Despite our country being fairly young in the grand scheme of things, the United States of America is steeped in history and mystery. I’m extremely excited to welcome you all to the first in a series of posts I cannot wait for you to see. I will be sharing a variety of “horror” themed things and locales from books and movies, to haunted places, urban legends and more. To kick things off, I’m going to be sharing with you a horror movie that takes place in each state, occasionally I’ll include some honorable mentions. For the most part, I did my best to shy away from the obvious ones and really dig deep to find some you might not have heard of before. Without further ado, here are 50 States of Horror Movies.
For Alabama, I decided to go with the 2017 Truth or Dare. Not to be confused with the 2018 version that hit theaters, this was a SyFy channel film that I happen to love. It centers around a group of 8 friends who get caught up in a pretty high stakes game of Truth or Dare. This isn’t your middle school sleepover truth or dare, y’all. It’s deadly. You can find Truth or Dare on Netflix or for rent on Amazon and Vudu.
I’ve always found the idea of the polar night fascinating so, of course, my pick for Alaska had to be 30 Days of Night. In 30 Days of Night, vampires take advantage of this month long darkness and, cut off from the outside world, the people of Barrow, Alaska must attempt to survive. 30 Days of Night is available to stream on Crackle, as well as for rent on Amazon and Vudu.
For Arizona, I chose Alien Raiders. This movie is what happens when a group of scientists attempting to halt an alien invasion take over a supermarket. Alien Raiders is available for rent on Amazon and Vudu.
The thing I love most about my Arkansas pick, and why it’s what I decided to go with, is The Town That Dreaded Sundown is actually based on a real life story. That and, hello, slashers are always my thing. Always. In the movie, a hooded man goes on a killing spree in small town Arkansas. Watch it on Vudu.
California was one of those states where it was truly hard to pick one because there’s just been a lot of great horror set in the state. I decided to go with a recent release, Us, because it’s really been sticking with me. A woman returns with her husband and two children to the beach house she grew up in, and had a strange experience near as a child. While there, four masked individuals stalk the outside of the home and eventually find their way inside, but things go really sideways when it’s revealed they look exactly like them. Rent Us on Amazon or Vudu. Such a great movie, but I have to give an honorable mention to my runner up pick, Starry Eyes, if you’re in the mood for a more Hollywood horror style account, where some will go to any means necessary to get what they want.
For Colorado, I had to go with Phantoms, as in based on the novel by Dean Koontz. It’s based in the resort town of Snowfield, all quaint and nestled in the Rockies. Well, once quaint. Now, bodies are popping up everywhere with tons dead, even more missing, and local law enforcement are all kinds of perplexed, because this is no ordinary serial killer. You can rent Phantoms on Amazon or Vudu, or on demand on HBO.
Connecticut was almost Beetlejuice, because obviously. Complete classic. However, I decided to go with Stephen King’s Sometimes They Come Back. When Jim was young, his brother was killed by a group of teens who were going to kill him as well, before a train saved the day by ending their life. Now he’s back in his hometown and teaching. The only problem? Those teens are back, too. Rent Sometimes They Come Back on Amazon or Vudu.
Ever wanted an inside peek into the home movies of serial killers? Head Case, my Delaware pick, is just what you need. It’s written in a pseudo-documentary style that feels all too real, because in this movie? The monsters are human. Watch Head Case on Tubi or Amazon.
What happens when a massive hurricane comes complete with an attack from a pack of gigantic alligators? My Florida choice, Crawl, answers that question in this action-packed thriller. Rent Crawl on Amazon or Vudu.
Continuing the theme of over-sized creepy critters, Georgia’s movie is none other than Squirm. City boy Mick goes to meet up with his girlfriend, Geri, in small town Fly Creek – an area recently hit with some pretty rough storms. These storms caused downed power lines, that make electric currents give huge worms from underground a craving for human flesh. You can watch Squirm on Tubi or Amazon.
Oh, Hawaii. A true island paradise. Or so our two lovely newlyweds think in our Hawaii pick, A Perfect Getaway. Unfortunately, they get a bit more than they bargained for when celebrating their nuptials with a secluded hike when they discover another couple has been brutally murdered as they’re left not only not knowing who to trust, but far from any sort of civilization. Rent A Perfect Getaway on Amazon or Vudu.
Idaho Transfer is my choice for, well, Idaho. A bit more science fiction leaning that straight horror, a small group of teens are sent into the future to rebuild civilization post apocalypse. You can watch Idaho Transfer on Tubi or Amazon.
Halloween is my favorite movie of all time, but everyone knows it so I thought I’d shine a light on another little gem. So for Illinois, we have Munger Road. Based on the actual road in the state of Illinois, four teenagers become stranded the eve of the annual Scarecrow Festival while planning to document the urban legend that spirits from a tragic accident will keep you from danger if you’re ever stalled on the train tracks. Rent Munger Road on Vudu.
For Indiana I decided to go a bit different and settled on Proxy. It centers around the lives of a small group of people after pregnant Esther loses her baby following an apparent attack. This movie is truly a twisty, crazy thrill ride. You can watch it on Amazon or Hulu.
The Crazies is my Iowa choice. A strange toxin creates major issues in Ogden Marsh when it causes residents to go a little, you know, crazy, in the bloodthirsty, violent sort of way. Fun, right? Rent it on Amazon or Vudu.
My pick for Kansas had to be the recent Brightburn. I freaking loved this movie, and there is definitely room for lots more of this unique combination of comic book and horror aesthetics. In Brightburn, a couple struggling with fertility are, in their minds, blessed with the mysterious arrival of a baby boy. However, as young Brandon ages mysterious and terrifying events begin to manifest as he struggles with evil urges. Rent Brightburn on Vudu or Amazon
Being a Kentuckian myself, this was a hard choice. However, with my recent love of horror amusement park themed slashers, there could be no better option than Talon Falls. Talon Falls is an actual “screampark” here in Southern Kentucky but unlike at the actual park, the group of teenagers in this movie start to wonder if the graphic gore and torture they’re witnessing is a little too realistic. You can watch Talon Falls on Tubi, Vudu, or Amazon
For Louisiana, I had to go with Hatchet. It has that sort of classic slasher feel, but set in swampy Louisiana. It’s just straight up campy, gory, quality slasher goodness on an allegedly cursed bayou. You can watch Hatchet on Amazon, Vudu, or Tubi.
Okay, yes, there are several Stephen King films set in Maine that I absolutely adore and could have chosen. However, there is just something about the movie Hush that has me re-watching it regularly, I just love it. It revolves around a deaf writer living in a secluded, wooded area. All is well until a masked killer begins terrorizing her and she must truly fight for her life in silence. There’s something about horror and thrillers that takes away one of the senses that really adds a nice element for me and Hush is a fantastic example. Watch it on Netflix
Continuing the on and off theme of unique slasher spins I seem to have going with some of my selections is our Maryland pick, Beyond the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. In Beyond the Mask, average, ordinary Leslie has a bit of an obsession with slasher killers, they’re his heroes. So much so that he decides to follow in their footsteps, and invites a documentary crew to follow him around as he carries out his plans. You can rent Beyond the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon on Amazon.
For Massachusetts, I had to go with one of my absolute favorite Christmas movies. Yes, you read that right. Black Christmas. This is a classic slasher involving a group of sorority sisters over winter break. All is well, until things like weird and threatening phone calls, one of the girls going missing, and another local girl being found murdered lead them to believe that a serial killer is on the loose – and they’re on the list. Watch Black Christmas on Tubi or Vudu
In my Michigan choice, Exit 33, Ike is haunted by the accidental death of his pregnant wife. Literally. Coerced by his dead wife and unborn child to regularly replace the eye he accidentally shot out, he uses his exit 33 gas station as his victim hunting ground. You can rent Exit 33 on Amazon
For Minnesota, I went with Jennifer’s Body. Demon possessed Jennifer has a hunger for human flesh and satisfies it by making her way through the male population of her high school. Her best friend, Needy, finds out what’s going on and attempts to put a stop to it before the bodies continue to pile up. You can watch Jennifer’s Body on Amazon or Vudu.
An ancient and extremely deadly demon is on the loose in my Mississippi choice, Don’t Kill It. Moving from host to host the demon is quickly leaving a trail of bodies in its wake, with the only hope being FBI agent Evelyn Pierce teaming up, somewhat reluctantly, with Jebediah Woodley, a man familiar with fighting this sort of evil. Watch Don’t Kill It on Amazon or Vudu.
For Missouri, I had to go with You’re Next. I just love the masks in this movie. In an attempt to reconcile differences, the wealthy Davison family decide to celebrate the parents’ wedding anniversary together at their weekend estate. Things take an even darker turn than all that family bonding when masked assailants appear and they must work together or die. Watch You’re Next on Vudu or Tubi.
Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County is my pick for the lovely state of Montana. This is another documentary style film about a boy who, when investigating a blackout, captures footage of actual aliens. Things get a bit dicey when they follow him home. You can grab it on Amazon.
I’ve such fond memories of accidentally terrifying my little brother with this pick when we were quite young, so Nebraska had to be Children of The Corn. Maybe discussing it driving through fields and fields of corn wasn’t my brightest moment, considering it’s all about a small, midwest town that has children sacrificing people to a demonic entity. You can watch it on Tubi.
For Nevada, we’re heading to the little, desert town of Perfection for Tremors. Things aren’t so perfect, however, when a string of mysterious deaths unearth the fact that giant, human-flesh-craving monsters have come out to play. Watch on Amazon or Vudu.
For New Hampshire, it had to be In the Mouth of Madness. Horror novelist Sutter Cane is missing, and insurance investigator John Trent makes his way to a supernatural town in New Hampshire to investigate, all while experiencing nightmares from Sutter’s books. Watch In the Mouth of Madness on Vudu or Amazon.
My New Jersey pick had to involve the Jersey Devil, so I went with none other than Satan’s Playground. An innocent family vacation in the Pine Barrens takes a dark turn in this movie, when backwoods psychopaths and the bloodthirsty Jersey Devil make the trip anything but relaxing. Rent Satan’s Playground on Amazon.
New Mexico’s pick is a favorite of mine, Fender Bender. An excellent lesson in driving safely to avoid getting stalked by a serial killer when you inadvertently give him your address when exchanging insurance information. At least I’m assuming that’s the moral here. You can watch Fender Bender on Amazon or Vudu.
For New York, I decided to go with Get Out. Chris is ready to meet his girlfriend, Rose’s, parents for a weekend getaway in upstate New York. At first, they are extremely welcoming, but as the weekend drags on things start to get a little bit twisted. Rent Get Out on Amazon or Vudu.
The Descent is my North Carolina pick. Fun fact about this one, though based in North Carolina it’s actually a British film. That being said, it’s a fun little adventure horror about what happens when six friends meet for their annual spelunking adventure. Answer? Very horrific things when a rock blocks their path back out and monstrous creatures take advantage of them being trapped. Watch The Descent on Amazon or Vudu.
The Messengers is what happens when you decide to start a sunflower farm in North Dakota. Or, you know, basically. Upon moving to North Dakota with their family, teenage girl Jess and her little brother begin seeing supernatural apparitions, much to the disbelief of their parents. Despite that disbelief, she attempts to warn them before it is too late. Watch the Messengers on Crackle, Amazon, or Vudu.
For Ohio, I decided to go with the always fun anthology, Trick ‘r Treat. It takes place over the course of a Halloween night, with Sam, a cute little footie pajama/burlap mask wearing trick or treater that appears in each story to enforce the “rules” of Halloween. Y’all, I need a cute little Sam stuffie or something. Watch Trick ‘r Treat on Vudu or Amazon. Or, you know, you can check out Thankskilling instead if possessed, killer turkeys are more your thing.
So long story short, my Oklahoma pick, Bug, is what happens when Ashley Judd is a waitress at a gay bar and starts dating a guy who believes the world is going to be taken over by microscopic bugs. When he convinces her to join in on his delusions, things get even crazier. Watch Bug on Amazon or Vudu.
My choice for Oklahoma is Summer of ‘84, which is all about young Davey launching an investigation with his friends after he believes a police officer living nearby is, in fact, a serial killer. Things get a little dangerous for our ragtag group from there. Watch Summer of ‘84 on Shudder, Amazon, or Vudu.
For Pennsylvania, my pick is Wicked Little Things. New-to-the-area Karen begins to notice a lot of strange happenings in the area after moving into the home her late husband inherited in the town of Carlton, PA. Things get a little crazy from there, think zombie children on a killing spree that the town turns a bit of a blind eye to level crazy. Watch Wicked Little Things on Tubi, Amazon, or Vudu.
In my Rhode Island choice, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, perhaps you should do exactly what the title says not to. After young Sally joins her father and his girlfriend at the 19th century estate they’re renovating, things take a dark turn when she accidentally unleashes some less-than-friendly creatures. Watch on Netflix, Amazon, or Vudu.
My South Carolina pick HAD to be The Strangers, I have such a nerdy love for the masks in this movie(between this and You’re Next you’re likely noticing a theme here), and the whole film in general, honestly. Slasher meets home invasion when a weekend away at a family vacation home turns less than relaxing. Watch on Hulu, Amazon, or Vudu.
Imprint is my South Dakota choice, a film about a woman who begins to hear ghostly voices and see strange and supernatural visions upon returning to her hometown to say goodbye to her dying father. I honestly need more horror set in the Dakotas, they’re just so beautiful. You can watch Imprint on Amazon.
My Tennessee pick is An American Haunting. Based on true events between 1818 and 1820, this movie is about the only documented(and validated by the state of Tennessee) case in US history in which a spirit took a human life. Watch on Tubi, Amazon, or Vudu.
I don’t know what it is about my Texas pick, Frailty, that I love so much but I really, really do. At its roots it’s about a man who believes he’s called by God to kill demons disguised as everyday people, and how it affects the lives of his sons into adulthood, when one of them shares his visions. Watch on Hulu, Amazon, or Vudu.
My Utah pick is Hereditary. This movie is just phenomenal. To put it simply, it’s about a series of events that haunt a family after the death of the grandmother, but in reality it’s so much more mysterious and demented than that. Check Hereditary out on Amazon or Vudu.
For Vermont I chose The Whisperer in the Darkness, based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story(and my all things horror nerdiness is showing), it revolves around a folklore professor investigating strange creatures of legend in remote Vermont. Watch The Whisperer in the Darkness on Shudder or Amazon.
Slasher Cherry Falls is my choice for Virginia, a fun take in which the virgins of the story aren’t the final girls – but instead are the targets of a serial killer in a small, sleepy town. Get Cherry Falls on Amazon.
My Washington pick is Lovers Lane, a campy take on the “Hook” urban legend. In this movie, an escaped mental patient goes after the children of his previous murder victims. Watch Lovers Lane on Amazon.
For West Virginia I went with a pick that will have you laughing from beginning to end – Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. A couple of hillbilly type friends take a vacation in the backwoods, where one has purchased a cabin. Hilarity ensues when some college partying types on a vacation of their own mistake them for murderers. Watch Tucker & Dale vs. Evil on Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu.
Wisconsin’s movie is The Beast of Bray Road, where a new in town sheriff investigates werewolf reports — and comes to the alarming realization that the predator targeting the area truly does share DNA of both wolf and human origins. Watch The Beast of Bray Road on Amazon.
Last, but certainly not at all least, is my Wyoming movie pick – Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Lives are turned topsy turvy after a UFO encounter leads to the realization that we are not alone. Watch on Crackle, Amazon, or Vudu.