9 Best College Campus Horror Movies
Without a doubt Halloween is the best time of year to watch college horror movies!
You can dress like Deadpool, a Playboy Bunny, Freddy Kreuger, or Edward Cullen and be the life of the party.
What better way to spend the night of horror and gore than to grab a bowl of popcorn and settle comfortably on your couch while watching these 9 scary movies set in what could actually be your very own college campus?
Settle in for this “killer” list of college campus horror films:
The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1982)
This American slasher film actually has several different titles:
- Death Dorm
Like Black Christmas, it’s a horror movie set during the yuletide season.
The film follows a few college students who decide to stay on campus during the holidays when one of the dorms are about to get demolished.
The friends decide to help renovate the building, when they are attacked one by one by a killer who uses the construction tools to end his victims.
Since it was on a low, student budget, it was only released through DVD in the wake of the more popular slasher films: Friday the 13th and the like.
Night of the Creeps (1986)
The Night of the Creeps is a film for those who would like some comedy and sci-fi with their horror.
This is the film that has zombies, alien invasion, and crazed slasher killers. Bring it on!
The story revolves around the hero who joins a fraternity to impress a girl.
He studies at Corman University, and when he and his fellow pledges steal a cadaver from the medical center, the corpse suddenly moves.
That starts a series of events involving zombies and guns and prom.
If you’re a horror buff, you’ll be tickled funny at the characters: Romero, Cameron, Cronenberg, etc. It has a 69% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
The film was shot at two colleges: California State University Northridge and University of Southern California. Other scenes were shot around Los Angeles.
CSUN is a public university while USC is a private one. Both are frequently used for Hollywood movies.
Other films shot at USC include: Forrest Gump, Legally Blonde, The Social Network, and The Roommate.
CSUN also played host to other films like: Knight Rider, Star Trek, and Superbad.
Scream 2 (1997)
Scream was one of the most iconic horror-slasher films in history.
The second Scream follows the same protagonist in her first year at Windsor College.
The main character, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) becomes the target of another killer, who uses the same methods of killing as the killer in the first Scream movie.
Scream 2 actually had positive viewer reception.(6.8 out of 10 on RottenTomatoes.com) It was also probably because of the twist in the story.
When the script had been made, the identity of the killer was leaked and passed around like hot potato around the Internet.
This prompted the writers to rewrite the ending, while the filming was going on.
And because of this the entire script wasn’t delivered, director Wes Craven had to improvise in some scenes. Look how well that turned out (Very well, actually)!
While the first film was set in California, the second one was filmed in Georgia.
Windsor College was actually Agnes Scott College just outside Atlanta.
Other scenes were shot in Pasadena, California, though (like the sorority party with Sarah Michelle Geller).
Urban Legend (1998)
This slasher film starring Jared Leto (you know the guy who played the Joker in Suicide Squad) is about a killer that kills students using methods that are based on urban legend.
The movie is set at New England University, which is, according to the film, located in Melbourne, New Hampshire.
Urban Legend was actually shot at the University of Toronto, in Ontario Canada.
Although the film only racked up 20% on Rotten Tomatoes
The film did appeal to viewers who wanted to see urban legends like: girls conjuring up Bloody Mary, a guy hung from a tree while his girlfriend waits in the car, a roommate getting killed in the dark, killer hiding in the backseat of the car, and more.
The Skulls (2000)
This suspense thriller stars Fast & Furious actor, the late Paul Walker, and Dawson’s Creek’s Joshua Jackson.
The story of the film is generally patterned after the conspiracy theories around the Skull and Bones secret society at Yale University. (the film was able to spawn two sequels)
Whether or not the theories are true, many prominent people, as the film depicted, have been part of the Skull and Bones society like William Howard Taft and George W. Bush.
The problem starts when a friend of Luke’s (Jackson) dies after investigating the Skulls.
His death was made to look like an accident, but Luke knows something deeper is going on, and he’s not sure how much he can really trust his society brother, Caleb (Walker).
The film was shot around the University of Toronto, so if you’re a film geek, you can just take note of the similar film locations from The Skulls and Urban Legend.
Cry Wolf (2005)
This American murder-mystery and slasher film is perfect for your average horror experience.
The story is set at Westlake Preparatory Academy, where the loyal protagonist gets dragged by his roommate to play a game called “Cry Wolf” with some other guileless students.
When a girl’s body is found in the woods, the students send out an email to the rest of the students telling them about a serial killer in a ski mask, camouflage jacket, and hunting knife (effectively “crying wolf”).
But then the killer becomes real and starts killing them off.
Cry Wolf was filmed at several colleges: University of Richmond, Union Presbyterian Seminary, and Collegiate School. Other locations involved a villa in Virginia.
The University of Richmond is no stranger to filming. Its main campus has been featured as an Ivy League school in Dawson’s Creek.
The Collegiate School in Richmond is an actual prep school for boys and girls.
Black Christmas (1974 and 2006 versions)
The original Black Christmas was a Canadian slasher that focused on a group of sorority sisters who are murdered by a killer who has been hiding out in the attic of their sorority house during winter break, a few days before Christmas.
The 1974 version was a cult classic and has become well-remembered for its slasher nostalgia.
This film was shot at Annesley Hall at the University of Toronto (it’s a favorite of horror film producers). The hall is actually a National Historic Site.
The original film garnered 64% from Rotten Tomatoes.
The 2006 version, however, didn’t get as much praise, with only 14% and critics saying that the remake pales in comparison to the 1974 film.
The new film did, however, garner one nomination from Scream Awards: Scream Queen for Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The second film was also filmed in Canada.
The University of Toronto is a high-ranking college in the world.
It’s No. 1 in Canada, and takes several places within 20th to 30th according to different World University Rankings.
It’s the alma mater of several notable people like writer Margaret Atwood and even horror film director David Cronenberg himself.
Suspiria is actually an Italian horror film. Don’t think that the cultural difference will put you off, though. It’s just as good, if not better.
It stars an American ballet student who studies at Tanz Dance Academy, a ballet academy in Germany.
The twist is that the academy is just a front for something more sinister – something demonic.
It has become a cult classic, and a remake is about to be released next year (2017)!
The film has a 93% rating over at Rotten Tomatoes! That’s huge for a horror film.
Suspiria isn’t just a horror film, though – it’s psychological and macabre.
The movie was filmed at the Freiburg im Breisgau, an old college town just on the edge of the Black Forest.
Some scenes were also set in Rome, although many were in Munich.
The academy portion of the film was shot at The Whale House or Haus zum Walfisch.
The Roommate (2011)
The horror film starring Friday Night Lights actress Minka Kelly and Gossip Girl alum Leighton Meester.
The movie revolves around Sara Matthews (Kelly) whose dorm roommate is Rebecca (Meester), a pretty and rich, but obviously unhinged girl who hasn’t been taking her medication.
Rebecca shows a strange obsession towards her new roommate, but there is nothing Sara can do to prove that her roommate is creepy, strange, and might be a killer.
The film and actors were also nominated for a few awards from MTV:
- Best Scared as S**t Performance
- Best Villain
Teen Choice Nominees in:
- Female Scene Stealer
If you’re bound for college, you could benefit from this movie that revolves around frat houses, college professors who flirt with students, fashion majors (props to the film for actually showing the protagonist’s ambitions in college), and killer roommates.
It might prepare you for the won’t-likely-happen-but-just-might situations in college.
The posters for the film included a backdrop of a building at Southwestern College in Kansas, but the movie was actually shot at the University of Southern California and the Loyola Marymount University.
Southwestern College actually raised concerns about the use of their building in the posters because the crew never asked permission.
In the end, the photo of the Southwestern College building was replaced.