Scare and The City// 6 Horror Films Set in Metropolitans

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We all know a cabin in the woods is one of the most used settings in horror. As we’ve come to see over time, horrors reside in the city too. Here are 6 films/series set in urban/metropolitan areas that rely on the very real terrors of their environment.

Horror Films Set in Metropolitans 

Birth/Rebirth (2023): Set in The Bronx, New York, a morgue technician successfully reanimates the body of a little girl. However, she needs harvested biological materials from pregnant women to keep the child “alive.”  When the girl’s mother, played by Judy Reyes, discovers her daughter is alive, the two make a deal that puts them down a very dark path. A creative and cruel interpretation of Mary Shelly’s classic Frankenstien, we see the pain of a single mother weighed down by capitalism which ultimately leads to her daughter’s demise. You can find it on Shudder, amc+, Hulu, and the Roku Channel. 

Black as Night (2021): Down in The Big Easy, We have another Prime original, Black as Night. In good ol’ New Orleans fashion, we have some vampire horror. A teenage girl spends the summer battling the undead, with the help of a motley crew of friends. Nominated for three NAACP image awards, the film examines how addiction greatly affects community. Available with Prime video subscription.

Too Close for Comfort

The Voyeurs (2021): Sydney Sweeney and Justice Smith tag team in this Hitchcock-esque thriller set in Montreal, Canada. What starts out as innocent and fun curiosity, quickly turns into obsession when a young couple spy on their strange neighbors. In a world where city dwellers are forced into close quarters, this movie begs the question: who is really at fault? Available with Prime Video subscription.

Watcher (2022): In the city of Bucharest, a young American actress has just moved into the city with her boyfriend. She soon notices a mysterious stranger watching her from across the street while a serial killer stalks the city. With a stellar performance from horror titan Maika Monroe, the film does a great job showcasing the fears of moving to a new city and how misogyny works in leaving women vulnerable in these environments. Check it out on Hulu and Prime Video.  

#Alive (2020): While a fierce virus ravages Seoul, Korea, protagonist Joon-woo locks himself up inside his apartment to try to keep safe. Just as he starts to lose hope and his sanity, he discovers another survivor across the way. The Netflix original comments on isolation and loneliness, even in huge overpopulated cities. Set during the time of the very first COVID outbreak, it’s representative of the social panic of the pandemic. Available on Netflix.

Horror Series Set in the City

THEM: The Scare (Season 2): If the west coast is more your vibe, Amazon’s second season of Little Melvin’s THEM: The Scare is out now. Set in LA in 1991, right after the police assault of Rodney King. The story centers on a LAPD homicide detective assigned to a new case: the gruesome murder of a foster home mother.  She’s determined to solve the case as she navigates a city is on the edge of chaos. However, the more she investigates, the more she realizes that the threat of The Scare hits closer to home. Starring the incomparable Deborah Ayorinde and a transformative performance from multi hyphenate artist, Luke James.  Moreover, the show not only displays the long term effects of the harms in the foster care system, but how far self-hatred spreads, as horror critic Brother Ghoulish beautifully puts it. Available on Prime Video.