Home styles are a great way to give viewers insight into the way they should feel about a specific location, whether in a horror movie or in another type of movie. A run-down home that seems to have no inhabitants will create a different “feel” than a home that’s clearly well-loved and lived-in. These different home styles all have a significant impact on the movie they’re in. Consider these interesting home styles from this list of terrifying basements in movies and TV.
The Silence of the Lambs: Dilapidated With a Well
The serial killer Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs has a very unique way of killing women. He traps them in the dry well in his basement, where he starves them so he can skin them more easily. The fact that his home is dilapidated and poorly-managed, as well as the fact that he has a dry well, gives viewers a sense of absolute dread during every scene.
The Amityville Horror: Modern and Hiding Secrets
The strange design of the home in The Amityville Horror is an important part of the horror. In fact, there’s an especially scary scene that occurs when the family discovers a small room in the basement that wasn’t on any of the building plans, hidden by a shelving unit. The Amityville Horror sets up a concept where, at any moment, you feel as though you could learn something new about the home.
The Evil Dead: Rural Tennessee Cabin
A rural home is an interesting choice for a horror movie because it automatically places the characters far away from anyone who could help them. If a horror movie takes place in a rural cabin, you automatically feel as though the characters are more exposed than if the movie took place in an urban area. When the basement has terrifying undead creatures, as is the case with The Evil Dead, it’s even more of a chilling experience.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: British Castle
Everything about The Rocky Horror Picture Show is campy and tongue-in-cheek. One of the most recognizable aspects of that is the fact that Dr. Frank-N-Furter keeps his laboratory in the basement of a British castle. The extremely strange decision to set the movie in and around a castle automatically puts most viewers into an uncommon setting, which is definitely indicative of the rest of the movie.
Get Out: Colonial
Much of the way Get Out constructs its narrative has to do with existing tropes and preconceived notions that individuals have. The choice to set Get Out inside a giant, beautiful colonial home is important; this movie deals with a number of racial dynamics and concepts, and the colonial design choices that the home exhibits came into vogue largely during the era of slavery in the United States. Though it’s subtle, it’s a constant reminder of the movie’s backdrop.
Parasite: Basement Apartment (Banjiha)
In Parasite, the Kim family lives in a basement apartment, which is called a banjiha in Korean. This is intentionally a backdrop that showcases the Kim family’s class, especially in relation to the other family they regularly associate with. Banjiha were, at one point, illegal to rent in Seoul, but an ongoing housing crisis has made them an option for many families without enough money to purchase better accommodations.
A Quiet Place: Upstate Barn
When the world has turned upside down and you’re trying to avoid paranormal creatures with supernatural hearing abilities, where do you go? In A Quiet Place, much of the story takes place in an upstate barn. This allows you to understand exactly how different things are in this fictional world as opposed to the world in which you live right now, all without ever having to showcase an urban setting.
The home style that a horror movie showcases can have a pretty significant impact on the concepts the horror movie weaves throughout itself. Whether it’s trying to call attention to class struggle or it’s making you feel the horror of being on your own, consider paying attention to the different building styles next time you watch a movie.