As Spider-Man: Far From Home and Midsommar bring the well-worn trip-gone-wrong back to the big screen, here are 20 of movies most appalling vacations

20. The Inbetweeners 2( 2014)

The sequel to the film of the sitcom, The Inbetweeners 2 bravely wrestles with the question of which is more revolting, a faceful of someone else’s urine or a faceful of someone else’s faeces. Evaluating by all the vomiting that Will( Simon Bird) does after he receives the latter, the answer is faeces. But that’s not all the Brits abroad have to put up with in Australia. Neil( Blake Harrison) kills a dolphin, Simon( Joe Thomas) gets beat up, and when their gondola runs out of fuel in the strenuously hot outback, it gazes- for two whole hours- as if they will all die of dehydration.

19. The Navigator( 1924)

If you can forgive the less-than-PC depiction of the primitive islanders in the last reel, Buster Keaton’s most commercially successful cinema is also one of his most delightful. It’s not so much fun for the characters, though. Keaton whizs as Rollo Treadway, a top-hatted toff who proposes to his neighbour( Kathryn McGuire ). After she turns him down, he decides to go on their honeymoon sail to Honolulu by himself, but they end up adrift together on a deserted liner. Highlight: Rollo fends off one swordfish by using another swordfish as a weapon.

Rebecca
Rebecca Hall, Patricia Clarkson and Scarlett Johansson in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/ Allstar

18. Vicky Cristina Barcelona( 2008)

In one of Woody Allen’s best 21 st-century movies, Vicky( Rebecca Hall) and Cristina( Scarlett Johansson) round off their two-month Catalan sojourn by being shot at by the hot-blooded ex-wife( Penelope Cruz) of the artist( Javier Bardem) the government has both slept with. Cruz triumphed an Oscar for her bilingual recital, but Hall and Johansson are equally impressive as they trudge side by side through the airport in the closing stage. Vicky is embarking on” the life she had envisaged before the summer in Barcelona”, the narrator says, and Cristina is” certain only of what she[ doesn’t] crave “. Two parties have rarely seemed less freshened or recreated by a holiday.

17. Carry on Abroad( 1972)

Any cultural study of British attitudes towards Europe should begin with an analysis of Carry on Abroad. This later, lesser entering in the sequence mails the regulars on a bundle vacation to the island of Elsbels( get it ?) on the Costa Bomm( get onto ?). The inn is unfinished and understaffed, the phones don’t work, sand spouts from the taps, mosquitoes pour in through the windows and then, finally, the resort is washed away by a flash flood. No wonder the team opted for a British caravanning holiday three films later in Carry on Behind.

16. Unrelated( 2007)

By the time the middle-aged, middle-class Anna( Kathryn Worth) joins a group of friends in a rented Tuscan villa, the dwellers have already split themselves into the ” youngs” and the “olds”. Anna, of course, is relegated to the ” olds”, but would much instead be staying with the “youngs”, the teenage Oakley( a pre-Loki Tom Hiddleston) in particular. Her discomfort may be mild compared with the physical ache suffered by some of the other holidaymakers on this list, but Joanna Hogg’s acute debut will be excruciating to anyone who has ever felt uncool and out-of-place.

Arnie
Arnie in Total Recall. Photograph: Allstar/ Tristar

15. Total Recall( 1990)

Actual holidays are a risky business, but virtual holidays can be just as hazardous. In Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall, accommodated from a Philip K Dick short story, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, a construction worker( Arnold Schwarzenegger) pays to have the rememberings of a trip-up of a lifetime implanted in his psyche. Regrettably, the process reveals that he is really a secret agent with a record of Martian assignments. Or maybe he really is a construction worker, and it’s the Martian duties that are all a fantasy. Either way, he won’t recall it as a relaxing break.

14. Taken( 2008)

We all know that Los Angeles is the safest place on Earth, while Paris is the most dangerous, so when 17 -year-old Kim( Maggie Grace) tells her dad( Liam Neeson) that she is off to the city of light, the retired CIA agent acquires, quite rightly as it turns out, that she will be abducted by Albanian sex traffickers as soon as she paces out of Charles de Gaulle airport. You would think that poor Kim would stay in LA after that, but she manager to Istanbul in the sequel. Again, Dad’s” particular established of abilities” are required.

Matthias
Matthias Schoenaerts and Tilda Swinton in A Bigger Splash. Photograph: Allstar/ Frenesy

13. A Bigger Splash( 2015)

Recuperating from a throat running, a stone idol( Tilda Swinton) is siesta on the beach in Pantelleria when the sun is blotted out by an aeroplane. Yes, trouble is flying her room, specific, a hedonistic ex( Ralph Fiennes) who is hoping to seduce her, along with the ex’s daughter( Dakota Johnson ), who is hoping to seduce her boyfriend( Matthias Schoenaerts ). Luca Guadagnino‘s sensual drama becomes a thriller when one character is drowned in a swimming pool, but before that it captivates the blood-boiling annoyance of having uninvited clients butt in on your holiday.

12. Open Water( 2003)

Open Water is a low-budget thriller with a cooling high-pitched conception: a scuba-diving husband and wife bob to the ocean’s surface, simply to find that their shuttle craft has left them stranded, miles from the Australian coast, surrounded by sharks and jellyfish. What’s even more disturbing is that it is based on a true-blue storey, unlike the two otherwise superior movies that followed in its wake: in Adrift( 2006 ), six swimmers can’t contact the deck of a luxury boat, and in Frozen( 2010)- no relation to the cartoon- three skiers are caught in a chair lift.

11. The Poseidon Adventure( 1972)

A New Year’s Eve party is in full swing aboard the SS Poseidon when the ageing ship is capsized by a tsunami and the passengers experience what the pithy posting announced:” Hell, upside down “. Still, what can you expect when Leslie” Naked Gun” Nielsen is your chieftain? All-star disaster movies were not able to triumph much critical respect, but between the lethal-looking practical effects, and the full-throated yelling by Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine et al, The Poseidon Adventure still deems water, especially compared with the CGI-heavy 2006 remake.

Cary
Cary Grant in Charade. Photograph: Universal/ Kobal/ REX/ Shutterstock

10. Charade( 1963)

Sometimes it’s not the vacation that’s the problem, it’s what’s going on while you’re away. In Stanley Donen’s Hitchcock-ish romp, Reggie( Audrey Hepburn) is happy enough to be on a skiing expedition, flirting with the handsome Peter( Cary Grant) and strategy a divorce. But when she gets back to her Paris apartment, she discovers that her husband has sold all of their owneds, run off with the money, get himself murdered, and set up Reggie as the target of three assassins. And you thought it was grim to come home to a houseful of dead pot plants.

9. Force Majeure( 2014)

Filmed in one breathtaking unbroken film, an avalanche booms towards an Alpine ski resort’s restaurant terrace, where a picture-perfect family is having lunch. The spouse( Johannes Kuhnke) sprints away, taking his telephone and his gauntlets, but leaving behind his wife( Lisa Loven Kongsli) and their two children. No trauma comes to anyone in Ruben Ostlund’s superb Swedish comedy drama, but in that split-second of panic, the holiday is destroyed- and so is a family’s smug image of itself. An American remake starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is in the works.

8. National Lampoon’s Vacation( 1983)

The series we might now subtitle “the crimes of Griswold” get started with this tumultuous street movie, directed by Harold Ramis, written by John Hughes and starring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a soul who dreams of introducing his wife and children to the Walley World theme park. For a smack Hollywood comedy, National Lampoon’s Vacation is astonishingly insurgent in its demolition of the archetypal all-American family holiday. And, as in so many of the films on this list, a baby dog doesn’t survive the journey.

7. The Heartbreak Kid( 1972)

Maybe it’s not such a horrid vacation for Lenny( Charles Grodin ). After all, it is while he is lounging in Miami Beach that he convenes Kelly( Cybill Shepherd ), a blonde goddess he imagines to be his soulmate. The only snag is that he happens to be on his honeymoon. As well as sensing that he and Kelly are not destined to live happily ever after, the see can’t help but feel sorry for Lenny’s bride, Lila( Jeannie Berlin ). Played by the daughter of the film’s director, Elaine May, she isn’t just revealed, she is sunburnt to a crisp and confined to her hotel room.

6. Withnail and I( 1987)

” We’ve gone on holiday by mistake !” With that one glorious string, written by Bruce Robinson and snarled by a rain-sodden Richard E Grant, Withnail and I speaks for everyone who has ever been stuck in a grim bungalow in the middle of nowhere with no heating , no food and, at that theatre , no access to the finest wine-coloureds available to humanity. To their credit, Withnail( Grant) and his flatmate( Paul McGann) are resourceful enough to strangle, half-pluck and cook a chicken. But then Withnail’s Uncle Monty( Richard Griffiths) turns up, and things go from bad to worse.

David
David Naughton in An American Werewolf in London. Photograph: Allstar/ Cinetext/ Polygram

5. An American Werewolf in London( 1981)

You “re going to have to” hand it to David( David Naughton) and Jack( Griffin Dunne ). In John Landis’s wonderful horror comedy, these two Americans eschew the sightseer trail in favour of a hike on the Yorkshire moors and a pint in the Slaughtered Lamb( Brian Glover and Rik Mayall play two of the patrons ). It’s just a shame that a starving lycanthrope makes a crimp in their travel plans. Jack winds up as a rot haunt, and David- with a little help from Rick Baker’s game-changing prosthetic makeup- undergoes cinema’s most agonising man-to-beast transformation.

4. Funny Games( 1997)

Jordan Peele’s Us gave the “holiday-home invasion” subgenre a mind-boggling twist, but if any movie is going to prompt you to install a security system in your lakeside getaway, it’s Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. From the moment two respectful young sociopaths, Peter( Frank Giering) and Paul( Arno Frisch ), knock on a family’s door and ask for eggs, the tension never slackens. Yes, Haneke’s nightmarish masterpiece is a postmodern comment of the viewer’s collusion in Hollywood screen violence. But, more importantly, it’s terrifying.

3. Hostel( 2005)

Two American backpackers( Jay Hernandez and Derek Richardson) are pulled to Slovakia by the prospect of no-strings sex with the enthusiastic locals, and “whether theyre” maimed with ability drills, chainsaws and blow flashlights instead, it’s hard to be all that upset. Critics were subdivided on whether Eli Roth’s Hostel was crass torture porn or a sardonic caricature of American stupidity, but its gruesome vision of an exotic, perilous Europe isn’t so different from what you can see at a cinema near you now in Midsommar or, for that are important, Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Ronny
Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight in Deliverance. Photograph: Warner/ Sportsphoto Ltd/ Allstar

2. Deliverance( 1972)

Deliverance is a part of the language. Even if you haven’t seen John Boorman’s Oscar-nominated wilderness thriller, its title alone is enough to conjure up imagines of savage mountain servicemen, cracked bones, twanging banjos and everything you else you might dread when you set off on a canoeing holiday, up to and including the phrase:” Squeal like a pig !” Ironically, despite all the unpleasantness endured by the film’s four Atlanta city-slickers( Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox ), Deliverance is so scenic that it turned its point, Rabun County in Georgia, into a tourism hotspot.

The
The Hills Have Eyes. Photograph: Allstar Picture Library/ Alamy Stock Photo

1. The Hills Have Eyes( 1977)

When a petrol station attendant urges you to stay on the main road, be sure to listen. That’s the lesson we have been instruct by countless backwoods-horror yarns. But Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes was drawn long before the so-called ” gas station of doom” became a much-loved and parodied trope, so we can’t blame the Carter family for ignoring the notifications and detouring into the desert. Cave-dwelling cannibals attack, the Carters fight back, and, as the trailer’s peerless tag line employs it:” The luck ones died first .”

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