10 Spine-Chilling Horror Movies Set In The Desert

In space, no-one can hear you scream. In the desert? No-one cares.

Revenge 2017
M.E.S. Productions

Of all the landscapes on this planet, there's none quite as intimidating or inhospitable as the desert. Vast, desolate wildernesses, inhabited either by nothing or some variety of murderous creature - with very little in-between. The desert is the last place on Earth one would want to be stranded or trapped.

Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of movies set in the desert. Whether these might be post-apocalyptic landscapes (the world of Mad Max, or the later Resident Evil movies, for instance), thrillers of the Australian new wave movement, or American and Spaghetti Westerns, the desert has proved a fertile environment for genre filmmaking. Sure, the desert can be fun sometimes (see Tremors and From Dusk Till Dawn), but mostly, it's downright terrifying.

Here we take a look at ten of the most unnerving, unsettling horror films ever to be set in a desert landscape. Shelter may be found in the occasional border town or gas station, but no respite. Be it bloodthirsty beast, ravenous cannibal hillbilly, opportunistic psychopath or... uh, a truck, there's no hiding in the desert.

10. Revenge

Revenge 2017

This gory French rape-revenge movie pits a young woman against her lover and his sleazy chums - following in the footsteps of the equally grisly Australian thriller Fair Game (1986). Third-wheeling on their lads holiday, Jen (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) faces a fight for her life when the men, bored and sleazy, attack Jen and leave her for dead. She is pursued through an unforgiving hellish desert landscape as the men try to finish off what they started.

Not for the faint-hearted, this gory action thriller by Coralie Fargeat sees Jen attempting to fend off both a pack of violent, murderous mysogynists and the desert landscape. In the movie's most unforgettable sequence, Jen is literally impaled on a tree, and forced to make her escape with a massive chunk sticking out of her side.

Jen's bloody revenge isn't to be sniffed at, culminating in a fantastically gory showdown with her ex. This movie doesn't make for easy viewing - leaving the harrowing imagery burned into viewers' memories for years to come.


A film critic and professional writer of over ten years, Joel Harley has a deep and abiding love of all things horror, Batman and Nicolas Cage. He can be found writing online and in print, all over the Internet and in especially good bookstores.