The oppressive future dystopia of The Hunger Games is seen mainly from the perspective of Katniss and Peeta, two main characters from District 12 who are forced into a twisted battle to the death for the entertainment of rich assholes from the Capitol. District 12 is actually the poorest region of the Hunger Games' future America, and the themes of severe poverty and starvation that are described through its prism remain one of the most important elements of the book series and movies.
Needs more sparkly vampires.
So if you ever feel like taking a stroll through a physical manifestation of desperation that isn't Detroit, you can do it right now, because District 12 is a real town, although thankfully with fewer children murdering each other or dying of hunger. District 12 was mainly filmed on the site of the abandoned Henry River Mill Village in North Carolina, where you can still see the houses where Katniss and Peeta lived. That is, if you can get past the security guards patrolling the private property (as if that won't make the whole thing feel even more real for die-hard Hunger Games fans).
via Entertained News
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The train station where the challengers of the Games were selected, however, is located a little farther away, in the city of Shelby:
All aboard the PTSD Express.
Finally, the actual Games were filmed at the nearby DuPont State Forest, where you really can zip-line through the trees just like Peeta or brain yourself on the rocky Triple Falls while running around with your bow and arrow and calling yourself Katniss.
Hunger Games Fan Tours
May the odds of not getting sued for accidentally maiming a member of your tour group be ever in your favor.
In any case, these locations are sure to become huge tourist attractions for all Hunger Games fans, because as the movies taught us, there is nothing wrong with idolizing entertainment centered on death and misery.
If you want to read more from Manna on her stupid blog or follow her on Twitter, she's not, like, gonna stop you or anything. When not found shopping in Goodwill stores, Evan V. Symon can be found on Facebook.
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Related Reading: Some movie sets might be in your own neighborhood, like the house from Up and the house from Halloween. And if you visit the Quality Cafe in Los Angeles, you'll be visiting the cafe in virtually every cafe-having movie you've seen. Hey, there ARE some things Hollywood reuses more than plots.