In the last two decades the little genre that could, horror; has witnessed a huge resurgence. Coming off a dry spell following the 80s slasher craze, the mid-nineties became awash with a new breed of scaremongers set about reviving the then scare-free genre. After countless Freddy, Jason and Michael sequels, horror had become a watered-down pale imitation of the original terrifying hits that had audiences too scared to drive home so they ended up living beneath the seats at the cinema.
As a faction of film honoured by its legions of loyal fans, the horror genre was, and still is, a place for geeks, be it in front or behind the screen. And as all geeks know, youve got to stick together - which, is what a lot of the early horror helmers did, by acknowledging the genre from within the movies themselves.
One tactic used to pay homage to another director was to place almost imperceptible nods into scenes via props, dialogue and so on, that only the most hawk-eyed fans would detect. The best examples of this started a domino effect of referencing, with Sam Raimi placing a poster of Wes Cravens The Hills Have Eyes in The Evil Dead. Three years later when Craven came to make Nightmare On Elm Street, he had his heroine Nancy falling asleep watching... yep, you guessed it, The Evil Dead. Raimi kept the torch burning by placing Freddys glove in the work shed in Evil Dead 2.
In the current climate, theres still a lot of this kind of behaviour going on, especially with the Easter Egg culture becoming stronger with every film release. If anything its become a far more nuanced act, with films making far more obscure nods to other titles, theyre often buried deep within the movie. Much like this lot.
Gem is a freelance writer, musician and librarian.
Her hobbies include: recreating movie death scenes from LEGO, concocting new types of bird suet cakes, walking on fresh snow and playing the glockenspiel - all at the same time.