We all love a good Easter egg here and there, and there’s no feeling quite like the satisfaction of picking up on some subtle clues scattered throughout a favourite flick upon the umpteenth re-watch. Obviously horror movies aren’t as easy to pick through as most genres, given how often viewers find themselves watching through a veil of trembling fingers.
However, the twisty nature of the genre also means horror films can be fertile ground for slipping in subtle details which tip the audience off prior to the narrative’s big reveals.
Just look at men of the moment Ari Aster and Jordan Peele, whose first two films have each managed to stuff their scripts and mise-en-scene with countless clever little nods which give us clues to the true nature of their antagonists.
It’s a trick that can be seen throughout the history of the genre, and gore fiend geeks pride themselves on being able to notice even the smallest set ups in classic flicks long before the requisite pay off comes around.
Whether it’s prop and make up work which went above and beyond in pursuit of realism or clever lines you could never have pieced together on first viewing, here are ten details no one noticed the first time they watched these horrors, only to uncover them upon repeat viewings.
10. Get Out - Prying Pieces
Jordan Peele’s Oscar winning debut has been compared to everything from The Twilight Zone to trippy counterculture satires such as Seconds and The Stepford Wives. As such, it’s no surprise to see that, like all of its influences, its story is filled with hard-to-notice details which reveal the central conceit after a re-watch or two.
It’s a tense, funny film which deserves multiple viewings on its own merit, but few cinemagoers could have possibly picked up on the camera’s sudden whip-pan to one of the villainous family’s domestic helpers Georgina when Bradley Whitford’s sly father figure says he “keeps a piece” of his late mother in the kitchen.
It’s a small, strange detail, which becomes horrifying once the film’s twist - that the family are implanting their consciousnesses in the brains of black bodies to live longer - is revealed later.
Similarly, the protagonist’s girlfriend Rose saying she has “something to pry out of your dad” to protagonist Chris’ dog in the opening scenes is referring to commitment, right? Not a chunk of his head?
Mind you, she doesn’t know it yet, but she should probably be more worried about the antlers she’ll have to pry out of her own beloved dad after Chris is finished with the old man.