Trick or Treat: Five Horror-fests Filmed in Vancouver

The Internet is buzzing about the upcoming remake of chill-inducing horror film Child’s Play, starring the doll that haunts every viewer’s dreams. Cautioning the dangers of digital hacking – such as a harmless toy transforming into a knife-wielding monster – the production stars Aubrey Plaza as the mother who unknowingly gifts her son the deadliest doll ever made, and Gabriel Bateman as the little boy whose new best friend can’t wait to slay him.

Filming wraps in Vancouver in mid-November, so the movie won’t be out in theatres for awhile – but there are plenty of other spookfests filmed in Vancouver that you can check out in the meantime. Here are our favourite five:

Flickr – GoToVan

The Cabin in the Woods  Achieving a rare combination of fright and compelling storytelling, this 2012 mind-bender follows five friends who shack up at a remote cabin and enter a nightmare. Filming sites included Coquihalla Canyon Park – the eponymous “woods” where, coincidentally, Twilight filmed at the same time – and BCIT’s Aerospace Technology Campus, the scientific lab beneath the forest that controls the horror show above.

It  Stephen King’s epic novel comes to life as a terrifying portrayal of a fear-manifesting clown who chases a group of friends from childhood well into their adult lives – and yes, Derry, Maine, is actually Vancouver. Film sites included Stanley Park (here’s what you can do in Stanley Park besides chasing clowns), Buntzen Lake and Burnaby Village Museum – and probably quite a few sewer grates, as well. Look out for the red balloons!

Flickr – Jasperdo

The Changeling  Rooting into the very core of your psyche, The Changeling is based on true events that haunted writer Russell Hunter while he was living in Denver. The film is packed with horrifying twists and turns, as well as a fair few scenes recognizable as popular Vancouver attractions. Viewers will catch a glimpse of the Hotel Europe, the Orpheum Theatre, Cypress Provincial Park and other local venues that are even more impressive in person than they are on the big screen.

Flickr – Shinsuke Ikegame

The Exorcism of Emily Rose  Who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned exorcism? This 2005 film features a lawyer who must defend the preacher who exorcised poor Emily Rose to death. The movie was filmed in LA, but key scenes were also shot in various buildings at the University of British Columbia’s downtown campus on Robson Street (check out this article for what to do on Robson after you’ve checked out the UBC campus).

Flickr – Scott Beale

Final Destination  …not just the original, but the next four as well, were all filmed in Vancouver. Ladies growing up in the ‘90s likely spent most of the film gazing dreamily at teen heartthrob Devon Sawa, so it’s worth a rewatch. You’ll catch sight of Vancouver International Airport, Kerrisdale Elementary School, the Plaza of Nations, and plenty of additional sites in Burnaby, Ladner, and a boat’s ride away in Victoria and Vancouver Island (you can take a smaller boat – a False Creek Ferry – from the Plaza of Nations to Granville Island or Olympic Village). Happy Halloween!

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