There’s a lot effort that goes into crafting our favorite horror movies. Not only a lot of time and hard work but (hopefully) a lot of thought. Some movies are meticulously planned. And some are not but they in turn leave a lot of room for fans to interpret things as they please. And fans certainly will, they always have. Fans love to pick these movies apart and often point out things that even the filmmakers themselves didn’t notice. What we’re talking about here aren’t fan theories. Those are ideas that fans come up with to connect the dots and gaping plot holes in a film or franchise. They have their place and some are fascinating. But we’re looking at things that were fairly heavily implied by the movie itself. Take a look at five things you probably never noticed in some of your favorite horror films.
Freddy is the Nurse in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
The scene where the nurse comes on to young Joey in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 is infamous. People will still come up to the actress at conventions and tell her that they…uh…discovered themselves through that particular scene. That’s pretty ironic, when you stop to consider that they’re actually ogling a manifestation of Freddy. As is traditional in the Nightmare franchise, Freddy uses the dreamscape to his advantage and exploits the fears and insecurities of awkward teenagers. Naturally, he preys on their sexuality. So, it makes perfect sense that Joey is trapped in his own fantasy and Freddy spits it back out at him. The entire dream is manipulated by Freddy from the beginning, and Freddy really gets into it. Looking at the scene from a distance, Freddy set up a pretty vivid fantasy before taking over the scenario.
The 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th was pretty divisive with fans. A lot of people loved it and just as many hated it. One of the most interesting things about it was its approach to Jason, who was a tactical, brutal survivalist in this incarnation. This Jason lives off the land and even sets up traps around the camp. It’s all very far removed from how Jason has been handled in the past, often depicted as a severely low-functioning character. But people ignore the most tactical, smart thing Jason does in this movie: growing pot. The kids at the beginning of the film are out by the lake because one of them has been tipped off to a huge patch of weed somewhere in the woods nearby. They don’t know who it belongs to, they just know that it’s there. Is Jason growing pot to lure teenagers into the camp? It seems incredibly likely. It’s definitely suggested by the movie. Nobody finds out who put that weed there, but the people who find it keep dying. It’s the perfect thing for a re-imagined Jason who’s much more of a hunter. This is a duck call for stupid teenagers. This one is a bit of a hot-button topic as it was injected by the director and was not intended by the writers or producers to be a part of the plot.
Stakes Don’t Kill Vampires in Fright Night
Tom Holland’s directorial debut Fright Night is one of the best horror movies of the 1980’s and still remains one of the best modern vampire movies. It’s a satire on the sub-genre and a love letter to it at the same time. In it, teenager Charley Brewster teams up with hammy horror actor Peter Vincent to kill the vampire that has moved in next door. The vampires are very traditional, which was necessary for the movie to have the proper effect. These are classic bloodsuckers with updated wardrobe and modern special effects. What sets these vamps apart from their ancestors is that they don’t die when they are staked in the heart. When vampire next door Jerry Dandridge is staked in the heart, he simply pulls the stake out and tosses it aside. Just a few scenes earlier, Evil Ed had a very long and drawn-out staking scene. But the end of the movie reveals that Evil is actually still very much alive, so staking didn’t do the trick on him, either. The only creature that does get killed by a stake in Fright Night is a non-vampire: Jerry’s daylight guardian, Billy Cole. Billy is presumed to be human until Peter Vincent shoots him and he immediately gets back up. But when he is staked in the heart, he disintegrates into a pulpy mess. It’s never revealed exactly what Billy is but he’s clearly not a vampire.
In Re-Animator Herbert West uses a vibrant green liquid that, when injected via syringe in to a corpse’s neck, will return the dead to the world of the living. It’s West’s great discovery. It is what makes him the re-animator and it’s what drives the plot. This syrup is behind all the carnage West leaves in his wake. It’s never explicitly revealed where he got it or how he concocted it but he is very protective of it. This reagent can also be seen in the Puppet Master series. Beginning in Puppet Master II and III, the formula that animates the puppets is a vibrant green liquid that is kept in a syringe and injected into the puppet’s neck to bring life to the inanimate. This was thrown in as a reference to Re-Animator which Band had helped to distribute and which was helmed by Full Moon alum Stuart Gordon. If Full Moon owned the rights to Re-Animator, I’m sure this would be explored further.