Why sit through the credits? Because there may be a little reward at the end.
In recent years, post-credits “stingers” have become synonymous with Marvel’s films, often used as a way to tease future installments in the company’s cinematic universe. But extra scenes at the very end of movies are not exclusive to superhero films, and they certainly weren’t created by Marvel. In fact, a handful of movies from the ’70s and ’80s, long before the superhero boom we’re currently in the midst of, gave viewers a reason to stick around through the end credits.
Horror movies are no exception. Here are five with awesome post-credits stingers!
THE LOST BOYS 2: THE TRIBE
Once upon a time, it was rumored that both Corey Feldman and Corey Haim would return for the decades-later sequel The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe, though when the movie was released in 2008, Haim was nowhere to be seen. If you stuck through the end credits, however, you saw that Haim reprised the role of Sam Emerson for a brief scene that revealed he had become a vampire in the years since the events of the original film. The scene cuts to black just as Sam and Edgar Frog are about to engage in a battle-to-the-death, though it ended up being a fight we never got to actually see. The late Haim did not appear in the franchise’s third installment, but it was revealed that Edgar killed Sam in that battle.
Perhaps the best cameo in the history of cinema can be found in Zombieland, wherein Bill Murray pops up for an appearance as himself. Humorously, Murray disguises himself as a zombie so he can walk freely outside (and golf) without being attacked, and he of course ends up getting shot when Columbus mistakes him for a real zombie. The hilarious cameo reunited Murray with his Kingpin co-star Woody Harrelson, and in the post-credits scene, Murray and Harrelson’s Tallahassee together recite an iconic line from Caddyshack. Au revoir, gopher.
CURSE OF CHUCKY
Released in 2013, direct-to-video sequel Curse of Chucky brought the Child’s Play franchise back to its horror roots, successfully merging the continuities of both the original trilogy and the subsequent horror-comedy sequels. At the end of the film, a young girl finds herself in possession of Chucky, teasing that she will be the main character of the next installment. The post-credits scene, however, takes the franchise in an entirely different direction. In the stinger scene, Alex Vincent reprises the role of Andy Barclay for the first time since Child’s Play 2, telling his old friend to “play with this” before blasting him away with a shotgun. Now that’s what I call fan service!
If you’re asking me, Fede Alvarez struck remake gold with 2013’s Evil Dead, an insanely gory franchise reboot that stayed true to the original films and introduced an ass-kicking female Ash (so to speak) in the form of actress Jane Levy’s Mia Allen. Of course, Bruce Campbell himself didn’t actually make an appearance in the remake, and while some fans weren’t too happy about that, he at least did pop up for a brief post-credits stinger that seemed to tease he would soon be returning to the series – and indeed he did just last year, courtesy of Starz series “Ash vs. Evil Dead.” After the credits, the remake comes to a close with Campbell reminding us just how groovy Ash Williams is.
THE THING (2011)
A companion piece to John Carpenter’s classic film, the 2011 version of The Thing is essentially both a prequel and a remake, telling the story of what happened at the ill-fated Norwegian outpost before MacReady and friends arrived to investigate. Loaded with poorly-realized CGI, the prequel is little more than a reminder that the horror genre just isn’t the same without the practical effects of the 1980s, but it does at least end on a satisfying and smile-inducing note. The end credits of The Thing 2011 lead directly into the events of Carpenter’s 1982 film, allowing for them to be seamlessly watched back-to-back. Pretty cool, even if the prequel was a computer-generated shell of Carpenter’s gruesome masterpiece.
Other horror movies with post-credits scenes include Dawn of the Dead (2004), House on Haunted Hill (1999), The Howling, Planet Terror, See No Evil, Slither, The Stuff, Texas Chainsaw 3D, and Wrong Turn.