There are movies that inspire travel and then there are others that simply tell you to stay the hell home. Whether it’s because you’re going to get chopped up into little pieces or maybe just be forced to hear the most annoying sound in the world, Hollywood has been dealing out these cautionary tales as horrors and comedies for decades. “Haven’t you seen Hostel?!” is a pretty popular response when mentioning you’ll be bunking down with a group of total strangers as your traipse around Europe. But while even the most seasoned travelers cringe upon hearing Dueling Banjos, it definitely doesn’t mean they’re going to halt their trip to the backwoods of Georgia just yet.
This list is for those of you that know you might get robbed, lose your luggage, get a flat tire, miss a flight, fall into an underground cave, or any other thing that the world might want to throw your way. Because you know that the pay off of travel is worth the risk.
1. Dead Snow (2009)
A group of twenty-somethings take a trip to a remote cabin in the mountains of Norway only to discover that they are surrounded by a fleet of Nazi Zombies.
Why you shouldn’t travel: Nazis. Zombies. Nazi Zombies. Any questions?
Why you still should: The mountains are still pretty wicked, you might find some really great treasure, and there’s a possibility that you’ll find out you’re more of a badass with the chainsaw than you thought!
2. The Last King of Scotland (2006)
Nicholas Garrigan (a swoon-worthy James McAvoy) decides to shirk the boredom of home by going to Uganda to work as a missionary doctor. He gets more than he bargained for when he becomes the personal confidant of insane dictator Idi Amin.
Why you shouldn’t travel: You might end up mutilated or murdered. No one likes that.
Why you still should: There will always be crazy dictators somewhere. You might as well let the world know what it’s like to visit such places (at your own risk, of course).
3. The Shining (1980)
A man takes his family up to an isolated hotel in the mountains for the winter when he gets a job as the caretaker, but his pseudo-psychic son knows bad things are on the rise.
Why you shouldn’t travel: You might encounter creepy twins, get possessed by the former caretaker’s ghost, try to murder your family, or get murdered in the process.
Why you still should: For one, what a sweet gig to be caretaker for such an amazing place! Plus… Dude. That maze. That maze!
4. Titanic (1997)
A ship is built and boasted as indestructible until it meets with an iceberg that quickly brings its ego down to size. Also, a rich girl is unhappy with her life but finds happiness when she starts hanging out with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Why you shouldn’t travel: Your travel fling with will never share that floating plank of wood with you and you will either freeze to death, drown, or both.
Why you still should: Who doesn’t want to be King (or Queen) of the world?! Plus they look like they had some wild parties in the deck below!
5. Dogville (2003)
Grace (Nicole Kidman) is traveling to escape a group of mobsters. When she finds herself in Dogville, she thinks she’s found salvation, but ends up realizing she’s actually worse off there than ever before.
Why you shouldn’t travel: You run the risk of becoming an indentured servant and attacked on a daily basis.
Why you still should: If this can happen in Dogville, it can happen in your own backyard. Nowhere is safe, so you may as well travel!
6. What About Bob? (1991)
A psychiatrist goes on vacation to New Hampshire in order to escape the stress of dealing with his patients, only to inevitably find one of them (Bob, played by Bill Murray) has decided tag along for the ride.
Why you shouldn’t travel: Just goes to show you can’t always escape your troubles.
Why you still should: You should always do things that increase your chances of hanging out with Bill Murray (like go hang out at a hotel bar in Tokyo or join Team Zissou for an underwater expedition).
7. The Twilight Zone: The Movie (Nightmare at 20,000 feet) (1963)
William Shatner has recently suffered a nervous breakdown. On his flight home, he sees a creepy gremlin destroying parts of the plane. Everyone thinks he is insane.
Why you shouldn’t travel: Your plane might be destroyed before you land and/or people will think you are insane and send you back to the loony bin.
Why you still should: If you just close your eyes and take the sleep meds the nice flight attendant gave you, it’ll be the most comfortable flight of your life and you just might make it to your destination. Ignorance is bliss!
8. Alive (1993)
The plane of a group of Uruguayan rugby players crashes into the Andes Mountains and those remaining do whatever they can to survive, including developing new dietary habits.
Why you shouldn’t travel: You might die and/or eat your friends.
Why you still should: Those mountains should be on everyone’s bucket list. Also, no one will ever mess with you if you tell them you’re a cannibal.
9. The Strangers (2008)
A couple head to their vacation home out in the country but are quickly terrorized by masked psychopaths in the night. Also, Liv Tyler finally stars in something without Ben Affleck.
Why you shouldn’t travel: Being killed in a cabin in the woods is so passé.
Why you still should: Honestly, this movie doesn’t really make a good case for travel at all… but that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t! And even if you are murdered in your cabin, at least there’s a good chance your death will be immortalized in a horror film, so not all will be lost.
10. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)
Steve Martin is trying to get home for the holidays but as soon as he meets John Candy, everything that can go wrong does. Hilarity ensues.
Why you shouldn’t travel: Someone might take your cab and your money, you might have to listen to bad jokes and share an uncomfortable bed with an obnoxious new acquaintance, and you might see the Devil himself when you’re almost killed while being driven down the wrong side of the highway.
Why you still should: Nothing beats a good holiday travel story at the dinner table!
Written by guest blogger Pris Blossom.