Typically, this is a public service series dedicated to recent films that you may have seen and didn’t have the opportunity to pay attention to the fine details.
To help provide the full perspective on your favorite flicks, I graciously invest my time and money to… eh, who am I kidding?! I love these movies so it gives me an excuse to see them again.
However, there are some skillfully placed Easter Eggs in some very popular horror movies that may have missed because you were too busy hiding your eyes, screaming, or peeing your britches.
Follow the trail from Peter Cottontail left through these terrifying tales. Did you catch these? And, if there are other eggs you stumbled across, share them with us.
1. I See You, Michael
In John Carpenter’s timeless classic, Halloween, did you ever notice the Easter Egg that was in its marketing material? Think back. Now, look below to see a screaming face on the hand wielding the chef’s knife. I know, right?!
2. And You Too, Wes.
Do you remember this fun-loving, cantankerous old fart janitor named Fred from the movie Scream? Notice anything peculiar about him? Well, aside from blatantly mugging in the film, his sweater looks like a previous slasher, don’t you think?
That leads to the second Easter Egg: The man wearing the sweater should know about Freddy, since that is Wes Craven, who also is responsible for bringing us Scream! #RIP
3. Mother’s Home?
Alfred Hitchcock was more than a master of the macabre; he was a genius of illusion in film. Even in Hollywood’s Silver Screen Era, Hitchcock knew the trick to creeping out an audience was subtlety. In the closing frames of Psycho, we see a Norman Bates closer than ever — to his soul.
Watch the video and work on pausing it at 1:30. See his face? See his mother’s? There is a morphing camera trick that shows Norman smile and reflect his mother’s corpse. That is a clear double meaning: She’s dead…and still alive completely inside of him. Absolutely freaky considering the time.
4. Billy the Kid
James Wan is easily considered one of the modern masters of horror. He helped to resurrect interest in the genre — for fans and even directors. Quality films require deep thought, and James Wan is certainly one of the deepest for his movies.
Consider Billy the Puppet, synonymous with all Saw films. Of course, Billy will creep up as an Easter Egg in other parts of Wan’s twisted imagination. One example of an homage was found in Dead Silence. This is Mary Shaw’s (Judith Roberts) puppet collection and lookie who is propped up on the floor. Very nice.
Maybe you missed that one. There was another Billy sighting in a James Wan movie. Did you see Insidious? Look at the chalkboard. That tricky bastard.
5. Say My Name
James Wan is a master at many things, but did you know the guy can place an Easter Egg with surgical precision too? In The Conjuring 2, we discover the living horror against the Warrens was a demon who looked like The Nun. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t know the sinister broad’s name.
If only they were looking around their house because it was everywhere!
V-A-L-A-K. The Warrens would have so sucked at Scrabble.
6. Connect Four
Did you see Bride of Chucky? Don’t worry. Not many people did, but if you were among the faithful to this franchise, did you catch the love bestowed on the great slashers of the past? If you did, you surely high-fived someone.
The camera zooms on the evidence locker at the police station, where we all see the obvious luminaries of horror: Jason’s hockey mask. Michael’s Captain Kirk mask. Leatherface’s favorite gardening tool. And even Freddy’s glove. All of them. Great homage from a not-so-great film.
7. Head Games
8. The Not-So-Evil Dead
One horror franchise that goes back in time is the late 1980s Phantasm featuring “The Tall Man” (played by a rather spooky looking Angus Scrimm). While he is one of the understated villains in the annals of horror, he wasn’t related to the fantastic Easter Egg in the movie.
Some of the Perigord morticians are rummaging the morgue and cleaning an incinerator. Among the dust and bones, they are collected into a body bag marked with a peculiar name — none other than horror luminary Sam Raimi, director of The Evil Dead (and producer of Phantasm II).
Speaking of the great Sam Raimi, he adored his idols — chiefly among them, Wes Craven. They loved playing an odd game of “Cinematic Tag.” In Nightmare on Elm Street, Nancy stays awake watching–what else–The Evil Dead.
A couple of years later, Sam Raimi returned the tag in Evil Dead 2 as we venture out to Ash’s tool shed. Let’s see: Screwdrivers, hammers, jigsaws, and oh yeah…Freddy Krueger’s glove! Classy.
10. Like Mother. Like Daughter.
Pretty lady. Nice car. What’s not to like? Absolutely nothing if you are a horror movie enthusiast. That is the Janet Leigh from Psycho. You know? This one…
Anywho, in Halloween: H20, Laurie Strode is back ready and willing to thwack her pesky brother, Michael. The woman who plays Laurie is obviously the great Jamie Lee Curtis. Why bring that up? Her mother is Janet Leigh (where the “Lee” was inspired). And this is Janet Leigh also…
Sweet Norma from the movie is Laurie’s real-life mom. Psycho meets Halloween.
To take this connection cameo one step further into the premier horror Cadbury, go back and watch the scene again.
- The music in the background on this scene? That’s from Psycho.
- See the license plate: NFB418? That’s a shout out to Norman F. Bates. And it’s also the same plate in the movie. Even Alfred Hitchcock was into the egg trails.
- Also, that lovely 1957 Ford is the exact vehicle she drove to the Bates Motel (and the same as she was flailed off a cliff too)
- And what does Norma say to Laurie? “And if I may offer some maternal advice?” Well, yeah… mom!
11. Stop Crunching So Loud
Anyone ever told you that? Maybe at home, in school, or even in the movies? What about in the surprisingly good A Quiet Place. Director and lead John Krasinski was trying to tell you something as we see the looted grocery store.
See all the bags of potato chips? Now do you get it?! They are loud when crunched. Even the folk in this town know that one, silly.
12. What a Cute Bunny
If you are a Donnie Darko fan, you may be familiar with the deleted scenes. There is one that should have made the film because there is a great Easter Egg on the kitchen counter. We all know Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is often caught battling daydreams and nightmares about Frank the Rabbit.
Whelp, Halloween comes and look at his Samhain panache with the Jack-O-Lantern? It’s Frank and we didn’t even know it yet. Cute indeed.
13. A “Dark” Reference
While not a horror movie, there is a connection. Stephen King often litters his own films with minor Easter Egg hunts. One that went unnoticed by many who watched The Dark Tower was when Jake enters Mid-World. He finds himself in an abandoned carnival. You know, home to old rides, a place to win stuffed animals, and … oh, clowns! Look at the arch up above: P-E-N-N-Y-W-I-S-E. Yeah, that King is special.
14. How Much is that Little Man in the Window?
Before it was called an “Easter Egg” (Trivia: The cinematic term came from The Rocky Horror Picture Show…in case you don’t believe me), Alfred Hitchcock created “blink takes,” as in “just one blink and you will miss it.” In the opening scenes of his great film Psycho, there is a peculiar chap dawning a cowboy hat… see him.
That’s Alfred Hitchcock.
15. If Only We Spoke Dog
Most of us have seen John Carpenter’s magnificent horror film The Thing. Yes, even John Carpenter liked to screw with his audiences.
That beautiful Siberian Husky is hunted in the opening scenes, so obviously screw those guys in the helicopter. When the hunters are stopped by the good guys, we hear yelling in some foreign language and, of course, think nothing of it. So, he is shot for his trouble.
What he was saying was a ingeniously colored Easter Egg:
“Get the hell outta there. That’s not a dog, it’s some sort of thing! It’s imitating a dog, it isn’t real! Get away you idiots!”
If only those guys spoke Norwegian, the movie would have been the shortest horror flick on record.