We all know that for a good horror movie we need to have a creepy villain, but we often neglect the role of where that horror happens. Good scare largely depends on the atmosphere the environment creates and the location of the horror is often the most important part of the movie. We decided to explore the scariest horror locations (cinema is not one of them)
There’s something scary about the woods. It is uncomfortable to hear the various sounds from all sides especially owl’s voice in the night, howling through the woods. It is easy to get lost and be disoriented. You never know what you might find in the woods. What is hiding between the trees? Everything seems like a threat. In such an atmosphere, fear can easily be drawn into the bones, especially if it’s dusk. Because they are scary forest are a fairly popular settings with horror films.
The Best Horror Movies Set in the Woods /
Annihilation, A Quiet Place, It Comes at Night, The Ritual, Gerald’s Game, The Monster, The Witch, The Hallow, Honeymoon, Open grave, Backcountry, The Green Inferno, The Cabin in the Woods, Trolljegeren, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, I Spit on Your Grave, Antichrist,Dead Snow, The Last House on The Left, The Strangers, Eden Lake, Wolf Creek, Secret Window, Wrong Turn, Haute tension, Cabin Fever, The Blair Witch Project, Evil Dead II, Sleepaway Camp, Friday the 13th, The Forest, What Keeps You Alive, The Hallow, Deliverance
Cottages / resorts / secluded houses
The first thought of cottages and, generally, resorts, secluded houses, is a positive one. Escape from everyday stress, crowds and other people, a few intimate days with close people and nothing but the beautiful nature around you for miles. But these comforts and the peace of a secluded home can easily turn from a place of freedom into a deadly trap. If something strikes you, no help, no civilization, just a wall between you and the night that swallows you.
From ‘Evil Death’, ‘Friday the 13th’, ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ to ‘Cabin in the Woods’, ‘Cabin Fever’, ‘Witches and Moms’, it might seem that this location has already been used so much that such a place of action can no longer frighten us, but a recent favorite of critics ‘The Quiet Place ‘ audience has convinced us that we can still (must?) fear a pleasant separation from other people.
Hospitals / mental institutions / sanatoriums
Hospitals are a very effective place to scare people by themselves. At the same time they are illuminated, sterile, connected to our health, but also full of needles, cold gadgets, invisible microscopic ‘monsters’ that can kill us and… blood. It is this combination of rational knowledge that hospitals are good for us and an instinctive fear of illness, pain and helplessness attached to them makes them so good for horror.
‘Session 9’, ‘Dr. Giggles’, ‘Dentist’, ‘Gothic’, ‘Visiting Hours’ and’ Halloween 2 ‘have made great use of the potential of these places to bring fear to our bones.
Hotels / hostels / motels
Hotels are designed, at least by most of them, to make people comfortable, attractive and feel welcome and safe in them. Although, in fact no one cares that you are specifically there. Fear stems from the temporality of being. How many people have slept on the same bed before and whose fate you will never know?
Hotels are a place of transition, detachment from a safe environment that you know and where people know you and you are surrounded by ‘others’, strangers.
From the ingenious ‘Psycho’ and the even more ingenious ‘Radiance’, through the horrific ‘Hostel’, ‘1408’, ‘Eaten Alive’, ‘Private Parts’ … horror is a permanent resident in hotels.
Amusement park / Carnival / Circus
Ever since Tod Browning made the movie ‘Freaks’ in 1932, carnivals and amusement parks have been an integral part of the visual horror folklore (though the real freaks in the movie were ‘normal’ people). ‘Freaks’ is, admittedly, a movie that will never be made again, but the circus and amusement park remain an effective place of horror for filmmakers to this day.
The reason for this, apart from the cultural legacy of ‘Nakaz’, is the very idea of these places. They are public, full of vibrant colors, intense sounds, people … intended for fun and distraction, for the audience a harmless burst of adrenaline and laughter. That’s why they work so well as places of horror where, if you turn the wrong way into a dark part of the park, you disappear, lost in the crowd. Killer clowns are a derivative of this fear.
‘Carnival’, ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, ‘The House of a Thousand Bodies’, ‘Ono’, ‘Dr. Caligari’s Cabinet’, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ … have reached places of amusement as places of terror. ‘House of Horror’ is the least scary place in such amusement parks.
Neighborhood / Suburb / Town
Rarely does a successful horror place its action in a bustling metropolitan center for a simple reason: in the traditional mental images of the American white middle class, for which most horror films are intended, urban centers are in themselves horrible places full of killers, robbers, drug addicts and, worst of all, poor people of different ethnicities, while their suburbs and fenced-in neighborhoods are places of safety, comfort and family well-being.
It is the horrors of suburban action that are some of the most famous in the genre, most often with a killer who hunts horny teenagers. ‘Elm Street Fear’, ‘Monster Ticks’, ‘It Follows’, ‘The Devil’s House’, ‘Scream’, ‘Ginger Snaps’, ‘Fright Night’ and, of course, John Carpenter’s legendary ‘Halloween’.
Home / house / place we live
There is not too much to say about this place of action. The home is inviolable. He is our place of safety while the rest of this terrible and great, violent and unpredictable, hard-working and unjust, exhausting world is out there, outside the front door.
That is why horrors that desecrate the ‘sanctity’ of home are often the most popular and the best, because we can all imagine the horror of losing control of the environment that is so tied to our identity, without talking about the danger that home invasion poses to the people that we love most in the world.
This inherent fear has been greatly used by the films ‘Poltergeist’, ‘Let the Right One In’, ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Insidious’, ‘Sinister’, ‘The Witch’, ‘The Exorcist’ ‘Honor’ and, of course, films from the ‘The Conjuring’ franchise, based on the testimony of ghost hunters.