1. "We Are Marshall" (2006) - Starring Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox and Kate Mara
In 1970, as Marshall University's Thundering Herd Football team was flying back to the Marshall campus in Huntington, the plane crashed against a hillside, killing all 75 people on board. "We Are Marshall" tells the story of how The New Thundering Herd, under the the tutelage of new coach Jack Lengyel (McConaughey), helped rebuild Marshall's football program despite the obstacles in his path.
2. "October Sky" (1999) - Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern and Chris Cooper
This movie is based on the true story of Homer H. Hickam Jr. (Gyllenhaal), a young man growing up in a coal mining town, (appropriately named Coalwood), who dreams of becoming a NASA engineer, despite his father's disapproval. Inspired by their teacher, Ms. Riley (Dern), Hickam and his friends decide to build their own miniature rocket to launch from a nearby hill, but face hurdles along the way.
To view the trailer for "October Sky," take a look below at this video from YouTube user NBC Universal.
3. The "Silent Hill" films (2006, 2012) - Starring Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Adelaide Clemens and Kit Harrington
Based on the video games of the same name, these horror films take place in the fictional town of Silent Hill , West Virginia. The first film, vastly superior to the second, is an excellent horror film, and one of the best adaptions of a video game ever put on film. It is the haunting tale of a cursed town and a woman's journey through a nightmare world to find her missing adolescent daughter. The second film follows the same daughter as a teenager, who is once again drawn to Silent Hill and the horrors that lie within its borders.
4. "Matewan" (1987) - Starring Chris Cooper and James Earl Jones
"Matewan" dramatizes the events of the Battle of Matewan, a 1920 coal miner's strike that occurred in the titular town.
5. "The Mothman Prophecies" (2002) - Starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney
Based on the book of the same name by John Keel, this film is a loose adaptation of events that occurred between 1966 and 1967 in Point Pleasant, though the film is set in the present day.
6. "Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil" (2010) - Starring Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine
This is a hilarious film about two hillbillies who are mistaken for serial killers by a group of college students spending the weekend in a secluded West Virginia cabin.
7. "Wrong Turn" (2003) - Starring Eliza Dushku
"Wrong Turn" is a horror film about a group of people stranded in the mountains of West Virginia after a car accident. One by one, they are murdered by unknown assailants, who turn out to be deformed cannibals living in the woods.
8. "Mountain of the Missing" (Documentary, 2017)
A documentary about James E. Childers, a Clarsksburg resident who sent letters and an audio tape to the police confessing to four acts of arson and five murders. Shortly after his confession, he shot himself in a hotel room while police were attempting to arrest him, leaving behind a mystery and several unsolved murders. The documentary was produced by Lost Valley Studios, a West Virginia based production company.
To watch the chilling trailer for "Mountain of the Missing," take a look at the video below from YouTube user Lost Valley Studios.
9. "Mothman" (2010) - Jewel Staite
This was one of those so bad, its great, type of films. This one tells a fictional story based around the legend of the Mothman. The film was made for the SyFy Channel and is really enjoyable if you don't expect too much from it. Although, the acting is pretty solid, so that helps a great deal.
10. "Logan Lucky" (2017) - Starring Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum and Adam Driver
This film is a heist comedy about a West Virginia family, the Logans, and their attempt to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is an ensemble film by the same guy who made the Ocean's 11 films. Aside from the actors listed above, the movie also stars Seth McFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Hilary Swank, Katherine Waterston and Sebastian Stan.
11. "The Last Mountain" (Documentary, 2011)
The documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, is about the environmental impact of coal mining and mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachian region. This movie focuses specifically on the mining of Coal River Mountain here in West Virginia.
Most of these films are now available on DVD or Blu-ray.
What is your favorite film about West Virginia? Feel free to comment below and join the discussion.
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