The Top Five Fictional Insane Asylums in Movies

The locations used make a significant difference to a movie. They can form an important aspect of the storyline and can also help to create a particular atmosphere. One type of location used in movies is asylums and some movies are based entirely on what happens in these institutions. Insane asylums are most commonly used in movies of the genres supernatural, thriller, horror, and drama. While some movies are based in real mental asylums and the shooting takes place in the actual institution, others are entirely fictional.

Here are five of the best fictional insane asylums used in movies.

1. Shutter Island Psychiatric Facility – Shutter Island

Shutter Island is a psychological thriller about an investigation into a psychiatric facility following the disappearance of a patient. Martin Scorsese directed this 2010 film which is based on a book of the same name written by Dennis Lehane. Both the island and the insane asylum are completely fictional. Most of the film was shot in Massachusetts and the old Medfield State Hospital was used for many of the asylum scenes. Originally, the production team had wanted to use Worcester State Hospital. However, many of the surrounding buildings were being demolished at the time and this would have created problems with filming.

2. Smith’s Grove Warren County Sanitarium – Halloween

This 1978 independent slasher movie is about a man who murders his sister and is detained in the fictional Smith’s Grove Warren County Sanitarium. One of the best scenes in the movie is when he escapes from the asylum and returns to his hometown to kill again. John Carpenter co-wrote and directed this movie and it starred Donald Pleasance, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis, and P.J. Soles.

3. Unnamed Asylum – Asylum

As th e title of the movie suggests, an insane asylum is the main setting of this movie. Asylum is a 1972 British film that was also known as the ‘House of Crazies’ when it was released in the United States. To win the post of the chief doctor in the asylum, a psychiatrist is challenged with interviewing each of the patients. One of them is the former chief doctor who has had a full mental breakdown. The psychiatrist must get it right to get the job. This movie was directed by Roy Ward Baker and starred Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Robert Powell and Herbert Lom.

4. Briar Ridge Mental Hospital – The Green Mile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyQx9JR8rdA

Based on a novel by Stephen King, The Green Mile is an award-winning film that was released in 1999. Frank Darabont was the director and starring in the movie were Tom Hanks, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Clarke Duncan, Doug Hutchison, and many more. Percy is a corrupt prison guard and he is responsible for the crime of one of the inmates who is facing the death sentence. Later in the story, Percy is taken to the fictional Briar Ridge Mental Hospital and these are some of the most disturbing scenes in the movie.

5. Arkham Asylum – The Batman Franchise

The Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane is commonly referred to as Arkham Asylum. It features in all the Batman movies and the comic books. However, it plays its most important role in Batman Begins. Jonathan Crane is a high-ranking doctor in the asylum and is using it for sadistic experiments. He is also using the pipe system to empty toxins into the water of Gotham City. This is a superhero film that was released in 2005 and directed by Christopher Nolan.


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  1. thisisjaypea August 2, 2017

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