5 Movies That Will Make You Afraid to Travel

Can movies make you afraid to travel? Hollywood has a huge role in the general perception of travel and a massive influence on where people decide to go. New Zealand has benefited greatly by being shown off to millions of Lord of the Rings fans and Midnight In Paris (as well as the thousands of other movies about the City of Light) creates  millions of people with romanticized perceptions who cannot wait to book a flight. The flip side to this is the movies that just make you want to stay home; the portrayal of Murphy’s law in travel that means the minute you board a flight to a far away land you put yourself in immediate and unnecessary danger. Here is a list of 5 of the films we think would make the most people afraid to travel.

Liam Neeson looking Scary

Taken (2008)

Incredibly bad ass Liam Neeson on a mission to save his daughter who was kidnapped while backpacking in Paris. He warned her, everyone thought he was paranoid but young Maggie Grace didn’t even make it out of Charles Degaulle Airport without being targeted as a high value piece of ass. This left Liam to karate chop as many necks as he could on his one man mission to find her. Having not learned that anywhere outside of the US is a recipe for abduction the family take a trip to Istanbul in Taken 2 where they are targeted by them silly Albanians hell bent on vengeance. The second helping is not a patch on the first but both manage to scare the hell out of parents whose little graduates are dreaming of their big trip.

The Beach (2000)

Curious backpacker Leonardo Dicaprio finds himself looking for beautiful deserted beach recommended by a suicidal scotsman who hates people, sounds good right? Of course the Island is full of gun toting druglords and a paranoid beach community that risk their lives to keep the beach free of pesky tourists who threaten to end their hipster claim on the unspoiled island. The movie shows just how dangerous looking for paradise can be. (Top tip, never travel with Leonardo. Blood Diamond, the beach and Titanic, chances are he will get you killed)

koh phi phi lee
We Made it to the Beach! Not quite as deserted as the Scottish guy made out

Hostel (2005)

Single-handedly giving every hostel ever a serial killer vibe this movie has become the key point of frustration for traveller trying to explain to friends that hostels are actually not scary at all. The movie starts off with 3 fun guys travelling Europe looking for adventure and parties and girls, little did they know that Slovakia’s secret booming business is that of slicing up young backpackers. Even though this far fetched horror story seems ridiculous it is amazing just how many people’s only perception of a hostel is through this movie and its even worse sequels.

The Impossible (2012)

Impossible to watch without crying right? While some the movies on this list make people afraid to travel because they perpetuate scary travel myths this one is even scarier because its a true story. A young family is swept away from their idyllic Koh Lak hotel by the 2004 boxing day Tsunami. When the water hits the family is separated and viewers bear witness to a wave* of pain, destruction, desperation, hope and love. The knowledge that this is a true story makes it very difficult viewing, the confusion in the aftermath of the disaster and the overwhelmed Thai hospitals make you want to stay as inland as possible for the rest of your days. *see what I did there

Open Water (2003)

Another story loosely based on truth. A couple separate from their group while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef are left out at sea when the crew make the fatal fuck up of all fuck ups by miscounting divers before heading back to dry land. Hungry and exhausted the couple battle sharks, jelly fish and the grim reality of their situation. The greedy film makers even decided to make an entirely fictional sequel where a bunch of young party kids all go for a swim without lowering the ladder and are unable to get back on board, oh did I mention they left a baby on the boat?

Yep, your screwed.
Yep, your screwed.

Have any movies made you afraid to travel? Let me know in the comments.

Lee Carter

Born and raised in Accrington, UK, Lee has ventured far beyond his hometown, traveling throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, North America and New Zealand. He is the co-founder of Global Goose and as well as writing the occasional rant he can be found tweaking the code and taking photos of amazing things around the world. Lee and Kelly have no plans to stop their "Gap Decade" anytime soon.

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  1. Um, you forgot about the high quality art film “The Human Centipede!” Ha ha! Before I left for 6 months of solo travel in Europe my boyfriend and I watched this atrocious movie simply out of curiosity. Awful. Suffice it to say, he was terrified of me traveling alone in Europe after that!

  2. An Australian movie called ‘Wolf Creek’, about a serial killer who kidnaps a group of young people in the Australian outback, tortures them and toys with them as they try and escape. Scary stuff!

  3. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I think
    that you ought to publish more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people do not talk
    about such topics. To the next! Cheers!!

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