A true fan of the horror genre cannot deny their patronage to the acclaimed writer Stephen King’s works. With one masterpiece after the other, King has kept his fan following on their toes and at his heels. Those who are not patient enough to get through a book have followed his legacy on screen. Many films have been adapted from his novels, novellas and short stories. Whether it is the cult phenomenon The Shining or the Academy award-winning Misery, King’s works excel in the theatres as they do in print form. Have you ever wondered how the movies capture the look and feel of locations mentioned in the book? Where do directors find these places? Here are 7 movies and all the real life locations that lent their looks to the shots:
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What better way to start a Stephen King list than (arguably) the writer’s most popular movie adaptation? Released in 1980, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining has made waves in the cult film industry with its direction, dialogues and of course, the storyline. The location also lent its eerie feel to the mix. While the interiors were shot indoors at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England, the exteriors of the majestic Overlook Hotel were actually of the National Historic Timberline Lodge in the USA. You can still visit the hotel, especially if you are a fan of picturesque (and a little scary, thanks to the film) ski holidays.
Even those who weren’t scared of clowns have been avoiding sewers lest they encounter the creepy Pennywise. 2017 released IT soon became a well-known adaptation of Stephen King’s work. The film features a terrifying clown Pennywise who picks up young Georgie from the sewers of the fictional town Derry. The town was inspired by Bangor, Maine, but shot at Port Hope, Canada. The haunted house featured in the climax of the movie was actually a house already built, although exterior shots were of a facade built at the corner of James Street and Eulalie Avenue in Oshawa.
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The Shawshank Redemption
This one may come as a surprise as many are not aware that the critically acclaimed The Shawshank Redemption (1994) is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The majority of the story is shot in a prison. While the story may be based in Maine (as many Stephen King books are), the fictional setting of the prison was done up at Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. It must be addressed that many frames were created in a studio. The streets of Mansfield, Ohio are also featured in certain parts of the movie. In fact, Mansfield Tourism offers a Shawshank trail for movie-buff tourists.
Kathy Bates’ skillful portrayal of Annie Wilkes in the 1990 psychological horror film Misery won her an Academy Award. The story was based on a novel of the same name by Stephen King. The story follows a successful author who gets kidnapped by an obsessed fan post an accident. The film, mostly shot in a cabin was partially filmed in Genoa, Nevada’s oldest town. Four buildings- including a cafe, a radiator shop, a general store and a sheriff’s station- were built on the main boulevard. The oldest parlour of Nevada, the Genoa bar and saloon also makes an appearance on screen.
It was difficult to stay friendly to the neighbourhood St.Bernard after a show of 1983 horror movie Cujo. The film features a rabid dog that takes to killing people after being bitten by a bat. The facade of the Trenton family’s (main characters, beside the dog of course) house was actually constructed around an original construction! The residence was found in Mendocino, California, overlooking the Mendocino bay.
Interesting fact: The role of Cujo was played by 5 St. Bernards, a Rottweiler, a mechanical head and a man in a dog costume!
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Stand by me
In 1986, Stephen King’s coming-of-age novella The Body was turned into the box office success Stand By Me. The film follows the journey of a group of children who are on the hunt for the body of a missing boy. Somewhere along their adventures, they learn more about themselves and their lives. The fictional town in the story called ‘Castle Rock’ borrows its looks from Brownsville, Oregon. The movie features many sites in the town such as the Brownsville Health Mart as the ‘Blue Point diner’ and the Brownsville Saloon as Irby’s the pool hall. Other spots in Oregon are unfolded as their trip advances. The rail bridge where they start to trek is set at Mosby Creek in Walden, Oregon. One can now cycle on this path. And, Quidaciolu’s market in the film is in actuality an abandoned building in Junction City. There are spots aplenty for Stand by me fans to plan a trip of their own.
Prom queens stay alert of the potential bucket of blood that may tip on you. This newly added fear is undeniable, especially after 3 film versions of Stephen King’s Carrie have been released (1976, 2002 and 2013). Here, we’ll talk about the most recent adaptation, that claims to be the closest to the book’s original plotline. The 2013 supernatural horror takes us through the life of the power-bearing Carrie White, whose religious mother has made her home-life a living nightmare. Add bullying in high school to the combination and you will finally see the results of it in the climax. The entire movie was shot in various parts of Ontario. The house was shot on a renovated residence in Mississauga. The pool and library scenes were shot at Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ontario. Additionally, the exteriors of the high school got its looks from Northern Secondary School in Toronto. Despite real locations, many scenes were also shot in a studio.