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Fording County, KY, on Rust Creek: Is the location a real place?

Hermione Corfield in Rust Creek
Hermione Corfield stars as a student trapped in Fording County in Rust Creek. Pic credit: IFC Films/YouTube

Rust Creek, a survival thriller movie from 2018, has finally hit our Netflix screens; it’s proving to be a terrifying watch and has led fans to wonder if it’s set in a real place.

What is Rust Creek?

[Warning: spoilers for Rust Creek.]

The movie shows a road trip gone horribly wrong as college-student Sawyer Scott (Hermione Corfield) attempts to travel from Centre College, in Danville, KY., to a job interview in Washington DC.

She’s traveling at Thanksgiving and, as such, encounters hellish holiday traffic; unfortunately, she makes the decision to take an alternate route and ends up in Fording County, deep in the rural and foreboding Appalachian forest.

This backwater county is home to the murderous drug-dealing brothers, Hollister and Buck, who set their sights on poor Sawyer after she inadvertently spied them burying a dead body.

Sawyer finds herself in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the two brothers and a corrupt local sheriff as she also tries to battle the rural and rugged landscape of Fording County, which is mostly populated by trees.

Is there a real Fording County with a Rust Creek?

But is there really a Fording County in Kentucky, and does the Rust Creek flow through it? Sadly, or happily, depending on your perspective, Fording County is entirely fictitious.

Brooding scenery from Fording County
This brooding scenery is from Kentucky, just not Fording County. Pic credit: IFC Films/YouTube

The moviemakers say that the fictional Fording County is set in eastern Kentucky somewhere between Danville and Interstate 64.

However, the audience has been fooled by movie magic once again as most of the scenes were actually shot further west in the Mt. Washington and Louisville areas.

The titular river Rust Creek, where Sawyer nearly lost her life, was actually Floyds Fork, which runs through east Louisville. The particular scene where she nearly drowned was filmed in the Parklands green area in east Louisville.

You can pick yourself up some Rust Creek merchandise from the production company website, including a Rust Creek sheriff’s hat and badge and various props from the movie set.

There is an actual Rust Creek in the US, and it’s up in Sitka, Alaska. It is far more remote and desolate than anything in Kentucky (with all due respect to both states). If you’re a corrupt sheriff like the one in Rust Creek, it might not be a bad place to dispose of a body (joking, of course).

Unfortunately, there are no Fording Counties in the United States.

There are several streets named Fording, but if you do happen to find yourself in the unlikely position of having to come up with a name for a new county, Fording is up for grabs.

In the meantime, check out the stunning and brooding scenery of Kentucky in Rust Creek on Netflix.

If you want more from Netflix, then you might want to check out the best 15 thriller movies on the streaming platform this December? Luckily, Monsters & Critics have compiled a list; simply follow the link.

We also compiled another list of the best action movies on Netflix for this month. Either way, there’s no reason to be bored.

Rust Creek is currently available to stream on Netflix.

Jerry Brown


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