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The Green Life: 10 Scary Eco-Horror Films

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October 31, 2013

10 Scary Eco-Horror Films

eco-horror moviesIt's time to break out the scary movies and the organic popcorn. To celebrate Halloween, we picked 10 spooky environmental films for their laughs, screams, and genuinely frightening messages. And if these eco-horror movies keep you up at night, don't say we didn't warn you.

The Birds - 1963
It's always nice to start off with a classic, and The Birds is certainly that. Revisit Alfred Hitchcock's famous horror film and its many fine feathered friends this Halloween for a nostalgic and thrilling look at nature fighting back. On that note, there are lots of movies with animals enacting revenge, so make sure to check them out as well.


The Day After Tomorrow - 2004
Global warming goes apocalyptic in this thrilling end-of-days scenario, where climate change brings about massive weather disturbances and ushers in a new Ice Age. Wrought with extreme ramifications for our harm to the planet, this movie shows Mother Nature dealing some serious payback.


An Inconvenient Truth - 2006
The real-world version of The Day After Tomorrow is just as terrifying, but a lot more informative. Revisit this classic documentary for a renewed fear of climate change and the effects of your own carbon footprint on planet earth and future generations.


Troll 2 - 1990
Despite its name, Troll 2 doesn't have a single troll in it and has no relation to the movie Troll. Troll 2 actually has vegetarian goblins that turn people into deformed plant/human hybrids in order to eat them. Though the movie was sincerely meant to be scary, it has now become known as one of the greatest terrible movies ever made. Sink your teeth into this movie for genuine laughs and check out Best Worst Movie, the hit documentary that follows Troll 2's rise to cult stardom -- both available on Netflix.


The China Syndrome - 1979
The China Syndrome won't scare you so bad you jump, but it will still put the fear in you in its own unsettling way. Satisfy your thirst for conspiracy, radioactive doom, governmental cover-ups, and environmental contamination with this ever-relevant classic.


The Wicker Man - 1973
If green living, homesteading, going back to the earth, alternative medicine, and a bunch of other trends all went terribly wrong we might find ourselves in a place like that of The Wicker Man. Basically this is the nightmare world anti-environmentalists picture if we take climate change seriously, but it is also considered by many to be the Citizen Kane of horror films. Make sure to rent the classic 1973 version, not the Nicholas Cage remake (which is a lot more funny than scary), and keep in mind that Wicker Man isn't one for the whole family.


Attack of the Killer Tomatoes - 1978

Lighten the mood with this horror parody, which might as well be the movie that predicted all of our fears of GMO foods as -- just as the name suggests -- giant tomatoes have their revenge on mankind. At the same time, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes should make any foodie at least a bit uncomfortable about all of the dead tomatoes posted on their Instagram account as they die from laughter from this old school flick.


Gasland - 2010
We don't know about you, but watching someone's tap water burst into flames terrifies us. This documentary depicts fracking as the modern environmental horror and backs it up with enough raw footage to leave you breathless. Make sure to check out the follow-up Gasland Part II as well.


Prophecy - 1979
This old-school monster movie features a mutant bear-thing created by the waste of an irresponsible log company. Though it is probably too campy to be truly scary, where would any list be without a giant monster?


The Happening - 2008
M. Knight Shyamalan's bloody horror film depicts a world where the plants have had enough. Trees, bushes, flowers, and all other flora are emitting a powerful neurotoxin that forces any human unfortunate enough to breathe it in to immediately commit suicide. This movie is a bit on the crazy side, but it might make you look at your houseplants a bit differently. As well, this film is definitely not for kids.


—Image via iStockphoto/Monkeybusinessimages

James Rogers is an editorial intern at Sierra. He graduated from Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, where he studied a combination of environmental studies and journalism. While at Western, he was the editor-in-chief of The Planet magazine, and he has written for Conservation Northwest QuarterlyPublic Eye Northwestand The Western Front.


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