Where Was The Darkest Hour (2011) Filmed?

‘The Darkest Hour’ is an elemental sci-fi horror film helmed by Chris Gorak. The story follows four American young adults as they travel to Moscow and get caught up in an alien invasion event that wipes out much of the world populace. However, our American heroes, along with a Russian girl who joins the party, are survivors of the attack who attempt to find their way to a submarine in the aftermath of the infestation of the city.

While the film is not one of the best of its kind and certainly not without flaws, there are enough daring shenanigans to keep the genre fans engaged. Staying true to its name, ‘The Darkest Hour’ depicts Moscow in a whole new light, or the lack of it. The scenes seem to be taken from a war movie, and the turbulent history of the city guides the viewer in that direction. However, if you are wondering about the places where the film was shot, we have got you covered!

The Darkest Hour Filming Locations

‘The Darkest Hour’ was filmed in its entirety in Russia, especially in Moscow. Filming began in July 2010 and was wrapped up by September of the same year. While there have been a plethora of elemental sci-fi horror films, the director wanted to make a change in the setting and place it in Moscow instead. Timur Bekmambetov’s involvement as a co-producer ensured the funding required for such a big-budget production. Let us now take you to the specific location where the film was shot!

Red Square, Moscow

The film screams from the beginning about it being set in Moscow, which happens to be a city of immense cultural and historical importance. The characters fly to Russia and go out charting the city. The famous UNESCO world heritage site Red Square is the location from where the filming began.

In an early shot, we see the taxi rushing through the famous Red Square of Tverskoy District in Moscow, Russia. We see a glimpse of the State Historical Museum before the shot being cut. Later, the female characters are seen to be taking selfies in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, located on the opposite side of the State Historical Museum, which lies between Red Square and Manege Square. In the middle, we see a decoratively lit Lenin’s Mausoleum.

City of Capitals, Moscow

The male protagonists Ben and Sean go to see a Russian businessman Skyler to talk about their social networking app idea. The City of Capitals served as the location of Skyler’s company. The mixed-use complex flaunts the tallest tower in Russia called the Moscow Tower.

Image Credit: Google Street View

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow

As the invasion begins, the crew escapes the gathering and comes back to an empty Red Square. There, for a brief moment, we can see the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Situated on the northern bank of the Moskva River to the southwest of Kremlin, the Russian Orthodox Church showcases Russian Revival Architecture of the contemporary era.

Radisson Collection Hotel, Moscow

As the protagonists make their way to the embankment, we see the Radisson Collection Hotel, which is a five-star hotel situated at 2/1 Kutuzovsky Avenue Boulevard 1 in Moscow, Russia. At a later scene, we see the same hotel from a distance, in the backdrop of the Novoarbatsky Bridge. The bridge is located on Kutuzovsky Ave in Moscow over the Moskva River.

Other Locations in Moscow

Apart from the aforementioned locations, the crew also filmed at landmark places such as the Academy of Science Plaza and the GUM Department Store. Several scenes were also shot at the Moskva River (the submarine floating on the river), Russian State Library (formerly known as Lenin Library), Lenin Square, Sheremetevo Airport, and Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building. The sets for the scenes featuring the Nightclub, the lamp store, and Sergei’s apartment were designed at MyStudio, while the underground storeroom and metro rooftop were constructed at Russian World Studios.

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