horror movies

Dakota Fanning and Robert Bailey Jr. in 'Coraline'. Image sourced from IMDB Production Credit:Focus Features 

October, or “spooky season” as many refer to the cold, wet and usually dark month as, wouldn’t be the same without snuggling under a thick blanket and watching horror films. 

Oregon is not ordinarily known for its film industry; however, the state has a rich film history going back to the early 1900s when silent films reigned supreme in the Portland and Beaverton areas. In the spirit of “spooky season,” here are a few horror films and their various filming locations — some of which you can visit today: 

The Shining” — dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1980

Set inside the large, colorful, dizzying and haunted Overlook Hotel, “The Shining,” starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, was mostly filmed in an English studio. However, the studio was reserved for the film's innumerable interior shots. The exterior shots were completed at the Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood. 

The hotel, located at 27500 E Timberline Rd., is quite popular today. The most requested room, of course, is #217 from the book by Stephen King. Interestingly, the hotel asked the producers not to depict that room, so #237 was used in the film. 

The Goonies — dir. Richard Donner, 1985

Released in 1985, the adventure film and lowkey thriller “The Goonies” launched the careers of then-child stars Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, and Corey Feldman. Still a hugely popular film today, it was mostly filmed in Astoria and Cannon Beach, with recognizable locations majorly visible to the public. The county jail featured at the beginning of the film is fittingly the site of the Oregon Film Museum, located at 732 Duane St. in Astoria. Many of the characters’ homes are still present, too. 

The Walsh house, located at 368 38th St., looks almost the same as it did in the film. Data’s house at 304 38th St. is similarly untouched, except the exterior paint has been changed from Levi-jean-blue to an off-white. The Walsh house, however, is no longer the Goonie Museum and its owners have posted signs prohibiting visitors.  

The famous bowling alley, currently named Lower Columbia Bowl, is located at 826 Marine Dr. and has a guest book for Goonies fans to sign. 

The Ring” — dir. Gore Verbinski, 2002 and “The Ring Two” — dir. Hideo Nakata, 2005

Oregon has a limited, but at the same time prominent, role in both “The Ring” a 2002 U.S. remake of Japan’s “Ringu,” released in 1998 and its sequel, “The Ring Two” from 2005. 

Both films feature Naomi Watts in the lead role and a fictional island and lighthouse. Named in the film as the Moesko Lighthouse on Moesco Island, they were filmed on the coast at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport. Located at 750 NW Lighthouse Dr., the tallest lighthouse in Oregon is open to the public daily. 

Coraline” — dir. Henry Selick, 2009

Among the number of animated children’s films released around Halloween is the stop-motion “Coraline.” Released in 2009, the film was set in Ashland and made in Hillsboro, OR at the stop-motion studio Laika, which also made 2016’s critically acclaimed “Kubo and the Two Strings,” directed by Travis Knight. Unfortunately, the studio doesn’t have public tours. 

Green Room” — dir. Jeremy Saulnier, 2015

The most recent major horror film to be filmed in Oregon is “Green Room” from 2015. The film, featuring the late Anton Yelchin, follows a punk band playing a show at a dark and dirty neo-nazi bar owned by lead skinhead Darcy (Patrick Stewart). It was filmed in Astoria, Portland and Mount Hood National Forest. No specific filming locations have been released.