ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

The idea of being alone with my thoughts is just about one of the most terrifying things I could imagine. Then again, that might just be because I can be difficult to tolerate one on one. For some of our cinematic companions, this nightmare became a reality as they struggled to survive entirely on their own.

With the release date for Ridley Scott's upcoming movie The Martian quickly approaching, I'm left thinking about some of the worst places I could imagine being abandoned and fighting to stay alive. In no particular order, here are seven movie settings where being left alone would be absolutely terrifying:

1. Mars - The Martian (2015)

All alone by myself having to use science to survive sounds far from ideal. While he was by no means ecstatic to be in this situation, at least Mark Watney's engineering, botany, and NASA training left him pretty well-equipped to handle the rough, barren terrain of Mars. Now living on an entire planet by yourself for hundreds of days would be nearly impossible, even for the most introverted recluse to handle. Will Mark Watney be able to survive on Mars all alone? Guess we'll have to find out!

2. A Canyon - 127 Hours (2011)

One of the more stressful journeys, especially considering it's a true story. Played wonderfully by James Franco, with six Oscar nods to prove it, the story follows the most terrifying 127 hours of Ralston's life. After spending hours attempting to chip away at the boulder keeping him pinned, he realizes that he'll need to chip away at something else in order to make it out of this seemingly inescapable situation alive. This movie left me cringing for days and gave me just one more reason to avoid hiking.

3. The Island - Cast Away (2000)

Starting a fire and learning how to fish when you have next to no survival skills is is one thing, but resorting to becoming best friends with a volleyball indicates a whole different set of problems. I'll never forget the scene where Tom Hanks considers suicide as a means of finally leaving his tropical hellscape. Seeing the lights of ships come and go over the years, and watching them leave you every time, must be absolutely excruciating.

4. The Life Raft - Life of Pi (2012)

Whichever of Pi's stories you choose to believe (no spoilers here), I don't think I would be able to be adrift in the middle of the ocean with no end of the journey in sight. With only a handful of companions by your side, keeping yourself alive becomes your only priority, no matter the cost. Beautiful as his journey may have been, that's an absurd amount of pressure for anyone to be under. Not to mention, Pi is a young boy who is still coping with the pain of losing his whole family.

5. A Spaceship - Event Horizon (1997)

What is guaranteed to be one of the most terrifying space journeys of your movie-watching life, Event Horizon is probably one of the last paces in the universe I would want to be left. Being taken to a literal Hell dimension means you're not just alone in space. Unlike Mark Watney where it's your environment against you, in Event Horizon your horribly terrifying death is almost certainly imminent.

6. The Alaskan Wilderness - Into the Wild (2007)

Living off the grid might sound like a dream to some, but few are willing to go to the extend that Christopher McCandless did to get closer to nature and enjoy the isolation. The role, played by Emile Hirsch, shows McCandless's real-life story of his trek to the Alaskan wilderness. Cold, starving, and alone, some people go into the wild and never come back.

7. The Tesseract - Interstellar (2014)

This one might not have necessarily been scary, but I couldn't imagine being stuck in fifth dimension all alone. Worst of all, Cooper is forced to relive the moment that would have kept him from embarking on this harrowing adventure and failing to successfully communicate the message. While it ended up being a worthwhile trip, I still wanted to scream out in the theater "Stay! Stay!" to Matthew McConaughey.

To see how Mark Watney (Matt Damon) survives life on Mars, check out The Martian which will reach theaters on October 2.


For our next Moviepilot Magazine, it's all about fear. So we're polling our readers to find out what terrifies them. You can help by answering the question below!


What horror movie monster is the most terrifying?


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