Posts Tagged ‘Skyfall’

The Top Ten Movies Filmed in Abandoned Places

Written by: Wilk

In case you haven’t noticed, movies are very important to me. They have been since I was a little kid. I now work on them for a living as an adult. When I wrote the original “Top Ten Movies Set in Abandoned Places” article, it was meant to be a simple throw-away piece. Just something to fill time. We had been busy in the early spring of last year, riding off our recent visit to the abandoned Enchanted Forest in Rhode Island. We needed a piece just to keep the site going, so I wrote it up just for fun. Especially with Top 10 lists being such a big thing at the time. A year later, it has become our most popular article with hundreds of views every month. A surprise, to be sure. But a welcome one. There has been much demand for a sequel, and it has taken me a long time to put one together. But it has finally arrived. I did the best I could to provide a nice mix of indie gems and Hollywood blockbusters. Enjoy!

Here are the Top 10 Movies Filmed in Abandoned Places.

#10: Almost Mercy (2014) – Woonsocket Middle School

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3480446/

As per tradition, we start this list off with one of my movies. Yes, it’s petty. But I’m an actor. Plus it’s my list. This is one of the best movies I have ever been in. Even though most of my scenes got cut, and it did stray a little too far from the original script I wouldn’t call it a horror movie by any means, but it is pretty dark. The story follows outcast best friends, Jackson and Emily, who take it upon themselves to take revenge on the wicked world that wronged them. A good proportion of the film was shot at the abandoned Woonsocket Middle School in Rhode Island. After closing in 2009, this behemoth took on the honor of becoming the largest abandoned school on the entire eastern seaboard. The haunting location just adds an extra layer of darkness and creepiness to an already eerily fun movie.

AW

#9: Session 9 (2001) – Danvers State Hospital

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0261983/

Hello, Gordon. Number 9. Session 9. Get it? Though it may have flown under the radar for some, this spooky indie horror film has managed to withstand the test of time. Starring TV veteran actor David Caruso and a young Josh Lucas, the film follows an asbestos removal crew slowly unraveling mentally while working in a ghostly abandoned hospital.  Though the twist is lacking, this is honestly one of my favorite horror films. Filming took place in the safe and usable sections of then abandoned (now demolished) Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts. Little set design was said to be needed for the film, and even actor David Caruso reported a few strange experiences while filming in the abandoned asylum.

AW

#8: What Dreams May Come (1998) – The USS Oriskany

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120889/

This is one of those movies that can’t really love or hate. You just have to be in the right mood. It was definitely way ahead of its time and far too ambitious a project for the technology. But it was during the time when the legendary Robin Williams began to experiment a little bit more with his filmography. Some of these were great, like One Hour Photo. Some were not, like Patch Adams. But some where in between those two extremes is this little gem. After his untimely death, a loving husband leaves the paradise of his afterlife in search of his long lost love. Stunning visuals and a wonderful cast make this worth a watch. And one nice detail of this unique film is the Hell setting, which was filmed aboard the abandoned hulk of the USS Oriskany. Once a hero of the Korean War, this old warhouse changed hands many times before being left to rot off the coast of California. She would eventually be towed to the Gulf of Mexico and voluntarily sunk to become one of the first artificial reefs in the area.

Screenshot 2022-04-18 at 12-46-48 LGTTM What Dreams May Come

#7: Skyfall (2012) – Hashima Island

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1074638/

Number 7 for 007. This one is farther down the list as it is a bit of a technicality. Technically, the film did not shoot on Hashima Island, as the Japanese government forbids anyone to set foot on it. But the production of the movie was permitted to use exterior footage of the island in the final cut. I think it’s still pretty cool. The film follows agent 007 on his latest adventure, pursuing the mysterious villain Raoul Silva, whose evil lair just happens to be an ominously derelict island off the coast of Macau. Much like its fictional counterpart, Hashima was an industrial island that was more or less abandoned over night. The crew were forced to built a set and use CGI for scenes taking place on the island, but that is the real place you see in those exterior shots. A nice little detail in a visually complex film.

AW4

#6: The Road (2009) – Pennsylvania Turnpike

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/

I assure you that “The Road” will be the only movie to feature on both this and the previous list. But it is just such an interesting movie with a very unique filming location. Plus its based off a novel by the great Cormac McCarthy. After an unexplained apocalypse decimates the world, a man and his son trek towards the coast in hope of survival. We never even get to learn their names. In order to capture this bleak new world, the filmmakers turned to the famous abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. Though it is now a popular tourist attraction, this long stretch of abandoned highway was bypassed by a series of new roads. It was eventually left behind. Though cars no longer travel down it, local cyclists certainly enjoy it. But just like in this movie, beware of the long empty tunnels on the road.

AW2

#5: Hanna (2011) – Spreepark 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993842/

This action film really doesn’t get enough credit. With a lot of heart and another fantastic performance from a young Saoirse Ronan, it is much more than meets the eye. The movie follows a young assassin, raised her entire life to be a killer, as she treks across Europe on one final mission towards freedom. Little does she know that she is being pursued by her very creators and may never be able to live a normal life. One of her stops on this mission is at an abandoned amusement park in Eastern Germany. This is in fact Spreepark, an infamous former attraction of East Berlin. Known for its animal and wildlife themes, the park has remained derelict since 2002. Though there are plans to reopen the park in 2018, it makes an excellent backdrop for one of the key action scenes in this sleeper thriller.

AW3

#4: Blade: Trinity (2004) – The McBarge

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0359013/

This one is actually one of my favorites. Not the movie, but this place. It’s not a bad picture by all means, in fact I think it’s the best of the Blade series. But that really isn’t saying much. Human/vampire hybrid Blade must team up with a gang of vampire hunters known as the “Nightstalkers” to take on the mightiest vampire of all: Dracula. The word vampire gets used a lot in that sentence, but I really didn’t know how else to word it. What makes this new gang interesting, beside being headed by a prime Jessica Biel and a young Ryan Reynolds, is their hideout. A seemingly dilapidated boat, this is actually the fabled McBarge. A failed idea from the 1986 Expo in Vancouver, this floating McDonald’s has been bobbing around in the water ever since. Completely abandoned While shooting in Vancouver, producers thought it make the perfect hideout for their new vampire hunting team.

AW5

 #3: The Blair Witch Project (1999) – The Griggs House

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185937/

One of my personal favorite horror films, and the movie that arguably relaunched the “found-footage” genre. Whether you love it, or hate it, you cannot deny the impact that this movie made. The film follows three college students searching for and eventually being stalked by the elusive urban legend The Blair Witch in the woods of Maryland. It was so realistic, that many thought the film was real after its initial release. But what many fans may not know is that the house where the climatic finale takes place was not a set. Though now demolished, filming of the movie’s ambiguous ending took place in the historic Griggs House in Patapsco Valley National Park (where most of the filming occurred).  The house was over 200 years old, and made for the perfect creepy location to end this creepy movie.

AW6

#2: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – Michigan Central Station

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2975590/

I think the title of this movie kind of explains the plot better than I could. Batman fights Superman. Following the events of “Man of Steel”, Superman finds himself in a clash of ideals with the Gotham City vigilante Batman. An interesting piece of trivia about this movie’s production though is that it was one of the bigger ones to take advantage of shooting in the city of Detroit during their financial crisis. With the first few weeks of shooting taking place all across the city, one of the more climatic fight scenes of the film was shot at the legendary Michigan Central Station. With many failed redesign attempts, the station has been abandoned for years. But she may have found a new niche as a filming location as other movies such as “8 Mile” and “Transformers” have used the building as a set.

AW7

#1: Jurassic World (2015) – Six Flags New Orleans

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369610/

Just because I’m a big “Jurassic Park” fan. Always have been. The plot of this movie follows a very similar plot to all the other films in the franchise, except that the park is actually open in this one. But one factor that makes this film really unique from its predecessors is a certain location where filming took place: the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans. Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, the park was left flooded for some time. After a long legal battle, Six Flags was able to break their lease on the grounds and left it abandoned. Though many redevelopment proposals have come forward, it still sits derelict. But much like Michigan Central Station, this old park may have found new life as a movie set location. Big budget productions such as “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, and of course “Jurassic World” have all filmed at the ruined park. How? Life found a way.

original-jurassic-park-jeep-front

Know of any other movies filmed in abandoned places? Let us know in the comments! Likes/shares/comments/concerns/confessions/criticisms/questions are always welcomed.