Beauty, energy, and familiarity help make Vegas the perfect setting for a horror film, making us wonder why more films aren’t set there.
We seem to be entering a new golden age of horror at the moment, with titles like Midsommer and Smile bending the genre and creating a different experience altogether. This experience provides scares, but not in the way horror fans might be familiar with. What’s not to love about the innovation behind the movies currently being made?
There are a lot of different components that need to be achieved for the perfect picture to come together. These include the likes of a good script, having a good director at the helm, the right cast, and, of course, the perfect setting. There are many potential places where a horror film could be set, but modern filmmakers could well be missing out by not taking advantage of Vegas. This article will talk in more detail about why Vegas is the perfect setting for a horror movie.
For something to be scary, we need to be able to connect with that something. This means there needs to be some level of familiarity there, something that other people, as viewers, can envision as something from their ordinary life. Vegas provides a fantastic backdrop when it comes to accomplishing this. Because of the growing popularity of casino games, both in real life and in online casinos, such as crazy vegas casino online, people can associate these games and the casino backdrop as something from their world. Even if you’ve never been to Vegas, you immediately connect with the atmosphere; there’s a sense of intimacy. As such, the horror that unfolds later becomes more real and, subsequently, terrifying. This works well because it is associated with glamour, entertainment, and fun. So it’s all the more frightening when horror invades such a happy place.
That’s the reason why vacation horrors, such as Us and The Rental, work so well. Even if you’ve never been to the particular setting of the film, you can almost certainly relate to the peaceful, relaxing feeling of being on vacation away from the worries and troubles of every day, and you can imagine how horrifying it would be to have your dream vacation shattered by a waking nightmare.
Characters in horror movies need to be thrown entirely out of their comfort zone for the audience to feel scared for them. The chaos of Las Vegas — with the backdrop of bright lights, exuberant characters, and overstimulation when it comes to sights and sounds — makes for the perfect disorienting setting. Our senses are already heightened, and we can feel the tension and unease even before any real threat is introduced. This is amplified when a character is put into peril and must try to escape a threat, only to be met with more chaos and confusion.
It’s another reason why it works so well to move the setting of a film from someplace comfortable and quiet to a place that’s brimming with manic energy. A great example of this is when the popular Scream franchise moved its setting in Scream VI from the quaint town of Woodsboro to the big, bustling city of New York, which has a similar atmosphere to the frenzied Las Vegas.
One of the reasons why horror is so good right now is because the cinematography is on the same level as elevated dramas and thrillers. When Vegas is filmed in the right way, with the neon and bright lights properly captured by the camera, it looks stunning. The exposition shots and scenes where the audience is getting to know the characters can create a memorable experience, thanks to the unbelievable backdrop that somewhere like Vegas provides.
Some phenomenal examples of just how effective this setting can be are Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Hostel III (2011), Fright Night (2011), It Stains the Sands Red (2016), and Army of the Dead (2021).