Whether you’re waiting out the winter or avoiding rainy weather, here are 12 movies that make you feel like you’re right there at the lake
There’s no disputing that the Great Outdoors has the lockdown as the quintessential cabin movie. The 1988 John Candy film has everything you can expect to encounter at the cottage—water skiing, bats, teenage romance, campfires and, of course, a man-eating grizzly bear. But it’s not the only movie that will make you nostalgic for summers spent at the lake. Regardless of whether it’s the depths of winter and you’re stuck in the city or if it’s just a rainy summer day at the cottage, these cabin-themed movies are sure to pass the time until you can experience the great outdoors again.
12. The Lake House (2006)
If you can get passed the preposterous plot (two lovers separated in time meet via a magical time portal mailbox) and focus on the scenery, this is a great love story for a rainy day.
11. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
If you’re looking for a movie that your kids won’t already have seen a dozen times, look no further than this Oscar-nominated film. Set in Oregon in 1850, it follows the trials of seven backwoods brothers as they attempt to woo seven women—all from their cabin, of course.
10. The Incredible Journey (1963)
Whether you’re watching the original version or the 1993 remake, this movie will make you ache for wilderness. Set in northern Canada and filmed in Ontario, it follows the trials of three lost pets as they attempt to find their way back to the family ranch.
9. Beethoven’s 2nd (1993)
Sequels are rarely family comedy gold, but it’s hard to resist a love story centered on the exploits of slobbering St. Bernard—particularly when it takes place at a lakeside mountain cabin.
8. Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (2005)
If you’re willing to sit through another sequel, this movie, which was shot in Ontario, finds the Baker family—all 14 of them—on a vacation at the lake.
7. A Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986)
Yes, it’s a made-for-television film. Yes, it’s a Christmas movie. And yes, it stars Dolly Parton. But it takes place in a picturesque cabin in the woods, which fits perfectly with our theme.
6. What About Bob? (1991)
Rated by Bravo as one of the “100 Funniest Movies,” What About Bob? stars Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus in a comedy about a psychiatrist and his quirky patient who follows him to the cabin to bond with his unstable family.
5. Grumpier Old Men (1995)
If you love to fish, you’ll love this flick. It’s a romantic comedy, but the subplot focuses on the residents of a lakeside community attempting to catch a monster catfish.
4. Grown Ups (2010)
There are a lot of groan-worthy scenes in this buddy comedy, but there are also a lot of classic family cottage moments, including city-raised kids who learn to give up their gizmos and love the outdoors.
3. Evil Dead (1981)
Horror movies may not necessarily make you ache for the cottage, but they certainly have their place. Although Friday the 13th (1980) was also based at a cottage, it was the Evil Dead franchise that ultimately defined the “cabin in the woods” genre.
2. On Golden Pond (1981)
There were three Oscar wins and seven nominations for this film, which stares Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, and Katharine Hepburn. The movie follows an aging couple as they spend summers at their family cottage on Golden Pond.
1. A River Runs Through It (1992)
Although it’s technically not a cottage movie, this coming of age film set in Montana during the early twentieth century is filled with jaw-dropping scenery of what undeniably looks like cottage country.