Have you ever wanted to crawl inside your screen and stay in one of the houses, sets, or fictional locations you’ve seen in movies or TV shows? So have we, and we’re desperately refreshing Airbnb to see if any of these prime pieces of real estate are available to rent (yes, even the animated ones). How many are on your vacation list?
Starring a young Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and the cadaverous Michael Keaton, Beetlejuice was one of Tim Burton’s earliest and most beloved gothic movie. With undead phantasmagoria, it was a visual feast, and we can’t help but wish we could have stayed inside that old, haunted mansion.
Why would you want to rent a room in a haunted house? Well, for starters, you could hang out with the friendly ghost-couple the Maitlands (Davis and Baldwin) as they levitated you and played “The Banana Boat.” Not to mention shrinking down to party in that awesome town model up in the attic!
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubric’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is aesthetically jarring and beautiful. In this case, we wouldn’t want to stay in the spaceship (a homicidal AI coupled with motion sickness? No thank you) but that strange alien-created bedroom that the protagonist, Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea).
With a glowing floor, white walls, and baroque furnishings, it’s far from cozy—but hot damn, is it Instagrammable. Sure, you’ll eventually get turned into a space-fetus, but think of all the Insta likes!
Pixar mercilessly blasts us with an emotional RPG weapon in But through our tear-and-snot-filled eyes we could still see the beautiful care that went into creating that cozy little home that gets lifted up by a flock of balloons. Filled with beautiful murals, memories, and keepsakes, it represents the elderly protagonist Carl’s (Ed Asner) beloved past with his wife.
For plot purposes he must let go of the house, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still want to live in it. Also, it eventually ended up right next to Paradise Falls! Talk about location. As long as you can deal with being emotionally wrecked every time you see those two empty armchairs, it’d be a lovely vacation spot!
The Lord of the Rings
Who doesn’t want to live in a hobbit hole? In the books, even Saruman (Christopher Lee) wanted to retire there (at the expense of all the hobbits, of course). The space might be a little cramped, but we’d trade a few chandelier-shaped bruises on our heads to stay in one of these cozy little retreats, surrounded by beautiful gardens, and all that delicious sounding village food and drink.
Who would ever want to leave for an adventure from such an idyllic place? If we’d been Frodo (Elijah Wood), we’d have told Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to find another ring bearer on Craigslist, and Middle Earth would be doomed.
Coraline was a beautiful stop-motion animated film, based on a book by Neil Gaiman, by those artsy folks at Laika. The puppets and sets were built with such painstaking detail, it’d be fun to be shrunk down and placed into that world.
While it’s true that the “other-mother” dreamworld turned into a terrifying nightmarescape, honestly it’s worth getting to explore a world filled with a dinner-table gravy-train, dancing mice, and a garden in the shape of your face. It’s so fantastical, we want to tell the witch lady to shut up and take our souls already.
Wealth is wasted on ridiculously rich and maniacal geniuses. The slightly-unnerving but utterly awesome subterranean mansion in Ex Machina would be an awesome Airbnb vacation spot. You’re surrounded by wilderness, cut off from the rest of the world, and all you have to do to stay in this luxurious dwelling is to not piss off the super-intelligent robot killing machines.
Honestly, how hard is it to not program an android to want to escape, then imprisoning it? If we were in charge, we’d give our androids one simple directive: to party like it’s 2069!
The Addams Family
No family made ritualized torture seem more fun than The Addams Family. It’s creepy and it’s kooky, and altogether spooky, and if you survive it, we can’t imagine a more thrilling vacation chateau.
You’d get to enjoy weird (probably cursed) relics, swinging axes, random explosions, a handy host, a tall mysterious butler, and all the splendor a dilapidated, ghoulish mansion has to offer. The only downside is those clogged up hair-filled drains. C’mon, Cousin Itt, use a drain snake once in a while!
Smart House is a shining gem of a Disney Channel Original movie. Sure, the acting was slightly hammy, but the premise was wonderful: after a family’s mother dies, they get the “Smart House”—a home equipped with a maternal A.I. named Pam (Katey Sagal).
Of course, the A.I. goes a lil bonkers and gets a tad controlling, but honestly, they should’ve been a little more appreciative of all the hard work she did for them. Did that family think a magical maid was doing all the dishes every night? Anyhow, they took her for granted: sign us up for a few nights living inside Pam! We promise not to leave as long as she keeps making us fresh orange juice.
Hayao Miyazaki is the king of creating beautifully realized, painting-like worlds in his animated movies. Spirited Away is no exception. The pre-teen protagonist finds herself in a spirit-run bathhouse in an abandoned theme park. Certainly there are dangers (her parents being turned into pigs, an evil witch, and a voracious spirit to name a few) but the world is so beautiful, it feels tragic when she manages to escape.
The bathhouse itself looks beautiful and relaxing, with all those mysterious and enticing sounding bath-minerals. Every aspect of the world is enchanting, from the coal-burning basement hosted by a herd of friendly soot-puffs, to the train that runs over a clear, mirror-like lake, and the charming cottage of a friendly witch. Who wouldn’t risk a bit of parent-bacon to spend a while in this spirit realm?
Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends
Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends was one of Cartoon Network’s more fanciful shows. Set in a world where imaginary friends are real (and in need of housing once their owners outgrow them), the titular home was full of seemingly endless luxurious, custom-made rooms.
With wildly imaginative features such as winding staircases with banisters you could ride, a room full of hundreds of washing machines (not having to wait to do your laundry is a luxury beyond imagination for many apartment-dwellers), a room full of mattresses (for bouncing), and an arcade, these imaginary friends lived a lot better than many real people.
You gotta hand it to evil villains: they have excellent taste in lairs. In The Incredibles, Bob Parr AKA Mr. incredible (Craig T. Nelson) visits this island retreat, and despite almost being murdered, it’s relaxing and soothingly gorgeous.
While Syndrome (Jason Lee), the main antagonist, turns out to be an evil nerd, he at least had the wherewithal to design a palatial fortress, surrounded by a beautiful rainforest, with awesome views and an endless supply of mimosas. Too bad he didn’t set his sights on getting into the resort-business rather than taking revenge on superheroes.
Imagine having a vast, immeasurable wealth, incredible musical talent, and an army of fans who are quite literally willing to die to see you perform. No wonder the metal band Deathklok has a righteous flying castle in the Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse.
Christened “Mordhaus,” it’s shaped like a giant, spiked dragon, filled with opulent statues, more spikes (which sometimes ends in workplace accidents for its many unfortunate employees, a true OSHA nightmare) hot tubs, rooms filled with sand, thrones made of taxidermied pandas, and a somewhat disfigured personal chef. It is extremely metal.
The Lake House
It’s not a great sign for a movie when the house outshines the actors, but such is the case in The Lake House. The beautiful glass-walled house, sitting on stilts right upon the lake, is somehow less wooden than Keanu Reeves’ acting. Though you might worry about privacy, it’s in a secluded wooded area, where your only neighbor is the lake.
Besides, the house seems to be in some sort of time-vortex, which we would take advantage of to ignore all work emails. While there was barely any chemistry between Reeves and Sandra Bullock, there was definitely some chemistry between the audience and that sexy, sexy house.
Can you really blame Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) for risking a bit of insanity to stay at the Overlook Hotel? Sure, it’s basically a menagerie of angry ghosts, and the building itself is literally evil, and once in a while there’s a bit of blood in the elevators, but no place is perfect.
Imagine having a gorgeous hotel with amazing grounds (a hedge maze is pretty rad when you’re not running from your insane father) all to yourself! You even get a bar run by ghosts, so you only need to tip them ghost-money! The elaborate sets of The Shining really did make the hotel seem luxurious and appealing, despite the creepy dead girls. Heck yeah we’ll play with you forever and ever!
Mad Max: Fury Road
The 2015 reboot/sequel Mad Max: Fury Road features a pretty horrifying (and physically repulsive) main bad guy, Immorten Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). He has horrible taste in self-grooming, but at least he has a seriously awesome bachelor/tyrant pad.
Featuring a waterfall that comes out of a skull (water is a rare commodity in the apocalyptic future, so it’s basically gold), awesome skylights, recessed seating— if you look past all the dilapidation, slavery, and deformed pale children, it seems like a great place to kick back, relax, and ride out the dystopia!
In the Harry Potter universe, you could live in a huge, creepy, enchanted castle, filled with giant snakes, secret deathtraps, and evil wizard-Nazi ghosts, or you could live in a quaint enchanted cottage in the middle of a vast, beautiful field. As fun as it would be to see some ghosts and solve some fatal riddles, we’re going to go with the country house.
Though the Weasleys are billed as a “poor” family, they live in an incredible multi-story cottage, amidst a copse of trees and right next to a lake. Spare us the Voldemort drama and let us relax in this copacetic hideaway.
Howl’s Moving Castle
It’s a general rule that if your house has a mouth, legs, and can fly, you’ve got some prime real estate. In Howl’s Moving Castle, the titular castle can move (thanks to a charming magical fire, who’s both sassy and can cook eggs),and can magically transport you to a variety of beautiful vacation spots (including a giant field of flowers).
There’s also a semi-sentient scarecrow that will happily help you with your laundry! You just have to deal with Howl’s mopey apprentice and the fact that Howl occasionally turns into a giant bird person. Honestly, that’s a fair trade.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Put-upon second banana Cameron (Alan Ruck) lives in a gorgeous house in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that seems like an elaborate, fanciful set piece, with its many glass windows, stilts, and forrest location. However, it’s a very real building: the Ben Rose House, designed by architect A. James Speyer in the 50’s. It’s even in the correct setting of Illinois (about 25 miles from downtown Chicago), fitting in with the plot of the movie.
Director of the film John Hughes talked about how they had to remove every pane of glass in the famous car-crash scene, and took special measures to protect the house. It’s a good thing—the house is beautiful, and it’s currently occupied. Hopefully they decide to cash in on some Airbnb opportunities.
The Shape of Water
There’s no way around it: The Shape of Water was about having hot, steamy sex with a fish man. Even that wasn’t enough to completely distract from the picturesque, awesome apartment building that Elisa (Sally Hawkins) shares with the kindly old Giles (Richard Jenkins).
With beautiful quarter-circle windows, slightly dilapidated but charming decor, and an extremely lenient landlord who somehow doesn’t evict you after flooding the bathroom, it seems like an idyllic getaway to spend some time with your new fish boyfriend.
Any Wes Anderson Movie
Wes Anderson has a way with creating picturesque sets that sucks the viewer in (though, unfortunately, not literally). Whether it’s the curiosity-filled submarine from The Life Aquatic or the pink-and-red hotel in The Grand Budapest Hotel, we want to vacation inside of Anderson’s whimsy-filled head.
Sure, everyone in this universe may have rapier-sharp wit and glib one-liners, but we’re happy to suffer through that to spend a long weekend in one of these pastel-toned paradises. Plus they’re always filled with great music.
North by Northwest
North by Northwest is a 1959 drama, and if that’s not ringing a bell, think of it as that movie where Cary Grant runs away from a crop duster, and doesn’t seem to know how to serpentine. Regardless, the Vandamm house in the movie looks like something built by Frank Lloyd Wright — however, it’s an entirely fictional house constructed within MGM stages.
With a balcony that juts over a cliff, architecture that seamlessly blends in with the hill, and a beautiful window-filled interior, we’ll square off with a crop duster just for a night in this luxurious mansion. You’ll have to get back to us on fist-fighting Martin Landau atop Mount Rushmore.
Nights in Rodanthe
While Nights in Rodanthe (2008) was a mediocre movie, it is outshined by the beautiful Inn at Rodanthe house, a towering balcony-lined building that sat directly on the beach. It’s a real house, built in the 1980’s, back when there was a stretch of beach between it and the tides.
The 2008 movie was decidedly unloved by both critics and audiences. But it did revive interest in the condemned house (now overwhelmed by the tide), which was bought and moved back to a safer beachside location. The best part? You can actually stay at the house, which has been renovated and equipped with internet and a hot tub (while staying faithful to how it looks in the film).
If someone professes that they’re too “adult” to live in a treehouse, they’re either lying or soulless. The Cartoon Network animated show, Adventure Time, features a pair of protagonists who live in a gigantic treehouse that is hands-down the most radical home ever designed.
There are skylights, balconies, piles of relics and treasures, a pond, and of course, a game system who might become your best friend, and don’t forget the never-ending-pie-throwing-robot. When Finn & Jake (Jeremy Shada and John DiMaggio) retire from the bad-guy-punching business, they should open up a bed and breakfast, and make us bacon pancakes.
Rather than staying in The Man In Black’s (Ed Harris) mansion (built by the artificial blood, sweat and tears of robots), we’d prefer to stay in Arnold’s (Jeffrey Wright) cozy, modern home, ensconced by greenery and trees. This is no android’s dream: it’s a very real house built by Frank Lloyd Wright, “The Millard House,” erected in Pasadena in 1923.
The concrete-tile exterior is understated yet beautiful, and the interior is both peaceful and luxurious. Each window and glass-lined door opens out into a green, lush landscape. Have you ever seen anything so full of splendor (and robots)?
The Good Place
If you’re going to die, you might as well make the most of it and vacation in the afterlife-mansion in The Good Place. Tahani’s (Jameela Jamil) mansion is not only gorgeous, it comes with endless free-shrimp, and of course, Janet (D’Arcy Carden): a magical omniscient being who can answer any question, and create any object or amenity in existence.
In addition to staying in the mansion, we’d also like to be best friends with Janet, and Tahani, and honestly every single person in the main cast. Hopefully they’d come with the rental.
In Coco, the land of the dead is far from terrifying: it’s a colorful world filled with vibrant, often friendly skeletons, technicolor-spirit-animals (alebrijes), and of course, Ernesto De La Cruz’s (Benjamin Bratt) sprawling mansion.
With an indoor pool (can skeletons swim?) and giant projection screen, the fantastical mansion is all housed within glittering, Spanish Mission-style architecture. It’s a fabulous vacation spot that people are dying to get to.
If you received a blank check, would you use that money responsibly, donate it to charity, or pay off your debts? Or would you buy a huge castle with a waterslide that goes directly into the pool? The kid in Blank Check (Brian Bonsall) chose the latter.
While stealing a ton of money makes him an insufferable little creep, we can’t say we wouldn’t want to stay at his gaudy, fun-filled mansion. Baseball pitching machines, go-karts, virtual reality games, trash cans filled with ice cream—it’s a child’s idea of luxury, and we’re into it.
Speaking of adult-children, the apartment in Big that Tom Hanks’s child-in-an-adult’s-body designs is pretty awesome. It’s furnished with a Pepsi machine, a giant inflatable Godzilla, a gumby chair, a basketball hoop, a trampoline, and arcade games. Honestly, with those kinds of amenities, it’d be tempting to ditch your childhood and family just to keep living there.
Will you feel a crushing emptiness as you realize you’ve never fully matured past boyhood? Maybe, but hey— in addition to the Gumby chair, there’s a 6-foot inflatable Gumby!
As long as you remember to bundle up, the ice castle built out of Elsa’s (Idina Menzel) angsty snow-powers is pretty awesome. Does it look comfortable? No. Is it glittery, beautiful, and right on the perfect ski slope? Yes! It’s also a great place to stay for the eco-conscious: it’s made out of 100% eco-friendly renewable ice!
As long as you don’t slip and slide to your death on those ice stairs, it’d be a great place to chill out. Besides, there are very real ice hotels in Sweden that are a big hit with guests: just huddle under some animal furs, drink some mulled wine, and don’t lick the walls.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Listen, luxury is relative. Imagine you’re freezing to death on Hoth after nearly getting eaten by a space-yeti and suddenly you are presented with the warm, inviting innards of a julienned tauntaun. Sure it may not “smell” nice, but compared to the frigid icescape, those toasty innards look cozy.
Grab a mug of blue space-hot-chocolate, settle in, and enjoy a nice evening next to some tauntaun offal. It’s certainly better than where Luke (Mark Hamill) ends up as an old man, sitting on a beach, suckling on a space-cow teat while surrounded by shrieking space-puffins.