When it comes to summer horror movies the Fourth of July is one a great day to watch classic horror films. 4th of July horror movies come in a handful of different sub-genres, that challenge your mind to keep you sane. We have found what we believe to be three of the best 4th of July horror movies out there. Here are our choices and the reasoning behind them.

Jaws (1975)

Jaws is a classic horror movie from 1975 that has made countless fans scared of fish and the water. In Jaws, a tourist who is skinny dipping gets eaten by a shark. An unlikely trio of men including Matt Hooper (Ichthyologist), Captain Quint (an old ship captain, past his prime), and Police Chief Marty Brody unite to hunt down the shark. Together the group works together but not without a cost. How many people will die before the shark can be dealt with?

Blood, terror, and one very mean shark scare an audience. With people on the beach and a bunch of celebration, Jaws is one of the best 4th of July horror movies ever made. There are multiple references to the Fourth of July. *SPOILER ALERT* The mayor even doesn’t want to close the beaches because it would cause a panic on the 4th and lose the town money from tourism.

For those that want to continue being traumatized of the water, they can watch the other 4 Jaws movies.

Actors: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton

Directors: Steven Spielberg

The Purge (2013)

The Purge is all about American politics and is a twisted take on the state of the American country if we were to continue on down the road we are on for much longer. Once a year, on March 21, all murder is legal for 12 hours. People around the country go out on sadistic hunts of each other using some of the most gruesome killing methods you could think of. In The Purge a family attempts to survive the yearly purge with their brand new security system that is labeled as impenetrable. As with all things marketed as impenetrable something goes wrong and the family finds themselves fighting to survive. Can they make it through the 12 hours of the purge without dying?  One thing is for sure, it won’t be easy.

While the annual purge does not take place on the 4th of July it is a movie that is highly tied to American Politics. For many this movie will inspire a gruesome patriotism and the most recent version of the Purge is based on the election year. If you want a patriotic movie that has a follow-up movies that you can watch The Purge is a good choice. It has two sequels: The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year.

Actors: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder, Rhys Wakefield

Directors: James DeMonaco

Uncle Sam (1996)

Fourth of July and zombies, who ever thought that those two words would be combined? In this 1996 movie, a soldier who is killed in a helicopter crash comes back to life when his body is found three years later. The life he finds is only temporary, at first. He kills two of the people who find him and then becomes inanimate again. The soldier named, Sam, is brought back to the United States where he reanimates again in the morning of the 4th of July. Zombie Sam goes about killing people in an Uncle Sam outfit that he liberates from one of his victims. Can he be stopped before he kills off the whole town?

When it comes to 4th of July there is no figure more iconic than Uncle Sam. He is the mascot of the United States. Uncle Sam puts a very unique twist on the heroic mascot and makes everyone think twice before they speak with Uncle Sam again. If you want a 4th movie that really shows off its connections to the holiday then it is hard to deny that Uncle Sam is your choice.

Actors: Bo Hopkins, Timothy Bottoms, Robert Forster, P.J. Soles, William Smith

Directors: William Lustig

Enjoy these horror movies every 4th of July with a mature audience. Simply wait until it gets dark, turn off the lights, and grab some popcorn and a box of sparklers. You are in for a treat but you might not want to watch these movies alone, you might be too scared to leave the couch after. Good luck and enjoy!