3 Terrifying Movies and TV Shows With Canadian Influences

Sometimes, it’s easy to tell when a movie has Canadian influences. Whether the story’s set in Canada, the movie’s advertising campaign specifically mentions having Canadian writers or actors, or word just circulates around social media, many Canadians take great pride in movies that take inspiration from Canada. However, sometimes it’s not as obvious. These horror movies and TV shows with terrifying basements all draw from Canadian sensibilities in one way or another.

1. The Amityville Horror

This is one of the easier ones to spot if you know a lot about the most famous Canadian actors. Ryan Reynolds, one of the main actors in the movie, is Canadian-American, having been born in Vancouver, British Columbia; he achieved dual citizenship around 2018.

The Amityville Horror is an interesting story largely because of its purported truthfulness. Though some people have cast doubts on the legitimacy of the story, the way in which it’s presented is truly terrifying. It follows a family that moves into a home, which is where they start experiencing terrible and possibly supernatural events.

The basement factors into this horror pretty significantly. Part of the fear occurs when the family discovers a 4-foot by 5-foot room in the basement, painted red on the inside, that wasn’t in the building plans. This gives The Amityville Horror a 5.8 Basement Evil Score.

2. Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a critically-acclaimed Netflix TV show that’s largely made by Americans and filmed in the Atlanta area of Georgia. That’s why it would be understandable if you didn’t know that there was a distinctly Canadian influence, as well. Two of the TV show’s stars — Finn Wolfhard and Noah Schnapp — are Canadian.

One of the reasons Stranger Things made waves is because of its unique and interesting premise. The story follows a small, quiet city that starts experiencing terrible things, all at the same time as a mysterious girl with supernatural powers appears.

The basement in these scenes aren’t necessarily the scariest parts of the TV series, but they certainly pack a punch. One of the main characters uses a basement as a place to contact another one of the characters every night. That’s what gives Stranger Things a 5.0 Basement Evil Score.

3. The Silence of the Lambs

This is one of the most terrifying movies out there, and it’s also one where the Canadian influence is fairly well-hidden. In fact, you’re likely not to notice it unless you seek out information directly. That’s because this influence is hiding in plain sight. The movie is scored by the award-winning Canadian composer and conductor Howard Shore, who received Canada’s Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2012 for his work in film and music.

The Silence of the Lambs is an utterly terrifying movie. It follows a woman who’s trying to hunt down a serial killer. To find him, she has to consult another serial killer. Though this uneasy arrangement seems to be one she can handle at first, it soon spirals out of control.

The basement is by far one of the most terrifying pieces of the puzzle here. The serial killer that the main character is hunting, Buffalo Bill, is a truly horrifying individual who traps women in his basement, then starves them to death so he can skin them. That’s why this movie tops out the Basement Evil Score at a 10.0.


Every country has its own unique influences on movies. In today’s modern age, it’s more common than ever for a movie to have multiple creators from extremely varied backgrounds, all coming together to produce a work of art. No matter when the movie was made, looking for the uniquely Canadian accents in a movie is always an interesting trip.

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