Insomnia movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Insomnia filmed?

2002

About Insomnia

Insomnia is a thriller movie that was released in 2002. It was directed by Christopher Nolan and produced by Paul Witt, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Edward McDonnell, and Tony Thomas. It was actually a remake of a Norwegian film released in 1997. The movie starred a full cast of celebrities including Hilary Swank, Robin Williams, Al Pacino, and Maura Tierney.

This guide to locations in the movie will contain spoilers. The film Insomnia takes place in Alaska and was filmed there too. It follows two detectives who work to solve the murder of a 17-year-old in the small town they live in. Both detectives, Hap Eckhart and Will Dormer are from Los Angeles but fly to Alaska to help with the case.

They do this because Dormer knows the current police chief in Nightmute, Chief Nyack. While in Alaska they work with a local detective named Ellie Burr. While the team works on the murder case in Alaska, Internal Affairs at the LAPD is looking into Dormer. Eckhart plans on testifying against him, and while in Alaska he reveals this to Dormer.

Dormer comes up with a plan to get the murderer to the scene of the crime and it works, but the suspect gets away before the police can catch them. In the chase Dormer shoots at a figure that he believes is the suspect, but it is actually Eckhart. Eckhart dies from the gunshot and thinks Dormer did it to keep him from testifying.

Dormer worries that Internal Affairs will think the same thing, so he lies about what happened. Ellie Burr is put in charge of the case around Eckhart’s death, and Dormer covers his tracks. This racks him with guilt, leading to countless sleepless nights.

After a while he gets calls from the killer, claiming to know that Dormer shot Eckhart. Police are led to a local writer named Walter Finch and Dormer tries to frame him. However, Finch wants to work with Dormer to frame Randy Sentz, who was dating the murdered teen.

In the end, it is revealed Finch killed the teenager even though he claimed it was an accident. He now plans to kill Burr and Dormer tries to stop him. Dormer and Burr both go to Finch’s to corner him, and in a short fight Dormer gets shot with Finch’s shotgun. At this point, Burr knows that Dormer shot Eckhart, but she is planning to cover it up since she knows it was an accident. However, Dormer urges her not to.

City Locations

Alaska, British Columbia

Location Types

American, House, NatureScapes, Rustic

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Cabin, Lake House, Retreat

Insomnia Locations

The 2002 thriller Insomnia takes place in the fictional small town of Nightmute, Alaska, and was filmed on location in Alaska. British Columbia was also used for a majority of filming. Squamish, British Columbia was used for many of the scenes that depict the fictional town of Nightmute.

Locations found here are the police station, high school, cemetery, and hotel. In the movie, there is also a fictional lake known as Lake Kgun, and the location used for these shots was Strohn Lake. Strohn Lake is in Stewart, British Columbia in the Bear Glacier Provincial Park.

The Alaskan cities that were featured in Insomnia include Hyder and Valdez. Other notable locations used for filming were Bridal Veil Falls, Clementine Creek, and Vancouver Island. The locations used for filming Insomnia can still be seen today, both in Alaska and British Columbia. Many of the shots were filmed outdoors.

Eckhart’s revelation scene in Insomnia

Hotel Squamish, 37991 2 Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0A8, Canada

Early in the film Insomnia, Eckhart reveals his plan to testify against Dormer in an upcoming case. Dormer is being investigated by Internal Affairs, and if Eckhart testifies against him then he will be given immunity. Even though Eckhart will testify against his partner, he doesn’t think Dormer is guilty of anything.

Eckhart tells Dormer, “But you're clean, Will.”

Dormer’s response is, “I'm a good cop, yeah. But there's always something they could use to get at your credibility.”

Eckhart making this kind of revelation leads to clear tension between the partners, but they are not able to dwell on it for long because they have to keep investigating the Kay Connell case.

In this scene, Eckhart and Dormer are at the hotel in Nightmute where they will be staying for the length of the investigation. Like a majority of the movie, Squamish, British Columbia was used for this scene.

Dormer shoots Eckhart scene in Insomnia

Clementine Creek, Vancouver, Canada

In the 2002 movie Insomnia, one of the most shocking scenes happens when Dormer shoots his partner, Eckhart. This is done by accident when the two are hoping to find the killer. Dormer has managed to lure the killer back to the original crime scene, but he makes a run for it.

The two detectives and other police start to chase him, and when Dormer notices a figure in the distance he shoots. He believed it was Kay Connell’s killer but instead finds that he fatally shot Eckhart. When Eckhart dies he is looking at Dormer and thinks his partner killed him on purpose because of the Internal Affairs investigation.

This leads Dormer to be confused by guilt and unable to sleep. At the same time, Alaska is experiencing 24-hour daylight, which makes it even worse on the detective.

During another scene of the movie, Burr mentions that there are two reasons cops can’t sleep.

She says, “A good cop can't sleep because he's missing a piece of the puzzle. And a bad cop can't sleep because his conscience won't let him.”

The scene of Dormer shooting and killing his partner was filmed near Vancouver, Canada at Clementine Creek.

Planting evidence scene in Insomnia

Vancouver Island

Dormer decides to plant the gun he used to kill Eckhart at Finch’s apartment in order to blame the other man for the crime. In the movie, Finch’s apartment is found in the fictional town of Umkumuit, but the real location used for this scene was Vancouver Island. Dormer also believes Finch killed Kay Connell, but Finch denies it and says there is no proof.

Finch tells Dormer, “You have no evidence I killed Kay. You only know because I told you what I saw.”

Later on in the movie when Dormer is confronting Finch he tells him, “You don't get it do you Finch? You're my job. You're what I'm paid to do. You're about as mysterious to me as a blocked toilet is to a f***ing plumber. Reasons for doing what you did? Who gives a f***?”

Dormer’s secret revealed scene in Insomnia

Squamish, British Columbia

In one of the final scenes of the movie, Dormer is up late talking to Rachel Clement, the owner of the hotel he has been staying at. He confides in her the reason behind the Internal Affairs investigation. Dormer admits to creating false evidence in order to put away a pedophile who he believed was guilty of killing a child. Dormer also reveals that had Eckhart testified like he planned to, the man that Dormer had convicted would have been released.

Rachel tells him, "I guess it's about what you thought was right at the time. Then, what you're willing to live with."

She then goes on to say, "I can't judge. There are two kinds of people in Alaska: those who were born here and those who come here to escape something. I wasn't born here."

Like many of the scenes in Insomnia, this scene was shot in Squamish, British Columbia.

The struggle between Dormer and Finch scene in Insomnia

Strohn Lake, Bear Glacier National Park, British Columbia

When Dormer learns that Finch killed the teenage girl, Finch tries to claim it was an accident.

He says, “I didn't murder her. I killed her, but it just ended up that way."

A few scenes after this, at the end of Insomnia, Dormer and Finch struggle with each other and Dormer ends up getting shot. Dormer and Burr had managed to corner Finch and Dormer charged him when he got the chance. Dormer has Burr’s gone and Finch has a shotgun but in the struggle the two switch. Dormer ends up killing Finch with his own shotgun, and Dormer then gets shot with Burr’s gun.

This scene was filmed at Strohn Lake, which is in the Bear Glacier Provincial Park in British Columbia. This scene features the fictional lake known as Lake Kgun.

Dormer’s last words scene in Insomnia

Bear Glacier Provincial Park in British Columbia

During the final scene of Insomnia, Dormer lies dying from a gunshot wound. He has already killed Finch and is bleeding out on the ice. Burr comforts him, and she says she will cover up what happened to Eckhart because she knows it was an accident. However, Dormer doesn’t want her to do that.

When she asks why, he says, “Don't lose your way.”

A few moments later he utters the last lines of the movie, and his final words before dying.

“Let me sleep.”

This scene, like many of the other final shots in Insomnia, was filmed in the Bear Glacier Provincial Park in British Columbia.

Conclusion

The 2002 thriller movie Insomnia was directed by Christopher Nolan and features an impressive cast of actors. The movie stars Al Pacino, Hilary Swank, Robin Williams, and Martin Donovan. It is based on a Norwegian movie with the same title, which was released in 1997.

Insomnia follows detective Will Dormer as he journeys to Alaska with his partner to investigate a teenager that has been murdered. Events take an even dark turn when Dormer accidentally kills his partner and covers it up. As Dormer continues looking for the killer, local detective Ellie Burr looks into who killed Dormer’s partner.

The guilt that Dormer faces throughout the movie causes him to be awake for days on end. Eventually, he is confronted by the killer, a writer named Walter Finch, and in a struggle near the lakeside, Finch and Dormer both die after shooting each other. It is at this moment that Dormer speaks the final, and most well-known line of the film, “let me sleep.”