The night of the witches is coming. Come with us to the locations of 7 horror movies set in Italy.
Halloween is approaching and if you are tempted to watch some horror movies, the ones that keep you glued to the screen, in this article we will take you to the most famous locations of 7 horror movies set in Italy. You will have the opportunity to walk in those locations and relive the crucial moments of the films of the famous masters of thrill.
A new tour, which offers you the opportunity to see the dark side of the cities, walk through the woods or in underground Naples on the trail of the mystery, with the horror charm of something impossible that until the end seems to be about to happen. Discover with us an itinerary from Piedmont to Puglia, passing through Venice, Rome, and Naples to discover the locations of 7 horror movies set in Italy.
7 Horror movies set in Italy
From Deep red to the very recent A hunting in Venice, passing through various cult movies and directors who have made the history of the horror genre, discover with us 7 horror movies set in Italy, to move around the locations as if you were inside the film and experience some of that thrill. Italy is full of mysterious places that can trigger your imagination just as happened for the masters of the genre who created these films, giving those places a dimension of dark charm. Shadows, disturbing coincidences, and unsolvable mysteries transform the real into the imaginary, but what happens if you organize a trip to those places?
By reading this article on 7 horror movies set in Italy you will also discover the differences between Italian and international horror cinema. Italian horror cinema has invented a different way of working on death, ghosts, possessions, and scary figures, focusing above all on tradition and popular folklore which can be a gold mine for scary cinema.
7. Deep Red by Dario Argento (1975)
Galleria San Federico Turin
Among the various horror movies set in Italy, our itinerary could not fail to start with the most famous Italian horror director: Dario Argento, who with his films managed to give settings a mysterious charm. The most famous and disturbing movie shot by the director is Deep Red, released in cinemas in 1975, fundamental in the director's filmography and artistic career. Now counted among the classic horror movie set in Italy, Deep red was filmed partly in Turin and partly in Rome.
Marc, an English musician, accidentally witnesses the murder of the psychic Helga Hulman, killed during the parapsychology conference, where she had felt strange presences in the room. Marc is troubled by this event and decides to investigate on her behalf. The trail he follows leads him to the home of the writer Amanda Righetti, but when he gets to his house to talk, he finds her murdered. The killer has struck again and seems able to predict Marc's moves.
The film features the most well-known squares and streets in the center of Turin: Teatro Carignano, the Galleria San Federico and Piazza CLN, where you will be able to recognize the fountains in front of which Marc witnesses the first terrible crime of the movie, that of the psychic Helga Ullman. On the Turin hill, however, you will find the beautiful Villa Scott (Corso Giovanni Lanza, 57), a historic building and excellent example of Liberty. It is that the gloomy villa of the screaming child, where Marc finds the body and the drawing of the murder under the plaster. Looking at it even today one can be surprised by the aura of mystery and darkness that envelops the house.
In the settings of Deep red we also find Rome, in particular the EUR district, the library where Marc goes to look for traces of the screaming child's villa is in reality the Museum of popular arts and traditions (Piazza Marconi), while the market where Marc goes is the Trionfale market of Rome. Finally, the school (in the film Leonardo Da Vinci school) where the daughter of the gardener of the villa had copied the same drawing that Marc had found while peeling off a wall inside the villa itself is one of the historic high schools of Rome, the Liceo Mamiani on Viale delle Milizie.
6. The House with Laughing Windows by Pupi Avati (1976)
Loggia of the church of the Capuchin Friars, Comacchio
Let's move on to the Po Valley and The House with Laughing Windows (1976), a cult feature movie by Pupi Avati, another great Italian master of the horror genre, although he also dedicated himself to other genres in his films. The House with Laughing Windows is set in the Lower Po Valley.
Stefano was hired to restore a fresco in a small village in the Emilian plain; the fresco is by a painter who had died several years earlier in mysterious circumstances and was defined as the painter of agonies. Thanks to a friend who is there to analyze the waters of the surrounding marshes, Stefano learns that the mystery surrounding the painter is profound and even dangerous: his friend die, apparently by suicide, while Stefano receives threatening phone calls and horror begins to loom.
The old farmhouse protagonist of the film was in the province of Bologna, in the countryside of Malalbergo, but unfortunately, it no longer exists today. However, it is possible to see Villa Boccaccini in Comacchio, a stately residence where Stefano and Francesca stayed in the film. Still in Comacchio, the loggia of the church of the Capuchin Friars is the long portico that Stefano sees extending from the car window.
5. A haunting in Venezia by Kenneth Branagh (2023)
Venice has been the setting for numerous film productions, it is a surprisingly photogenic city and closely linked to cinema, it is here that the most important Italian film event is held: the Film Festival. We went in search of the locations of horror movies set in Venice and your visit will suddenly become full of suspense. You will discover a sinister, ghostly, predominantly nocturnal Venice, when mists rise from the water which do not allow you to clearly distinguish things.
With A Hunting in Venice by director Kenneth Branagh, released in cinemas last September, Venice was transformed into an outdoor set. The scenes were filmed between autumn and winter, a period in which mist and fog reign supreme in Venice. The famous Hercule Poirot has chosen Venice to retire, an old friend tempts Poirot by inviting him on Halloween night to take part in a séance in a haunted house during a scary night, it is there that a murder will take place and Poirot, despite his reticence will be forced to get back to work.
The outdoor film was shot entirely in Venice, among the locations you will rediscover Piazza San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace, the San Marco Basin (the main port of Venice), a scene was filmed at the famous spiral staircase of the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. And everything will appear to you in another guise.
4. A Classic Horror Story by Roberto De Feo (2021)
Umbra Forest, Gargano
If you want to lose yourself among the sinister creaks and dense forests illuminated by pale moonlight, we recommend the Umbra Forest nature reserve of the Gargano National Park which plays a fundamental role in the film A classic horror story, creating much of the atmosphere of the feature film, released in cinemas in 2021.
The young protagonist is returning home to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, through the carpooling application she gets a lift from a camper that already contains four other people. The five have an accident while crossing a desolate area, around them only woods and a mysterious house in the distance, we are in the Umbra Forest of Gargano. A classic genre story in Italian style, with the use of traditions and folklore such as the archaic cult that harks back to the legend of Osso, Mastrosso and Carcagnosso.
3. Horror movie set in Italy: the Rite by Mikael Håfström (2011)
The rite, by Swedish director Mikael Håfström, starring Antony Hopkins, was shot entirely in Rome for external shots, and was released in cinemas in 2011. The Vatican has launched a new program that aims to delve deeper into exorcism, the protagonist, a seminarian who wants to leave path of the priesthood, is involved in the program and even if skeptical he will be forced to review his beliefs. The film was shot in the downtown area, images of Piazza di Spagna, Ponte Sant'Angelo and inevitably Via della Conciliazione will flow on the film until reaching the Vatican City.
2. Black Partenope by Alessandro Giglio (2021)
Black Partenope instead takes us to Naples, Cécile the daughter of a rich French magnate has arrived in the city as coordinator of a series of mega car parks to be built in the subterranean city.
It is here that we are presented with the other side of Naples, that of the underground where the film was almost entirely made. Gennaro, the old custodian of subterranean Naples, where he generally organizes excursions for tourists, tries to oppose the project, but is struck by an illness.
It is the first of a whole series of disturbing facts. Cécile and her group will remain stuck in subterranean Naples, a real city beneath the city that condenses archeology and legends.
Black Partenope is an Italian production, released in cinemas in 2021, the inspiration starts from the legend of the munaciello which is intertwined with that of the puzzari, experts who work and know the subsoil of Naples perfectly.
1. The Arcane Enchanter by Pupi Avati (1996)
Lake Corbara, Terni
The Arcane Enchanter talks about the seminarian Giacomo Vigetti condemned by the Papal State on charges of having seduced a girl. The young man forced to flee from the ecclesiastical college finds refuge with an excommunicated priest. The latter left the church due to a strong interest in black magic and the occult and the former student finds himself practicing some very dangerous rites.
The scenes relating to Giacomo's time in Bologna were filmed in Umbria, to be precise in Todi on the steps of the cathedral, near the cemetery and in Palazzo Pongelli (the villa where the "deal" takes place in the film). While the scenes along the lake were created in now abandoned buildings along the shores of Lake Corbara (Terni). Director Pupi Avati has a close connection with the Umbrian region, where in the 1970s her mother bought a farmhouse near Todi. Our 7 horror movies set in Italy end here.