Welcome to Lurking Within. Once a fortnight I will be posting an interactive article about horror movies that feature within another horror movie. It will include a brief synopsis of the scene, with hints and pictures so you can try and figure out what film it is from. The answer will be on the next page, so once you think you have it you can click to see the answer.
This idea of horror films within horror films came to me first while watching Halloween, I have ever since tried to find films earlier than 1978 to find out when it first started. It was a feature in a lot of films of the 80s and it has carried on throughout the decades since. It is a great way for a writer or director to visually show films that were a direct influence on them or ones that they enjoy.
Here is the first:
It’s late one Halloween night and Laurie is working. She has agreed to babysit Tommy, whilst at the same time being distracted by calls from her friends. Outside a shape lurks around under the cover of darkness in the neighbourhood.
Inside Tommy is glued to the television watching an all night horror marathon and on the screen is....
The Thing From Another World (1951).
The film is Halloween (1978) and director John Carpenter is known to be a big fan of Howard Hawk's work (The Thing From Another World was directed by Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks was uncredited). John Carpenter remade The Thing a few years after Halloween and in my opinion it is a great example of a good retelling rather than a remake (but that is another rant altogether).
Halloween was a huge hit and for many years it held the record for being the highest earning low budget film. Some have argued that there would not have been a Slasher genre or the Slasher Boom that we all know and love (well some of us) in the 80s had Halloween not been a worldwide success.
As far as I know, John Carpenter never did have a film within in a film like this again, maybe I should rewatch all of his films just to make sure nothing else is lurking within...
Stay tuned for next week's instalment.