West Virginia has a pretty limited selection of television shows and movies set in our state. Perhaps this is why we are so misunderstood! Some of these great movies are actually really flattering, and some of them are quite horrifying and honestly shameful.
1) Silent Hill. This horror movie follows Rose who takes her adopted daughter, Sharon, to the town of Silent Hill, the place that Sharon keeps talking about while sleepwalking.
As soon as they get to Silent Hill, they get into a car accident and Rose gets knocked out. That can't mean anything good! When she comes to, Sharon is missing. She searches for her daughter and must fight off the creepy locals, all while discovering Sharon's hidden past with the town of Silent Hill. This movie is really great and terrifying, but will honestly leave you constantly confused and possibly needing an explanation at the end.
2) October Sky, based on a true story, is one of the more flattering movies set in West Virginia. Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son, and some of his friends set off Sputnik 1 in 1957 and eventually became a NASA engineer.
3) We Are Marshall is a wonderful historical film that portrays the life after the 1970 plane crash that killed 37 football players that were on the Marshall University football team, along with five coaches, two trainers, the athletic director, 25 boosters, and a crew of five.
This movie, starring Matthew McConaughey, shows how the community came together to heal following this horrific tragedy and how the football program was rebuilt to be amazing again.
4) The Hunted, yet another horror movie set in West Virginia, depicts two hunters that head into the WV mountains trying to land their own hunting show. Obviously, things don't go as planned!
5) Matewan, a 1987 drama, portrays the events of the Battle of Matewan, which was a coal miners' strike back in 1920 in Matewan, a small town in West Virginia.
6) Superman III. Obviously this entire movie is not set in West Virginia, but the fact the Superman even fictionally flew into our state is so cool! West Virginia is a very brief part of this movie, but essentially, Superman flies off with Gus Gorman and drops him off at a West Virginia coal mine!
7) The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere, is actually a story based on real events. There was a series of events that were very strange and mysterious happening in Point Pleasant, WV. This movie is all about how these events could be tied to the Mothman!
The Mothman was always one of those scary fictional characters that always seemed to pop into my head when I was walking to my front door when the porch light was off, or walking to the barn and its completely silent out. He still crosses my mind every once in awhile!
8) Buckwild. Imagine Jersey Shore, but based in West Virginia. This MTV series didn't last long, only about a month!
It follows around some teenagers from West Virginia while they live their everyday lives hunting, mudding, and doing other redneck things. Our state Senator literally asked MTV to cancel the show because he believed that it shamed WV, and made us look even worse than other movies typically make us look.
9) The Hatfields and McCoys was a tv-mini series that portrayed the events that happened between the two feuding families in the late 1800s.
10) The Dancing Outlaw! How could one mention West Virginia and not talk about Jesco White?
Jesco White is from Boone County, WV, and the Dancing Outlaw was his first public appearance. It shows off Jesco's dancing talent and also peeks into his personal life a little bit. This film won an American Film Institute Award and an Emmy for Best Documentary.
11) Ghost Adventures visited the Moundsville State Penitentiary, located in Moundsville, WV, in their first season.
While doing an overnight lockdown at the Penitentiary, they gathered some evidence that the prison is haunted. There was a picture taken that has an apparition of a small, bright orange head with glowing eyes in it. They also captured EVPs of laughing and a few short sentences that were rather scary!
12) Wrong Turn, my personal favorite! This horror movie is set in the mountains of West Virginia.
There are actually 6 Wrong Turn movies, basically all of which start out with someone young, or a group of teenagers, heading out into the hills of WV for various reasons. The people then get caught up with the (quite beautiful) inbred West Virginians that are so hungry that they kill and eat them! One of the West Virginians is pictured above. I would just like to clarify that we do not actually look like this nor are we cannibals!
Anytime that I am watching a television show or a movie and my home state gets mentioned, I get so tickled! Well, not always, but most times. Our beautiful state is very under-rated. People that have never been here don’t understand how great it is. When I was in high school, people constantly told me how they couldn’t wait to leave this state. I could never!