Where was Unhinged filmed?
New Orleans, Louisiana
American, House, Diners/Coffee, Miscellaneous, Schools/Colleges
Georgian/Southern, Modern Car, School, Station Wagon, SUV, Van/Bus/RV Style
What would happen if you unknowingly triggered a mentally unstable person with one simple act, like honking your car horn? In Unhinged, director Derrick Borte explores how a simple outburst can lead to a violent chain of events at the hands of a stranger.
Of course, this is a common thriller trope – the deranged serial killer is always a stranger who decides to commit random acts of violence and murder for reasons known only to them. But what if the random serial killer was obsessed with committing acts of violence that aren’t random, but targeted specifically at one unlucky person who happened to honk in traffic?
That’s exactly what happens to recent divorcee and single mom Rachel Flynn (Caren Pistorius) honks at Tom Cooper (Russell Crowe) for blocking traffic as she’s late for dropping her son Kyle (Gabriel Bateman) off at school. Unbeknownst to Rachel, Cooper has just killed his ex-wife and her lover and burned down their house.
Cooper pulls up alongside Rachel and apologizes for cutting her off, but then asks her to apologize as well for being rude. Rachel tells him that she doesn’t have anything to apologize for, which triggers Cooper’s psychotic side. He tells her he’s going to show her what it’s like “to have a bad day” before driving off angrily.
Thus begins a trail of carnage that follows Rachel and her son over the course of several days, as Cooper somehow tracks Rachel down at a local gas station and steals her phone. After ramming a good Samaritan who walks Rachel back to her car and follows her as she drives, he shows her that he has her phone and intimates that he’s going to start killing people on her contact list.
After killing the man at the gas station, her friend Andy and her brother’s girlfriend, setting her brother on fire, ramming a police car, and attempting to strangle Kyle, Cooper is finally killed when Rachel stabs him in the eye with a pair of scissors.
Unhinged was the first movie released after theaters were allowed to reopen following the Covid 19 pandemic, and was considered a bellwether on the industry’s recovery. It did fairly well at the box office, grossing $44 million worldwide, but critics were harsh on the film. The premise was interesting, but the film itself lacked intelligence and true suspense in the plot. Crowe turned in a stellar performance as a convincing and watchable villain, but his skill was wasted in a film that was essentially a string of incoherent murders.
Unhinged was filmed in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. Many film shoot locations in the movie are easily recognizable for locals and tourists alike, and quieter suburbs like Kenner and Elmwood. Some of the Unhinged chase scenes were filmed on the Crescent City Connection, a twin bridge that spans the Mississippi River.
Shutting the bridge down during filming was impossible, as it could grind the entire downtown area to a halt any day of the week, so the crew had to carefully film in only the HOV lane for the movie’s high speed chase scenes.
A tour of Unhinged filming locations will take you to some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, including the Garden District and Ursuline Academy, as well as locations used in other well-known productions such as Westworld and House of Cards.
A film tour of New Orleans could take days, considering all the motion pictures and television shows that have been filmed in the Crescent City – take a few hours and add the following Unhinged film locations to your list.
The road rage incident scene in Unhinged
Edwards Avenue, Elmwood
The tragic series of events in Unhinged started with a simple road rage incident – Rachel honks angrily after Tom Cooper cuts her off in traffic. For most people, the incident would be a few seconds of aggravation followed by… nothing. But Tom Cooper isn’t most people.
After catching up with Rachel, Cooper apologizes and simply says that he’s having a bad day. He then demands an apology from Rachel.
“People should apologize for whatever they do wrong,” he says.
Rachel, however, says she did nothing wrong and tries to drive away, only to be cut off again by Cooper, who has now crossed the line from gruff, inconsiderate motorist to psychotic revenge killer. After quipping that he’ll show her just what it’s like to have a bad day, he drives off, leaving Rachel shaken.
This scene was filmed on Edwards Avenue in the New Orleans suburb of Elmwood. Louisiana Film Studios is also located on this street.
The gas station scene in Unhinged
Shell gas station in the Garden District, 1011 Tchoupitoulas Street
Although it seems impossible given his lack of professional equipment or access to a police database, Cooper tracks Rachel to a local Shell gas station and swaps his phone for hers while she’s inside paying for gas. While inside talking to the cashier, Rachel notices that Cooper has followed her and is waiting outside in his truck.
Another man in the gas station, Leo, walks Rachel to her car and lets Cooper know he has his plate number, while Cooper indicates to Rachel that he has her phone.
“Oh my God what is wrong with you?” Rachel screams as she realizes he has her phone and all her information, as well as that of her friends and family.
As she drives away while Leo keeps Cooper from following her, Rachel sees Cooper ram Leo with his truck, throwing him out into oncoming traffic where he is killed by another motorist.
This scene was filmed at a Shell gas station in the Garden District. The station is located at 1011 Tchoupitoulas Street.
Cooper meets Andy scene in Unhinged
Franny’s Family Place, 2619 Williams Boulevard
After taking her phone and looking at her contacts, Cooper decides to make a visit to Andy (Jimmi Simpson), Rachel’s longtime friend, confidant and, strangely, her divorce attorney. After meeting Andy at the diner, Cooper introduces himself as “an old friend of Rachel’s,” and the two men talk about what’s going on in her life – and apparently Andy takes him at his word that he’s a friend.
After calling Rachel and hearing that Cooper is not actually Rachel’s friend but a psychopath who is stalking her, Cooper grabs Andy’s phone and accuses her of sleeping with her friend. He then asks her if she knew she was talking to her friend for the last time, what would she say?
Confused, Rachel doesn’t answer. Cooper promptly replies that her response was a “waste,” and slams Andy’s head down on the table, stabbing him in the back of the neck and killing him.
This scene was filmed at Franny’s Family Place restaurant, renamed Darrow’s Diner for the movie. It’s a fairly popular restaurant, located at 2619 Williams Boulevard in the community of Kenner just northwest of New Orleans on the shores of Lake Ponchartrain. Visit this Unhinged location and have a bite to eat while you’re here.
Cooper pays a visit to Rachel’s house scene in Unhinged
Lakes of Chateau Estates
While playing phone tag with her and taunting her to give him his next target, Cooper ignores her request to go after the client whose name she gave him (Rachel had called the police to warn them) and decides to go to her house instead. Rachel’s brother Fred (Austin P. McKenzie) and his fiancee Mary (Juliene Joyner) are home at the time, and Cooper decides to make them the next targets of his wrath.
After repeatedly shoving Mary into the knife that Fred is feebly wielding to defend himself, causing him to inadvertently kill her, Cooper ties Fred up and demands that Rachel collect Kyle from school within 3 minutes and bring him with her.
Cooper tells Fred that he’s “here to make your sister realize that there are consequences for her words and actions.”
Just as a police officer arrives to apprehend him, Cooper sets Fred on fire and escapes, although with a bullet in his shoulder this time.
This scene was filmed at a private home in the Lakes of Chateau Estates neighborhood of Kenner, Louisiana. An exact location has not been given to ensure the homeowners remain private.
Rachel and Kyle make a plan scene in Unhinged
Ursuline Academy, 2635 State Street
After torturing her brother Fred and killing his fiancee, Cooper demands Rachel bring Kyle, because he’s going to be the next to die. Panicked, Rachel races to Kyle’s school, the fictional Wesley Oaks Elementary School, and takes him despite the principal’s objections.
In the car outside the school, Rachel promises Kyle that Cooper isn’t going to hurt him and they’ll come up with a plan to hold him off long enough for the police to arrive. Rachel decides that they’ll go to her mother’s house (mom isn’t home) because entering will trip the silent alarm, summoning the police, who will hopefully catch Cooper in the act.
“It’s the safest place we can hide you,” Rachel says. “We can call for help with the silent alarm, and it’ll confuse the heck out of someone who’s never been there before.”
Kyle agrees, and they drive to Grandma’s house.
Wesley Oaks Elementary School is actually Ursuline Academy, the oldest Catholic school in the United States. It’s located at 2635 State Street in downtown New Orleans. The building is instantly recognizable from the film. Because the school is private property, either take photos from the street (you’ll probably want to anyway, as it’s a large building) or secure permission to be on school grounds from the administration.
Cooper’s killing streak ends scene in Unhinged
Woodlake Estates, Kenner LA
Once they arrive at Rachel’s mother’s house, Rachel and Kyle go their separate ways. Kyle enters the house as noisily as possible to trigger the silent alarm, and Rachel goes to lay in wait for Cooper, who has somehow determined where they are likely to go next.
When Cooper arrives, Rachel is waiting for him, and rams his van, flipping it over. This only serves to anger Cooper more – he attacks Rachel and knocks her out before charging into the house to find Kyle. After an accidental noise, Cooper finds Kyle’s hiding place, but not before Rachel comes to and goes into the house after him. She attacks Cooper to get him away from her son, but Cooper breaks free long enough to grab Kyle and begin choking him.
“You’re always going to see me,” Cooper shouts at Rachel. “I’m always going to be inside your head. Every time you think of your little boy, and what you could have done to save him.”
Grabbing a pair of scissors, Rachel gets Cooper’s attention for just long enough to stab him in the eye, allowing Kyle to go free. When Cooper makes a move to go after him, Rachel kicks the scissors further into his head, finally killing him.
Like Rachel’s stand-in home, the scenes at her mother’s home were filmed at an undisclosed private property in the Woodlake Estates neighborhood of Kenner, Louisiana. An exact location was not given in order to respect the homeowners’ privacy. If you are driving and happen to recognize the home, please respect the owners’ privacy and do not trespass.
Although Russell Crowe put in a solid performance as a psychotic, revenge-obsessed villain, many critics and viewers felt that the gratuitous brutality and bloodshed rendered the film nearly unwatchable. And while it was meant to be a thriller based on the premise of a chance encounter with an insane stranger, professionals felt that it only entrenched the stereotype of the mentally ill being violent and without a moral compass.
Still, the film was considered a box office success, and many moviegoers appreciated the non-stop action scenes in Unhinged. Like Rachel at the end of the film, who wisely chose to avoid honking at another stranger who cut her off in traffic, many viewers probably thought twice about provoking road rage on their way home.