10 Creepy Things In The Backgrounds of Movies You’ve Never Noticed

A well-crafted and visionary film is essentially a living entity with infinitely varying facets. For every single shot in a horror movie, there’s a wealth of peripheral images to analyze – bizarre background action or creepy movie Easter eggs that are just waiting to be discovered.

Not all of the above-mentioned symbols are designed to be enigmatic, however. Some ostensibly “hidden” messages in movies are hiding there in plain sight. The legendary David Lynch, for example, is well known for making brilliant art in every shot but as evinced by many bizarre behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories even Disney has been known to dabble in bawdy subliminal imagery.

Read on for a wholly unexpected list of creepy things in the background of movies.

There’s A Surprise Photobomb In ‘Poltergeist’

Photo: Poltergeist/MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

A particularly horrific moment in the film occurs while Diane Freeling blow dries her hair and is subsequently attacked. At the beginning of the scene, the photo collage on her dresser shows a photo of Carol Anne in the middle, but by the time the poltergeist enters the scene, the photo has changed to that of a demonic face.

The Car From ‘Psycho’ Makes An Appearance In ‘Halloween H20’

Photo: Halloween: H20/Dimension Films

When Janet Leigh appears in 1998’s Halloween H20, she gives a whimsical nod to her most famous character, the ill-fated Marion Crane from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Savvy viewers will note that the car Leigh arrives in the very same vehicle that Norman Bates encapsulates Marion in. Even the license plates are the same.

A Woman’s Face Appears In The Penultimate Scene In ‘The Exorcist’

Photo: The Exorcist/Warner Bros.

As it turns out, William Friedkin’s 1973 masterpiece, The Exorcist, contains a lot more subliminal background images than most fans noticed. One such image appears during the penultimate scene in which Father Karras demands that the devil enter him. Just before he heroically throws himself out of Regan’s bedroom window, Karras’s mother’s face appears in the glass.

Freddy Kreuger’s Glove Appears In ‘Evil Dead II’

Photo: Evil Dead II/Rosebud Releasing Corporation

When Sam Raimi paid homage to Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes in 1981’s The Evil Dead (a poster for the former appeared on Ash’s demonic cabin wall) the gesture did not go unreturned. Craven responded by including some footage from Raimi’s 1984 masterpiece A Nightmare on Elm Street.

According to Cinema Blend, Raimi then nodded back by featuring Freddy Krueger’s glove in Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn.

There Is Conspicuously Shaped Excrement In ‘The Triplets Of Belleville’

Photo: The Triplets Of Belleville/Tartan Films

Depicting human excrement in an animated comedy, or any movie really, would generally be an egregious faux pas. But in 2003 comedy The Triplets of Belleville, bowel movement remnants clearly float in an animated toilet bowl. Moreover, it appears to be in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s face.

The Paintings In ‘Lost Highway’ Are Upside Down

Photo: Lost Highway/October Films

David Lynch’s Lost Highway, which premiered in 1997, is full of subtle demarcation lines that mark the transition from real life into nightmare. One of the first people to notice such a moment was the late literary giant David Foster Wallace.

There are three paintings above the couch in Patricia Arquette and Bill Pullman’s house, and after Arquette is slain, the paintings are upside down.

The Grotesque Dolls That Appear Throughout ‘Blue Velvet’ Are Never Explained

Photo: Blue Velvet/De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

1986’s Blue Velvet is veritably agleam with rich, strange, and macabre visual bounty. One of the movie’s most bizarre props, however, concerns the famously grotesque dolls that appear without acknowledgment or explanation in the background of Ben’s apartment.

With their monstrously elongated and oozing white faces, their eyes like black holes, and their ladylike clothing they add a disturbing mystery to the film.

The License Plates In ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ Refer To Bible Verses

Photo: The Matrix Reloaded/Warner Bros.

It’s no secret that The Matrix series is widely considered a biblical allegory. In Reloaded they even take it one step further by naming Bible verses in subliminal ways. Agent Smith’s license plates, for example, read “IS 5416,” which is a reference to Isaiah 54:16: “See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc.”

Tyler Durden Appears Subliminally Several Times In ‘Fight Club’

Photo: Fight Club/20th Century Fox

The big twist at the end if Fight Club contextualizes the narrator’s experience with his own mental health by revealing that Tyler Durden is not real. Director David Fincher actually lets us in on the secret several times early on, however, by subliminally flashing images of Durden on the screen throughout the film.

Durden appears in one of the Narrator’s testicular cancer meetings, the doctor’s office, and even a TV commercial.

Hitchcock Has A Subtle Cameo In ‘Lifeboat’

Photo: Lifeboat/20th Century Fox

Alfred Hitchcock’s cameos in his own films are the stuff of legend. One of Hitchcock’s most clever appearances is in 1944’s Lifeboat. He is only featured in the film briefly showing up in the newspaper ad for a product called “Reduco Obesity Slayer.”

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