5 horror films set in the West
It’s more terrifying when it’s close to home. That’s why we’ve gathered the five best horror flicks set in the West. Grab some popcorn and a blanket to hide beneath as you watch these creepy flicks.
1. The Shining (1980)Colorado/OregonSet Location: Exterior Shots of Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in OregonStory Location: Fictional Overlook Hotel inspired by Stephen King’s stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO
REDRUM. The Shining, based off of Stephen King’s novel, should be the first thriller everyone sees. It was for me. Stanley Kubrick’s geometrical carpet and shot of the Grady twins haunted me for years as a kid. Jack Nicholson plays a writer who brings his family along to care for the isolated Overlook Hotel during the snowy off-season. Nicholson goes mad, and his son sees dead people. Big fan? The Stanley Hotel is building the murderous hedge maze.
2. Psycho (1960)Arizona/CaliforniaSet Location: Bates Motel set at Universal Studios in LAStory Location: Marion Crane is on her way from Phoenix, AZ to “Fairvale,” CA
This movie will ruin showers for you (but that’s okay during drought). Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror flick set the bar for slasher movies. A Phoenix secretary spends a stormy night at the Bates Motel encountering Norman and his mommy issues.
3. Paranormal Activity (2007)CaliforniaSet Location: Rancho Penasquitos, CA where the home went up for sale in JanuaryStory Location: A couple moves into a new house in the suburbs of San Diego.
But did it really happen?
If you’re unfamiliar with Paranormal Activity, you’ll ask yourself this during the credits. Be prepared for jumps and screams as Katie and Micah document the supernatural disturbances in their San Diego home.
4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)CaliforniaSet Location: Sierra Madre, CA/Hollywood HillsStory Location: A quiet alien invasion occurs in fictional “Santa Mira,” CA
If aliens are your jam, check out the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Extraterrestrial beings replace humans in “Santa Mira” one by one with emotionless duplicates. Dwindling population or mass hysteria? Only the “pod people” know.
5. Messiah of Evil (1973)CaliforniaSet Location: Southern California (Malibu)Story Location: Fictional beach town “Point Dune,” CA
One of the lesser know films on this list, but equally terrifying, Messiah of Evil turns a trip to see dad into your worst nightmare. While looking for her estranged father, Arletty finds the undead in a California beach town instead. Most iconic scene? Vampire-like creatures devouring her cohort in a dark movie theater.