Fun fact for you, movies aren’t real – shocking I know – but a lot of the places where they film movies are real and actually exist in the real world.
Despite film makers relying more and more on CGI and green screen to create their fantasy worlds you really can’t beat a practical set for realism.
Now the good folks over at Looper have put together a comprehensive list of the best abandoned movie sets around the world and they look creepy as hell.
Great Smokey Mountain Railroad – The Fugitive
One of the most iconic moments of the 1993 remake of The Fugitive was when a train collides with a prison bus allowing Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) to go on the run.
It turns out the dramatic crash wasn’t a CGI effect it was done for real, crashing a train on a disused portion of the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad in North Carolina.
It cost the film $1.9 million to stage the collision but clearly they had no money to clean up their mess as the The Fugitive crew just left the train and bus debris behind, where it’s rusted over time.
Uncle Owen’s House – Star Wars
A long time ago in a desert far, far away George Lucas made a little film called Star Wars (you may have heard of it) and 40 years on some of the movie’s sets are still standing.
In the middle of the Tunisian desert the home of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s still stands near the towns of Tozeur and Tataouine as well as a few vaporators that allowed them to farm moisture.
Hawthorne Plaza Mall – Gone Girl
Remember the sinister mall in Gone Girl where the police think the movie’s titular missing girl, Amy Dunne, may have illegally bought a gun?
Well that wasn’t a set it was a real mall in Los Angeles and was known as Hawthorne Plaza Mall.
It opened in the 70s and after a boom in the 80s, shut down in the late 90s and has been used in a movies in need of a mall, including Minority Report and Evolution.
Cerro Gordo Mines – Iron Man
If you’re thinking that there weren’t any mines in Iron Man then congratulations you win a no-prize, but the Cerro Gordo Mines were in the film that started the Marvel movie colossus.
The mines were decorated to look like the lair of the Ten Rings terrorist group who held Tony Stark hostage at the beginning of the movie, forcing him to design his handy dandy armour.
Henry River Mill Village – The Hunger Games
The dilapidated ghost town of Henry River Mill Village was the perfect choice to shoot District 12, a similarly poor community, in The Hunger Games.
The movie being shot there had the added advantage of injecting new interest – and cash – into Henry River Mill Village where Hunger Games fans can go and take a tour.