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    34 Horror Movie Facts You Probably Didn't Know

    This includes spoilers for some films.

    1. While on set of The Exorcist, director William Friedkin would have the prop man randomly fire shotgun blanks to surprise the actors.

    Warner Bros.

    This was so he could get more authentic and frightened reactions on camera.

    2. The late H.R. Giger was responsible for all of the creature designs in Alien. He incorporated a real human skull into the head of the alien.

    20th Century Fox

    When asked about the skull, Giger was once quoted as saying, "Don't ask me where I got it."

    3. Walnuts and dead chickens were used to create the gory noises heard in The Evil Dead.

    New Line Cinema

    "We had a chicken and we'd take a meat cleaver and wedge into it so you'd get the impact and a bit of the goo... cracked walnuts work for a neck twist," The Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell told BuzzFeed last year.

    4. Scream was inspired by actual events that took place in Gainesville, Florida, during the early '90s.

    Dimension Films

    An American serial killer known as the Gainesville Ripper murdered students in rather disturbing ways. Screenwriter Kevin Williamson watched a news report about the murders and was "scared out of his mind". The fear inspired him to write the opening scene for Scream.

    5. Linda Blair, who is best known for playing the possessed child Regan in The Exorcist, had a small cameo in Scream.

    Dimension Films

    She played a reporter who briefly hassles Sidney Prescott.

    6. Iconic late horror director Wes Craven also had a cameo.

    Dimension Films

    Craven was best known for creating the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, so for his cameo, he wore Freddy Krueger's hat and sweater.

    7. Due to the marketing around The Blair Witch Project, some people were convinced that actor Heather Donahue was actually dead and sent her mother sympathy cards.

    Artisan Entertainment

    At the time of release, many people believed the events in the film were actually real. The film's official website had faux police reports, and "missing" flyers for the cast were handed out at screenings.

    8. The Blair Witch actors all agreed to stay in character while filming, but if they needed a time out or wanted to comment on something, they would use the code word "taco".

    Artisan Entertainment

    9. The bundle of sticks shown in the film contained real human teeth and hair.

    Artisan Entertainment

    The teeth are from co-director Eduardo Sánchez's dentist and the hair is from actor Josh Leonard.

    10. Michael Cera auditioned for the role of Cole in The Sixth Sense.

    Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    He didn't know it was about dead people so he was upbeat and optimistic in his audition.

    11. M. Night Shyamalan comes from a family full of physicians. He was expected to become one too, but instead he fell in love with film at an early age.

    Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    As a nod to his family, he had a cameo as a doctor in The Sixth Sense.

    12. Saw was inspired by a news story.

    Lionsgate Films

    When he was just 17, Saw director James Wan watched a news report about a man who broke into people's houses to tickle the feet of sleeping children. It scared Wan so much that he slept with a hammer beside his bed. When the man in the reports was eventually caught, he revealed that he didn't commit the crimes on his own and was forced to do it. This sparked the idea behind forcing characters to do what they're told. The tickling criminal was also apparently sent a jigsaw piece that told him to do what he did, which was the inspiration behind the Jigsaw Killer in the films.

    13. The iconic puppet from Saw, known as Billy, was so precious to filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Whannell that they paid for it to have its own seat on a flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles.

    Lionsgate Films

    This was back when the pair were trying to get the film made in Hollywood, and only had one puppet.

    14. The original wooden puppet was also handmade by Wan.

    Lionsgate Films

    Hence why Billy was too special to just throw in a suitcase.

    15. Billy has also popped up in movies other than Saw. He was briefly shown as an Easter egg in Insidious, Dead Silence, and Death Sentence.

    Blumhouse Productions

    This is because all three films were also directed by Wan.

    16. Wolf Creek is a real place. It's located in Western Australia and is actually known as Wolfe Creek.

    Instagram: @duggan1992 / Via

    17. John Jarratt, who played serial killer Mick Taylor way too convincingly, actually used to be the host of Australian lifestyle show Better Homes and Gardens.

    Seven Network / Via

    He's really not so scary once you listen to him talk about clotheslines.

    18. Paranormal Activity director and writer Oren Peli filmed the movie in his own home. Despite its ~scary~ reputation, Peli later had no issues selling the house.

    Paramount Pictures

    Have fun with that demon house.

    19. The doll from The Conjuring and its spinoff, Annabelle, is based on a real-life doll that looks very different. The real Annabelle is just a regular Raggedy Ann Doll.

    Warner Bros.

    20. Eli Roth's cannibal film The Green Inferno was shot in a remote village in the Amazon. It took five hours of travel every day in Land Rovers plus 90 minutes up a river to access the location.

    Worldview Entertainment

    21. In fact, it was so remote that the locals had never seen a film before. The producers showed them Cannibal Holocaust, which they thought was a comedy and "the funniest thing they'd ever seen".

    Worldview Entertainment

    22. Actress Lorenza Izzo almost died while filming The Green Inferno. She was thrown into a river with a rock to cling on to, but the water pulled her under and she almost drowned.

    Worldview Entertainment

    Due to the challenging and remote film location, things like this "happened a lot," according to Roth.

    23. And Roth, who is also the man behind Hostel and Cabin Fever, has previously stated that the best way to make gory scenes more realistic is to use fruit, saying: "A grape makes an amazing eyeball when photographed at the right angle."

    Philippe Desenrck / Getty Images

    You'll never look at grapes the same way again.

    24. It Follows director David Robert Mitchell didn't actually pitch the movie. Instead he made an elaborate lookbook because he believed the concept for the film was "so silly" that he "avoided saying it out loud".

    Dimension Films

    To be fair, the film is basically just about a sexually transmitted supernatural entity.

    25. And although the movie has an '80s vibe, it actually doesn't fit into any time period. The film deliberately keeps you guessing about the era it's in because it's placed outside of time.

    Dimension Films

    It's a little confusing but Mitchell said the ambiguous time period is to suggest that it's all a dream or a nightmare.

    26. The Babadook was inspired by a strange story writer/director Jennifer Kent heard in the early '00s.

    Entertainment One

    Kent had a friend with a young son who was convinced he was being stalked by an imaginary boogeyman. His mother would pretend to talk to the "creature" in order to calm him down.

    27. And years after the release of the movie in 2014, the monster in the film has bizarrely now become a queer icon online.

    Entertainment One

    The Babadook was shown as an evil and terrifying creature but, thanks to Twitter, he's now seen very differently.

    28. The Witch director Robert Eggers revealed it bothers him that you can see Anya Taylor-Joy's earring holes in the film. He said in the DVD commentary that he wished he had CG'd them out.


    Although he also commented on his own pickiness by adding that "maybe that's getting insane".

    29. Joaquin Phoenix was originally meant to star in Split before James McAvoy was cast.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images
    Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

    Phoenix previously worked with Split director M. Night Shyamalan on two of his other films, The Village and Signs.

    30. James McAvoy broke his hand while filming Split. It happened after he hit a door that he thought was fake, but was actually solid metal.

    Universal Pictures

    31. Eddie Murphy's 1983 comedy special Delirious inspired Get Out.

    HBO / Via

    In the routine, Murphy makes fun of white people in movies for not leaving haunted houses, saying: "If there's a ghost in the house, get the fuck out."

    32. There were several alternate endings to Get Out, all of which were quite dark. According to writer/director Jordan Peele, one of those endings involved the main character, Chris, being taken away by the police and put in jail for killing a white family.

    Universal Pictures

    33. Daniel Kaluuya, who played Chris in Get Out, is actually British.


    He played Posh Kenneth on Skins, and worked as a writer on the show when he was still just a teenager.

    34. And lucky for us, Jordan Peele does plan on writing more horror movies. In a Reddit AMA he said he has "several social thrillers marinating" and he intends on writing and directing all of them.

    Universal Pictures

    Now the waiting game begins.

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