Horror is of the most viewed genres in the film industry. It has many different subgenres, from slashers like the treasured Scream franchise to psychological horrors such as Midsommar. Eco-horror, which often centers on nature, is among them. Although it is not the most popular subgenre, it undoubtedly makes for intriguing watches when done right.
Eco-horror is influenced by natural disasters and often mentions ecological issues, usually presenting scenarios in which the environment strikes back at humanity. For instance, it can also tackle Earth-related themes in allegories, which applies to Darren Aronofsky‘s Mother!, for instance. From The Happening to Annihilation, Redditors share their favorite picks.
10 ‘The Happening’ (2008)
Starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel, M. Night Shyamalan‘s disaster movie The Happening follows a science teacher, his wife, and a little girl (Ashlyn Sanchez) as they attempt to make it out alive from a plague that causes everyone infected to commit suicide.
When users on the platform were asked which are “everyone’s favorite eco-horror films,” AdmiralAucka could not help being shocked by the fact that no one had mentioned the film. The user wrote, “Why is no one talking about the cinematic masterpiece The Happening, by the legendary M. Night Shyamalan?”
9 ‘Lake Placid’ (1999)
The 1999 film by Steve Miner blends the comedy, action, and horror genres to interesting results. The movie depicts three people (Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, and Oliver Platt) attempting to stop a gigantic crocodile that has been tormenting residents in Black Lake, Maine.
According to sifsand, “Lake Placid was pretty cool.” While the movie counts on mixed reviews — with some people arguing that it is surprisingly entertaining and others finding it only lazy and unoriginal — Lake Placid is not for everyone, but still likely to provide fans of eco-horror a good time in front of the screen.
8 ‘The Ruins’ (2008)
In this Carter Smith adventure horror, a group of friends and a traveler (Jonathan Tucker, Shawn Ashmore, Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey, Joe Anderson, and Dimitri Baveas) set out on a secluded archaeological excavation in the jungle, where something sinister lurks in the shadows. In no time, what has started as a relaxing Mexican vacation quickly becomes deadly.
Among others, HumpyMagoo is one of the moviegoers recommending “The Ruins” on the website. However, although the movie can be really frightening at times, its script often falls a bit short of viewers’ expectations.
7 ‘Long Weekend’ (1978)
1978’s Long Weekend centers on a couple, Peter (John Hargreaves) and Marcia (Briony Behets), who go for a weekend camping trip near a remote beach with their dog, Cricket. However, they soon realize that nature isn’t always welcoming.
There is much love for the classic Colin Eggleston eco-horror on Reddit, and as MondoUndergound puts it, “Long Weekend is a must-watch. The original, of course. I’d put it on my list as one of the scariest films ever. The tense atmosphere is so palpable and disturbing.”
6 ‘The Beach House’ (2019)
The Beach House is the perfect summer horror. It illustrates a romantic escape for two college students (Liana Liberato and Noah Le Gros) that goes totally wrong. Instead of enjoying their stay, the two are forced to fight for survival as unwelcomed visitors, as well as the surrounding area, show symptoms of a mysterious infection.
According to MsWumpkins, “The Beach House is fairly unique, in my opinion. It’s a eco/cosmic horror. I can only think of a few eco horror right off the top of my head: The Last Winter, The Thaw, The Bay,” the user said. “I’ve probably seen other and just forgot about them. I feel like The Beach House is way better than the others I listed.”
5 ‘Mother!’ (2017)
Aronofsky’s highly disturbing film centers on a pregnant young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) whose peaceful life in her rural house with her husband (Javier Bardem) crashes down due to the sudden appearance of a strange couple.
What is so interesting about Mother! is the subtle way it tackles environmental abuse. This intriguing allegory about God and Mother Earth is also a fan-favorite eco-horror, though it doesn’t deal with natural themes directly. “Despite all the press, this one actually breezed right by me at the time! I think I misinterpreted the vibe/plot of the movie when it first came out,” whiskeypaima said when someone mentioned the movie.
4 ‘The Bay’ (2012)
Set in 2009 in the town of Claridge, Maryland, this creepy found-footage horror sci-fi by Barry Levinson illustrates the aftermath of an ecological disaster, which, of course, only resulted in chaos breaking all over.
Combining the subgenres of found footage and eco-horror, The Bay is one of the most mentioned movies on the platform, and it is said to be highly disturbing. Bluejellies, for instance, commented that they really enjoyed it: “I loved The Bay. I’m not usually a huge mockumentary fan but it was really entertaining.”
3 ‘Tremors’ (1990)
In this Ron Underwood 1990 horror Western starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, and Finn Carter, residents of a small remote community named “Perfection” in Nevada attempt to defend themselves from weird underground creatures that attack without warning and systematically kill each character.
On the platform, user JustTheFactsMaam- argues that the film is “not gruesome, but it’s a classic” in a comment with which many people agreed. In truth, Tremors may not be the best flick ever made, but it is guaranteed to provide enjoyers of eco-horror an intriguing time.
2 ‘Crawl’ (2019)
Crawl follows father Dave (Barry Pepper) and competitive swimmer daughter Hayley (Kaya Scodelario). Along with their family dog, they find themselves trapped in a claustrophobic flooding house due to a category-5 hurricane. In the meantime, the two fight for their lives against scary alligators.
When asked what are their favorite eco-horror films, skamjamz was the first to say “Crawl 2019 directed by Alexandre Aja.” A must-watch summer movie of the genre, Alexandre Aja‘s suspenseful and thrilling survival movie provides audiences with an entertaining premise and delivers what it promises.
1 ‘Annihilation’ (2018)
Natalie Portman plays a biologist and former soldier named Lena in this mind-bending Alex Garland movie. Her character joins an investigation to discover what happened to her spouse inside Area X, a shady phenomenon spreading along the American shoreline.
“The primary engine for the horror is the perversion and manipulation of Earthly biology,” gyman122 explains after naming it one of the best in the genre. Annihilation is undoubtedly a captivating, trippy movie, especially considering the way it explores self-destruction. It also proves the point that many ecological horrors do: nothing is scarier than an ever-changing planet.
KEEP READING: Horror Movies Where Nature Is The True Terror