5 horror movies set in Louisville

Good horror, bad horror, weird horror — Louisville has been the site of some one-of-a-kind films to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Only one film on this list is set at Waverly and it’s... well, you’ll see.

Photo by @theghoulguide + @ayeitzkinedy

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Fall is the best time of year for lots of things: fashion, coffee, aesthetic trail photos. We’re adding movies to that list, too.

Specifically, we’re popping our popcorn for horrors, thrillers, slashers, and monster flicks. And with Kentucky’s incentives for filmmakers, you can expect to see more of Louisville on the big screen.

Meanwhile, we’ll start your search off with five horrors set (and filmed, mostly) in Derby City. Viewer discretion is advised.

Mom and Dad (2017)

Mass panic seizes suburbia when parents turn on their children. Nicolas Cage helms this off-the-wall black comedy — think: singing “The Hokey Pokey” while rampaging with a sledgehammer — and that means some of you are already sold.

Rust Creek (2018)

Julie Lipson and Stu Pollard’s tale of a woman on the run in the Appalachian forest could make you think twice about your holiday travel plans. “Rust Creek” offers some of that final girl energy for those who aren’t keen on slasher-level gore.

Don’t Tell a Soul (2020)

Another straight-up-and-down thriller, “Don’t Tell a Soul” focuses on two brothers with a terrible secret. It’s sometimes grim, sometimes funny, with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.

Death Tunnel (2005)

OK, so we can’t recommend you actually watch “Death Tunnel.” It’s got a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, after all. But if your Halloween season wouldn’t be complete without some so-bad-it’s-bad B horror, this sorority hazing gone wrong filmed at Waverly Hills Sanatorium may just scratch that itch.

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

This classic punk comedy-horror is based on a story by John Russo, one of the original architects of the zombie movie with George Romero. Set in Louisville, filmed in LA, we still think it’s worth a watch.

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