Trees don’t exactly conjure up images of terror and destruction. However, if you are planning a leisurely Sunday afternoon stroll in the park – you might want to think twice. We’re taking a look at some of horror’s most notorious trees. From portals to hell, to kidnapping, let’s examine why trees may not be as innocent as they look.
10. The Ring (remake)
Quick – name the most disturbing image in The Ring. The medical implements pulled from the throat? The twitching severed fingers? We’d argue that the burning tree tops them. Not only does it signal the deadline the central character has to work with before her demise, but it also tells us a great deal about the back story of the evil Samara. The kid was locked away in the stable and (if you’ve read the books), you’ll know that burning the image of the tree on the walls was a demonstration of her powers. The powers that ultimately enabled her to make the cursed tape in the first place.
9. Final Destination II
Perhaps we’re cheating a little here, since the trees are technically no longer trees. But they were formally trees, so we’ll go with it. We see the logs piled up on the truck, the ominous tunes start playing on the radio, and we know exactly what’s going to happen. We don’t know when, but it’s going to happen. The logs play a part in one of the most well set up road carnage scenes in horror history.
8. The Guardian
The Guardian placed it’s spooky trees at the centre of the action. Opening with an explanation that trees were used by the druids for human sacrifice, these trees have the power to eat babies and turn nannies into wolves. Not only that, but the trees are sentient creatures capable of impaling and disembowelling those who cross their path. Take our advice. If you cut a tree and it starts bleeding – get out of there!
Trees is not what we’d call a good film, but everyone loves the charm of ultra low budget B-Movies, right? It follows a park ranger investigating a number of mysterious deaths in the woods (because park rangers are known for their investigative skills) and discovering that the “Great White Pine” is responsible. It’s hammy, silly, but a lot of fun – and who doesn’t want to see three men battling the king of all trees? As a side note – it got a sequel, if you just couldn’t get enough of all the tree killing action.
6. Black Christmas (remake)
What’s more wholesome and joyful than a Christmas tree? Well, the remake of iconic slasher film Black Christmas might ruin your perception of Yuletide happiness. Slasher villains are notoriously hard to kill, and even harder to keep dead, but this Christmas tree does a pretty good job (take notes Laurie!) The killer falls to his death, impaling himself on the pointed tip of the tree. Ouch.
5. From Hell it Came
Ah…From Hell it Came. We couldn’t go through this list without it. In this B-Movie, a prince is falsely accused of murder, executed, and returns as a killer tree. Featuring perhaps the strangest tree costume in film history, as well as some memorable deaths, this is a killer tree you don’t want to cross paths with!
Another Christmas tree massacre! This short film depicts the holiday season from the perspective of sentient Christmas trees. From the eerie tree sounds as they communicate with each other, to the uprising that results in a massacre, the trees are organised and deadly. Featuring some fantastic deaths (including an eyeball popping sequence), I think I’ll stick to an artificial tree this Christmas!
3. Sleep Hollow
The tree in Sleepy Hollow is fantastically designed, and reeks of Tim Burton’s visual style. It’s creepy, foreboding, but intricate and beautiful. It is always surrounded by a thick fog, which you would think would be enough of a warning to keep away. Not only that, but the tree is a portal to another dimension (hell – we presume), resurrects the dead, and is filled with disembodied heads. Another tree which proves the golden rule – if it bleeds, leave it alone!
So as you near the end of this list, you’ve probably decided that a stroll through the woods is probably not in your best interests. However, don’t assume that spending a quiet Sunday at home will guarantee your safety from deadly trees. In eighties classic Poltergeist, a child is dragged out of bed by a giant tree which breaks through his bedroom window. As his parents attempt to rescue him, he is sucked further into the animated tree. Not only is this tree violent, but it’s clever. It’s entire appearance was a ploy to distract the parents attention from their young daughter. And we all know what happens to her…
1. The Evil Dead
Okay, so we all knew this would be number one. This one doesn’t really require much explanation. If you are going to summon evil spirits, we advise you do not go strolling in the woods immediately after.