Horror movies or stories set in hospitals and/or morgues
April 29, 2021 2:52 PM   Subscribe

As part of research for a project, I'm looking for horror movies or stories (or videogames or other media, actually) set in hospitals and/or morgues. Preferably on the more creepy/psychological/atmospheric/subtle side, not so much gore and jump scares, but I'll take anything, it's better to be thorough.

Examples of the kind of thing I'm looking for include Lars Von Trier's "Riget"/"The Kingdom", "The Autopsy of Jane Doe", Michael Shea's "The Autopsy", "The Void", "Dead Ringers", etc.

I'm also more interested in stories that focus on the people working at the hospital or morgue (doctors, medical examiners, nurses, janitorial staff, etc.), more than patients and their experiences, and if those people's psychologies and problems are part of the focus, even better.

I'm in particular not so interested in stories about mental hospitals, haunted/abandoned hospitals or asylums, etc. I like those, but they're not what I want to research here. If the setting is relatively modern, that's also better. But again, I don't mind casting a wide net here, especially if it's less known stuff.

Also, as an aside, if people can recommend good non-fiction or maybe even fiction about what it's like to work in hospitals or morgues in general, though would be interesting too. I feel like I've got a handle on this part, but again, it doesn't hurt to be thorough.
posted by Joakim Ziegler to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do abandoned mental hospitals count? Because Session 9 is one of the best.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:34 PM on April 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: non-fiction or maybe even fiction about what it's like to work in hospitals or morgues in general

Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers might interest you.
posted by hanov3r at 3:34 PM on April 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: turbid dahlia: As mentioned, no, preferably in operation and not mental hospitals, but I agree, that's a great movie.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:38 PM on April 29, 2021

oops, sorry!
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:48 PM on April 29, 2021

Not exactly what you want (and I haven't seen it) but 12 Hour Shift.

I feel like there was another recent horror movie set in a hospital but I'm completely blanking on it. If I remember, I'll come back and post it.
posted by edencosmic at 3:49 PM on April 29, 2021

Not at all a pleasant movie, but The Corpse of Anna Fritz would fit the bill pretty thoroughly, I think (CW: rape).
posted by holborne at 4:00 PM on April 29, 2021

Best answer: If you have access to it, the Autopsy documentary series from HBO is great.
posted by hydra77 at 4:02 PM on April 29, 2021

A Mortician's Tale is very much not a horror game, but is about the experience of being a mortician, with the preparation of bodies being the primary gameplay and also attending funerals.

Little Nightmares 2 is a recent horror game that has a hospital-themed environment. It's surreal and jump-scary however. Not much to do with actual hospitals.

Seconding Mary Roach's Stiff.
posted by subocoyne at 4:22 PM on April 29, 2021

It’s pretty tangential, but Reanimator and sequel end and begin in a hospital.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:44 PM on April 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

I still think about this /nosleep story from Reddit all the time: My Dad and I live in a really weird hospital. I'm not even sick.
posted by Munching Langolier at 4:52 PM on April 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Not sure how well they fit with your criteria, but Halloween II, Hospital Massacre, Patrick, Visiting Hours.
posted by VirginiaPlain at 5:14 PM on April 29, 2021

Second-season episode of the original Twilight Zone, Twenty Two.
Room for one more, honey!
posted by Rash at 5:30 PM on April 29, 2021

I don't remember anything about that odd creature-horror Wolfen (1981) except that Coroner Greg Hines has some droll comments about the case.
posted by ovvl at 5:59 PM on April 29, 2021

Check out The Possession of Hannah Grace, which focuses on a woman working the night shift in a morgue when a possessed corpse is brought in.

Edited to add: I watched this movie by myself in a theater. It was creepy.
posted by tacodave at 6:51 PM on April 29, 2021

Slightly more thriller than horror, but definitely more atmospheric than slasher: Coma (1978).
posted by sigmagalator at 7:02 PM on April 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Bodies - this isn't really a horror, but it's a really gritty drama. I watched it right after the relatively traumatic birth of my son and that was a.bad.idea
posted by kinddieserzeit at 8:03 PM on April 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

On the TV show Rizzoli & Isles, Isles is a coroner. Episodes typically spend some time in the medical examiner’s office.
Nth-ing Mary Roach’s book Stiff.
posted by childofTethys at 8:33 PM on April 29, 2021

Caitlyn Doughty is a mortician in Los Angeles that has several books and websites you might find interesting. One website is called The Order of The Good Death; it's an organization of people interested in the topic, and there's everything from Death Salons to Photographers and Make up artists, death doulas, and more.

Caitlyn has a You Tube channel called Ask a Mortician that covers a range of fascinating historical death related stories from rock musicians to royalty to pandemics to porpoises. Her work is very researched and interesting. She also covers the historical aspects of embalming and other topics related to death that are really interesting.
posted by effluvia at 8:56 PM on April 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

the OG jacob's ladder has some super important (and to me, very tense) hospital scenes.

if you've never seen it, danny aiello is just terrific in his supporting role. you could watch it for that alone.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:18 PM on April 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

The novel Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has some focus on staff. It's not a horror story, but it is psychologically and philosophically horrifying in its thoughtful, honest, brutal depiction of a cancer ward (and society).
posted by hotcoroner at 12:35 AM on April 30, 2021

I think that this Halloween story by David Sedaris could be interesting. As usual, the story is brutally honest - i.e., has its graphic moments - and funny.
posted by nicolin at 10:28 AM on April 30, 2021

Not horror per se but BBC’s Sherlock has some scenes in the morgue of St Bart’s hospital (from memory, start of S1E1, middle of S2E1, and a long and upsetting one in S4E2

In non-fiction, Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner
Book by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell. (Now New Zealand’s own!) They have also written a couple of thriller novels from the perspective of the forensics team.
posted by slightlybewildered at 8:08 PM on April 30, 2021

I enjoyed Nurse Ratched on Netflix recently. Yes it is an asylum, but other than that I feel it ticks all the boxes you mentioned, so worth a look.
posted by McNulty at 12:36 AM on May 1, 2021

Haven't seen it, but I just read this review of a London-set horror, The Power, which seems to fit. Set in 1974, focuses on a nurse.
posted by Pink Frost at 2:51 AM on May 1, 2021

I just remembered that the show iZombie (which was created by the guy who made Veronica Mars) has lots of morgue scenes.

The main character is a zombie - but a good one - and when she eats a brain she gets memories of the deceased person. This makes her useful to the police, as she is often able to remember how they died. To keep a fresh supply of brains coming, she works in a morgue.

It sounds stupid, but the cast and writing make it very watchable. I streamed it on Netflix I believe...

Here's the trailer for the first season.
posted by tacodave at 6:01 PM on May 3, 2021

« Older Can this cord be repaired?   |   Tool for making webcam view not terrible! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.