While Halloween may be over and done, that still won’t stop us from commemorating Hollywood’s theatrical scares, both past and present. Rather than focusing on another boring count down, we’re turning our attention to the finer details of the horror films of yore. Every once and a while a director will reference other franchises with props or cleverly veiled bits of dialogue. They’re so subtle, that they even avoid detection by some of the keenest fans out there. Without much ado, here is our list of horror movie Easter eggs.
Night of the Creeps (1986)
Before Robo Cop 3, permanently derailed Fred Dekker’s directorial career, he was renowned for such horror movie classics as this one. Unbeknownst to some fans, Dekker makes a not at all subtle reference to one of his other cult favorite movies, The Monster Squad, with graffiti on a bathroom stall. The odd part? The Monster Squad wasn’t even in production yet.
Monster Squad (1987)
The poster in the background of the Squad’s tree house features a poster for an obscure scary movie, “Vampire Circus.” You can view it on Netflix’s instant stream.
Predator 2 (1990)
This is well known at this rate, but still deserves mention due to its cultural impact. When Danny Glover enters the Predator’s trophy room, the skull of an Alien Xenomorph can be seen resting at the center. What’s notable is that this seemingly minor easter egg managed to kick start an entire franchise of comic books, graphic novels, video games, toys, and even movies based on the premise of the two creatures colliding.
Don’t let the title fool you. This film is actually more faithful to H.P. Lovecraft’s short story,”The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” In fact, the name of the squid infested village is respectively named “Imboca,” which is spanish for Innsmouth. Along with that, the incantation recited by the cult of Dagon invokes the notorious Lovecraftian god, Cthulu. Fans will also notice that Paul wears a “Miskatonic University” sweatshirt, another location frequented by the characters in Lovecraft’s mythos.
Dark Tales of Japan (2004)
In this compilation of five short horror films, the episode Presentiment features a story about a corrupt businessman boarding an elevator filled with passengers of the undead on a “guided tour.”As it concludes, the tour guide announces their next destination, a hospital undergoing a recent outbreak in reference to one of the director’s other movies, Infection (2004).
Silent Hill (2006)
The location of Midwich Elementary School is an homage to the town infested with telepathic children in the movie, “Village of the Damned.” The video game that Silent Hill is based upon has streets named after numerous horror movie authors and references too many other films to list.
The Mist (2007)
Thomas Jane’s damaged painting at the beginning of the movie depicts the gunslinger from Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” fantasy series. In addition to that, a sign refers to Castle Rock, one of the many fictionalized settings in King’s books.
Trick ‘r Treat (2008)
This movie languished in developmental hell for God knows how long because the studios densely predicted that an October release would deflate any chances of success due to competition from “Saw.” As a result, its theatrical release was recurrently delayed until producers decided to just confine it to direct-to-dvd limbo. The appearance of a “RNA” carved pumpkin as an homage to the “Heroes” television series should give you an idea as to how long this movie was delayed. It was originally slated after the first season, back when the show was still good.