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13 Movies That’ll Make You Rethink Going To Amusement Parks This Summer

Amusement parks are all fun and games until you get stuck on a ride to avoid being mauled to death a horde of zombies—like Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin in Zombieland. Murders, ride malfunctions, and puke-a-paloozas can also put a huge damper on theme parks. So before you head off to Six Flags, Disneyland, or the like, you should check out these 16 films that don’t quite give amusement parks the best name—who knows, they might save your life.

1. Final Destination 3


All right, let’s get this one out of the way since you’re expecting it anyway. Few amusement park movie scenes come to mind more immediately than the opening of the third entry in the Final Destination saga. Pro tip: Don’t bring your camera onto a ride, and definitely don’t drop it onto the tracks.

2. Zombieland


Why Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone thought getting on a ride that just goes up and down would be a good way to escape a horde of zombies, I’ll never know, but that’s what they did. Thankfully, Blast Off wasn’t the site of their gruesome murder, but it certainly could’ve been.

3. Something Wicked This Way Comes


Based on the novel by Ray Bradbury, this freaky film about a twisted carnival with a merry-go-round that could age you forwards or backwards was made by Disney, who apparently forgot it wasn’t a story for children. Toss in a few insidious characters who won’t quit stalking two boys, and you’ll never want to visit a carnival at night again.

4. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams


While no one is injured or killed on The Juggler, the ride does malfunction after the President’s daughter (Taylor Momsen) jams the override and decides to risk death—and everyone else’s lives—all to get her busy father’s attention. #AlsoRude

5. Westworld


This Michael Crichton story is set in a futuristic adult-themed amusement park with robots that have amok and attacked everyone. Theme parks are all fun and games until robots start killing people.

6. Scooby-Doo


Remember that time Scrappy-Doo took over a theme park resort, stole tourists’s souls, and tried to murder his former gang? Yeah, none of those rides were safe during that whole demons-attacking-humans fiasco.

7. Strangers on a Train


This classic Hitchcock film includes a woman stalked and murdered by someone she doesn’t even know while visiting an amusement park. There’s also a scene where a guy must crawl underneath a malfunctioning carousel to turn it off. Some poor sap actually had get under a moving carousel, which even Hitchcock felt was too scary.

8. Brighton Rock


This old-school gangster film has a creepy scene of a bad guy throwing a dude off a rollercoaster—appropriately named Dante’s Inferno—and into a body of water, killing him, while the rest of the people enjoy the ride and never even notice one person didn’t make it back.

9. Goosebumps


OK, OK: This pic is from the two-part Goosebumps TV episode “One Day at Horrorland,” which is technically not a movie. But the 2015 film has a scene with monsters terrorizing kids on an abandoned ferris wheel, so it still counts. The ’90s TV episode is creepier—while trapped in Horrorland, the Morris family battles plenty of ghouls, gets locked in caskets travelling down a river, and is almost eaten by ravenous animals. A bad time is had by all.

10. Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein


Cartoon or not, this is still an example of rollercoasters gone wrong. Thanks to Frankenstein’s Monster interfering with the ride, the chipmunks’s coaster is sent spiralling out of control, leaving the track and crashing into a souvenir cart.

11. Rollercoaster


This dark movie from the ’70s involves a bad guy bombing and setting fire to various rollercoasters, killing and injuring a ton of people. He threatens to continue doing it until a ransom is paid. #Rude

12. The Machinist


My future husband Christian Bale goes on a spooky ride with a little boy, only to have his past haunt him, his guilt eating away at him. There’s definitely no amusement on that amusement-park ride, since the boy ends up having an epileptic seizure and Bale’s deteriorating health only gets worse.

13. Escape from Tomorrow 


This 2013 movie didn’t inspire this article, but it might as well have. While visiting Walt Disney World with his family, a man starts to experience freaky visions, and everything goes to hell. Evil children, vicious audio-animatronics, and a whole lot of WTFness sums up this extreme guerrilla-made film. I mean, the trailer alone is disturbing enough.