Though most films are set in an actual city in the real world some writers and directors prefer to invent cities of their own, allowing them more creative freedom on their projects. Some of these cities are idyllic and beautiful, places everybody would like to visit, and most would never want to leave.
Just think of the technologically advanced paradise of Wakanda or Hogsmeade, the snow-filled little village frequented by the students of Hogwarts. For every fictional oasis, though, there’s an opposite number. Places so bleak and depressing that only the unfortunate or the unlucky would ever end up living there.
Gotham – This One’s Pretty Self-Explanatory
From the Joker to Two-Face, Batman has arguably the greatest villains in comic-book history, and, unfortunately for the people of Gotham, all these villains are confined to the one city. Many directors have given us their interpretation of the iconic city, and without fail, they have all presented us with a dreary, dull, lifeless city.
Christopher Nolan’s Gotham was a modern, soulless metropolitan city, whereas Tim Burton’s Gotham was more of a dystopian hellscape. Either way, there doesn’t seem much point in renting an apartment in a city that’s no stranger to bullets, explosions, and a whole host of lunatics in masks on the prowl for new civilians to terrorize.
Coolsville – G..G…G…Ghosts
For anybody not familiar with Coolsville (shame on you), it is the fictional city in which Mystery Inc detects clues and finally uncovers that the 1000 volt ghost was simply old man Smithers in a fancy costume. Though a vacation in Coolsville would allow you to meet a talking dog with an appetite for Scooby Snacks, it would likely also bring you face to face with a whole host of terrifying and ridiculous ghosts.
More often than not, these are just people in costumes, but that doesn’t make the prospect of coming up against the Tar Monster, Miner 49er, or the Cotton Candy Glob any less frightening, especially if you don’t like cotton candy.
Derry, Maine – Because Stephen King, That’s Why
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that a town created by Stephen King made this list; the surprise should be that there’s only one. It was a close call between Derry, Maine, and Castle Rock, but it proved impossible to overlook the child devouring shape-shifter that lurks in the sewers of Derry and feeds on fear.
What’s perhaps most surprising about Derry is that the adults of the town, particularly in Andy Muschietti’s films anyway, seem to know that something strange is going on but ignore it completely. Granted, it’s probably a little safer to vacation there as an adult, but killer clowns aren’t the only concern in Derry. An alien heads there to pollute the water supply in Dreamcatcher, so it’s probably best to head to Paris or London instead.
Springfield – And Not Just Because Homer Simpson Lives There
At this point, after 33 seasons and a movie, not to mention the prospect of a Simpsons sequel, what haven’t the poor residents of Springfield been through? They’ve been trapped in a dome, their lakes have been polluted to dangerously hazardous levels, and they even killed Green Day – and that’s just in the film.
Though it would undoubtedly be nice to drink a Duff at Moe’s and browse through comics at The Android’s Dungeon, it probably isn’t enough to counteract the constant hysteria, scheming, and insanity that comes with sharing a town with The Simpson family. If your heart is set on taking a trip to Springfield, though, make sure not to go at Halloween. From what we’ve seen, nothing good happens in Springfield on Halloween.
Haddonfield – Stay Away From Anything Pointy
If staying in Springfield on Halloween night is risky, it’s nothing compared to spending October 31st in the fictional town of Haddonfield, made famous by the Halloween franchise. The innocent people of the smalltown have lived with the fear of the boogeyman since 1978, when he first escaped from the facility he was being held in and terrorized the town, Michael Myers killed anybody unfortunate enough to stumble into his path.
Add Myers’ apparent immortality and the fact that he’s now more brutal than ever into the mix, and it’s safe to say holiday homes in Haddonfield will probably remain vacant until Laurie Strode finally rids the world of her nemesis.
Woodsboro – What’s Your Favourite Scary Movie?
With the newest entry into the Scream franchise just weeks away, it would be foolish not to mention the town that seems to breed serial killers. Unless you’re the world’s greatest detective (step forward, Batman), you’ll be forced to spend the duration of your trip to Woodsboro nervously looking over your shoulder and trying to work out who’s responsible for the brutal murders occurring around you.
Of course, there are things you can do to increase your chances of survival should you visit Woodsboro. Firstly, stay well away from Syndey Prescott no matter what, and secondly, never ever answer a ringing phone. In fact, leave your phone at home. It’s for the best.
Amity Island – Do Not Pack Your Bikini
What’s not to like about Amity Island? It has a lovely beach, a sea available for all to swim in, and a great white shark lurking in the shallows. Oh right, it’s the shark. For those of us who like to paddle around in the sea without risk of being eaten alive, it’s probably best to head elsewhere.
In Amity Island’s defense, it boasts arguably the most committed sheriff in the world, a man who’s willing to travel out to sea to hunt a great white shark to keep the people of his town safe. Realistically, Amity Island wouldn’t be the worst place to visit; just make sure not to go in the water.
Azkaban – Wizard Prison Isn’t For The Faint-Hearted
Ok, so maybe this one is a little bit of a cheat because it isn’t technically a city, but it’s one of the scariest fictional places I can think of, and based on the number of death eaters locked up in there, it’s got be almost as big as a city. The reasons for staying clear of this gothic hellhole are pretty simple, really.
First, the cells are guarded by dementors with the capability of literally sucking your soul out if you misbehave. Second, you could end up in a cell near Bellatrix Lestrange, no doubt resulting in her cackling laugh keeping you awake deep into the night. And finally, it’s prison. Nobody wants to go to prison. Not even for the Dark Lord himself.
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About The Author
Michael Walsh (6 Articles Published)
Michael Walsh is a graduate of the Northern Film school and spends his spare time watching and writing films and TV. Mike lives in Rochdale, England