If you’re looking for evidence that the best scary movies are set in seriously great houses, then watch the 1991 suspense thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle again. The movie was filmed almost entirely on location at this gorgeous old home in Tacoma, Washington.
They refer to the address in the film as “808 Yakima,” and that’s apparently its real location (although some sources say it’s actually 810 Yakima).
Ernie Hudson played Solomon, the lovable mentally challenged man the family hires to help them around the house. When he first comes to the house we get this great shot of the wraparound front porch that shows how big it is:
Looking down the stairs to the front door:
When Rebecca de Mornay lost the role of Tinkerbell in Hook to Julia Roberts, she took this one instead. I’d say that was a career blessing in disguise. She certainly made an impression in her role as evil disguised as a nanny.
I always think it’s funny that Claire (played by Annabella Sciorra) hires Peyton as their live-in nanny because she’s going to build a greenhouse in the yard for her plants. As if building a greenhouse in your yard is a full-time job. Is she working on it at night, too?
Oh, well. Suspension of disbelief and all that.
I like this shot at night from the living room that shows the dramatic staircase and the doorway into the dining room:
The kitchen is warm and homey with the checkerboard floors, glass-front cabinets, open shelving, and worn countertops:
The back door and kitchen table:
In this scene, Claire screams at Michael for screwing around with her best friend Marlene (Peyton has set it up to look that way). Turns out the living room is filled with 50 of their closest friends, waiting to surprise Claire on her birthday. Oops. Can you say awkward?
The dining room is downright fabulous. I kept pausing the movie during the dining room scenes, just to get a better look at the built-ins, the board and batten, the windows, etc.
As usual, I feel the need to alert those of you who haven’t seen the ending and don’t want to read any spoilers to turn away now…
Dad Michael (Matt McCoy) and adorable daughter Emma in the upstairs bathroom:
Emma was played by Madeline Zima, who is all grown up now. She was 6 when the movie was made, and is 25 today. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle was her first film, but she spent 6 years playing Grace in “The Nanny.” She has also made appearances in TV shows like “Gilmore Girls,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Heroes.”
The master bedroom has an entire wall of windows:
Baby Joey was played by triplets, two of whom were actually girls. His nursery was sparsely furnished but had a brick fireplace and some yellow accents here and there:
When Claire gets home from the hospital after her asthma attack, she’s surprised to find that Peyton has redecorated the nursery. Now it’s blue instead of yellow, and there’s a turtle border around the room:
In her investigation into her friend Marlene’s death (played by Julianne Moore in her first big movie role), Claire goes to Dr. Mott’s house:
When she’s looking for clues in the house (pretending to be a potential buyer), she discovers a nursery. And guess what. It has the same blue turtles! Everything finally clicks into place. She realizes that Peyton is actually Dr. Mott’s widow. Cue the spooky music!
Back to Claire and Michael’s house–a view from the top of the stairs, looking down into the living room:
The infamous greenhouse, where Marlene (Julianne Moore) was killed:
Solomon paints the trim a light green:
Here’s how the house looks today, via Light-Collector’s Flickr page:
Personally, I liked it better white. But maybe they wanted to disguise it a little? Apparently this is a popular stop on area tours. Everyone wants to see the Hand That Rocks the Cradle house. And who could blame them? I’d want to see it, too!
Do you have a favorite scary-movie house?