Five vacation horror films that change vacation to “slay-cation”

The Beach House. Image Courtesy Shudder
The Beach House. Image Courtesy Shudder /

It’s summertime, and that’s the perfect time for a relaxing vacation, right? But as we have learned from horror movies, sometimes that relaxing vacation becomes a “slay-cation” instead. Let’s take a look at some good vacation horror films you can stream on demand.

The Beach House – College student Emily and her boyfriend Randall decide to spend some time at Randall’s parents’ beach house. When they arrive, they quickly discover that there are already a couple of older vacationers there, Mitch and Jane, who are friends with Randall’s folks. Awkward! It turns out that Mitch is trying to give Jane a nice beach vacation because she is terminally ill. The two couples agree to share the house, and celebrate by indulging in some edibles.

Maybe it’s the drugs talking, but they all begin to notice some weird stuff going on, including glowing microbes and a super-thick fog. The water even appears to be changing texture. Soon enough, the people themselves begin changing, and that strange fog is to blame. The Beach House is a cosmic horror/body horror mashup of a film, and you can watch it on Shudder.

The Burning – There are plenty of summer camp horror movies out there, but The Burning is a really good one. I mean, it was the big screen debut of Jason Alexander, Holly Hunter and Fisher Stevens! It’s summer vacation, and Cropsy is spending the time as caretaker at Camp Blackfoot. Unfortunately, some campers play a mean prank on Cropsy…one that ends up with him in the hospital suffering from horrific burns.

Vacation horror
The Burning. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Five years later, Cropsy is released from the hospital, and he has some serious anger issues. When he ends up at Camp Stonewater, the campers and their counsellors are in grave danger. What sets The Burning apart from most summer camp vacation horror films are the acting performances, the fact that there is actually some character development, and the kills are super-creative (death by giant garden shears!). No surprise there, since the special makeup effects were created by the great Tom Savini. You can currently catch The Burning on Tubi.

Influencer is a vacation horror film recently added to Shudder

Influencer – In this new Shudder Original, popular social media influencer Madison is struggling while on a vacation trip in Thailand. She is NOT having a good time, but struggles to make her followers think otherwise. When she meets a fellow influencer named CW, the two hit it off, and Madison agrees to tag along with CW on a jaunt to a deserted island. This is a vacation horror movie, so things go wrong, of course. What follows is an entertaining, tense storyline.

Jaws – If you are a horror fan, you have probably already seen this iconic vacation horror film (or are of the very wrong opinion that it’s not horror), but there is no better time than summer to revisit it. Imagine taking a summer vacation to Amity Island, a beach destination. Maybe you are even planning on attending the Fourth of July celebration while there. Now imagine there have been several fatal shark attacks, all of them perpetrated by the same shark.

What makes Jaws such a celebrated film is the stellar acting by the strong cast (Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Murray Hamilton and Lorraine Gary), the GREAT story by Peter Benchley, the beachy setting, the well-timed touches of comedy (“We’re gonna need a bigger boat”), and even that animatronic shark that caused so much trouble onset. It is required summer viewing, and was one of the first huge summer blockbusters for a very good reason. Jaws can be streamed on several VOD platforms, including Prime Video.

Vacation horror
Gracie Gillam as Rebecca-Superhost_Photo Credit: Shudder /

Superhost – Claire and Teddy just want to grow the number of subscribers to their YouTube channel, which is devoted to travel. They visit highly-rated vacation rental properties, and now they are headed to a property located in a beautiful mountain setting, and the owner is designated a “Superhost.” When they struggle with the entry code to the house, their host shows up, and boy is she a corker.

Rebecca is over-the-top enthusiastic and friendly, and the couple realize that she will definitely draw viewers, so they put up with her surprise “visits” (at one point, they awaken in the morning to find Rebecca in the kitchen making breakfast for them). Never has a huge smile looked as insane as it does on the face of Gracie Gillam, who portrays Rebecca. And in this case, the smile fully reflects the crazy person inside. If you want to check out Superhost, you can watch it on Shudder.

So, I have given you five vacation horror films to enjoy, maybe you can watch while you are on your own summer



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