Horror flicks usually aren’t shy about big reveals. The killer will show his face, the monster will emerge from the shadows — you get the drill. However, a few horror classics go out of their way to hide fascinating details that often go unnoticed for years.
Filmmakers for these iconic scarefests included easter eggs in their works we bet you’ve never spotted before. Revealing these subtle moments and callbacks will undoubtedly change the way you look at these films forever, but beware: the scariest thing you find in this list may be spoilers…
1. The Thing: If only the researchers spoke another language, they could’ve saved themselves a lot of trouble. When a husky runs into their camp, a Norwegian stranger — whom they ignore — yells in his native tongue, “That’s not a dog, it’s some sort of thing! It’s imitating a dog, it isn’t real!”
2. Scream: Just because director Wes Craven is a master of horror doesn’t mean he’s afraid to poke fun at himself. He cameos as a janitor in his first Scream flick dressed like his most famous creation, Freddy Krueger.
3. A Quiet Place: Human survivors in this horror have to keep silent, or blind aliens will hunt them down. That’s why all the bags of potato chips in this pillaged grocery store are still on the shelves. They’re too noisy to eat!
4. It: You’ll probably miss this detail the first time around, but Pennywise the Clown can turn his eyes from yellow to blue. He does this to lure George Denbrough, who also has blue eyes, into the sewer.
Reddit / DrAneurysm
5. The Dark Tower: Speaking of Stephen King’s evil clown, this 2017 flick references Pennywise. The young protagonist Jake wanders through an abandoned fairground, which features some creepy balloons and the clown’s name on a sign. Just another connection in the multi-layered King universe!
6. Land of the Dead: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright lovingly spoofed the zombie genre in Shaun of the Dead. Iconic director George A. Romero was so impressed that he gave the two of them undead cameos in his 2005 film.
7. Halloween H20: Janet Leigh made horror history in Psycho, in which she drove a stylish Ford sedan. When she appeared onscreen with daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in this Halloween sequel, she was driving the exact same car! Her character here is even named Norma, after Norman Bates’ mother.
8. Final Destination: Before it drops its Rube Goldberg methods of death upon various characters, Final Destination likes to hint at their demises. Before a ladder impales Evan’s eye, for example, magnetic letters spell out the word “eye” on his refrigerator.
9. Hereditary: One exterior shot of the Graham house abruptly cuts from day to night. Once the shadows fall, you can briefly see a ring of cult members surrounding the entire house, though we don’t see them up close until the end of the film.
Reddit / thejohnblog
10. The Shining: The number 42 shows up all over this Stanley Kubrick masterpiece. It’s on Danny Torrance’s shirt, a license plate, and in the movie Summer of ’42, which plays on a TV in the hotel. Critics don’t agree on what exactly this pattern means, but it may represent the inevitability of history repeating itself.
11. Rosemary’s Baby: To include a bit of levity in an otherwise dark story, Rosemary Woodhouse breaks the fourth wall. When speaking with a neighbor, Rosemary mentions she looks just like model Victoria Vetri. The neighbor responds that she gets that all the time. Funnily enough, Vetri is the actress playing her!
12. Saw: Most viewers don’t figure out the identity of the Jigsaw Killer until the end of the movie, though it’s secretly revealed partway through. This shot shows cancer patient John Kramer lying next to a series of sketches. Close inspection reveals they’re the murderer’s devious traps!
13. Donnie Darko: This deleted scene shows just how much Frank the rabbit has permeated Donnie’s consciousness. When he and his sister carve jack-o’-lanterns, he makes his out to be in the exact shape of Frank’s face.
Reddit / comatthew
14. Psycho: Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock loved making blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos in his films. One of his most difficult to spot appearances comes in the opening minutes of Psycho. You can see him sporting a cowboy hat through an office window.
Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
15. Insidious: Not unlike Wes Craven, scare maestro James Wan enjoys referencing his previous films. In 2011’s Insidious, a chalk portrait of Billy the Puppet from the Saw franchise pops up behind Patrick Wilson.
16. Cabin in the Woods: This Drew Goddard/Joss Whedon film is basically a love letter to the horror genre, with too many references to count. The most obvious one is when the mysterious underground facility lists all the monsters – many taken from other movies — they can unleash on their victims.
17. Signs: The news footage scene of this M. Night Shyamalan fright-fest is probably its scariest, with one of the sinister aliens emerging in a Brazil alleyway. Shyamalan modeled its stride and blurry appearance after the famous Bigfoot photo.
Reddit / SollyMcFatNeck
18. Slither: This film made no secret that it took a lot of inspiration from John Carpenter’s The Thing. It even features a sign for a funeral home run by R.J. Macready, the main character played by Kurt Russell in the 1982 movie.
19. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Some people believe the term “easter egg” may have originated with this cult classic. Crew members scattered literal eggs all over the set, and viewers still enjoy trying to spot new ones in the background.
20. Shaun of the Dead: When Simon Pegg’s character wants to organize a dinner at a local seafood restaurant, he looks up a place called Fulci’s in the phonebook. This is a reference to Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci, known in film circles as the Godfather of Gore.