their way through Dead Snow while on a school break; it's just a shame their drinking games get interrupted by Nazi zombies. Things could be worse. They could be fighting their own flesh and blood, much like the ill-fated parents of The Children, another winter-break horror that ends in doom.

Island Adventure

Because you know how much directors like the contrast of blood on snow, you wise up and hit the sand somewhere safe where no real-life horror can ever find you. Of course what you get instead is generally a supernatural menace thirsting for your suntanned flesh. Look to Lucio Fulci’s Zombie for a pair of innocent (just slightly nude) scuba divers thrown into an undead infested Caribbean paradise. And no, don’t assume you’re safe just because you already survived a harrowing horror movie fate. Poor Sheriff Tiler has to rebattle the titular Jack Frost in the 2000 sequel to the world’s greatest film about a killer snowman. Yes, there’s a killer snowman in the tropics. Don’t think too hard. You’re on vacation.


As long as you’re immune to seasickness, why wouldn’t you hop on board a cruise ship? Live music, shuffleboard, and daily all-you-can-eat buffet trips...What’s the catch? Nothing really. Just the minor inconvenience of being stalked and slaughtered by a tall dude with a machete (if, of course, you’re referring to the first 3/4 of Jason Takes Manhattan). Rather keep your itinerary in your own hands? It’s hardly safer, at least if you’re weak to the charms of Billy Zane (and who isn’t?). That’s the lesson learned by Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman in 1989’s Dead Calm, and unless you plan on having sex with a psychopath and aiming a bow and arrow at your beloved pooch, I advise you observe it carefully.

Road Trip Fun

See America the way Henry Ford intended with a cross-country road trip accompanied by hours of I Spy. One can only cycle through 99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall so many times before the  need for a new adventure rises, at which point there are plenty of inbred cannibals (Wrong Turn), possessed mannequins (Tourist Trap) and dysfunctional psychotic families (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) waiting to make your vacation a little more memorable.