ByMaria Loreto/Updated: Dec. 1, 2021 4:48 pm UTC
Horror films make for particularly tortured productions. Historically, they have higher odds of spooking out their cast, crew, and audiences. The late '60s and the '70s were a particularly ripe time for genre films that unsettled both on and off camera; movies like "Rosemary's Baby," "The Exorcist," and "The Omen" were all released within 10 years of each other, and remain some of the best-regarded horror films of all time.
As we'll see, these productions were also plagued by on-set strangeness, a trend that has continued as the horror space has grown. Difficult shoots often seem to start with the source material, as if what is being depicted in these films is so disturbing that no one involved can escape its toll.
In addition, many of these films are (allegedly) based on true and disturbing stories. From "The Exorcist," which is inspired by one the Catholic church's few confirmed exorcisms, to "The Conjuring," which embellishes the experiences of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, it's no wonder that these productions were tainted by dark energy. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, it's hard to argue that the following sets weren't cursed — at the very least, the people involved left with a few scary stories to share (be warned: stories about real-life deaths and other tragedies follow).
"Rosemary's Baby," based on the novel written by Ira Levin and released in 1968, was an extremely successful film. It was Roman Polanski'sAmerican debut and established him as one of the most distinctive filmmakers of the time, as well as cementing Mia Farrow's status as a movie star. It was also plagued bydeaths among the cast and crew, who died in strange and tragic ways.
At a party, the film's composer, Krzysztof Komeda, fell off of a rocky slope and into a coma that he never recovered from, similar to the actions that the witches take in the novel to get rid of Rosemary's friend. Then there's also the story of Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski's wife. Reportedly, Tate auditioned repeatedly for the role of Rosemary, which ended up going to Farrow. She makes a background appearance in one of the film's scenes. While the film was still in theaters, Tate was killed in her home by followers of Charles Manson. At the time, she was pregnant.
All of these events stoked the fear and the interest of the public, giving the film a bump popularity and an infamous reputation. Levin himself said that he had mixed feelings about the film, claiming that while it gave him access to exclusive literary circles, it also helped popularize the occult and Satanism, which was prevalent during that time period.
Perhaps because of my Catholic upbringing, "The Exorcist" is the most infamous movie I can think of (well, "The Exorcist" and "The Da Vinci Code"). It's also one of the most revered horror films in history, one that even non-fans can't help but admire. Upon its release in 1973, "The Exorcist" sparked theater walkouts, made people pass out mid-screening, and, in what has to be the best marketing strategy on the planet, saw theater attendants hand out barf bags to audience members. "The Exorcist" is a terrifying film, following Regan (Linda Blair) and her mother (Ellen Burstyn), who, after witnessing some strange behavior from her daughter, seeks medical help only to find her way to a priest, who's the only one who can help the possessed girl.
"The Exorcist" set was plagued with injuries, including one that affected Linda Blair. The injury occurred in a scene during which Regan is in the throes of her demonic possession; Blair thrashed around with the help of a rig that kept her tied to the moving bed. In one of the takes, the lacing came undone. "I'm crying, I'm screaming, they think I'm acting up a storm. It fractured my lower spine. No, they didn't send me to the doctor, it is the footage that's in the movie," explained Blair in an episode of the documentary "Cursed Films." Aside from injuries, there was also a fire that burned the majority of the set, but that mysteriously left Regan's bedroom untouched. Things didn't stop once the film debuted, either; one audience member sued Warner Bros. after he passed out during a screening, fell out of his chair, and broke his jaw.
20th Century Fox
"The Omen" is a story that expounds on the lies of a father, taking them in terrifying directions. Following a traumatic stillbirth, Robert Thorne (Gregory Peck) takes a child from the hospital ward and hands it to his wife, pretending that he is their son. As luck would have it, the child turns out to be the Antichrist. Released in 1976, the film tapped into the success of "The Exorcist," another film that specifically targeted Catholic fears, making the production ripe for spooky goings-on.
Production on "The Omen" was controversial from the get-go. Executive Bob Munger, who pitched the original story, warned the producer about the dangers of making a film like this. "If the devil's greatest single weapon is to be invisible and you're going to do something which is going to take away his invisibility to millions of people, he's not going to want that to happen," he said.
During production, tragedy struck. Lead actor Gregory Peck's son died by suicide, and his plane was struck by lightning when he was flying to London for the role. Marc Neufeld, one of the film's executives, also said his plane was struck by lightning when flying to LA. Stories like this continued to plague the production, resulting in the death of an animal trainer on set and a special effect artist's involvement in a fatal car crash that recalled the fatality he created for the film. Per local reports, a sign on the site of the accident read: "Ommen, 66.6 km."
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
MGM/UA Entertainment Co.
As we leave behind the horror films of the '70s, we quickly run into "Poltergeist," released in 1982. This horror classic follows the Freelings as they battle a haunting after their youngest daughter is abducted by spirits who communicated with her through the family's TV set. The "Poltergeist" curse is one of the most famous in movie history, spawning both E! Hollywood specials and an episode of the documentary series "Cursed Films."
Among the tragedies that surround "Poltergeist," the most striking is the high number of deaths associated with the film and its sequels. Four cast members died during or after working on a "Poltergeist" movie: Heather O'Rourke, the little girl who served as the face of the series, Dominique Dunne, Julian Beck, and Will Sampson. Other creepy things happened on set, including a rumor that real human skeletons were used for the iconic pool scene, and that an exorcism was conducted on set after shooting wrapped.
The Twilight Zone: The Movie
One of the most horrible tragedies in Hollywood history occurred when shooting the movie adaptation of "The Twilight Zone," when Vic Morrow was killed alongside two child actors in a horrific — and arguably preventable — accident.
"The Twilight Zone" featured four stories, each one adapted by different director: Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, George Miller and John Landis. For the scene that resulted inthe deathsof the actors, Landis was shooting a big set piece with a lot of explosions. Reportedly, Landis' attitude on set was dictatorial, and scared some of the crew members into silence when conducting the stunts. In the film, a racist played by Morrow travels through time and must rescue two Vietnamese children from an American raid. In the midst of the mayhem, the pilot handling the helicopter on set lost control of the aircraft, killing the three actors, forever changing Landis' career, and sparking a variety of civil suits against the studio and the director.
While the tragedy remains as one of the great Hollywood horror stories, it did force the film industry to place more importance on safety on their film sets, leading to the creation of risk management jobs and new rules for the use of gunfire, planes, pyrotechnics and more.
While it's not strictly a horror film, "The Crow" is a macabre, Gothic superhero movie that's heavily influenced by horror classics. It also isone of the most tragic Hollywood productions to date. Directed by Alex Proyas and released in 1994, "The Crow" is a comic book adaptation starring Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee's son) as Eric Draven, a man who is murdered alongside his fiancée by a group of gang members right before Halloween. Sometime later, a crow with mystical powers brings Eric back from the dead, setting the stage for his revenge against those who murdered him. Dark stuff.
"The Crow" had a slow and rocky production. According to "Cursed Films," during preproduction a mysterious figure called the offices and left a voicemail asking production to stop. This was followed by multiple tragedies. An electrician was badly burned. Others were injured. Then, Lee died as the film was finishing filming, shot by accident when a prop gun malfunctioned. Since the film was late in production, the person responsible for handling weapons safety wasn't around to supervise the scene, and wasn't able to ensure that all props were safe to use.
Lee's scenes were completed by using a mixture of body doubles and then-revolutionary CGI, but the film kept that charged and sad legacy, which has become impossible to separate from the story itself.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Sony Pictures Releasing
Released in 2005, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is an interesting hybrid. It's part horror film and part legal drama, resulting in something that manages to stand out amid the exorcism subgenre, which mostly relies on cheap jump scares and spooky face contortions.
Loosely based on a true story, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" follows Erin (Laura Linney), an agnostic lawyer tasked with defending a priest who's been accused of homicide after conducting an exorcism that resulted in the death of Emily Rose. The film follows two separate storylines: the present, which involves the legal drama, and the past, which depicts the exorcism in question, and features Jennifer Carpenter's captivating performance.
According to Carpenter,her radio would turn on at random times during the middle of the night while she was shooting the film. The director, Scott Derrickson, confirmed this rumor and said that this also occurred to Linney. "This is true. Also, Laura Linney's radio turned on at night 3 times during production," he tweeted.
Ti West was one of the horror auteurs of the '00s, making a string of scary, gory, and fun movies that opened the genre up to people who wouldn't usually gravitate towards horror. "The Innkeepers," released in 2011, tells the story of two hotel workers in New England who, when looking into stories of hauntings, awaken a dangerous presence.
Interestingly, West decided to make the film after hearing that the hotel where his crew stayed while shooting his previous film, "The House of the Devil," was haunted. "Well the hotel that inspired the film is actually in the film," said West in an interview with Indiewire. "The staff at the hotel believe it's haunted. The whole town believes it's haunted. So it has this kind of mystique to it."
While West said that he's a skeptic and doesn't believe in ghosts, he and the cast lived in the hotel for the duration of shooting, and he did see some doors opening and closing and TVs turning on and off, and mentioned that everyone who was sleeping there had very vivid dreams. Sara Paxton, the star of the film, said that at nights her door would also "violently fly open."
"The Conjuring" spawned a whole interconnected universe of modern horror films, many of which are amongst the best in the genre. The original film, released in 2013 and directed by James Wan, is a stylistic and terrifying reinterpretation of a true story, following paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) as they investigate the Perrons' home, where there's a supernatural presence that starts to escalate in disturbing ways.
The Perrons' story deeply affected everyone involved in it, from the Warrens themselves to the cast and crew of the film. According to Farmiga, while shooting she found herself waking up between 3 and 4 AM every night. This hour has long been associated with spirits and the devil — in the case of "The Conjuring," that's also when the witch character dies. Farmiga also reported finding claw marks, firston her computer screen and then on her leg.
While the film never halted production, the experiences were strange enough that the team behind "The Conjuring 2" hired a priest to bless the set before filming started. If there's something to be learned from all of this, it's that, when depicting the paranormal, you can never be too safe.
Anabelle Comes Home
Another installment in the Conjuring series, "Anabelle Comes Home" was another seemingly cursed production. Released in 2019, "Anabelle Comes Home" stars franchise newcomer McKenna Grace and series veterans Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, adding another chapter to the Warrens' saga, this time following a possessed doll that starts tormenting the couple's daughter and babysitter.
In conversation withThe Wrap,Grace talked about her experiences shooting the film, which included doors opening and closing and shadowy figures that she spotted on location. "When all of us were on set together for the first time, the lights went out and we were all freaking out and asking, 'Annabelle, are you there?'" Grace said. "Then, the lights turned back on and my nose was bleeding so heavily. It happens sometimes because of allergies but not this heavy — as soon as I left set to get a tissue, it stopped."
Production notes also state that a piano bench moved around without explanation and that, while visiting the set, a journalist's watch went haywire, skipping hours ahead.
- 7/7 The Conqueror.
- 6/7 Twilight Zone: The Movie.
- 5/7 Atuk.
- 4/7 The Crow.
- 3/7 The Misfits.
- 2/7 Poltergeist.
- 1/7 The Omen.
- Zodiac (2007) Film. ...
- The Amityville Horror (1979) ...
- The Conjuring (2013) ...
- Poltergeist (1982) ...
- Compliance (2012) ...
- 10 Rillington Place (1971) ...
- Open Water (2003) ...
- Snowtown (2011)
|2||2007||I am Legend|
|4||2019||It: Chapter Two|
From "The Exorcist," which is inspired by one the Catholic church's few confirmed exorcisms, to "The Conjuring," which embellishes the experiences of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, it's no wonder that these productions were tainted by dark energy.Who cursed the most in movies? ›
When host Jimmy Fallon told Jackson that Hill is first on the list, The Banker star replied: “That's some bulls***.” Hill has used a total of 376 curse words in film history, followed by Leonardo DiCaprio who has cursed 361 times. Jackson came in third with 301 curses used throughout his career.What country is cursed in? ›
Cursed is an American fantasy drama streaming television series that premiered on Netflix on July 17, 2020. It is based on the illustrated novel of the same name by Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler. The set location of the series is the United Kingdom.What is the top 5 scariest movie in the world? ›
- The Exorcist (1973) ...
- Halloween (1978) ...
- Paranormal Activity (2007) ...
- The Shining (1980) ...
- It Follows (2014)
Freddy Krueger (65%), Hannibal Lecter (60%), Michael Myers (60%) and Chucky (54%) are the horror villains most Americans find scary.Which movie is banned in India? ›
|1996||Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love|
The best horror movies
- The Exorcist (1973) ...
- The Shining (1980) ...
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) ...
- Alien (1979) ...
- Psycho (1960) ...
- The Thing (1982) ...
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Horror movie Annabelle has been withdrawn from several French cinemas after the spooky prequel about a demonic doll saw teenage filmgoers rioting in auditoriums.Is the cursed scary? ›
Parents need to know that The Cursed is a gory horror movie with child deaths, bloody violence, mythology, curses, and plenty of jump scares.Is La Llorona conjuring? ›
Despite what you might have heard, The Curse of La Llorona is not part of The Conjuring Universe like Annabelle and The Nun.Who was the first person to be cursed? ›
Cain, it seems, has surpassed his father. His transgression is greater and he brings down the curse on himself. 2 Not only is he the first human to be associated with the notion of sin (4:7), he is also the first murderer and the first human being to fall under a curse.Which country curses the most? ›
Cursing countries which swear the most - and the least
Coming out on top as the most likely to use explicit language online is France. The French have 7.59% - or seven in every 100 people - using curse words online per year. A close second was Poland, with 7.31%.
Cursed Children are young females with superhuman abilities. The Cursed Children first came into existence ten years prior to the current time period, when mankind was defeated by Gastrea.Which city is Cursed in the Bible? ›
Sodom was infamous as the city which, according to the Book of Genesis, God had spectacularly destroyed for its wickedness in the time of Abraham.What is America's curse? ›
The Curse of Tippecanoe (also known as Tecumseh's Curse, the 20-year Curse or the Zero Curse) is an urban legend about the deaths in office of presidents of the United States who were elected in years that end with the digit 0, which all are divisible by 20.Who is the most evil horror movie killer? ›
- Death (Final Destination)
- Pennywise the Dancing Clown (It) ...
- Pazuzu (The Exorcist) ...
- Deadites (The Evil Dead) ...
- The Thing (The Thing) ...
- Mister Babadook (The Babadook) ...
- Pinhead (Hellraiser) ...
#1 JASON VOORHEES (Friday the 13th: Part 2, 1981)
Jason Voorhees is the number one scariest killer on this list. Jason has the highest body count in slasher history with about 157 kills across his movie career.
1) 'Scary Movie 3' (2003)
The first of the series to be helmed by David Zucker, Scary Movie 3 is the most consistently funny entry. Riffing on massive pop-cultural hits like The Ring, the Matrix films, 8 Mile, and M.
Jigsaw [IQ: 158]
One of the most influential factors which make Jigsaw the #1 Smartest Horror Movie Killer, is that he planned all of these additional killings (in one fashion or another) in advance of his own predicted death. If planning weren't enough, Jigsaw's traps absolutely reek of genius.
Set in the same years of their releases, that puts Chucky at 25 and 29, respectively. As such, by the events of Chucky episode 1, "Death by Misadventure," the killer doll is technically celebrating his 33rd birthday in 2021.Who was the first horror movie killer? ›
There's no consensus on when slasher movies actually began, since the development of the subgenre is a continuum of sorts, but Tobe Hooper's 1974 classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is the first movie to introduce a long-running slasher character (chainsaw-wielding hillbilly killer Leatherface).What is the #1 scariest movie on Netflix 2022? ›
- The Babysitter. Netflix.
- It. Netflix.
- Fear Street. Netflix.
- Hush. Netflix.
- The Ritual. Netflix.
- His House. Netflix.
- Till Death. Netflix.
- It Follows. Netflix.
Horror movie 'Glorious' has proved a hit with early critics
A new horror film, starring JK Simmons and Ryan Kwanten, has received a rare perfect score on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes.
- 7/7 The Bear - Annihilation.
- 6/7 Death Angels - A Quiet Place.
- 5/7 The Entity - It Follows.
- 4/7 The Babadook - The Babadook.
- 3/7 The Alien - The Thing.
- 2/7 Xenomorph - Alien.
- 1/7 Pennywise - It.
The most prominent anime cartoon show Shin-chan was banned in India in 2008. It was said that the Japanese cartoon show was banned because Indian parents protested that it was showing vulgar content, inappropriate language and even suggestive nudity.Did China ban Indian movies? ›
In April 2018, the department formally put up a China Film Administration sign. Indian films were de facto banned from theatrical release in China in 2020 and 2021 due to border skirmishes in addition to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.What is S rated movie? ›
The Big 'S' - Stands for 'Restricted to special classes', which means only a certain members of the society, such as doctors, scientists, etc, are permitted to watch the film.
- The Babadook (2014).
- The Amityville Horror (2005). ...
- Dawn of the Dead (1978). ...
- It (1990). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 97% ...
- Child's Play (1988). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 98% ...
- The Exorcist (1973). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 100% ...
- The Ring (2001). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 100% ...
- Candyman (2021). CHANCES OF SURVIVAL: 100% ...
Horror. Cinema audiences in Mexico and South Korea are the biggest horror fans, with the genre performing less well in Japan and China.What is the best horror story of all time? ›
- The Shining by Stephen King. ...
- Dracula by Bram Stoker. ...
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. ...
- Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin. ...
- The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. ...
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. ...
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. ...
- Hell House by Richard Matheson.
One survey found that, on average, younger individuals tend to be more attracted to this scary genre; men are more likely to be fans of horror than women; and women versus men may like different aspects of a horror experience.What's The Cursed movie on Netflix? ›
A truth-chasing journalist goes up against the demonic CEO of an IT conglomerate with the help of a teenager with the ability to cast deadly curses.Is the Wizard of Oz a cursed movie? ›
So to say the set of the Wizard of Oz was cursed is not an entirely false statement, but considering there were no supernatural powers involved in the accidents, it's safe to say one of those types of curses did not affect the set of this classic film.Why is The Crow a cursed movie? ›
This episode from the "Shudder" doc series "Cursed Films" called "The Crow" focused on the tragic death of Brandon Lee who strangely died on set from a gunshot wound while filming in 1993 in North Carolina. As a weapons malfunction killed him.What is The Cursed video? ›
The Cursed Videotape is a collection of images projected by Sadako's spirit to video tape. The viewer is cursed to die after 7 days after watching.What is The Cursed 2022 movie about? › How scary is The Cursed? ›
Parents need to know that The Cursed is a gory horror movie with child deaths, bloody violence, mythology, curses, and plenty of jump scares.
Harry Potter movies have left Netflix, Stan and other services.Was the Tin Man poisoned? ›
True: the makeup made actors sick
Buddy Ebsen was originally cast in the role of the Tin Woodman, a.k.a. the Tin Man, but he was essentially poisoned by the makeup, which was made of pure aluminum dust. Nine days after filming started he was hospitalized, sitting under an oxygen tent.
The Wizard of Oz, MGM's groundbreaking Technicolor sensation, was released on August 25, 1939. The movie musical's source material, L.Who banned The Wizard of Oz? ›
But the most publicized banning of The Wizard of Oz was in 1986. Seven Fundamentalist Christian families in Tennessee wanted the book banned in public schools. They filed a lawsuit against the schools because they didn't like the novel's depiction of nice witches.Is The Crow a zombie? ›
The Crow is a fictional superhero character and the protagonist of The Crow comic book series, originally created by American artist James O'Barr in 1989. The titular character is an undead vigilante brought back to life by a supernatural crow to avenge his murder and death of his fiancée.Is The Crow a real story? ›
The Crow: The True Story of Hollywood's Most Cursed Movie (Video 2018) - IMDb.Is as The Crow flies a true story? ›
The Way the Crow Flies is the second novel by the Canadian writer and author Ann-Marie MacDonald. It was first published by Knopf Canada in 2003. The story revolves around a fictionalized version of the death of Lynne Harper, and the subsequent murder trial of Steven Truscott.Can video games be cursed? ›
While these myths have been debunked and most early fears about the medium have dissipated, the idea of a game being "cursed" has continued to inspire urban legends and deliberate fictional backstories for horror titles.Is the ring real? ›
The story of The Ring is actually based on a real Japenese ghost story dating back to the 16th century. As with most films, “based on a true story” means a slight push in sales.What is a cursed meme? ›
A cursed image is intended to make a person question the reason for the image's existence in the first place. The term was coined on social media in 2015 and popularised the following year.