horror movies set in the woods

15 Best Horror Movies Set In The Woods

Haven’t we all grown up watching creepy movies based on the woods, where someone always dies, and the terror begins? The spine-chilling movies where exploring the woods eventually turns into a death fest add isolated cabins and a creepy man, and it becomes even more horrifying. If this is a genre you enjoy, then you have landed at the right place because we have gathered some of the top-rated scary movies in the woods. 

So if you planning to go on a terrifying ride into the heart of the woods and watch as everything goes down in a few minutes, then you’re in for a treat! Let’s dive into the world of movies within the woods while you gather all your friends for fun and screaming night in.  

The Top 15 Scary Movies in the Woods

Explore the woods through your screen and find out what’s hiding within the peacefulness of the forests. 

1. The Evil Dead

Year of release: 1981

Running time: 85 minutes 

Directors name: Sam Raimi

The plot revolves around five friends traveling to an isolated cabin hidden in the middle of the woods for a holiday. A series of events are caused by their discovery of an ancient Book of the Dead that releases evil forces, turning their relaxing holiday into a terrifying experience.

Although the film’s production value may not be state-of-the-art, its makeup effects and smart cinematography make it stand out. The picture also gains depth from Bruce Campbell’s iconic performance as Ash Williams, the main hero. The misty forests surrounding the cabin’s spooky ambiance, which adds a touch of simplicity and effectiveness to the overall experience, really leaves a lasting impression.

2. The Witch

The Witch

Year of release: 2015

Running time: 92 minutes 

Directors name: Robert Egger 

The Witch is a haunting horror masterpiece that is also set in the woods. The movie takes you back in time to the 1600s in New England, telling the story of a very religious family living together on isolated farmland. The family faces multiple witch-crafting issues in their surroundings in which their personal fears become real. All of this takes a toll on the family and pulls them apart like never before. The dread envelopes the character, and the movie will make you feel like you’re also a part of and based in the same era as the characters are in. 

3. The Blair Witch Project 

The Blair Witch Project 

Year of release: 1999

Running time: 81 minutes 

Directors name: Sam Raimi

The Blair Witch Project comes out with the newest approach, showing a low-budget approach of found footage of the people in the movie. The movie takes a very documentary approach and follows a group of filmmakers who plan to film the local legend as they go into the woods. Things become tough and scarier when they get lost and feel something hunting them across the woods. The movie keeps the force hidden and makes the wood scarier by spotlighting it. The film subtly creates terrifying possibilities and makes the atmosphere suspenseful and frightening. 

4. The Ritual 

The Ritual

Year of release: 2017

Running time: 1h 34m

Directors name: David Bruckner

The Ritual shows a group of friends who decide to plan a trip after a recent mid-life crisis that takes place in their lives. They plan to hike on the King’s Trail to freshen up and feel better but face multiple challenges along the way. After one of them gets injured, they attempt to cut through the woods and find themselves pursued by a terrifying creature. Come along as you will experience the characters confronting their deepest fears. The Ritual delivers one of the most thrilling experiences of all time. 

5. Evil Dead II

Evil Dead II

Year of release: 1987

Running time: 84 minutes 

Directors name: Sam Raimi

Evil Dead II is a sequel to Sam Raimi’s movie The Evil Dead. It combines everything that made the first movie a hit and drives it up a notch. The movie is a perfect combination of horror and comedy, and it really stands out in this cinema genre. The film is set in the woods at a cabin, and Evil Dead II continues to distress Ash Williams. 

The deadites released by a powerful Ex-Mortis increase trouble and become even more bizarre this time. However, Bruce’s performance is a show stealer and makes the film an entertaining bunch from the start to the end. This movie is a must-watch if you’re looking for something that will scare you and your friends but also promise a good time!

6. Friday the 13th 

Friday the 13th 

Year of release: 1980

Running time: 1h 35m 

Directors name: Sean S. Cunningham 

This movie is a trendsetter of the 80s and served as a successful story at the box office. Even though the movie was created on a very low budget but the impact it had with the frightening tale of Mrs. Voorhees, who decided to take revenge on the counselors at the famous Camp Crystal Lake. Friday the 13th is easily one of the most famous stories, especially in the 80s horror cinema. From enhanced makeup to brutally killed campers, it will do a number on anyone watching. The killings are all done by Mrs. Voorhees, but the introduction of Jason Voorhees makes the movie iconic and even more captivating. 

7. The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods

Year of release: 2011

Running time: 1h 35m  

Directors name: Drew Goddard

The Cabin in the Woods is a different horror-comedy movie that will make you laugh out loud and then quickly hide your face because of the instant horror scenes. It uniquely explores the theme and also serves as a parody. It’s about a group of friends who gather to go on a trip to a remote cabin in the woods. Their fun time soon becomes a horrifying adventure with horror characters.

The woods become scarier and add a twist to the movie, making it even more enjoyable. The movie explores an exciting genre, with the right amount of dreadful scenes and a good amount of laughs, making it a decent watching experience.  

8. Wrong Turn 

Wrong Turn

Year of release: 2007

Running time: 1h 25m 

Directors name: Valeri Milev 

Wrong Turns is one of the most terrible movies ever made and is filled with shocking violence throughout the movie. The thriller kicks off when a bunch of friends gets stranded together in a dense forest, resulting in them going further inside. It becomes worse when they discover that it’s not just them but someone else who is there, too, in the woods with them. The movie becomes scarier with every step that these friends take and is easily a must-watch if you want a scary movie in the woods. 

9. Annihilation


Year of release: 2018

Running time: 2 hours 

Directors name: Alex Garland 

The mysterious Shimmer, a shimmering bubble created by a meteorite impact on a beach, is the primary focus of Alex Garland’s spellbinding sci-fi and horror film Annihilation. After her husband suffers a mission-related coma, Natalie Portman’s character, an army scientist, sets out on an exploration into this global phenomenon. A vivid and bizarre wildness is waiting inside the Shimmer, changing everything it surrounds.

The character’s journey includes a compelling mystery that will make you want more. The movie begins when Natalie sees mutated bears and alligators, which raises a lot of suspicion for her. Instead of talking about external happenings, the film goes into detail on what’s going on internally and the struggles and hardships the characters have to face. Annihilation is all about the struggles of women on a mission, creating a unique combination for the people watching. 

10. Antichrist 


Year of release: 2009

Running time: 8108 minutes 

Directors name: Lars von Trier 

Enter the difficult world of Antichrist by Lars Von Trier. In this frightening movie, a couple finds comfort in a remote cottage in the woods after losing their son tragically. As the mourning couple, Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg give moving performances, while director Lars von Trier bravely explores issues of horror and the human psyche. 

The individuals experience a brutal and merciless plunge into torment as a result of the woods’ transformation into an evil entity that reveals their worst secrets and anxieties. Get yourself for a frightening look into sorrow, lunacy, and the terrifying powers that lie in nature. 

11. Eden Lake 

Eden Lake

Year of release: 2008

Running time: 91 minutes 

Directors name: James Watkins 

Eden Lake is a strange story that will entertain and horrify you. This fascinating movie centers on a couple who, while on a peaceful vacation in the woods, are persistently tortured by several little children. Their quiet escape becomes a terrifying nightmare of torture and murder as the situation worsens.

The movie explores subjects that could be uncomfortable by delving into dark areas. But what makes this movie stand out are the superb performances by the skilled cast, especially Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender. The characters’ depictions give depth and reality, increasing the impact of the terrible violence on screen.

12. The Last House on the Left

The Last House on the Left

Year of release: 1972

Running time: 84 minutes 

Directors name: Wes Craven 

The Last House on the Left, one of Wes Craven’s most well-known films, will take you on a terrifying journey into the core of horror. Two adolescent girls are mercilessly kidnapped by a gang of savage killers in this suspenseful story. As soon as their parents learn of the terrible fate that awaits their girls, they start to seek revenge with intensity.

With its shocking brutality and gripping violence, The Last House on the Left captivated and shocked audiences. It cemented its place in Grindhouse and drive-in theatres, forever changing the horror genre. The movie has some pretentious murder scenes, resulting in a UK ban. 

13. Willow Creek 

Willow Creek 

Year of release: 2014

Running time: 1h 30m 

Directors name: Bobcat Goldthwait 

The spine-chilling appeal of “Willow Creek” is an absolute must-watch for lovers of in-the-wood horror movies. This suspenseful thriller explores the age-old question of Bigfoot’s existence while following a daring couple who go camping in the legendary Willow Creek.

Everything seems perfect as the scenic beauty of the wilderness fascinates them. However, when darkness falls, and the tent transforms into their creepy haven, the entire possibility of found footage filmmaking is revealed. Prepare for tense and heart-pounding scares as “Willow Creek” spins its horrifying tale.

14. The Ruins 

The Ruins 

Year of release: 2008

Running time: 1h 30m  

Directors name: Carter Smith

As The Ruins delivers Scott Smith’s compelling book to life, get ready for a terrifying journey. Watch two American couples and a group of German tourists as they seek a missing sibling at a historic Mayan site in Mexico. Unknown to them, the danger is waiting for them. Even though the armed Mayan villagers appear dangerous, the real terror is in the nearby woods. This film, which was directed by Carter Smith, intensifies the chaos of nature to scary new heights.

With its spooky vines that entangle and affect the characters, “The Ruins” will captivate you. The group struggles to survive as they induce self-mutilation. Mercy is required, limbs are torn away, and the vines imitate sounds to draw in their target. Prepare for a terrifying nightmare where each step brings you closer to a horrible nightmare.

15. The Descent 

The Descent 

Year of release: 2005

Running time: 85 minutes 

Directors name: Neil Marshal

Before he contributed to “Game of Thrones,” Neil Marshall was the director of suspenseful horror films like “Dog Soldiers” and “The Descent.” In the movie “The Descent,” Marshall takes us on a frightening trek through an isolated setting. Six women who go on a cave diving trip find themselves stranded in gloomy tunnels full of cannibalistic animals in the story. The characters in this claustrophobic horror movie strive to find safety while trapped by tumbling stone walls.

Sarah is a devastated woman looking for comfort after a devastating loss, and Shauna Macdonald strongly represents the role. The dangerous tunnel system would be difficult to survive on your own, making The Descent a standout nature horror film. In addition to the thrilling survival story, the movie delves into the complexities of female friendships. The Descent is a terrifying film you must watch because of its captivating plot and exploration of complicated emotions.

Bottom Line

If you’re someone who loves scary movie in the woods, then the list of these 15 movies are a treat for you! You can binge-watch them with friends and experience a thrill like never before. Watch your favorite characters walk in the woods towards the horrors and experience all that goes down the hill for them. 

So what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite snacks, set up a movie night, and have a scary experience within the woods while sitting in the comfort of your home!

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.