In the dead of summer, there is nothing better than curling up on the couch with the curtains drawn, air conditioning on full blast – prepared to dive in to a horror movie marathon. Summer can be great, if you love sunburn and sand filling all your nooks and crannies. So how about a less outdoorsy alternative to summer fun? Why brave the scorching heat when you can hole up inside all day and watch the summer pass you by on the big screen? Horror is one of the most all-encompassing genres of film and over time, there has been a plethora of summer-set horror films. Infamous fictional slasher, Jason Voorhees, of the “Friday the 13th” series is quite literally a product of summer-camp shenanigans. So, from satanic babysitters to vacations gone awry, summer is the perfect season for a gruesome and enthralling decent into the horror genre.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 horror movies that are absolutely perfect for your summer horror movie marathon.
12. The Babysitter (Dir. McG, 2017)
When Cole stays up past his bedtime, he discovers that his hot babysitter is part of a Satanic cult that will stop at nothing to keep him quiet.
You can watch “The Babysitter” on Netflix and catch the trailer here.
11. Midsommar (Dir. Ari Aster)
Several friends travel to Sweden to study as anthropologists a summer festival that is held every ninety years in the remote hometown of one of them. What begins as a dream vacation in a place where the sun never sets, gradually turns into a dark nightmare as the mysterious inhabitants invite them to participate in their disturbing festive activities.
You can watch “Midsommar” on Kanopy, Showtime, Paramount+, VOD, and watch the trailer here.
10. Revenge (Dir. Coralie Fargeat, 2017)
Jen’s romantic getaway with her wealthy (married) boyfriend is disrupted when his friends arrive for an impromptu hunting trip. Tension mounts at the house until the situation culminates in an unexpected way.
You can watch “Revenge” on AMC+, VOD, and catch the trailer here.
9. Us (Dir. Jordan Peele, 2019)
Husband and wife Gabe and Adelaide Wilson take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends. But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.
You can watch “Us” on VOD and catch the trailer here.
8. X (Dir. Ti West, 2022)
In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.
You can watch “X” on Showtime, Paramount+, Fubo, and catch the trailer here.
7. Creature From The Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold, 1954)
A scientific expedition searching for fossils along the Amazon River discover a prehistoric Gill-Man in the legendary Black Lagoon. The explorers capture the mysterious creature, but it breaks free. The Gill-Man returns to kidnap the lovely Kay, fiancée of one of the expedition, with whom it has fallen in love.
You can watch “Creature From the Black Lagoon” on VOD and catch the trailer here.
6. From Dusk Till Dawn (Dir. Robert Rodriguez, 1996)
Seth Gecko and his younger brother Richard are on the run after a bloody bank robbery in Texas. They escape across the border into Mexico and will be home-free the next morning, when they pay off the local kingpin. They just have to survive ‘from dusk till dawn’ at the rendezvous point, which turns out to be a Hell of a strip joint.
You can watch “From Dusk Till Dawn” on Max and catch the trailer here.
5. It (Dir. Andy Muschietti, 2017)
In a small town in Maine, seven children known as The Losers Club come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise.
You can watch “It” on VOD and catch the trailer here.
4. Jaws (Dir. Steven Spielberg, 1975)
When an insatiable great white shark terrorizes the townspeople of Amity Island, the police chief, an oceanographer and a grizzled shark hunter seek to destroy the blood-thirsty beast.
You can watch “Jaws” on Fubo, Peacock, VOD, and catch the trailer here.
3. The Blackening (Dir. Tim Story, 2022)
A group of Black friends reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer.
You can watch “The Blackening” on VOD and catch the trailer here.
2. Children of the Corn (Dir. Fritz Kiersch, 1984)
A boy preacher named Isaac goes to a town in Nebraska called Gatlin and gets all the children to murder every adult in town.
You can watch “Children of the Corn” on Youtube free with ads, VOD, and catch the trailer here.
1. The Lost Boys (Dir. Joel Schumacher, 1987)
A mother and her two teenage sons move to a seemingly nice and quiet small coastal California town yet soon find out that it’s overrun by bike gangs and vampires. A couple of teenage friends take it upon themselves to hunt down the vampires that they suspect of a few mysterious murders and restore peace and calm to their town.
You can watch “The Lost Boys” on VOD and catch the trailer here.
If you’re interested in more horror movies that are perfect for a summer movie marathon please check out this Letterboxd list.