I’m not sure if it’s because there are so many horror movies about the Fourth of July specifically, or just summertime in general, but something about the beginning of July gets me in the mindset of my regular July 4th horror movie playlist. The playlist evolves a bit each year, but the basics are tried and true, and I somehow never tire of them.
Now I realize this isn’t about games, but, since July is the month of my second annual survival horror game challenge, I thought it only fitting to share my annual horror movie playlist for the holiday weekend.
I am a huge fan of a sense of occasion, and these movies put me in a festive mood, even if I’m not actually partaking in any Independence Day celebrations.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
This is a July 4th staple. It’s got everything I want in a movie escape: it takes place by the water.
I am a sucker for this.
Sure, the movie isn’t a masterpiece, and sure there is an abundance of “smell the fart” acting, but I love it.
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
Who can resist the sequel with Brandy? Not I. I love that this one starts out during summer college classes, quickly transitions to a club, then, seemingly out of nowhere, they are all on a tropical island (another thing I am a sucker for).
Does it go well for them? Not so much. But I love the location and sometimes that’s good enough for me.
Jaws is one of my favorite movies, period. The location (near water!) is perf (perf is the norm on Amity Island), and the acting is top notch. It’s difficult to put my finger on what I love so much about the original Jaws, but it is easily in my top 20 movies of all time.
It oozes atmosphere.
Jaws 2, Jaws 3, and Jaws: The Revenge
If I’m going to revisit Jaws, what better time to rewatch all these gems? These three films were only recently released on Blu-ray, and I’m looking forward to popping them in and seeing them in all their newly remastered glory.
The Blair Witch Project
I realize this isn’t about July 4th, but it is about camping, and I tend to associate camping themed horror films with the true onset of summer.
Final Destination 3
I love this movie; its location is another one I’m a sucker for: amusement parks.
This is included here because fireworks are involved.
Friday the 13th
This one makes the cut (no pun intended) due to the camp setting.
Hoo boy, this one’s a doozy. I didn’t know what to expect when I first saw it years ago, but I can tell you I didn’t imagine it ending the way it did. That final image is disturbing.
But, still, camp setting. So it gets on this list.
I smile as I type this, because Stay Alive is a guilty pleasure movie for me. Is it great? Not really. Do I love it anyway?
It doesn’t have a thing to do with July 4th or camping, but it is a horror movie and it is about a horror game that has real life repercussions. It also makes me wish I had real life friends that got together to play games in the same place. I know LAN parties are mostly a thing of the past, but it would be unspeakably awesome to have friends that played games and also got together to play locally.
A girl can dream.
With those all confessed, I feel compelled to ask: do you have any July 4th rituals? Any movies or games you like to revisit? If so, do tell. I’d love to hear about them.
With that, I bid you a safe holiday weekend. Cheers, friends!