Where was Fear filmed?
Vancouver, Seattle, Mercer Island
Manions, Natuescapes, Schools/Colleges
Borrowing producer Brian Grazer’s words, “Fear” is a “Fatal Attraction-type” production for teens. Helmed by James Foley, Christopher Crowe, who is also known for penning “The Last of the Mohicans,” wrote the 1996 psychological thriller. The film has an all-star cast including Mark Wahlberg (David McCall), Alyssa Milano (Margo Masse), Reese Witherspoon (Nicole Walker), and William Petersen (Steven Walker).
It centers on a wealthy suburban family whose life turns upside down after their teenage daughter gets involved with a mysterious stranger. Nicole Walker lives with her dad Steven, stepmother Laura, and stepbrother Toby in Seattle. On a teenage drinking escapade, she meets David at a bar and sparks fly instantly.
Even though her father doesn’t like David that much, Nicole falls head over heels for the charming young man. When she starts disregarding curfews, her relationship with David strains the family dynamic. It’s rosy in the beginning but as their relationship progresses and they become intimate, David turns controlling and possessive.
He attacks Gary Rohmer (Todd Caldecott), one of Nicole’s best friends, after seeing them hugging. She breaks up with him, but he manipulates her into rekindling their relationship. The final straw is when she walks into him and her friend Margo in bed, not realizing that David was actually physically assaulting her friend.
Things turn grave after David kills Gary, beheads Walker’s dog, and vandalizes Steven’s vehicle. In retaliation, Nicole’s dad breaks into the residence David shares with his friend Logan and trashes it. Steven’s actions only aggravate the situation, and David plans to strike back in a deadly way.
He gets help from four of his friends to break into the Walker home intending to harm them. David’s ultimate goal is to do away with the Walkers so that he can have Nicole all to himself. The nightmarish standoff leads to even more bloodshed, but fortunately, the Walkers escape the ordeal with their lives.
While the “Fear” production process lasted for four months, it took another year and a half before the film received its theatrical release. Opening at the fourth spot, the movie didn’t receive rave reviews. The sleeper hit grossed $20 million, and it eventually gained cult classic status over the years.
Revisiting the psychological thriller some two decades plus later, it sparks questions about the story, performances, and most importantly, filming locations. For starters, when Steven breaks into David’s house and ransacks it, the Chucky doll is seen in that scene, perhaps foreshadowing his later actions.
The psychological thriller also contains some strong language, graphic violence, drug use, and blunt sensual scenes. Hence why it has an R MPAA rating but either way, a rewatch is in order for fans of the psychological thriller who are interested in going on a “Fear” locations tour.
While the two leads portray teenagers in the movie, Wahlberg and Witherspoon were in their twenties when filming the psychological thriller. If their on-screen chemistry seemed super believable, perhaps it’s because they were also dating at the time.
David and his group of friends break into the Walker house scene in Fear
14 Brunswick Beach Road, British Columbia
The initial “Fear” scene that introduces us to the Walkers shows them going about a typical morning. While settling down for breakfast, Steven notices the rather short outfit his daughter chooses to wear to school.
In the later scenes where David retaliates and goes after the Walkers, he delivered one of his most quotable lines. “Let me in the f*cking house!” Wahlberg ad-libbed the line which Foley initially scrapped but upon Grazer’s request, they edited it back into the film.
The Walker house scenes were filmed at 14 Brunswick Beach Rd in Lions Bay, British Columbia. According to a Zillow listing, the properties on 14 Brunswick are single-family homes covering 3,465 square feet.
If you do find yourself in the area, consider dropping by the Fundy National Park and Bay of Fundy. The funnel-shaped bay is marked by a coastline featuring dramatic rock formations, sea caves, and cliffs.
The National Park offers year-round hiking trails and three beautiful waterfalls to explore near the village of Alma. Visitors are welcome to make use of the Park’s facilities which include a golf course, campgrounds, and swimming pool.
Nicole talks to Margo about her relationship with David scene in Fear
Lord Byng High School, Vancouver
Nicole, Gary, and Margo are high schoolers who get in their fair share of misdeeds. After Nicole and David hit it off, he pulls all the stops to prove that he is a modern-day prince charming. That includes picking her up from school.
On one such occasion, while Nicole is waiting for her knight in shining armor to arrive in his proverbial chariot, she talks with Margo about the developments in their relationship. Explaining that her dad doesn’t like David, Margo responds, “he knows you're sleeping together, you know it's that usual weirdo jealousy trip.”
The Lord Byng High School found at 3939 W. 16th Avenue, Vancouver served as the setting for the school scenes. Besides hosting the “Fear” production team, the learning institution also provided a backdrop for some “Riverdale” scenes.
In fact, the school is quite a popular filming location and it has also had cameos in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “21 Jump Street.” The learning institution has also churned out lists of famous folks like Cobie Smulders who is best known for her role as Robin Shubertsky in “How I Met Your Mother.”
Get to the famous filming location via bus 7, 14, 25, or 33.
Nicole and David go on a scenic stroll scene in Fear
Duwamish Head, Harbor Avenue, SW Seattle, WA
One of the red flag moments that become apparent to Nicole is when David starts being overly possessive. He regularly asks her if she likes him, although hidden in between sweet displays of affection.
They spend a considerable amount of time at the onset of their relationship taking walks and cruising around his “death trap.” Nicole even jokes about his set of wheels asking, “isn’t this the car they stopped making cause it, I don’t know, blows up or something?”
Located at Harbor Avenue SW Seattle, you’ll find Duwamish Head which is one of the spots where the two lovebirds took one of their strolls. South of Duwamish Head is the Don Armeni Boat Ramp. It is a favorite fishing spot for many, and the stunning views of the Seattle waterfront equally make it a great location to go sightseeing.
Reservable picnic areas are available at the park, and it’s also a popular location for various types of special ceremonies.
Get to the “Fear” filming location via ferry 973 or via bus 128, 775, or 50.
David and Nicole have an intimate moment on a roller-coaster scene in Fear
Playland Amusement Park, British Columbia
There are certainly some risqué scenes in the psychological thriller, and one that tops the list is the roller-coaster ride. On one of their dates, David initiates intimate contact with Nicole in the midst of the theme park ride.
Margo’s sentiments to Nicole when she let it slip explains what the two teenage sweethearts were up to. “You never told me you were screwing him! You'll always remember your first, not your second, not your third, just your first.”
The Playland Amusement Park in British Columbia served as the “Fear” film set for the theme park scenes. Found at 2901 E. Hastings Street Vancouver, the attraction is found within Hastings park. The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) hosts annual summer fairs close to the Playland area.
The Amusement Park offers over 30 attractions and rides ranging from mini golf courses to a haunted house. There’s plenty of delicious food to sample and the list of activities also includes midway games and a climbing wall.
Conveniently located 10 minutes from downtown Vancouver, buses 130, 28, 14, or 160 can get you to Playland. The Millennium Line SkyTrain also passes through 2901 E Hastings.
Steven and David have a heated exchange scene in Fear
Crown Street, Vancouver
From the onset, Steven isn’t too fond of David and makes it known. His dislike for David increases when he constantly starts making Nicole miss curfews. During one of their confrontations, David won’t listen to Steven’s wise advice about leaving his family alone.
With temperatures flaring, he tells David, “I want you to understand something, pal. If you don't disappear from my family's life, I'm gonna rip your balls off and shove them so far up you’re a** they'll come out your f*ckin' mouth! You got that, my friend?”
The heated exchange was filmed between 13th & 14th Avenue at Crown Street, Vancouver. While in the neighborhood, make stopovers at the BC Sports Hall of Fame Museum, Britannia Heritage Shipyard, or the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
The Suspension Bridge Park is at North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, and several free shuttles from downtown Vancouver can get you to the location. Spanning 450 feet and suspended 230 feet above the Capilano River, the bridge dates back to 1889.
The park features highlights like the Kia'palano Treetop Adventure, which comprises seven suspension bridges, The Living Forest with interactive displays, and the Cliff Walk.
Hop onto Bus 14 or 25 to get to the “Fear” location.
Party scene in Fear
Mercer Island, King County
After they initially break up and get back together, David invites Nicole over to a party at the residence he shares with Logan. She isn’t keen on attending the shindig but decides to go anyway.
Nicole walks into the sight of Margo smoking crack and later having intimate relations with David. It brings up her words, “everybody says one thing and then does another.” However, that is her perspective of the situation while in an actual sense, their intimate moment isn’t consensual.
While the specific location of the party house isn’t clear, the production unit also filmed some scenes at Mercer Island in King County. There is plenty to do around the Island, starting with visiting Luther Burbank Park.
Aubrey Davis Park and Clarke Beach are other locations worth sightseeing while on Mercer Island. Other attractions include the Mercer Island Farmers Market which runs from June to October and the November Harvest Market.
The 554, 204, 550, and 216 transit lines pass through routes that can get you near Mercer Island.
Whether you are interested in visiting the Seattle “Fear” locations or traipsing through the Canadian filming locations; there are plenty of references to work with. There are also lots of other fun facts about the psychological thriller that might inspire you to venture out.
The Playland Amusement Park also served as a setting for the “Final Destination 3” opening scene. Roger Ebert had great things to say about the movie and he considered it a genuinely scary film.
Carter Burwell, who is known for working on the scores for “Twilight” and “Thor: The Dark World” also composed music for the 1996 thriller. Liv Tyler turned down the role of Nicole, and Leonardo DiCaprio had a hand in getting Wahlberg his role. The two had shared the screen in “The Basketball Diaries.”
DiCaprio put in a good word for Wahlberg, and after a day spent discussing the role, Foley agreed that the two-time Oscar winner was perfect for the role.