Have you noticed that bathrooms in horror films tend to look awesome? At least before being covered in blood and guts when someone inevitably gets killed? Nope, just me?

My best example: Stanley Kubrics ‘ The Shining’…

When Jack Torrance told Wendy not to go into room 237, it was probably less to do with the nacked lady ghost in the bath and more because seeing that amazing ensuite; the recessed bath, mint green colour scheme, and double sink with chrome fitting was probably going to leave her with a serious case of bathroom envy. ultimately leading to a costly renovation when they did eventually leave the Overlook

Are recessed baths just an American thing by the way? you see so many of them in films but I’ve never actually seen one in real life. But good grief they always look amazing.

And Kubrick must be the king of movie bathrooms, Imagine if public bathrooms looked like this…

What makes the bathroom an icon horror set?

Perhaps because our bathrooms should be a place of safety. After all, the bathroom is likely to be the only room in our home to have a door that locks. And yet it’s also the room where we’re at our most vulnerable.

This dichotomy, and its potential to play on our fears, was un-arguably first introduced to film in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’. who, in the days (and years) after watching the iconic shower scene hasn’t felt the illogical, yet undeniable little tingle of fear when stepping into a running shower and pulling the curtain closed?

Psycho did for the shower what Jaws did for open-water swimming. Playing on our fears that the worst could happen while we’re naked, helpless, and alone.

My own obsession with horror movie Bathrooms was cemented after watching blink and you will have missed it early noughties gem ‘Dark Water ‘. Ostensibly a 105 minute film about a single mother’s struggle with damp issues. But I’m here for it. Mainly because most of it takes place in the bathroom.

Then there’s ‘What Lies Beneath’

wealthy middle-class white woman having a tough time in a home that 99.9% of us will never be able to afford ‘ has become a bit of a trope now, See also ‘The woman in the Window’, ‘before I wake’, ‘the orphan’ But What lies beneath came first so we can forgive it.

The interiors may be as unrealistic as the plot lines but that’s not the point. Cinema should be about escapism.

Watching ‘The Shining’ I’m very aware I’m looking at a film set, but one so iconic it adds to my enjoyment rather than distracts. This isn’t unique to Horror either. Pick any Norah Ephron Film ‘when harry met sally’ , ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and more recently ‘Jules and Julia’- The sets and as memorable as the story.

Bathrooms should be pastel-colored; you will not convince me otherwise. Sometime in the late nineties designers stopped using colour and our homes are all the sadder for this.

Happily, there has been something of a pivot in recent years. Big name Kitchen supplies like Wren and Magnet now offer units in a range of colours from Midnight Blue to blush pink , and Maximilism is replacing minimalism as the hashtag of choice on Instagram and Pinterest.

Fingers crossed the avocado bath suit will be taking a return any day now

Like this? read this next In Praise of Norah Ephron’s movie sets

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