The weather has been so nice in Oregon, the bf and I decided to take advantage and splurge on a coastal overnight. We found a cheap, but very nice place to stay, had some good seafood, and got to experience the greatness of the Northwest Coast, from foggy dawn to warm midday to starlit night.
Of course lying there on the sand, enjoying the sunset before spending some time in the Jacuzzi tub, my mind couldn’t help but steer back to the thing that’s normally always on my mind: HORROR.
As horror fans know, almost any aspect of a film can ruin it, and that includes the setting. And so I wondered out there on the sand, which horror films did I both love and hate that took place on the coasts of our great Nation? Let’s dig into the sand to find out.
I’ll start with the worst, because thankfully there were so few I could recall. Personally, I don’t think any horror has done the Gulf Coast justice. Frogs and Shark Night take place in inlet swamps and lakes, and though both have small cult followings (Frogs for its campy morality tale, Shark Night for its bloody nonsense), neither I consider great.
Perhaps the most devious offender on this list though will be the obvious rival to the winner; the remake of The Fog. Neither scary, campy, fun, or bloody enough to be enjoyable, this remake is often ranked among the worst. I saw it in theaters and still regret the day. Thankfully, my mind has blocked most of the mess out.
As mentioned, the best coastal horror film should have been no surprise. John Carpenter’s The Fog is just too perfect on too many levels. From the eerie score, to the psychokinetic opening, to the sheer amount of scream queens and horror heroes within it, it’s one of my favorite movies. Oh, and mutha-fuckin zombie ghost leper-pirates!
Further down the California coast, another one of my favorites from the yesteryear of horror waits; Humanoids From the Deep! The movie is kind of ridiculous, but when monster mermen attack a small fishing village’s carnival, intent on raping women in order to make some merbabies, you can’t help but just sit back and grin in all its tacky, gory glory. Be careful if you look this one up though. A remake was made in the 90s and though I haven’t seen it, I’ve heard it’s shit.
Some other Cali-coast greats include The Lost Boys, with its iconic boardwalk scenes, and The Birds which was set in Bodega Bay, CA (and mentioned by name in The Fog!).
Moving over to the Atlantic, there’s always the beloved JAWS, but a recent horror film definitely deserves a mention. The found footage outbreak thriller The Bay. The movie follows a small crab-crackin’ town that finds itself infected by mutated parasitic crustaceans! But don’t be fooled by that crazy plot – I thought the movie was interesting and tense, despite my normal abhorrence of most found footage horror flicks.
So you salty dogs and sea hags, if you’ve got any seaside horrors you think deserve a mention (and no, the Jersey Shore Massacre doesn’t count), drop me a trawler line and let me know! Til next time!