The Best Road Trip Horror Movies

This post contains affiliate links from which we will make a commission from your clicks and/or purchases.

Road trips are conducive to a scary storyline. You’re often driving at night, driving in unfamiliar territories, or driving in the middle of nowhere. And so much can go wrong in any of those situations. You could make a wrong turn, run out of gas, get a flat tire. And your whole trip can derail from there, in more ways than one. It is no wonder that road trips serve as the basis for many horror films. There are a lot of road trip movies out there. But what are the best road trip horror movies?

What all of these movies have in common is that they start out with a simple vacation. Friends, family, or couples are taking a road trip. What could go wrong? The answer is plenty. Often more than you could ever imagine.

If you love a good road trip and a good scare, check out these road trip horror movies. But maybe wait until you return from your next trip.

The Best Road Trip Horror Movies

The Hills Have Eyes (1977, 2006)

A family on their way to California ends up breaking down and stranded. Little do they know, they’ve parked themselves in a closed-off former nuclear-testing area where the only inhabitants are cannibalistic mutant monsters with a taste for human flesh.

This popular Wes Craven movie spawned a sequel in 1984 and a 2006 remake.

The Houses October Built (2014)

This found footage horror movie showing extreme Haunt road trip. A group of five friends hit the road in search of the best haunted houses in America. But they end up finding more scares than they hoped for.

Joy Ride (2001)

College freshman Lewis Thomas (Paul Walker) buys a car to pick up his friend and crush Venna (Leelee Sobieski) on their way home for summer break. But plans go awry when his brother, Fuller (Steve Zahn), convinces him to pull a prank over a car’s CB radio with deadly consequences.

Southbound (2015)

In this anthology of interconnecting tales, different travelers journeys intertwine on the road with each other and demons: both the inner kind and external forces.

No Vacancy (2014)

Seven friends on a road trip to Las Vegas get two flat tires in the middle of nowhere. On a search for help they come across a lone motel/bar/gas station where the owner and workers offer to help fix the car and put them up for the night. This helpful gesture turns sinister when, in the morning, the stranded road trippers are subjected to a gory game.

Dead End (2003)

I family takes a shortcut on their way to Christmas Eve dinner at their relatives. They come across a strange woman on the side of the road, and thinking she is lost and hurt try to help her. From there they seem stuck in the woods and encounter horror after horror. But is everything really as it seems?

Vacancy (2007)

David and Amy Fox, a married couple on the verge of divorce, get lost while taking a shortcut on a drive home. An unexpected swerve to avoid a raccoon causes damage to their car and they end up stranded in the middle of nowhere. They happen upon a beat up old motel and have no choice but to stay the night. They find some videotapes in the room of gory amateur snuff films and quickly realize, these horrors were filmed in the very room they are staying in and, if they don’t act fast, they will be the next victims.

Husk (2011)

A group of friends on a road trip get stranded in Nebraska farmland after a flock of crows attacks their SUV, causing them to run off the road. The wade through the mysterious cornfields in search of help but instead find something more supernatural and sinister.

No products found.

Spree (2020)

So Spree isn’t as much a road trip horror movie as it is a ride share horror movie. But most of the movie takes place in a car (which really you can’t even say about most road trip horror) so I’ll let it slide. Spree takes us on the murderous killing spree of a ride share driver sho is desparate to go viral online.

Wrong Turn (2003)

Jessie (Eliza Dushku) and a group of friends are road tripping through West Virginia. Car a flat tire stalls them on the side of a remote mountain road and they are stalled even more when motorist Chris (Desmond Harrington) crashes into them. On a quest to find help they run into a weird cabin in the middle of nowhere, and a horde of backwoods cannibals who begin to stalk and hunt the friends.

House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)

A couple of young couples are traveling the country in search of weird destinations to write about in a guidebook about offbeat roadside attractions. After a stop at Captain Spaulding’s Museum of Monsters and Madmen they set out to find more about the the local legend of a deranged serial-killer doctor. After getting a flat tire they run into hitchhiker Baby and a torturous night ensues.

Kalifornia (1993)

Brian Kessler (David Duchovny) and his girlfriend Carrie Laughlin (Michelle Forbes) are working on a book about serial killers. To cut costs on their road trip to explore murder sites, they set up a ride share with strangers, Early Grayce (Brad Pitt) and his girlfriend, Adele Corners (Juliette Lewis). But they soon learn that they didn’t have to travel far to find a killer.

Uncle Peckerhead (2020)

A punk band goes on their first tour, but they need a van to get them around. They meet a strange man names Peckerhead who offers up his vehicle to drive them around. With no other options they accect the ride, but things get even stranger when they find out that the man is actually a man-eating demon

Breakdown (1997)

A married couple, Jeff (Kurt Russell) and Amy Taylor (Kathleen Quinlan, run into car trouble on a cross-country road trip. A passing truck driver offers to drive Amy to a nearby cafe to get help. After she leaves, Jeff fixes the car and drives to retrieve Amy, only for her to be nowhere to be found. He begins a frenzied search for Amy and finds lies, a coverup, and a strange hunt ahead.

Penny Dreadful (2006)

Penny (Rachel Miner)’s therapist (Mimi Rogers) takes her on a road trip to confront her fears that stemmed from a childhood accident. But once up on a desolate mountain road, those fears come to confront her.

Final Destination 2

The movie that has every millennial changing lanes on the highway, this is still one of the best road trip horror movies ever made. On a road trip with friends, Kimberly (A. J. Cook) has a premonition of a horrible car accident to come. She blocks traffic, saving everyone who was supposed to die in the crash. But their fate catches up to them, one by one.

Midnight Ride (1990)

A woman takes off on the road after leaving her cop husband. She picks up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a deranged killer intent on taking her for a ride.

#Followme (2019)

This found footage horror movie follows a British YouTuber and her friends as they travel to America for a road trip and social media meetups. Along the way strange things start happening and all that is left behind is her recordnings.

House of Wax (2005)

A group of friends are road tripping to a school football game when they get a flat tire. In search of help they head to the nearest town: a strange ghost town known for its seemingly abandoned wax museum. They soon find out that nothing in the town is as it seems and if they don’t find an escape they will soon become exhibits themselves.

The Toybox (2018)

A family takes a summer road trip in a used RV. Along the way they pick up a stranded couple before finding themselves stranded themselves after an accident. Strange things start happening and the family soon realizes that the secrets that lie in the RV itself are ready to be unleashed.

Death Proof (2007)

Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), by profession, can leave almost any situation without a scratch. He’s souped up his car for maximum enjoyment of his favorite hobby: taking women for deadly drives. He meets his match, though, when he encounters a group of tough women who challenge him at every turn.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

A group of friends traveling the backgrounds of Texas pick up a strange hitchhiker. They then find themself being stalked and hunted by a chainsaw wielding freak wearing a mask made from human skin: Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen).

No products found.

Highway to Hell (1991)

A couple of teenagers, Charlie Sykes (Chad Lowe) and Rachel Clark (Kristy Swanson), make a wrong turn on their way to elope in Las Vegas. There they encounter an undead demon who kidnaps the bride-to-be, forcing her fiance to enter a race in hell to rescue her.

The Hitcher (2007)

A remake of the 1986 movie, The Hitcher follows a young couple on a spring break road trip who pick up a deadly hitchhiker.

Duel (1971)

Steven Spielberg directed this movie about a traveling salesman, David Mann (Dennis Weaver), driving cross-country on a two-lane highway. He finds himself in a dangerous chase with an oil tanker that seems set on running him off the road.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

A young woman travels with her new boyfriend to his parents’ secluded farm. An intense snowstorm serves as the backdrop of this psychological ride.

Pin this list of the The Best Road Trip Horror Movies to save for later

Road trips are conducive to a scary storyline. You're often driving at night, in unfamiliar territories, or in the middle of nowhere. And so much can go wrong in any of those situations. You could make a wrong turn, run out of gas, get a flat tire. And your whole trip can derail from there, in more ways than one. It is no wonder that road trips serve as the basis for many horror films. There are a lot of road trip movies out there. But what are the best road trip horror movies? #RoadTrip
Road trips are conducive to a scary storyline. You're often driving at night, in unfamiliar territories, or in the middle of nowhere. And so much can go wrong in any of those situations. You could make a wrong turn, run out of gas, get a flat tire. And your whole trip can derail from there, in more ways than one. It is no wonder that road trips serve as the basis for many horror films. There are a lot of road trip movies out there. But what are the best road trip horror movies? #RoadTrip

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

Valerie Bromann

Founder & ROad Trip Expert

Valerie Bromann is a a website manager, content creator, and writer from Chicago, Illinois (currently living in Dallas, Texas). As an avid road tripper who has visited hundreds of roadside attractions, Val always pull over for a world’s largest thing. Founder of Silly America and author of The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book, she visits, photographs, and writes about all the weird tourist destinations she visits and offers road trip planning advice and inspiration based on her own travels so you can hit the road for yourself.

World's Largest Mailbox in Casey, Illinois roadside attraction

Follow Valerie & Silly America

Plan Your Road Trip

Last modified: December 28, 2023
Category:

Share this Post ⤵

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book - Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip! By Valerie Bromann

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book

Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip!

BY Valerie Bromann

Enjoy fun games and challenges to pass the time on your next road trip and have a keepsake to look back on for years to come with this entertaining must-have for your next vacation.

The road trip you’ve been dreaming of starts here! Journal about your stops and get to know your fellow passengers with activities and exercises designed to pass the time and bring you closer together. Instead of “Are we there yet?” you’ll find yourself asking, “We’re there already?”. Complete with prompts you can turn to while driving between locations, this journal will one day be a memento of your life-changing trip.