Show-Me Horror Flicks: Movies That Have Missouri Connections

It’s movie night. You want to make a Missouri-based choice, but aren’t sure exactly where to start.

In the mood for old-school comedy? How about 1987’s “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” which features scenes in St. Louis. Or you could be looking for drama. Well, there’s that total buzz kill Jennifer Lawrence movie “Winter’s Bone,” shot in the Missouri Ozarks near Forsyth and Branson.

Wake up! It’s October: Skip the comedy, forgo the drama and find yourself a nice horror flick. Not sure where to begin? Get started with these five horror movies that have Missouri connections.

5. Child’s Play 3 – That little Good Guy doll is at it again. Of course, the doll is possessed by the spirit of killer Charles Lee Ray, also known as Chucky, and he’s causing mayhem at a military school. Chucky really freaks some people out – probably has something to do with the eyes. I never can figure out why people don’t just pick him up and, well, chuck him into a garbage compactor or something. Anyway, the film was shot on location at Kemper Military Academy in Boonville.

Kemper Military Academy in Boonville
Kemper Military Academy in Boonville

4. The Possession – So, this movie wasn’t filmed in Missouri. Okay, move past that. It’s inspired by events connected to a mysterious Dibbuk Box, which apparently is possessed by an evil spirit. The actual box is owned by a man who lives in Kirksville and serves as director of the A.T. Still Museum of Osteopathic Medicine. He wrote a book about the object (called “The Dibbuk Box”); Hollywood turned it into a movie with Kyra Sedgwick. So yes, one of the freakiest objects anyone has ever heard of is in Missouri. Sleep well, all of Adair County.

3. Fever Pitch – This movie scares me on two fronts: Jimmy Fallon (who is a great TV host and comedian) acting, and having to rehash the Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. Sometimes, nightmares do come true.

Busch Stadium

2. Seven – If you haven’t seen this movie, stop what you’re doing right now and find a way to watch it. Though it might look a little dated – thanks a lot, clunky 1990s cell phones – this is first-rate thriller and, quite honestly, plenty gory. The mood, pacing and subplot involving the main protagonist have you squirming for two hours. The Missouri connections? Springfield’s own Brad Pitt stars, and it’s directed by David Fincher, who is helming “Gone Girl,” currently being shot in Cape Girardeau.

1. The Exorcist – Scariest. Movie. Ever. If you’ve never seen a real (not sanitized for TV) version of this film, count your blessings. For my money, it’s the most frightening film ever – even if the Linda Blair (who was born in St. Louis) head-spinning and other iconic sequences have been lampooned over the years. It may not bother you while watching, but later on, when you actually think about what’s happened … ugh. You know what, just skip it and go for a walk on the Katy Trail instead.

In case you’re wondering, “The Exorcist” is based on a book inspired by a real exorcism that took place in St. LouisThe Travel Channel show “Ghost Adventures” will air its 100th episode this Saturday (Oct. 19, 2013); their location is “The Exorcist House” in St. Louis.

exorcist house

5 Other Missouri-made Films to Get Your Scare On...

5 Other Missouri-made Films to Get Your Scare On...

-You’re Next (Recently in theaters and filmed in Columbia)

-Albino Farm (Springfield)

-Stephen King’s Sometimes They Come Back (Liberty and Rocheport)

-Raising Jeffery Dahmer (Kansas City)

-Larva (Springfield)

Written by Stephen Foutes, communications manager for the Missouri Division of Tourism. 

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