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8 (Mostly) Great ‘Survive the Night’ Horror Movies!

Survive the Night Horror Movies

Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, a film about members of a punk rock band who witness a murder and must survive the night in a bar run by neo-Nazis, opened in three theaters a couple of weeks ago. This weekend it will expand nationwide, allowing all of you to see the film! To celebrate this film, which our own Kalyn Corrigan gave a glowing review out of Fantastic Fest, we decided to look at some other great(ish) movies where the lead characters just had to make it through the night. Here are some of the better ones out there!

The Purge: Anarchy

Taking everything that worked about The Purge and improving upon it tenfold, The Purge: Anarchy was quite the surprise of 2014. After The Purge disappointed in 2013 (but surprised at the box office), audiences were gifted with this clean slate of a film that actually took advantage of its interesting premise: for 12 hours, all crime is legal. Anarchy isn’t a perfect film, but it’s a helluva lot of fun.

Survive the Night Horror Movies

Battle Royale

The children in Battle Royale got an extension on their “survive the night plot” and get a whole 72 hours to make it out alive! Well, one of them anyway. In the Japanese classic, 42 students participate in the annual Battle Royale as a result of the BR Act, which was passed after 800,000 students walked out of school. It’s a brutal film, but it’s a classic for a reason.

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30 Days of Night

AKA One of the best vampire movies of the new millennium! David Slade (Hard Candy) brings us this frost-bitten tale of some of the scariest vampires you’ve ever seen. And even though it takes place over the course of 30 24-hour periods, it is technically one night!

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Jeepers Creepers 2

Here is where the “mostly” comes in with this article title. Jeepers Creepers 2 is no gem. In fact, it’s pretty mediocre, but it’s still highly entertaining. Eschewing all of the creepiness that made the first film so effective (Jeepers Creepers is an underrated gem and I won’t hear any opinions to the contrary!), Jeepers Creepers 2 follows a bus full of high schoolers as they must survive the final night of the Creeper’s rampage.

Survive the Night Horror

Terror Train

A New Year’s Eve train ride takes a turn for the worse when a masked serial killer comes aboard to kill the boys and girls of Sigma Phi (“some will live, some will die” notes the supremely clever tagline). It’s a bit silly since no one realizes anyone is dead until about 70 minutes into the movie, but that third act twist with the killer reveal is one of the better ones to come out of the 80s slasher craze.

Terror Train

Saw II

Less about surviving the night and more about surviving until the deadly toxin in the air kills the lead characters, Saw II is all about a race against the clock. I maintain that it is the best Saw film (come at me!), and while the twist doesn’t exactly live up to the standards set by the first film, it does feature some of the franchise’s best traps (the needly pit, anyone?).

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Night of the Demons

Whether you’re referring to the totally awesome 1988 film or not-quite-as-awesome-but-still-totally-entertaining 2009 remake, you can’t go wrong with Night of the Demons! A group of kids are trapped in Angela’s (Amelia Kinkade/Shannon Elizabeth) house as demons are unleashed and begin to possess them one by one. If they can make it to sunrise, the demons will be banished forever!

Night of the Demons

Demons

Demons sure to like harassing people in one building, don’t they? Looking back on Lamberto Bava’s Demons (which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary), it still stands the test of time as an unabashedly entertaining meta gorefest about a group of people who have to survive the night in a movie theater as demons begin to possess them. There’s nothing classy about it, but if you sit down and let Demons take you along for the ride, you’ll find yourself having the time of your life!

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What is your favorite “survive the night” horror film? Let us know in the comments below!



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COMMENTS

57 Comments
  • gabriel

    Survive the night is just a bad-ass theme that you can’t go wrong with. Nice to see some love for JEepers Creepers II

  • EvilHead1981

    No From Dusk till Dawn? WTF?!

    • Alex Dye

      That’s a great survive the night flick!

  • Creepshow

    I’ll start off by saying….
    Good to hear from you again Trace. Missed ya bud!

    • gabriel

      I guess I scared off wehoaks heheheheh (rubbing my hands together).

      • Creepshow

        You can’t take the credit for that. I think it was the rubbish articles/opinions from the newbies and others.
        But what do I know? That’s right…Nothing! lol

        • wehoaks

          What a fucking dope.

          • Creepshow

            And somewhat of a coward, who likes to take credit and beat his chest for doing absolutely nothing. He donates a nickle to the Ronald McDonald House, and then tells people he cures cancer.

          • gabriel

            You’re being rather hard on yourself. I’d just call you a dummy for now, but you could eventually be a dope further down the road.

          • wehoaks

            You are so bad at this.

        • wehoaks

          It was the garbage articles. But this moron may have brought me back with a vengeance.

          • Creepshow

            I will just say this.
            I haven’t been a part of commenting here for long. But I’ve been reading the articles and comments for a few years. I can’t speak for everyone else, and I’m giving Trace credit on this because I called him out at first. But I’ve noticed a difference how people acted toward one another after his serious Salva article. Everyone seemed to keep it above the belt after that.

          • Creepshow

            Unless they asked for punishment, of course.

      • wehoaks

        You eat your own doody.

      • Creepshow

        You chose to bring this comment up outta nowhere, when I was just saying I missed Trace. What’s your purpose? Man up and own it.

  • shawn lawson

    Not really horror at all, but Judgement Night?

    • the usual suspect

      what a soundtrack that movie had… I still have the cassette tape hahaha

      • Creepshow

        That soundtrack is the “fuckin bomb”! Best ever as far as I’m concerned.

        • the usual suspect

          You know it bud… you can go wrong with Slayer, Pearl Jam, Cypress Hill, Sonic Youth, Run DMC and many others I can’t remember off the top of my head.. It’s one of my favorite soundtracks right up there with the Spawn Soundtrack in my eyes.. The 90’s had the best soundtracks

          • Creepshow

            Annnnd….you are correct again with Spawn. I feel like I owe you a prize now. (or at least a beer or high five)

          • the usual suspect

            I would gladly take both haha
            Yay me

          • Horrormikfl

            HELL NIGHT.

          • Horrormikfl

            HELL NIGHT w/Linda Blair.

      • shawn lawson

        Onyx with the title track….still my favorite rap group!

  • James

    Id have to go with the first jeepers creepers over the second. Though the father hunting the creature was excellent.

  • the usual suspect

    No Night of the living dead ?. .. c’mon man

    • Creepshow

      The zombies will still be there in the morning though. So they are just plain “surviving”.

      • the usual suspect

        true but in that case , so would the creeper and jigsaw, purge night would be back the next year, vampires would be back at dusk the following night and a demon can always be summoned again though

        • Creepshow

          It seemed like The Evil Deads were survive the night films too. But I remember Ash getting his ass kicked and becoming possessed during the day in ED 2.

          • the usual suspect

            yes that’s true but the demon didn’t have full power of him till the sun went down.. Then once that happen shit hit the fan.. Evil dead 2 sub title was Dead by dawn after all haha , so that works too in my eyes as would the first one too

          • Creepshow

            Good call…Haha! I wasn’t even thinking about the “Dead by Dawn” thing.

  • Frank Lloyd Jr.

    Your picks are mostly great. Mostly.

  • pablitonizer

    What about”Tales from the Crypt’s Demon Knight”??? One of my 90s favorites

    • the usual suspect

      good call

  • Sarah Parker

    Great list, Trace! Battle Royale is my #1.

    • Eizzy IceBorne

      Oh yes! Here too!

  • adams

    I’m a HUGE fan of The Strangers and, to a lesser extent, You’re Next.

  • Cody

    Hatchet!

    • gabriel

      Rubber Mallett!

  • Ash Williams

    All 3 hatchets,demon night,you’re next is good,Feast

  • Alex Dye

    Dog Soldiers, hands down, best survive the night flick. Also, stealing this from another dude, but From Dusk Till Dawn, such a great survive the night flick. And You’re Next, great new(ish) one in that style.

  • 1EyeJack

    This list is too short!
    Can’t believe nobody mentioned Halloween and Halloween II. Also worth mentioning are One Dark Night, Inside, Ills (Them), High Tension, Wolf Creek and Krampus.

    • Meisha’s Taint

      Probably 75% of all horror films happen over the course of one night. This list could be 100 deep!

      I second IIIs I think the first 10 minutes of that movie is maybe the scariest scene in any horror movie holy shit!

      • ChelseaGoneAwry

        Yeah, I think we really have to narrow this list down to just include siege-style survive the night. Like where the victims are trapped in a limited location and there’s more than one villain out there. Straight-forward slashers that take place over the course of one night get their own category.

  • Nick Halloway

    Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse

  • ThunderDragoon

    It’s awesome to see Jeepers Creepers 2 on here.

    • Meisha’s Taint

      No it’s not. FUCK VICTOR SALVA and FUCK JEEPERS CREEPERS.

      STEAL JEEPERS CREEPERS 3!

  • Meisha’s Taint

    I love Battle Royal so damn much. I tell every person I know to watch that film it’s a absolute must see for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

    Has anyone seen the Asian girl in the new “Mobile Strike” app game commercial on TV with Arnold Swarzzeneger? ( wrong spelling ) Is that the same girl from Battle Royal/Kill Bill??? Looks just like her

  • dave o

    You’re Next, The Descent and Inside would be my picks

  • Gary Mc Cafferty

    I would say Rec and You’re next, both great!! And most recently Girlhouse which was great fun!

  • You’re Next, REC, Jeepers Creepers 2, Saw 2, 30 Days of Night and Purge: Anarchy they’re all great movies.
    I loved the first two Hunger Games and I want to see Battle Royale, do you recommend it for me?

    • Tullio Dias

      Battle Royale <3

    • Mr. Dry

      REC and REC 2 all the way!!

    • ChelseaGoneAwry

      Ugh. I LOVE From Dusk Till Dawn! That ending!!

  • Mr. Dry

    Thanks for the 30 Days Of Night appreciation Trace! For me, one of the best horror films from the past decade.
    Aaaaand I would add Haute Tension.

  • Maxime C

    So does this mean you like Saw 2 better than the first one? Original choice!!
    Pretty much agree on everything else. But where is Inside?? That’s a big miss imo.

  • ChelseaGoneAwry

    In Their Sleep is one of my favorite survive the nights. It’s full of so many unexpected plot shifts and genuine character development, which is nice. I also loved The Strangers and You’re Next. All three gave me genuine creeps.

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