From claustrophobic tunnels to supernatural entities, here are 10 hair-raising portrayals of the London Underground in horror film and TV, thanks to KATE INGLEBY-PARYLO
The concept of travelling through a set of underground tunnels should be unsettling. The confined space and lack of immediate escape are enough to set some of us on edge. Add to that, who or what might be down there with you, waiting within the bowels of London.
While the city of London above ground is constantly alive, so is the Underground. Even when the Tube is closed, it doesn’t mean everything just stops. The London Underground is still stirring, twitching and waiting. Thus making it the perfect setting for some horror action.
The criteria for this list has been slightly stretched in places. Whilst it would be preferable to include films and TV episodes that primarily take place or are filmed in the London Underground, with the horror mainly focused on the Tube itself, there aren’t enough of these films or shows.
It’s unsurprising since currently, to film on the Tube, you need to obtain a permit and pay some hefty expenses. As well as this, you are only permitted to film within set times and are required to take out certain insurance in case of damages.
Very quickly, it suddenly makes sense why, despite being a perfect location for one, the Underground is not featured in a ton of B-movie British horror films.
London Underground on Horror Films and TV
Travelling home on the Tube after attending a party, Kate finds herself trapped in the London Underground. After some creepy encounters with a selection of the city’s underclass, Kate soon realises there is something far more sinister lurking in the Underground. Probably the first film that comes to everyone’s mind is Creep, which successfully delivers some trashy horror fun. Read our review of Creep 2004.
Death Line 1972
Starring Donald Pleasence, Death Line follows a police inspector as he investigates the recent disappearances in the London Underground. With some horrifying revelations, the inspector soon discovers this is not a standard missing persons’ case. Death Line is a fun horror ride, featuring a cameo by horror legend Christopher Lee. Read 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Death Line 1972.
Quatermass and the Pit 1967
From Hammer Films Productions, Quatermass and the Pit is a British science-fiction horror film that has gained favourable reviews since its release. After construction workers discover some sinister objects in the London Underground, scientists are called in to investigate. Soon chaos ensues as the residents of London realise they are far from safe. If you’re looking for some older horror fun, give this a shot. Read our review of Quatermass and the Pit 1967.
An American Werewolf in London 1981
New York City backpackers David and Jack decide to take a walking tour of Britain. It’s not long before they discover there is something more hostile than the Yorkshire residents lurking on the moors. Featuring amazing special effects, An American Werewolf in London also depicts some horrific scenes in the London Underground. 10 Things You Didn’t Know About An American Werewolf in London 1981.
Directed by Tobe Hooper, the cult classic film Lifeforce features an alien race of space vampires taking over London. Whilst not heavily featured, Lifeforce still highlights the horror of the London Underground within the backdrop of an alien invasion. Although, it is a blink and you’ll miss it cameo.
Close Your Eyes 2002
Another fleeting, but unsettling, feature of the London Underground is shown in the thriller Close Your Eyes, also known as Doctor Sleep. An unusual hypnotherapist with a telepathic power has visions of a little girl dying. He soon realises that the girl isn’t just a stranger and might be tied to an even more sinister web of mysteries.
While more sci-fi orientated, it would be a shame to miss out on several terrifying depictions of the London Underground created in Doctor Who. Even though there are numerous episodes which feature the Underground, Invasion of the Dinosaurs and The Web of Fear particularly convey the ominous and confined feeling of the location.
Adam Adamant Lives!: A Ticket to Terror
Created and produced by some who worked on Doctor Who, Adam Adamant Lives! makes the list with the episode A Ticket to Terror. The plot of which revolves around people vanishing on the Underground. Whilst the series is more adventure focused, some creepy Underground fun is to be had with this addition.
All the Colours of the Dark 1972
This Italian giallo, directed by Sergio Martino, follows Jane Harrison as she tries to escape from a group of devil worshippers after recovering from a car accident. All the Colours of the Dark plays into the idea that while the Underground itself may not pose a risk, those you share it with might.
28 Days Later 2002 and 28 Weeks Later 2007
Finally, it wouldn’t be a list without some mention of these British zombie flicks. Following a group of survivors after an outbreak of a virus, both horror films feature some unsettling depictions of the Underground set within a zombie apocalypse. Read 10 Things You Didn’t Know About 28 Days Later 2002.
What do you think of these films? Do yu know of another horror film or TV with the London Underground? Tell us in the comments section below!