2012’s Half Halloween celebration included a viewing of the horror series Hellraiser. Since part of Hellraiser: Bloodline takes place in space, part in the past to create an origin story, a few forum posters discussed the issues of setting in horror films. So I thought I’d create a list in connection with this fun conversation and yearly event. (NOTE: I’m not finished watching all of the Hellraiser films yet, so more might be added.)
Films on this list must:
Be part of a multi-film series. I only include the film(s) in the series that take place away from the typical setting, or at least part of the film takes place in a significantly different time period than the rest of the series. Suggestions are welcome!!
From the Hellraiser franchise:
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline: The film that started this list!! This film takes place in three separate time periods, and three separate locations, most notably, space. Quite the overachiever.
Hellraiser VII: Bucharest Romania.
Hellraiser Revelations: Parts of this most recent installment take place in Mexico.
From the Friday the 13th franchise:
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan: Most of the Friday the 13th films take place at or just outside of Camp Crystal Lake. The eighth installment started there, but most of the film took place on a boat—a boat headed to Manhattan. There, Jason continues his killing spree while learning to appreciate his home in the woods.
Jason X: Another one of our horror favorites makes his way into space. This much-maligned installment actually includes a couple of my favorite death scenes, particularly the frozen head smash.
Freddy Vs. Jason: The film moves to Camp Crystal Lake, but it begins on Freddy’s stomping grounds, Elm Street.
From A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise:
I’m not counting any of the films prior to New Nightmare. Yes, I know that there are some scene changes, (like part 3 which takes place at a hospital) but Freddy’s Dead the Final Nightmare reveals to the audience that Freddy is limited to killing residents of Springwood, Ohio. So all of the films took place in or very near Springwood.
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare: Takes place in the “real” world. All films up until that point were just that, films, but now the nightmare is coming true.
Freddy Vs. Jason: See above.
Children of the Corn: Stephen King’s short story spawned a franchise that is still going. Many of the films take place in Nebraska, but there are some exceptions.
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest: The title should tip the audience off to the franchise’s move away from Gatlin. Most people might remember this film as one of Charlize Theron’s early screen appearances, but it should be noted that Chicago, not Gatlin, is the primary location in this one.
Children of the Corn: Revelation. I debated about including this one, since it still takes place in Nebraska, but it is in Omaha, not Gatlin, and it also takes place mostly in an apartment complex, so I figured it was different enough to include.
Children of the Corn Genesis: After an intro in Gatlin, the story shifts to present day California, and supposedly includes some footage from Bad Boys II.
Leprechaun: Another franchise that came up in the forum discussion.
Leprechaun 3: Warwick Davis’ Leprechaun heads to Las Vegas.
Leprechaun 4: In Space
Leprechaun in the Hood: Yep.
Leprechaun Back 2 tha Hood: I know that twice means it’s not a new setting, but this list would just feel empty without it.
I could have picked a much different picture, but I wasn’t sure if I could include one with drug paraphernalia:
NOTE: There is apparently a Leprechaun Origins in the works for 2013, so keep your fingers crossed.
Pumpkinhead: I’m actually surprised that this franchise has so few sequels.
Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud. This one takes us back in time. Way back. But it gets better. The Blood Feud?? It’s between the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Scream 2: I’m not sure where Windsor College is. It might just be in California like Woodsboro, but Windsor wasn’t in Woodsboro, and the college setting also helped land it on this list.
Scream 3: Still California, but Ghost Face strikes Hollywood.
Tremors II: Aftershocks. Another franchise that visits Mexico.
Tremors 4: The Legend Begins. Takes place in the 1800s.
Critters 3: After hopping from one small town to the next, the Critters set their sights on L.A. and Leo DiCaprio.
Critters 4. Our lovable critters got their chance to do a film in space as well. But, since the creatures first came from space, this idea doesn’t seem like a far stretch.
Puppet Master Franchise: There are often flashbacks to Nazi Germany starting with the first film, but I tried to limit this list to films that mostly take place during that time period.
Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge. Takes place during WWII.
Retro Puppet Master: See how things began in the 1890s.
Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys: I included this one so that I can also include the next entry. Also, it does take place on Christmas Eve, which makes it an interesting “setting.” And it stars Corey Feldman. So there’s that.
Demonic Toys: Personal Demons. Italia.
Puppet Master: Axis of Evil. More WWII.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Bye bye Haddonfield. Bye bye Michael Myers. Hello evil corporation.
Halloween H2O: A brief opening in Haddonfield leads Myers on a trip to Northern California.
Child’s Play Franchise:
Child’s Play 3. Chucky visits military school.
Bride of Chucky. Chucky gets his kills on Route 66.
Seed of Chucky. John Waters makes a delightful appearance in this film where Chucky and Tiffany take Hollywood.
Predator Franchise: Talk about a traveling franchise!!
Predator: I had to include the first, because it seems every film takes place somewhere different. This one takes place in Central America
Predator 2. Takes place in L.A.
Note: The AVP picture isn’t a still from the film.
AVP Requiem. Small town USA?? I’m not sure if the state is given.
The Dead Series:
Tommy convinced me to include films from this series, and the more I thought about it, the more I thought that often the location or method of storytelling in the films was different enough to also include the first film in this series.
Night of the Living Dead. Farmhouse.
Dawn of the Dead. Shopping mall!!
Day of the Dead. An underground bunker.
Land of the Dead. A walled city.
Diary of the Dead. Sometimes it’s like a macabre road trip movie. But Tommy convinced me to put this one on the list for reasons other than location. See our conversation in the comments if you are interested.
Survival of the Dead. An island.
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