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Wales Online
Wales Online
Nathan Bevan

The times Wales or the Welsh turned up unexpectedly in horror movies

Who doesn't like being scared out of their wits by a scary movie come October 31st? But some horror movies can carry a very different type of shock.

For example, what's always unexpected is when Wales or the Welsh suddenly get a shout out halfway through your favourite frightener. Indeed, so jarring are some of these mentions that it's almost enough to coax the terrified viewer out from their hiding place behind the sofa.

Here are some special spooky examples. Happy Halloween! You can get more what's on news and other story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.

READ MORE: 'Brutal' horror Terrifier 2 is so gory it's making people vomit in cinemas

The Dead Zone (1983)

Any film starring Christopher Walken is going to have an element of weirdness – especially one adapted by 'king of gore' David Cronenberg from a seminal scary novel by Stephen King.

But by far the oddest thing in this spooky 1983 tale about a small town American teacher cursed with psychic abilities is when the camera pans across to reveal Walken sitting at home with a tea towel map of Wales pinned to the wall behind his head.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

The infamous moors scene in this darkly comic scare-fest was apparently filmed around the Black Mountains. Meanwhile, the Yorkshire village of East Proctor - where the film's two unfortunate US protagonists stop for a pint in a pub called The Slaughtered Lamb - is really Crickadarn, which is about six miles southeast of Builth Wells, Powys.

The Rite (2011)

Anthony Hopkins has a devil of a time in The Rite (Handout)

Playing a Jesuit exorcist working for the Vatican (based on a real person, apparently), The Rite saw Sir Anthony Hopkins give his natural accent a rare celluloid airing here. But it’s most notable in the climatic showdown scene where he himself becomes possessed by the devil.

During it he scratches the words ‘Ni sydd biau fe nawr’ – ‘We own him now’ – into the stone walls of his study and starts babbling (in a heavy Valleys accent): "Please mister preacher man, pray for God to help me. I’m just a poor little Welsh boy all dressed up for the carnival, mammy."

Devil's Bridge (2010)

A West Wales take on Deliverance – or Dai-liverance, if you like – this film saw three Essex lads get horribly lost in the Carmarthenshire backwoods, a remote rural wilderness ruled over by Josh Richards’ unhinged farmer.

Even more frighteningly, Cardiff-born director Chris Crow admitted that Richards’ tattooed, shotgun-wielding nut-job was inspired by a former teacher of his.

The Wolfman (1941)

Horror legend Lon Chaney (Mirrorpix)

This horror classic starring Universal Pictures’ biggest scare stars Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr revolved around the accursed Talbot family and took place in the fictional village of Llanwelly, near Cardiff. It was followed two years later by the similarly Wales-set Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman.

Then, in 2010, the film was remade for the umpteenth time with Sir Anthony Hopkins playing the patriarch with a penchant for sprouting fangs and howling at the moon. And where’s Hopkins from? Exactly, Port TALBOT. Rather serendipitous, that.

The Evil Dead (2013)

This largely pointless and ridiculously gory remake of the infamous 1981 video nasty has few memorable moments. However, an early scene (which doesn’t appear in the original) sees a case of demonic possession being presided over by a Welsh-speaking elderly exorcist in a basement full of dead cats and spell books.

We’ve no idea why, given that the film is set in deep dark woods somewhere in rural America. And, chances are, neither do the people who bothered to redundantly rehash this horror classic in the first place.

World War Z (2013)

Brad Pitt goes to Wales to save the planet from a zombie apocalypse (PA)

Where better to end a multi-million-dollar, Brad Pitt blockbuster about a global zombie pandemic than in south Wales?

No, we’re not kidding - the makers of World War Z really did decide to swap their film's original climax - a huge bloody battle with the undead in Moscow's Red Square - for a decidedly more low-key showdown just outside Cardiff.

Apparently, the scene where Pitt’s plane crash lands near the Welsh capital provoked mass cheering and standing ovations each time it was screened at the Nantgarw branch of Showcase Cinemas.

The Keep (1983)

'80s horror doesn’t come much schlockier than this odd outing from Miami Vice’s Michael Mann, in which a platoon of Nazi officers fall foul of a malignant presence in a deserted citadel in WWII Romania. Oddly, the film was actually shot in a former slate quarry in Llanberis and Llechwedd Slate Caverns near Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Less surprisingly, heavy rain blighted the production and caused severe delays to its completion.

The Dark (2005)

Sean Bean and Maria Belo in The Dark (Publicity Free Pic)

Set in Wales, but actually filmed on the Isle of Man, this creepy offering tells of how the parents of a young girl feared drowned while on holiday begin to believe she’s actually trapped in a shadowy parallel world called Annwyn. The script draws heavily on Celtic myth and Sean Bean and Maria Bello spend most of the time running around doing the whole petrified/confused thing pretty well.

Meanwhile, craggy old Maurice Roeves turns up as a local farmhand with a dodgy Welsh accent and a veritable graveyard of skeletons in the closet.

Colin (2009)

Shot for a mere £45 on borrowed kit and utilising a cast of mates, Swansea-born Marc Price’s ultra-rough zombie movie gets a mention purely for managing to get a screening at the Cannes Film Festival and a selected national cinema release. An obscure must-see for gore aficionados.

Flick (2008)

An undead rockabilly out for revenge is hunted down by a female American police detective with one arm in this skewed low-budget shocker. Shot around Pontypool, Newbridge and Caerphilly, it stars Tinseltown legend Faye Dunaway as the handicapped cop, while acclaimed crooner Richard Hawley also pops up as a DJ whose tunes prove that rock ‘n’ roll really is the devil’s music.

Prevenge (2016)

Alice Lowe in Prevenge (handout)

Shot in and around Cardiff, comic actress Alice Lowe’s dark pre-natal horror – a pregnant woman becomes convinced her unborn child is commanding her to kill – walks a queasy tightrope of being both funny and disturbing. It may not be for everyone, but this critically-acclaimed hidden gem is worth checking out by those with a taste for the twisted.

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