10 Horror Movie Villains Secretly Introduced Way Earlier Than You Realise

Wait, who's that in the corner of the screen?

The Bye Bye Man
STX Entertainment

A horror movie is nothing without a good villain the audience can jump behind the sofa from. From Xenomorphs to Jason Voorhees, these big baddies are usually what the entire plotline and all of its scares come from, so maximising the amount of screen time they get is usually front and centre of the writing process.

And, over the years, horror fans have become accustomed to the sorts of warning signs that come with a horror movie villain's big reveals. Characters become fixated on an object, the camera zooms in, the volume shrinks to silence, and then the threat is revealed usually via a jump scare or two.

But, sometimes writers decide to flex their creative muscles and sprinkle their villains in earlier than either the audience or the characters realise. From subtle messages to figures standing in the background, here are some of the best times a horror movie villain has been stalking from the shadows.

10. The Crawlers - The Descent

The Bye Bye Man

Arguably one of the greatest British horror movies ever made, The Descent is the terrifying tale of Sarah and her group of adrenaline-junkie friends being trapped in a never-ending maze of cave tunnels. The claustrophobic feel of the film, coupled with the rising paranoia among the group, makes the sudden reveal of the real villains of the piece even more terrifying.

The caves the women are trapped in are revealed to be infested by pale white creatures known as 'Crawlers'. The monsters hunt the group down, but one scene in particular shows that the Crawlers had been following the women even longer than the audience might have first realised.

With Juno, one of the group members, illuminating a cavern with one of their flares, a wide shot shows all of the women's shadows staring at the environment around them. To the far left is another figure standing away from the group which, for those who actually catch a glimpse of the figure, might just dismiss as being one of the women.

However, when the figure crouches down like an animal, the truth is far more horrifying. It's another small detail for the film, but one that adds so much more terror.


Horror fan, gamer, all round subpar content creator. Strongly believes that Toad is the real hero of the Mario universe, and that we've probably had enough Batman origin stories.