Horror movies are films that use violence, scary imagery, and supernatural elements to scare or horrify the viewer. The horror film has evolved over the years, spawning many sub-genres and die-hard followings.
Here are 42 terrifying horror movie facts.
The director of Scream, Wes Craven, would hide the voice actor who voiced Ghostface, Roger L. Jackson, on set during shoots. When the actors would get taunting calls from the killer, they were actually hearing Roger, hidden somewhere on set. Are we hearing voices?
In Evil Dead II, you can see Freddy Krueger’s glove above the door in the tool shed. Gotta hand it to the director, we missed this the first time.
40. Bloody Hell
It took about a year of technical work to get the blood pouring out of the elevator just right for the iconic scene in The Shining; but it only took three days to film once they were able to consistently achieve the desired effect.
39. Bloody Hell Part II
To avoid breaking continuity, Sissy Spacek decided to sleep in bloody clothes for three days while filming the prom scene in Carrie. Looks like she’s willing to bleed for her art.
John Carpenter hid many homages to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in Halloween. He even cast Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of Psycho star Janet Leigh, as the lead in Halloween. Like mother, like daughter.
Tony Todd, the actor who played the titular character in Candyman, had to put real bees into his mouth to film the movie’s climax. It’s a good thing he wasn’t allergic, because the show must go on.
36. Pants On Fire
Danny Lloyd, the actor who played Danny in The Shining, wasn’t told the film that he was shooting was a horror. Danny believed he was going to film a drama.
35. Nightmarish Part II
The high school janitor in Scream is named Fred, and wears a green and red sweater as a nod to Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare On Elm Street, which Wes Craven also directed. The janitor was played by Craven himself.
34. Too Real
Heather Donahue, one of the actors from The Blair Witch Project, was worried that the director was making a snuff film, and had taken her and the other two cast members out to the woods to kill them. Luckily for her, and all of us, she was wrong. The film only took 8 days to shoot.
33. Final Destination(s)
To film the premonition scene in Final Destination 3, the actors had to ride the roller coaster 26 times. It must have been emotional roller coaster having to ride that roller coaster over and over again.
32. Not So Final Destination
Final Destination was originally an idea for an episode of The X-Files that never got written.
Virginia Madsen, the lead actor in Candyman, wasn’t sure if she should take the role. If she passed, the producers were considering giving the role to Sandra Bullock, who was relatively unknown at the time.
30. Potty Break
Psycho was the first time a flushing toilet was shown on screen. Countless poop jokes have followed—thanks, Alfred.
29. Turn Back Time
In order to make Samara’s walk even creepier, The Ring filmmakers shot the actor walking backward, and then reversed the shot.
28. Count It
In Nosferatu, Max Schrek ,the actor who plays Count Orlock, only blinked once. That’s once in a 1 hour and 34-minute long film. His eyes must have been dry when the filming was a wrap.
27. Exercise Your Right
The Exorcist was the first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The movie would go on to rack up a total of 10 nominations and would win 3.
26. Shy Guy
The shark in Jaws doesn’t appear in the film until an hour and 21 minutes into the film. While part of the reason behind this is to build suspense, the biggest reason behind it was that the mechanical shark built for the film rarely worked as intended. The end result is a truly terrifying entrance.
It took over 7 years for Aliens to get made. Talk of a sequel began shortly after the success of the first film, but disputes over money from the producers delayed the project.
24. Beam Me Up
The mask Michael Myers wears in Halloween is a stretched out, whitewashed Captain Kirk mask from Star Trek. Set your phasers to creepy.
23. Double Whammy
For the scene in The Thing where Dr. Copper has his arms chomped off by Norris’ chest-cavity-jaw, a double amputee was used. The special effects designer found a double amputee to participate and made prosthetics with wax bones and jelly veins. Once the mechanical jaws closed down, the actor pulled his arms back, causing them to sever and produce horrific visuals.
The production team of The Blair Witch Project used pre-programmed GPS trackers to lead the actors to plastic canisters hidden in the woods. The canisters contained the direction their character was going in on that day, but they were told not share their directions with each other. Everything else was improvised by the actors.
21. Paranormal Bank Activity
Paranormal Activity is the most profitable movie of all time. With an initial budget of $15,000, the movie went on to gross $193 million with worldwide. That’s over 1 million percent return on investment!
20. Scary Movie
Scream was originally titled Scary Movie, but the Weinstein brothers changed the name after hearing Michael Jackson’s song “Scream” in their car. Good thing they weren’t listening to “Beat It.”
Before Joel and his brother Ethan Coen were a famous writer-director duo, Joel was an assistant editor on Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead. He was inspired by Sam’s pitch trailer, eventually making one for his own movie Blood Simple.
18. Hack It
Gene Hackman was slated to star in The Silence Of The Lambs, but decided to pull out of the project after he saw a clip of himself at the 1989 Oscars as FBI agent Alan Parker from Mississippi Burning. He didn’t want to follow up such a dark character with an even darker one.
17. Modeling Career
The creature from The Creature From The Black Lagoon was modeled after the Oscars statue given to winners of the award.
The Craft wanted to ensure all the witchcraft they were portraying was authentic, so they hired Pat Devlin as a consultant. Pat is a member of a large Wiccan religious organization, known as the Covenant of the Goddess, and was the organization’s first officer for their Southern California Local Council.
15. All Work
Stanley Kubrick is thought to have typed out all 500 pages of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” that was used in The Shining, but it’s not known for sure whether that’s true. Kubrick never addressed the rumors before his death.
14. Spoiler Alert
Both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety published spoilers of the film Psycho months before it was released, despite Hitchcock’s best efforts to the keep the ending a secret. Mum’s the word, Alfie.
13. Dance For Me
Buffalo Bill’s famous dance scene in The Silence Of The Lambs wasn’t in the script of the film, though it was in the book. Ted Levine, the actor who played Bill, was insistent that the scene be included to help the audience understand the demented character better. Thanks Ted, we’ll never hear “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus the same again.
12. Too Scary
A man sued Warner Brothers for injuries he obtained from fainting after attending a screening of The Exorcist. Warner Brothers settled the deal out of court, which usually means big bucks. What’s the next big horror film that’s coming out?
11. Too Sane
Stanley Kubrick thought Robert DeNiro wasn’t psychotic enough for the role of Jack in The Shining. This decision was made after Kubrick watched Taxi Driver. Sure, Kubrick, not psychotic enough.
10. Too On The Nose
The original title for Halloween was The Babysitter Murders. Way to not beat around the bush with that title, guys.
9. Tastes Like Barf
The vomit used in The Exorcist was Andersen’s Pea Soup. The special effects team tried using Campbell’s Pea Soup, but they weren’t happy with the way it looked.
8. Jacked Up
Jack Nicholson was once considered for the role of Hannibal Lecter in Silence Of The Lambs. The role would eventually go to Anthony Hopkins, who was perfect for the part.
7. Stunt Doubles
Church, the cat in Pet Sematary, was actually played by seven different cats. Must have been just as confusing for the cats as it was for the cast.
6. Whites Only
The robe Ghostface wears in Scream was originally supposed to be white, to better show the blood and gore once he got busy. Wes Craven had it changed because he feared it would look too much like the robes of the KKK. Good choice Wes.
5. Saw That Coming
The original Saw film only took 18 days to film due to its limited use of sets. That’s smart, no matter how you cut it.
4. Bugs Me
The cocoons used in SIlence Of The Lambs were made of gummy bears and tootsie rolls. Still looks gross, if you ask us.
3. Nice Do
Pennywise’s hair was actor Tim Curry’s actual hair in the film It. The only thing production did to it was dye it red and style it to give it that crazy look.
Bosco chocolate syrup was used as blood in the original Night of the Living Dead. The film was shot in black and white, and chocolate syrup had a similar appearance to blood on black and white screens.
1. Gein Momentum
Serial killer Ed Gein has inspired 3 major films, Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence Of The Lambs—not to mention a whole lot of cheesy straight to video movies. When police raided his farm, they discovered masks, bowls and lampshades made of skin, decapitated heads, and even a belt made of nipples.
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