Is Chinatown Scary Movie?

When it comes to horror movies, there are a few go-to settings that filmmakers tend to rely on. One of those is Chinatown, the vibrant and bustling Chinese neighborhood found in many major cities around the world.

But is Chinatown really a scary movie setting? Let’s take a closer look.

First, it’s important to acknowledge that the idea of Chinatown as a scary location is rooted in negative stereotypes about Asian people. For decades, Western media has portrayed Asians as foreign, inscrutable, and dangerous – and these portrayals have often been tied to Chinatown specifically. This type of racism can be harmful and perpetuates harmful myths about Asian people.

That being said, there are certainly horror movies set in Chinatown that play into these stereotypes. For example, some films depict Chinese people as sinister or demonic figures who are out to harm white protagonists. These movies can be deeply problematic and reinforce harmful stereotypes.

However, there are also horror movies set in Chinatown that subvert these expectations and offer nuanced portrayals of Asian characters. For instance, the 2019 film “The Curse of La Llorona” takes place in 1970s Los Angeles and features several scenes set in Chinatown.

While the setting itself is ominous – with dark alleys and crowded streets – the film doesn’t rely on tired stereotypes about Asian people to create scares. Instead, it focuses on a Mexican-American family who must confront a vengeful ghost.

In general, whether or not Chinatown is a scary movie setting depends on how it’s depicted on screen. If filmmakers rely on racist tropes and stereotypes, then yes – it can definitely come across as scary (but for all the wrong reasons). However, if they approach the setting with nuance and respect for the culture it represents, then it can be just as effective as any other horror movie location.

Ultimately, what matters most is how audiences respond to these depictions. If we continue to consume media that perpetuates harmful myths about Asian people, then we’re doing a disservice to ourselves and to the wider community. But if we demand better representation and more thoughtful storytelling, then we can help ensure that Chinatown (and other settings like it) are portrayed in a respectful and nuanced way.