10 Sudden Time Jumps In Horror Movies That Completely Change Everything

These time jumps totally changed the game.

Contagion Kate Winslet
Warner Bros.

It's fair to say that the vast majority of movies take place within relatively compressed timeframes, and that's perhaps even truer in the horror genre, which is so often concerned with the sustained tension of the heroes being doggedly pursued by a murderous force.

Still, a well-placed time jump can nevertheless have a major dramatic impact, leaving the audience with no idea of what's about to happen and adding a layer of enervating unpredictability to the narrative.

To do the unexpected and suddenly move the timeline days, weeks, months, years, or perhaps even decades into the future or past grants filmmakers some seriously exciting possibilities to do something wildly different. And while it certainly offers up its fair share of risks too, such as alienating audiences who were digging the present-day story, when it works, it can make a movie so much more memorable than it might otherwise be.

And so, we come to the following ten horror movie time jumps, each of which completely changed how audiences engaged with the story and allowed the filmmakers to do something wholly unexpected with the narrative...

10. Halloween Ends

Contagion Kate Winslet

Given that Halloween Kills picked up immediately where 2018's Halloween left off, it was a reasonable expectation that Halloween Ends would basically do the same, with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) desperate to avenge her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), who was murdered by Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) at the end of Kills.

But filmmaker David Gordon Green made the surprise decision to take some unexpected leaps forward in time.

Halloween Ends opens with a prologue set a year later, detailing the origin story of new lead Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), after which we skip forward a further three years, with the rest of the movie taking place four years after the events of Halloween Kills.

For all of the film's many divisive elements, the time jump is one of its more intriguing ideas, because though Michael hasn't been seen in Haddonfield since the night he killed Karen and a lot of other people, he's left behind a legacy of trauma which continues to tear the town apart.

Opening the film with Michael M.I.A. and Haddonfield unable to heal from his rampage is totally unlike anything else the series had attempted before, and at least showed some tantalisingly outside-the-box thinking on Green's part. The rest of the movie, though? Ehh, not so much.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.