Terror in Barcelona


We review some genre films shot in the city

All Saints' Day s is here. It's also Halloween, the night of the witches or Walpurgis, where the spirits come out of their graves at midnight to scare us. Horror movies have used these dates with relish to show us our fears in first person. In this article, we talk about some horror movies shot in Barcelona that are ideal to see these days.

The legendary horror film director Jesús Franco, also known as Jess Franco, brought the famous Count Dracula to our city. Count Dracula from 1970 also starred the great Christopher Lee, one of Hammer's classic actors, as the vampire, and Klaus Kinski was his servant, Renfield. Barcelona transmuted into Transylvania, and the Castell de Montjuic, the Plaza del Rey or the Pueblo Español became the settings for the fiction created by the writer Bram Stoker.



Concerning this film, Pere Portabella shot an artistic essay on this filming, Vampir Cuadecuc. Years later, Carles Prats shot a documentary about the two movies called Drácula Barcelona.

In 1975 Miguel Madrid, under the pseudonym Michael Skaife, directed The Killer of Dolls about some mysterious murders in the city. Among the places you can see are Park Güell, Ciutadella Park and Cervantes Park. The protagonist is Paul, the son of the gardener of a large mansion, who has returned to his parents after failing his medical studies. He is an emotionally unstable young man who collects dolls. The reason is that, after the death of his sister, they raised him as a girl. Shortly after his arrival, several murders occur.


In 1987 the director Bigas Luna shot Anghish. It is the story of John, an ophthalmologist who has a curious hobby: he collects eyes. His mother exerts psychological control over him. Precisely, by order of his mother, he goes to a movie theater, where he meets two friends, Linda and Patricia. The film's hypnotic effect has a strange influence on them that won't exactly end well.



One of the most famous horror sagas is [Rec], a zombie invasion originated in a Barcelona flat, specifically in the Rambla de Catalunya. This year the saga premieres a documentary in theaters: [Rec] Terror sin Pausa, directed by Diego López -Fernandez. Two of the great directors of the genre from here have directed the saga: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza. And it has four parts: [Rec], [Rec] 2, [Rec] 3: Genesis, and [Rec] 4: Apocalypse. In the second part, shot in 2008, they shot in the passage of the Camps Elisis, in the sewage network, in the Sant Joan promenade with València street, and the flat of Rambla Catalunya, 34. [Rec] 3 did not shoot in Barcelona. [Rec] 4 filmed again in the famous flat of Rambla Catalunya.



Apart from the zombie saga, Jaume Balagueró has directed films in Barcelona, such as Sleep Tight, where Marta Etura becomes the target of a psychotic doorman played by Luis Tosar. Thay shot in the Eixample, Les Corts, and San Martí.



In Darkness, starring Anna Paquin and Lena Olin, a family moves into a house that harbors an unhealthy darkness. They filmed on Via Laietana.



In The nameless, Emma Vilarasau is the mother of a girl murdered six years ago who receives an unexpected call from her daughter. They shot in the Tibidabo park.



Muse, with Elliot Cowan, Christopher Lloyd, Franka Potente and Leonor Watling, tells the story of an English literature professor who lost his girlfriend years ago. He has a terrible recurring nightmare about a murder. He soon finds himself in a macabre world of myths and superstitions. The film shot in the historical building of the UAB and at the Ateneo Barcelonès.



Paco Plaza has also continued shooting films in the city, such as Second Name with Erica Prior, Trae Houlihan, and Craig Hill, where the protagonist discovers after the suicide of her father that he was not the man she thought he was. Or Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt with Julian Sands and Elsa Pataky.


In 2007, J.A. Bayona premiered the horror classic The Orphanage with Belén Rueda. The movie tells the story of Laura, a woman who settles in her old orphanage with her family. There, she wants to open a hospice for disabled children. However, she discover that the house hides an evil and dark secret. They shot the exteriors at the Partarriú Palace in Llanes (Asturias) and the interiors in our city.



Belén Rueda also stars in this 2010 film directed by Guillem Morales. Julia's Eyes tell the story of a woman who is going blind. She investigates the truth about her sister's death and the dark secret around her. They shot at the Burés house, at the Rodar y Rodar production company on Esglèsia street, at Hospital Sagrat Cor, at the Hotel Gran Vía, at the Muntaner Parking, and at the Traffic Control Center of the Guardia Urbana located in Plaza Alfonso Comín, among other places.



The actress is becoming one of the ladies of the horror genre. In 2018, she starred in David Victori's directorial debut, The Pact. Here she plays a mother whose daughter falls into an inexplicable coma. A stranger proposes a pact to save her that will cost her dearly. They shot in the Montbau gardens and differents streets of Barcelona.



Also, from 2018, we have Down a Dark Hall by Rodrigo Cortés. A group of troubled girls have to participate in an experimental teaching program taught by the enigmatic Madame Duret (Uma Thurman) at the boarding school that gives the film its name. A place where strange things happen. They shot at the Ateneo Barcelonès.



2018 was prosperous in our city for horror movies. We have The Year of the Plague, directed by Carlos Martín Ferrera with Iván Massagué. It is an adaptation of Marc Pastor's novel set in Barcelona. Victor becomes an unexpected hero when he sees how a strange plague affects the people around him. They filmed in Can Batlló, at the Barcelona Cable Car, in the Josep Serra i Martí park and the Hilari Salvadó square, and in various streets of the city.


From 2013 we have The Last Days of the brothers Àlex and David Pastor with Quim Gutiérrez and Jose Coronado. A mysterious disease spreads throughout the planet. The population, dominated by panic, refuses to go out into the street to avoid sudden death. As civilization collapses, Marc undertakes an almost impossible mission: find his girlfriend without going outside. The film was shot in the Barcelona subway and in the city's sewer system.



The crazy Faust: Love of the Damned of Brian Yuzna filmed in 2000 in Park Güell. John Jaspers sells his soul to the devil and, against his will, becomes a monstrous killer clawed, violent, visionary, and sick. He faces his destiny marked by M, the devil's envoy on Earth.


Latest news

'El Mal' films in Barcelona

New Mediapro series for 3Cat

CFF sustainability and accessibility consultancies in June

Open to all festivals and film exhibitions (online)

‘La Furgo’ films in Barcelona

A road movie without leaving the city