While watching It Follows, have you noticed how there is no clearly defined time period in which the movie is set? Or during Michael Myers’ escape in Halloween 2018, did you happen to see him skulking around in the background during the gas station scene, attacking employees? How about Linda Blair’s awesome cameo in Scream?
Some filmmakers love scattering small details throughout the film, either to allude to important plot points or simply as ‘easter eggs.’
Have you noticed all the ones on this list?
(Potential spoilers ahead!)
10 The Mist
The Mist will forever be remembered as the horror movie with the most heartbreaking ending. Stephen King’s disturbing imagination is on full display in the book, but it seems even he couldn’t conjure up the final scenes of the film. The unforgettable scene in the car and what followed was the brainchild of Frank Darabont, who ‘envisioned a darker ending compared to the book.’
The movie provided a lot of other memorable moments, including Mrs. Carmody’s over-the-top fanatic religiousness and people being ripped in half by monsters hidden in a thick band of mist. David Drayton, played by Thomas Jane, is a movie poster artist who later causes viewers to be traumatized as mentioned above. Early in the film, before the horror takes hold, Drayton can be seen painting a movie poster featuring a character wearing a hat.
Eagle-eyed viewers at the time immediately recognized the painting as being a reference to Stephen King’s very popular Dark Tower series, as it depicted the gunslinger, the rose and the tower.
Audiences have also noticed paintings in the background of John Carpenter’s The Thing, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shawshank redemption.
9 Child’s Play
In 2019, the Child’s Play franchise got a reboot with a high-tech version of everyone’s favorite creepy doll, Chucky. The movie received several favorable reviews for its dark humor and 80s nostalgia.
There is no shortage of fun details and hidden ‘easter eggs’ in the new film. An awesome nod went to Steven Spielberg’s E.T. in the form of Andy’s red hoody and Chucky’s glowing finger antics. Andy, who is Chucky’s new ‘owner’, sports a host of horror movie posters against his bedroom wall including Poltergeist III, which was released in 1988, the same year as the first Child’s Play movie.
There is also a more sinister tribute to the classic horror film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with Chucky skinning an unfortunate guy’s face.
8 Bird Box
For many fans (and critics), 2018’s Bird Box was a swing and a miss in the horror department. It was a massive success for Netflix however, becoming the platform’s biggest hit at the time. Some viewers called it a ‘rip-off’ of A Quiet Place and mocked the ending relentlessly. The movie inspired the Bird Box challenge in which people tried to go about their lives blindfolded for 24 hours.
During the film, Malorie (played by Sandra Bullock) and her sister discuss Malorie’s latest painting. Malorie says the painting is filled with people who are together but unable to connect. This foreshadows Malorie’s inability to connect to the two children she cares for later on. Her other paintings also seem to indicate impending horror in the form of an unrecognizable spectre hovering over a wolf and a deer.
Malorie is pregnant during the film and as the terrifying events start taking place and her world starts falling apart, many viewers drew parallels between her experience and how scary and tough life can be for a new parent.
7 A Quiet Place
Rule #1: Don’t make a sound.
This might seem like a simple enough instruction, until you see a heavily pregnant Evelyn Abbott and you realize that nothing in the movie, A Quiet Place, is going to be easy. Humans making the slightest sounds are rewarded by monsters hunting them down within seconds. The Abbott family experiences this first-hand when one of their own is snatched by a Demogorgon-looking creature.
The family tries to protect themselves, not only by being quiet, but also by using a warning system of red lights strung on their lawn. While the lights work to warn that the monsters are close, a small high-pitched sound also emanate from them once switched on. The sound is meant to distract the monsters from any human-made noises and lure them away from the house itself.
6 Scream 2
Those who weren’t fans of the first Scream movie, also weren’t fans of the sequel. Some, however, thought that Scream 2 was quite brilliant in its use of ‘a film within a film’ tactic. The movie was also filled to the brim with cameos by celebrities who would go on to star in hit movies and series, including Joshua Jackson and Portia de Rossi as well as Sarah Michelle Gellar.
There is some foreshadowing in Scream 2, for instance when Maureen’s boyfriend Phil heads to the bathroom during a trip to the cinema to watch ‘Stab’. He encounters two fellow movie-goers dressed up in Ghostface outfits. This scene is a heads-up to the fact that there are two killers in the movie.
What’s more, as Scream 2 ends, protagonist Sidney and reporter Gale are left standing alongside Cotton Weary. Weary dies at the beginning of Scream 3. This bit of foreshadowing was carried on from the first film, during which Sidney and Gale end up standing alongside Randy at the end.
Randy ends up dying in Scream 2.
5 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
Much like the first movie, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer was never going to win any awards especially given its dismal rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not an award it could be proud of anyway. But it has inevitably gained a cult following and still retains its cult horror movie status to this day.
Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Brandy Norwood, the movie picks up one year after the events of the first film and things soon turn deadly.
What some viewers may not have noticed the first (or only) time they watched the movie is that Julie and Karla (played by Hewitt and Norwood) answered the radio quiz question incorrectly, but still won the trip to the Bahamas. They were asked what the capital of Brazil is and answered “Rio.” The correct answer is Brasilia.
This clever Easter egg was meant to give viewers a clue about the Bahamas vacation being a set-up.
4 Pet Sematary
The cat came back in Pet Sematary 2019, much as it did in the original movie and, before that, the novel. Church looks arguably better in the modern version; before the whole coming-back-from-the dead-thing that is.
When the Creeds’ daughter, Ellie, sees the cat in the street after he died, she runs after him, her little brother Gage in tow. Louis Creed realizes in horror that a truck is bearing down on his children, and he runs after them, grabbing Gage just in time. However, the truck comes apart, killing Ellie. This is a departure from the original story in which Gage is killed.
Alongside this twist are a host of cleverly inserted details, adding to the movie experience. In the original 1989 film, the man driving the truck that kills Gage is listening to the song Sheena Is A Punk Rocker by The Ramones. In the 2019 film, the truck driver that ends up hitting and killing Ellie was distracted by his ringing phone. The person who called him happened to be called… Sheena. The Ramones also wrote a song called Pet Sematary for the 1989 film.
There are some great nods to Stephen King’s other stories, including IT—when the characters drive past a road sign saying “Derry – 20 mi”—and when Jud talks about a rabid Saint Bernard, referring to Cujo.
There is also a portrait of two girls wearing two very familiar dresses, in Rachel’s parents’ house. The dresses are frilly, blue, and identical.
3 Lake Mungo
Using mockumentary-style storytelling alongside found footage elements allowed the makers of Lake Mungo to freak out viewers worldwide. This Australian horror film was released in 2008 and centres around a teenager who dies and then haunts her family after her death. Cue several secrets being revealed.
The story about the double life of Alice Palmer was a hit with audiences and critics alike. And while the events unfold quite slowly, there are chilling details at the end that linger after the last name has rolled up the screen. Interspersed with the credits are several shots made up of prior footage of Alice’s ghost throughout the film, that went unnoticed. There is a particularly eerie scene in which the Palmer family stands in front of their house with a shadow watching them from the window.
At the very end of the credits, Alice (or her doppelganger) stands at Lake Mungo in complete darkness while lightning strikes overhead.
2 The Ritual
In Netflix’s The Ritual, a group of old friends on a hike find themselves face to face with a mythological creature. And not the friendly mermaid-under-the-sea type of creature, but the terrifying rip-your-guts-out-and-feed-it-to-your-friends kind.
Two of the group make it out alive and end up taking refuge in a house in which an elderly woman is praying to a stone with what seems to be the resident monster on it. The stone turned out to be a replica of the Loki Stone that can be found in Kirkby Stephen Parish Church in Kirkby Stephen, England. The stone is believed to depict Loki while bound and chained.
The film also features a cult that offers human sacrifices. The cult members chant the word blót, a Norse pagan term for ‘sacrifice.’ Nordic paganism revolved around sacrifices featuring rituals including human sacrifice. Those who participated would drip the blood of the deceased over their own bodies as they believed it would strengthen them for the coming year.
1 Friday the 13th
While some horror movie fans are terrified by mythical creatures such as the monster from the above-mentioned The Ritual or the ugly alien-looking things from A Quiet Place, others shake at the sight of scary movie villains such as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees.
Friday the 13th is one of the go-to franchises when it comes to scary-movie-marathons. And with good reason. There are a whopping 12 movies featuring the hocky-mask-wearing killer. And with so many movies, it is just inevitable that there would be quite a few details that went unnoticed by viewers (for a while, at least.)
One of the best examples of this can be seen In Jason Goes to Hell, when a crate with the words “Ship to Horlicks University via Julia Carpenter. Arctic Expedition June 19, 1834” makes an appearance. This crate was used in the movie Creepshow in which a monster had been trapped inside since 1834. Creepshow’s plot was based on a short story by Stephen King.
The infamous Necronomicon from Evil Dead can also be seen in the movie.