Explainers

Where Was ‘Knives Out’ Filmed?

November 26, 2019
5 min read

We all love a good murder mystery. There is the shock of the crime, the thrill of the chase, and then the inevitable joy of identifying and ousting the killer. Murder mysteries are mostly detective stories, where it is up to the sleuth to solve the crime and restore normalcy. There have been different kinds of detectives, be it the dapper, cerebral sleuths who use their grey cells in seemingly civil settings to find the killer, or the rough-edged, actionable sleuths who stir things up, to see what rises to the surface. The difference between the two is most notable in locked room mysteries and hardboiled detective stories. ‘Knives Out’, with its classic whodunnit structure, falls in the former category.

Rian Johnson, who has helmed ‘Knives Out’, is no stranger to the tropes of detective fiction, and has shown that he is willing to play around with the genre, as is evident in ‘Brick’, Johnson’s high-school hardboiled detective story. With ‘Knives Out’, too, the director makes a return to his favored roots, telling a tale of a man who tries to reunite his troubled family for his birthday, only to end up being killed by one of them. A detective comes to investigate, and manages to open a can of worms, by way of family secrets and troubled interpersonal relationships.

Knives Out Filming Locations

Now, in any murder mystery, the spatial setting is equally important in the staging of the crime and the investigation that follows. Therefore, you might be wondering about where was ‘Knives Out’ filmed. We have got you covered in that regard. Read on.

Read More: Who is the “Killer” in ‘Knives Out’?

Boston and Medfield, Massachusetts

According to reports, we know that the principal shooting locations of ‘Knives Out’ include Boston, Massachusetts, where most of the movie was shot, as well as Medfield, Massachusetts. Some of the filming locations include Marlborough, Natick, Wellesley, Maynard, Waltham, and Canton. In Medfield, reports state that the historic Medfield State Hospital has been used as a filming location. Movie aficionados might recognize the place as the creepy facility which was depicted in Martin Scorsese‘s ‘Shutter Island‘.

Notably, reporters have remarked how Boston might not always attract high-profile shoots but regularly attracts and hosts smaller budget movies and television shows. From accumulated reports, it is easier to get a more specific idea about the filming locations for ‘Knives Out’.

Marlborough, Massachusetts

There’s an extended scene in the film in which two characters are supposed to meet at a specified location. Without revealing much, this location ends up catching fire and burning down. Those who have seen the film would know which scene I am talking about. This whole extended sequence has been shot at Registry of Motor Vehicles building, located on Maple Street in Marlborough. Funnily enough, several people along the Southborough line happened to be drawn to what looked like a fire. However, when they arrived at the building, they found out that shooting for a film was taking place.

The familiar building won’t be the only thing that catches the eyes of locals watching ‘Knives Out’ since many local firefighters also serve as extras for the movie. Dan Martin, the assistant location manager for the movie, stated that the property was selected specifically for its angle, the circular architecture and because it is vacant. Martin added that the crew loved the building’s availability and decided to film in and around it. Notably, while the Marlborough shoot was going on, ‘Knives Out’ happened to be filming under the name of ‘Morning Bell’.

Wellesley, Massachusetts

It is also clear that ‘Knives Out’ filmed in South Natick under the alias of ‘Morning Bell’. In Wellesley, the movie was filmed at Summit Road and Crown Ridge Road near Linden Square. Reportedly, the car chase scene was shot in Wellesley. Waltham and Maynard also managed to get a taste of the glitzy Hollywood in late 2018, when ‘Knives Out’ was filmed there.

Reports suggest that among the scenes shot in Waltham, was one where Chris Evans‘ character is frisked by an undercover cop before he is arrested and put in the back of a vehicle. Notably, the actor almost returns to his home turf for ‘Knives Out’, which is one of the reasons he was on board for the project in the first place. Evans comes from Sudbury, Massachusetts, which just happens to be 10 miles west of Waltham.

Borderland State Park

Now to the filming location that probably brought you here. After all, you must be curious about the beautiful house that features so prominently in the film. Well, the historic mansion is actually located in the Borderland State Park, Easton. Most of the interior shots in the film were shot inside the mansion. Constructed by a branch of the Ames family in 1910, and acquired by the state in 1971, this 20-room mansion perfectly plays its part as the intimidating yet gorgeous house of Harlan Thrombey. A note of caution here: The exterior shots of the house is of some other mansion.

The film permit at Borderland State Park happens to be with Benedict White, LLC, as confirmed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Benedict White LLC listed Greg Chiodo as the contact person for the production. Chiodo confirmed to reporters that the filming crew that had been given access to the park’s historic mansion belonged to ‘Knives Out’.

Now that you have a fair idea of where several notable moments of ‘Knives Out’ were filmed, when are you booking your tickets to Massachusetts? In case, you live in the state or close to it, why not plan a weekend trip to the Borderland State Park.

Read More: Who is the “Killer” in ‘Knives Out’?

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