While dedicated movie rooms are a popular way to enjoy films right at home, the aesthetics of a log home make them a perfect candidate for filming in a movie. Sometimes, a log cabin or home is used for historical accuracy. Other times, the log home is the perfect metaphor for any place away from the rest of civilization. Whatever the filmmaker’s needs, log homes have found a place in American cinema. Here are a few examples of log homes featured in movies.
This entry is not about a movie, but rather a place: Kelly Gulch in Topanga, California. The Kelly family owned a small house in the area, but bought two-and-a-half acres of land intending to build a larger home for their family. Since the family appreciated the old and beautiful, they decided a Real Log Home would fit the landscape perfectly. Frank Kelly purchased the kit and constructed the house himself, taking about six weeks to put up structure and around a year to finish the interior.
While the home served well as a family house, it got its big film break in 1984 when location scouts for Friday the 13th, Part IV were looking for a log cabin site near Los Angeles. Since then, the house has been in over 200 still and film shoots, including episodes of The Rockford Files and Parks and Recreation. The house has since changed owners, and continues to serve as a family home to this day.
A Plethora of Horror Movies
Horror movies seem to be the most popular type of movie to set in a log house or cabin. We swear that there’s nothing especially “haunted” about log homes, and the use of them in horror movies is due to the cliché where writers strand urbanites in an archetypal rural location away from any hope of rescue. Whether it be the aforementioned Friday the 13th series, the more recent The Cabin in the Woods or a comedy horror movie like Evil Dead 2, the log cabin gets plenty of use in the horror genre. Frankly, we feel that an isolated home in the middle of nature sounds like the perfect way to get away from “horrors” of urban living!
And a Few Action Movies as Well
While the horror genre claims the greatest share of cinematic log homes, action movies can also use them to great effect. The novel True Grit was set in Arkansas and Oklahoma, but both movie adaptations decided to set the action in a more westerly location. The great vistas and log homes of Colorado (the 1969 film) and New Mexico (the 2010 film) were a perfect location to make the movies grander affairs. Since Abraham Lincoln was raised in a log cabin, the fantasy action film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter features log cabins, although this may be the only historically accurate element of the movie. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger lived in a log home in the movie Commando, with a filming location at a home in Mount Baldy, California. However, if you cut firewood for keeping your log home warm, we recommend you do not carry fifteen foot sections of tree trunks over your shoulder like Arnold does in this flick.
It’s funny to think of how the log home is sometimes the victim of type-casting in movies. We at Real Log Homes know the real character behind these homes, though. When the lights go off and the film crews leave, a Real Log Home in the woods is a well-built and sturdy shelter constructed with the highest quality natural materials and designed to help you feel at home. If you have a favorite movie that features a log home, please leave a comment and let us know. And if you have any questions on a designing a log home fit for the big screen (or everyday living), then contact the design team at Real Log Homes to get started.