PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Pacific Northwest is known for its scenic views and natural landmarks, so it’s no surprise that many filmmakers have decided to use the region as a backdrop for some of horror’s most memorable scenes.
With a variety of movies ranging from family-friendly to super scary, these are a few of the movies with locations in the PNW.
Longtime Oregonians already know that Disney Channel’s classic movie Halloweentown was filmed in the real city of St. Helens. For many years since the fantasy flick’s release in 1998, people have visited St. Helens to get their dose of nostalgia and see the same City Hall and cab seen in the movie, and a replica of the giant pumpkin.
Practical Magic is a horror, comedy, romance, drama and fantasy flick all rolled into one. In the film, award-winning actresses Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman portray witch sisters who are trying to reverse an evil curse that’s been put on their family. The small-town scenes were actually filmed in Coupeville, a historic town on Washington’s Whidbey Island.
Not only is Eugene the home of the University of Oregon Ducks but the 2014 thriller Something Wicked was shot there. The film follows a young couple whose wedding plans are thwarted due to the bride-to-be’s deteriorating mental state. Something Wicked also features the late Brittany Murphy’s final movie and was released five years after her death.
The Goonies is more of an adventure film fit for the whole family than horror, but does have a few spooky moments. Based on a story by Steven Spielberg, the ’80s movie highlights a group of kids who go on a troubling treasure hunt to save their family from foreclosure. The Goonies is set in Astoria, Ore., where most of it was filmed.
Although it doesn’t feature real-life actors like the other PNW-based movies listed, dark fantasy film Coraline was produced by LAIKA animation studio which operates just outside of Portland. Coraline was LAIKA’s first feature film that went on to receive nominations from the Academy and Golden Globe Awards.
ParaNorman is another LAIKA-produced film with characters voiced by actors such as Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann and John Goodman. The 2012 release centers a young boy named Norman who has the special power to communicate with the dead. The stop-motion movie took about 3 years for the Hillsboro production company to make.
Featuring movie stars Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon, Fear shows the could’ve-been love story between two Seattle teenagers that quickly goes left when Wahlberg’s character becomes controlling and possessive. Even though the movie was mostly filmed in Canada, it is set in Seattle and the roller-coaster from the movie is still there today.
The blockbuster movie Twilight, based on the novel series written by Stephanie Meyer, follows the life of teenager Bella Swan who recently moved to Forks, Washington. Although Forks does actually exist, Twilight was primarily filmed in Oregon. Some of the saga’s most iconic scenes were filmed in Silver Falls State Park, Vernonia and St. Helens.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me served as a prequel to the early ’90s TV series Twin Peaks. The horror flick reveals what transpired in a high school girl’s last week just before she was murdered. It is set in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington, and was filmed in several Washington locations including North Bend, Everett and Seattle.
Most horror fanatics are familiar with ‘80s cult classic The Shining, but they may not know that the exterior of the ‘Overlook Hotel’ shown in the movie is actually the exterior of Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. The family-operated lodge is still open for guests to come and enjoy a trip to the mountains.
The supernatural horror film The Ring was released about 20 years ago and has inspired a plethora of horror filmmakers since its 2002 release. The movie’s protagonist is a Seattle journalist investigating the unexpected death of her niece. Because of this, the journalist works in many locations throughout Washington including Seattle, Monroe and Stanwood. There are also scenes in Newport, Oregon.