8 Summer Movie Classics to Get You Pumped for the Heat and Humidity
Photo: Universal Pictures
While the heat and humidity rage outside your window this summer, indulge in a movie binge in the comfort of your AC. From bike rides to camp, to battling demonic clowns in the ’50s, these summer movie classics will prepare you for an epic summer full of adventure (without ever having to leave your couch). Forget the gym, tan, and laundry routine; summer is best enjoyed with movies, snacks, and more snacks. Our beach bods may lack any definition whatsoever, but these eight movies truly define what makes summer so memorable.
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'Wild Things' (1998)
Wild Things is about a big conspiracy involving a teacher, two of his students, a cop, and an ambulance-chasing lawyer (Bill Murray). To give away the plot would be to spoil one of the greatest comedic thrillers of the '90s. In addition to screwing with your mind, Wild Things will also tamper with your heart, leaving you begging for summer to come. There are a few different scenes in the film involving a swimming pool that must be seen to be believed. Then, if you’re lucky, you can recreate them with your own love.
‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ (1997)
Summer is a time for making memories, some of which will never, ever, be forgotten. Just ask Ben Willis. He was out late one summer night, going for a midnight stroll when a car came out of nowhere and hit him, leaving him for dead. Unfortunately for those who were in the car, Ben remembered what they did last summer and he decided to make all of them pay.
'American Pie 2' (2001)
In the original American Pie, four friends made a vow to each other that each would lose their virginity on prom night. It didn’t quite happen that way, but the friends went off to college with confidence anyway.
The summer after their first year of college, the American Pie boys spend a few weeks in a swanky cabin full of alcohol and willing mates. What the original American Pie did for high school and prom, American Pie 2 did for summer vacation. It’s a perfect movie to watch with a group of friends right before you take an epic summer road trip that doesn’t lead, hopefully, to a band camp.
If a man-eating shark was swallowing residents of your town, would you close the beach? Of course you wouldn’t! There’s money to be made! That’s exactly what the mayor of Amity Island thought in Steven Spielberg’s original blockbuster, Jaws. We can’t say we blame the mayor, either. Why would tourists visit a beachfront town during the summer months if the beach was closed? Forget about shark-infested waters for a minute and focus on the most important aspect of summer: the beach.
‘Friday the 13th’ (1980-1993)
Camp Crystal Lake has always had a certain stigma attached to it. Maybe it’s the smog, or the water or the machete-wielding maniac in a hockey mask. Regardless, Camp Crystal Lake is an ideal destination for vacationers, campers, and people with mommy issues.
Every film in the Friday the 13th series takes place during the summer months. There are hot dog roasts, campfire sing-a-longs, and lots of skinny dipping. Watching these films will leave you pining for the days when your parents would drop you off with strangers for a week so you can learn how to horseback ride while they rediscover their sanity. Camp is one of the biggest highlights of summer, as long as Jason is still buried at the bottom of the lake.
‘The Stand’ (1994)
The first half of the Stephen King mini-series The Stand takes place during the very hottest months of summer. In addition to the debilitating heat, the world is also hit with a flu virus unlike anything they had ever seen before.
This flu, dubbed "Captain Tripps" by those afflicted, is a whole different ballgame. While you undoubtedly will want to be outdoors as much as possible this summer, sometimes it’s okay to take a day to rest up and get healthy. And hopefully, by the time you re-emerge after being sick, half the world hasn’t died while you were on bed rest.
'IT' (1990, 2017)
Stephen King must have an affinity for summer, because summer played a big role in the plot of IT. The movie is about a scary demon clown named Pennywise, but it's also about friendship, unbreakable bonds, and summer days spent playing outside.
When The Loser’s Club weren’t trying to stop the clown from eating their peers, they were going to movies, playing in the barrens, riding their bikes, and jumping off cliffs. IT is a horror movie, but it’s also a coming-of-age tale about seven friends who, despite the demon clown, had the best summer of their lives.
'The Sandlot' (1993)
When you mention kids and summer, you have to include the 1993 hit film, The Sandlot. It takes place in the '60s and focuses on the bonds of friendship and, of course, baseball. But the film also features other summer staples, such as fireworks on the Fourth of July, sleepover campouts, and tricking unsuspecting lifeguards into thinking you’re dead in order to make out with her.
There is not a more nostalgic film about summer than The Sandlot and, if we had our choice, every summer would just be a perpetual retelling of that film.