5 Genius Easter Eggs Lurking Within Famous Horror Movies

Some movies like to cram Easter eggs into every inch of the screen (funny -- we feel like we may have mentioned that once or twice before). Horror films are no exception. So in this spookiest of seasons, we present some of the craziest details hidden in scary movies. The pattern on Freddy Krueger's sweater may not be a cypher that reveals the truth behind the Kennedy assassination (or it may, who knows), but if you pay attention, you'll see...

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5
The Conjuring 2 Hides The Demon's True Name Throughout The Background

The Nun was not an intensely gritty reboot of Sister Act, but a prequel to The Conjuring -- kind of like Young Sheldon, if Sheldon Cooper was slightly creepier. In The Conjuring 2, the mysterious poltergeist tormenting a family turns out to be a demon taking the guise of a nun, and paranormal investigators/real-world frauds Ed and Lorraine Warren learn they can send it packing back to Hell by saying its true name. You know, standard inverse Beetlejuice rules.

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The only problem is they don't know the demon's name right away. But here's the thing: It was all over the movie, hidden in the background in ways you wouldn't notice. "Valak" is spelled out on a child's bracelet ...

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. PicturesEven ancient demons deserve friendship, dammit.

... on some desk ornaments ...

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. PicturesGOOF: There's a poster for The Nun (2018) on the wall, even though this movie is set in the '70s.

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... spelled out on a bookcase with wooden letters presumably purchased from Hell's Pottery Barn ...

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. PicturesWhat the hell is "VAKAL"?

... and on a kitchen wall decoration, but only if you use the V from the word "LOVE" above it.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures"Let's cleverly spell the word through the V from 'love' and the, uh, 'ALAK' from an inexplicable 'ALAK' sign."

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It all serves to reinforce the idea that this all-consuming evil has quietly been lurking in the background the whole time. Either that, or the filmmakers are telling us that tacky 1970s home decor is the work of the Devil.

Related: 7 Insane Easter Eggs Hidden In Movies And TV Shows

4
Halloween 2018 Subtly References The Movies It Kicked Out Of Continuity

Modern updates of old series like to shoehorn in references to their originals, be it the Kessel Run in Star Wars, Slimer in Ghostbusters, or the Spider-Man in all of the Spider-Man movies. The new Halloween similarly seeks to honor its past, even though it's only a sequel to the very first one. This means it's chock-full of references to stories it unceremoniously tossed in the trash.

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In the new movie, like in Halloween II, Michael Myers obtains his butcher knife from a woman in a pink bathrobe wearing curlers in her hair. She's older, though, perhaps implying it's the same character who didn't die in this reality?

Trancas International Films

Trancas International FilmsWe're assuming the Austin Powers franchise didn't take off in either timeline.

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Later, Michael shows up at a bathroom stall ...

Trancas International Films

Trancas International Films

... which seems to be a shout-out to a similar moment in Halloween H20. You know, the other time they brought Jamie Lee Curtis in for a reboot in an attempt to clean up this mess of a series.

Trancas International Films

Trancas International FilmsBefore Rob Zombie went and did a Rob Zombie all over it.

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There are even references to Halloween III: Season Of The Witch, which was already in its own timeline, since the original Halloween was only a movie in that universe. And yet the evil costumes from Season Of The Witch are seen in the new flick, presumably because these children are transdimensional beings.

Trancas International Films

Trancas International FilmsIt's impressive that a company whose business model was "Turn kids' heads into insects" still exists in any universe.

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There are also some subtle nods to the first film. Like, remember how Laurie had that hat on her bedroom wall in the first Halloween? Of course you do. Who could forget that iconic hat? Right?

Trancas International FilmsYeah, we were all definitely looking at the hat when we saw this as teens.

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Well, apparently that hat is her most prized possession, because four decades later, she still thinks that thing is somehow wall-worthy art.

Trancas International FilmsAlso, the main character looks a lot like Laurie, but older.

Let us know if we missed any other tables, lamps, or staplers from the older films that make exciting cameos!

Related: 6 Movie Soundtracks With Secrets You Totally Missed

3
The Silence Of The Lambs' Hannibal Lecter Has Already Solved The Murders From The Very Beginning

Long before we learned he was once a Nazi-hunting samurai, Hannibal Lecter showed up in the Oscar-winning The Silence Of The Lambs. At the beginning of the movie, novice FBI agent Clarice Starling visits the incarcerated cannibal to see if he'll help with her investigation of the "Buffalo Bill" killings. Lecter shows Clarice some of his drawings -- not the crude drawings of naked women you might expect, but elaborately rendered vistas, including "the Belvedere as seen from the Duomo" in Florence. You probably assumed the message of this scene was "This guy is a massive, massive dweeb."

Orion Pictures They had to put Lecter in an isolated cell because the other inmates kept giving him wedgies.

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Then you probably forgot all about this conversation, since the rest of the movie includes ripping people's faces off, suits made of human skin, and at least one appearance from crooner Chris Isaak. But interestingly, when Clarice finally tracks down Buffalo Bill, he's in Belvedere, Ohio, home of ... OK, we know nothing about Belvedere, Ohio.

Orion Pictures Belvedere, Ohio: "We Have At Least One Bridge!"

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Lecter seemingly figured out that the first victim would be from the same town as Buffalo Bill, and cheekily flaunted it right under the FBI's noses. Thankfully, Lecter didn't go a step further and wheel in a TV to watch the sitcom adventures of the delightfully pompous Mr. Belvedere.

Related: The Continuous Story In The Background Of Many Horror Films

2
Psycho's Peephole Is Behind A Pretty Appropriate Painting

Alfred Hitchcock's horror masterpiece, Psycho, finds runaway secretary Marion Crane checking into the creepy Bates Motel, only to be murdered by the slasher equivalent of Mrs. Doubtfire. Before that, though, Marion dines with Norman Bates in a room filled with old paintings and stuffed birds. In retrospect, it would be surprising if anyone didn't get murdered there.

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After Marion excuses herself to take her fateful shower, Norman pulls back one of the paintings, to reveal a peephole he uses to spy on guests.

Paramount Pictures

Paramount PicturesA scene only made grosser by the sound of Vince Vaughn unbuckling his pants.

The painting itself is a subtle in-joke "depicting the biblical story of Susanna and the Elders" -- which, for you non-theologians, is about a woman being spied on by two creeps while she's trying to bathe. Unless you were an art historian, or an accomplished peeper, you probably didn't catch the reference. Hitchcock seemingly had great fun with this joke, not just putting it the film but also calling attention to it in the movie's weird-ass trailer. The unusual preview sees Hitch leading audiences on a tour of the Bates Motel. Upon reaching the painting, he points to it and says, "This picture has great significance because ..." Then he just walks away.

Paramount Pictures"Going to the bathroom now, so don't move that painting. Trust me."

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Related: 6 Brilliant Clues Hidden In The Background Of TV Shows

1
You Don't Have To Be A Conspiracy Nut To Find Hidden Numbers All Over The Shining

There are a lot of obsessives transfixed by The Shining -- someone even made an entire movie about their obsession with this movie. But while it's easy to get lost in the theories about moon landing hoaxes and hidden minotaurs, you might overlook some of the creepier details Kubrick actually did hide in there. Please do not overlook our pun, though - it took us six hours to come up with that.

At the risk of going full tinfoil hat, there are a bunch of repeating numbers in The Shining. Take the number 42, for instance. It first shows up on Danny's shirt.

Warner Bros.This movie is a cautionary tale about the psychological consequences of giving a child this hairdo.

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Later, Danny is watching a TV (which oddly doesn't seem to be plugged in) playing the movie Summer Of '42.

Warner Bros.They couldn't get the rights to the show 24, mainly because it didn't exist yet.

The license plate on Dick Halloran's rental car also contains '42.' Kubrick famously changed the number of a particularly haunted room from the book's 217 to 237, since the hotel feared guests would avoid their actual room 217. (Ironically, it's instead become their most requested room.) The product of 2, 3, and 7 is ... 666. Wait, no, 42.

The number shows up in even more subtle ways. Like how there are exactly 42 cars parked at the Overlook at the beginning, a news report mentions a "$42 million spending bill," and when Jack visits the bar, the stools are in groups of four and two:

Warner Bros.If this wasn't intentional, someone got yelled at for an hour for forgetting that chair.

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Half of 42, as you might know, is 21, and we get a lot of references to that number as well. In the final moment of the film, we see Jack in a photo from 1921, one of 21 photos on the wall:

We might as well leap headfirst into the rabbit hole now. The song playing during the end sequence is "Midnight, The Stars And You" -- midnight, of course, being 12 a.m., and 12 being the mirror image of 21. And this movie is all about mirror images, like the word "Redrum" and its reflection. The number 42's mirror image is also present, as a news report mentions a missing 24-year-old woman.

Warner Bros."She was last seen messing up her lines in front of director Stanley Kubrick."

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What does it all mean? Some have speculated that this hints The Shining was actually meant as an allegory for the Holocaust, and not just that Kubrick was super into Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. (1942 was the year Hitler implemented the Final Solution.)

Here's the thing, though: It's entirely possible that Kubrick did hide a series of repeating numbers throughout the movie, but didn't intend them to be breadcrumbs for a secret message. On an early copy of Kubrick's script, we can see that he was monkeying around with using (what was then) the haunted room number, 217, in other parts of the movie, such as having the Torrances live at street number 217, and incorporating February 17 into the story.

Warner Bros.He considered naming the movie Th E Shining to go with the 2, 1, 7 theme.

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The point being that it was seemingly less about which specific numbers he used, and more about numbers being built into the foundation of the story somehow. The idea of recurring numbers hinting at some kind of otherworldly machinations was a technique also employed by one of Kubrick's collaborators, Vladimir Nabokov, who used repeating numbers in Lolita as a manifestation of fate, including the number 42. No one accused him of faking Sputnik.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter, or check out the podcast Rewatchability.

Write in some genius easter eggs with a beginner's guide to Celtx.

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For more, check out 3 Tiny Details That Reveal Huge Backstories In Movies (Inglorious Basterds, Predators, Coraline):


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