10 Horror Movies Set In Only One Location

Stephen King in a hotel! Stephen King in a car wreck! Nazis, zombies, prison, and space madness!

Trimark Pictures

Is there any short cut to an effective horror more successful than limiting the locations of your story?

Think about it—how successful would Jason Voorhees’ murder sprees be in scaring us if the doomed teen cast could simply up and leave the deserted summer camp, or cramped cruise ship, or (groan) spaceship at any time? There’s nothing less scary than a slasher stuck in the big city, as Jason Takes Manhattan regrettably proved, and horror loses its impact if our characters can easily just stroll out of whatever predicament they are in and outpace the threat currently attempting to kill them.

The lone location horror is an institution in the genre, with even early literary classics such as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House deriving much of their effectiveness from the claustrophobic fear of being trapped in a remote, byzantine old estate with some unseen ghosts (or, you know, a crazy governess, depending on how you read the former).

With that in mind, we’ve collected a shortlist of some of the horror genre’s most effective one-location nerve shredders, borrowing from the world of sci-fi and psychological thrillers to find the most intense examples of intense, one-setting thrill rides.

 
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