When a scary movie takes away all the trappings of modern life and places its characters in the woods, the stakes are higher. There are no police to call or cozy neighborhoods to hide in. It is man versus nature, even if nature is a scary monster or deranged murderer. An emergency on the trail is scary enough without supernatural or psychopathic terrors hiding in the trees.
However, many of the problems in the best horror movies about hiking, camping, and outdoor sports start long before the monsters hit the screen. When the most knowledgeable and experienced member of the group takes a risk, the entire group often winds up suffering, and the monsters are simply exacerbating a problem that could have been avoided.
Here are some of the best scary movies about hiking, and what the characters could have done to survive the trail safely.
However, the worst blow comes when one of the trio admits to throwing away the map. He must have been possessed by the Blair Witch at the time, because your navigation tools are extremely important in the outdoors, especially in a survival situation such as the film students found themselves in. Not every outdoor adventure may need a map, but a handheld GPS or a compass at minimum is a vital tool, especially for inexperienced hikers. The recklessness involved in throwing away one’s only navigation tool is also a problem on the trail, where hikers need to keep an even temper, especially when in a survival situation.
This was already a bad trip but they could have survived (with perhaps some friendships ended before the trail’s terminus) had Hutch not suggested they take the shortcut through the woods. Moving along with an injured person in uncharted territory isn’t a good idea. Veering off the trail makes it less likely hikers will be found in an emergency, even if the group has reported to the lodge. There is also a danger of natural obstacles and perils, such as rockslides, wild animals, and swampy ground. Inexperienced hikers who are healthy would have difficulty through unknown terrain, but an injured hiker who expects to be found should stay on the trail.
Iza may be a competent trail guide, but she is too quick to dismiss the situation around her. When even her inexperienced charges knew something was wrong, it was incumbent on her to listen to them. As unusual circumstances arise that even Iza can’t dismiss, she still finds a way to assume that the abnormal is normal. The campers, all teenagers, are relying on her, just as any trail leader would be seen as an authority. Had Iza been more open to what her charges were trying to tell her, the group could have avoided their collision with disaster.
The hikers veering from the trail was already a big mistake, but the perils of the trail are not just from nature. Other people on the trail might not be as scrupulous as you are, and with no emergency services, that means a hiker who is attacked by another hiker is all alone. The majority of people a hiker may encounter on the trail will not be malicious or dangerous, so it’s not necessary to shun everyone one meets, but hikers and hiking groups should be ready to protect themselves from theft, assault, and other human dangers.
Arrogance has no place on the trail, especially at the trailheads. It’s important to remember that locals live near or even on the trail, and hikers are merely visitors passing through. This includes steering clear of private property and treating anyone encountered on the way to the trail with courtesy and respect. The local people are the ones called upon if a hiker gets into trouble on the trail and are also full of wisdom about the local environment and how to survive in it because they do it every day.
These scary movies showcase avoidable mistakes that the hikers made that helped lead them into the grip of whatever evil they faced. While the consequences may not be as dire as murderous mountaineers, mythological monsters, or creepy cults, life and death could still be on the line if these mistakes are made on your own adventures. Be safe on the trail with the protagonists from these movies as a guide on what not to do.
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