When Horror Meets Casinos

Horror films and casinos just go together, don’t they? There’s something about the whole atmosphere of a casino that really lends itself to scary happenings.

Think about it: you’ve got the heavy sense of suspense as the roulette wheel spins, the closely-monitored CCTV screens from a creepy backroom, and most of all there’s that light, jingling music coming from the machines that plays on a loop that goes round and round and round…. It’s dark territory alright, and to avoid your own experience turning into a nightmare you should check out these tips for online pokies.

A good director knows just how to get the most out of the casino setting and Charles Band’s 2007 film Dead Man’s Hand proves the point. It’s follows a classic and beloved horror set-up: a young man inherits something which is apparently innocent from a relative, and all is not as it seems.

In this case it’s an old casino from his uncle and, sure enough, whilst this may sound like a nice enough gift (and certainly looks like a pleasant prospect as he arrives with his friends to check it out), things shortly start to turn. Soon the romantic old building, with its cobweb strewn slot machines, becomes a complete house of horrors. As the story unfolds, it emerges that the generous uncle was not quite so generous after all, and his debts may still need to be repaid…!

A very different treatment of the horror-casino flick is found in Leprechaun 3. The Leprechaun series now actually numbers seven in total and if you haven’t seen them all then, frankly, you could be forgiven. There are some who adore this series though and if you enjoy a horror-comedy-cum-slasher movie then what’s not to love?


If you’re unfamiliar with the exploits of the ghoulish, eponymous leprechaun then you won’t know that in his first film in 1993 he haunted a young Jennifer Anniston. In 1997 he went into space to make mischief and in 2000 he actually went to “the hood”.

Back in 1995 though, he hit the strip in Vegas, and he did it in style: “Look out Vegas… I’m taking over!” set the tone for his killing spree. Taking full advantage of the glamorous setting, the film uses gaming tables and roulette wheels to convey the casino atmosphere, and the whole thing starts with a little good luck charm in a pawn shop.

The great thing about horror, as a genre, is of course the number of obscure films just waiting to be discovered. So now we’ve started, with any luck we’ll find a few more in which horror meets the casino with hilarious (…or horrific) consequences.

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