Scream Horror Magazine

Terror on Screen: Ontario’s Haunting Influence in Horror Films

Posted on: August 26th, 2023

The film industry in Ontario has made significant contributions to the world of horror cinema. While it’s widely recognised for its contributions to the world of drama, romance, and comedy, Ontario’s sinister side, as portrayed in some horror classics, remains less explored.

This article delves deep into the terrifying movie sets of Ontario, highlighting how this province has given life to many horror stories on the big screen.

Black Christmas (1974)
Ontario is not just about serenity and scenic beauty. Sometimes, it’s about dark tales that freeze the spine, as with this slasher classic.

The University’s Dark Past
Black Christmas, often hailed as one of the first-ever slasher films, was primarily shot at the University of Toronto. The university’s Gothic architecture provided an eerie backdrop, juxtaposing the seasonal joy of Christmas with an impending sense of doom. The old buildings with their shadowed corners gave the movie its uncanny, foreboding atmosphere.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Ontario’s urban landscape became the perfect setting for a zombie apocalypse, transforming its bustling centers into terrifying terrains.

Toronto’s Zombie Outbreak
This sequel transformed the bustling streets of Toronto into the zombie-infested Raccoon City. Iconic landmarks like City Hall took on a post-apocalyptic guise, showcasing the city’s versatility and capacity to induce terror, especially during the nighttime sequences.

Bride of Chucky (1998)
Ontario’s remote locales and old structures gave the perfect backdrop for chilling stories, especially one involving a deadly doll.

A Motel’s Nightmare
Though the film itself spans various locations, a significant portion was filmed in Ontario. One of the more notable spots is the Ainsley House, a remote motel that amplified the creepy ambiance necessary for this doll-centric horror movie.

American Psycho (2000)
Ontario’s corporate skyscrapers served as a chilling playground for a deranged mind in this unsettling tale.

Corporate Horror in Ontario’s Heart
While set in New York, many of the sleek, urban scenes from American Psycho were filmed in Toronto. The juxtaposition of the city’s modern, polished financial district with Patrick Bateman’s heinous crimes added an unnerving quality to the narrative.

Crimson Peak (2015)
Gothic romance and horror melded perfectly in Ontario’s crafted settings, echoing both beauty and terror.

The Gothic Mansion’s Secrets
Guillermo del Toro’s gothic romance-horror was notably filmed at Pinewood Toronto Studios. The production created a three-story Victorian mansion within the studio, complete with working elevators and detailed rooms. This crafted setting exuded both beauty and horror, making the mansion itself a central character in the film.

Saw Movies
Ontario’s old industrial locations became synonymous with fear, dread, and the macabre in this iconic series.

The Abandoned Warehouse of Fear
Various installations of this iconic horror series have scenes shot in Ontario. Old warehouses and industrial locations in Toronto provided the perfect gritty and grim atmosphere. These settings played a crucial role in conveying the raw horror and despair of Jigsaw’s traps.

As you can see, Ontario’s shadowy corners have lent themselves to countless horror movies that have left an indelible mark on the genre. From unsettling forests to abandoned structures, these locations have set the stage for some of the most chilling scenes in horror cinema.

Many of those scenes continue their influence today. Play slots at BetMGM Ontario and you will find Wicked Tales: Dark Red, where a grown up Little Red Riding Hood meets with vampires or Dracula, which is based on the original 1931 film.

Videodrome (1983)
Ontario’s urban landscapes morphed into a technological nightmare, questioning reality in this Cronenberg classic.

Toronto’s Technological Horrors
David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, a tale of technology-driven hallucinations, used Toronto as its backdrop. Locations like the ‘Cathode Ray Mission’ were haunting renditions of real spots, blurring the lines between fiction and reality in the cityscape.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Ontario’s familiar malls turned into frightening battlegrounds, redefining shopping experiences in a horrifying way.

Ontario’s Mall of the Undead
Though set in Wisconsin, this zombie flick used Ontario’s Thornhill Square Shopping Center for its primary location. The mall, familiar and mundane, became a terrifying battleground against hordes of the undead, showcasing the transformative power of horror cinema.

Silent Hill (2006)
Ontario’s sleepy towns and old streets became the mysterious and fog-filled town of Silent Hill, echoing with whispers of the unknown.

The Fog-Blanketed Ghost Town
Ontario’s Brantford and Hamilton were transformed into the foggy, deserted town of Silent Hill. The film took advantage of these cities’ old structures and streets, creating a palpable sense of abandonment and lurking danger.

Carrie (2013)
Ontario’s school settings became the stage for a reimagined tale of horror, trauma, and supernatural powers.

The High School Horror Reimagined
This modern adaptation of Stephen King’s classic found its footing in various parts of Ontario, including Hamilton and Toronto. Iconic scenes, particularly the prom scene, benefited from the local schools and auditoriums’ architecture, offering a contemporary yet equally chilling take on the tale.

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