Mood plays a large part in just about every horror film and one of the best ways to set the perfect mood is with the perfect location. These are our picks for the best horror locations.
Dan’s Pick – Tokyo, Japan (Godzilla, Ringu)
I decided to broaden my scope a bit here for my favorite horror local. I felt that when speaking of some terrible place to be in a horror movie, what’s worse than being stuck in a city that is constantly under siege from giant monsters? You would never feel safe because on any given day, Godzilla could decide he’s hungry for some Japanese food and storm the city.
I also chose Tokyo because some of the legit scariest movies to come out in the past decade have been from Japan: Ringu (the original Ring), Audition just to name a couple. These films take things up a notch in the creepy section.
Things aren’t exactly looking up for Tokyo, as there is a new Godzilla movie coming out next summer, which I’m sure will spawn off a number of sequels. You would think with all the destruction they would move some place else.
Mark’s Pick – Antarctica (The Thing)
In most horror movies, the location is as much a living breathing character as the protagonist or the antagonist. But most of the time it is located near civilization – some would argue that this is untrue about movies set in Texas – and eventually the lone survivor can escape. Sure, Elm Street and Camp Crystal Lake are creepy places, but they are still surrounded by people, so there is always a chance for a rescue. This is why I choose as my No. 1 horror movie location, the research base in Antarctica from John Carpenter’s The Thing.
The base is isolated from, essentially, the world, add to that the blowing snow causing low visibility, the inability to leave the base because of the extremely cold and you have the recipe for a scary place that will make any sane person go crazy; That’s even before you toss in a parasitic alien that can possess the people around you. All of this is why the desolate location in The Thing makes it the best location in any horror movie because unless you can speak penguin, it will take a miracle for you to be rescued. And that’s as scary as it gets.
Anthony’s Pick – The Overlook Hotel (The Shining)
If you were to picture a haunted house, chances are you’d think of a house like in Amityville Horror or Poltergeist. The standard house usually features creaky floorboards, an attic or basement you wouldn’t want to step foot in, and a story that goes along with it. Now imagine if that haunted house wasn’t just three beds and two-and-a-half baths, but a 14,000 square-foot hotel where every room has some other horror waiting for you. Now throw Jack Nicholson in there… during a blizzard.
There isn’t a more claustrophobic movie than The Shining, which is quite impressive seeing as how the majority of the movie takes place on the grounds of an enormous resort. It’s Kubrick’s direction that gives this hotel some creepy ass vibes, even in a movie that not much actually happens during its runtime. The setting is more than just a backdrop; it’s a character all its own.
From bloody elevators to old ladies in bathtubs to some weird dog costumed ghost, The Overlook Hotel throws so much stuff at you that it’s hard to tell what you’re about to see the next time you turn the corner. Did I mention you’re also trapped in there with Jack Nicholson?
What’s your favorite horror movie locale? Vote in the poll below or comment with your answer.