When you watch this montage of the classic horror movie trope, the one where a character sees someone or something standing behind them in a mirror, it really makes you reflect on the nature of being scared. [Editor’s Note: We neither endorse nor enjoy such a silly and bad joke made on the part of this writer.]
It is inherently terrifying to have someone sneak up on you, and while this montage shows not every reflection we see has to be relegated to just our bathroom mirror, alone in our quiet house, vulnerable in our unpreparedness, those ones certainly do seem to be the most prominent, and this video, put together by YouTube user richfofo’s channel, shows horror movie makers know it.
It should be mentioned that this technique is not exclusive to just horror movies, it also pops up in lots of thrillers, since lots of crazy ex-husbands and boyfriends tend to show up in the same manner as ghosts and serial killers.
Although all using the same basic premise, there are variations, with a few popping up the most.
- Everything is perfectly fine, open the mirror, person or thing standing there.
- Something scary fades in.
- Something’s reflection is in the mirror, but not there when you turn around.
Paul F. Tompkins had an amazing bit about this years ago, about how the mirror scare always got him, even when he knew it was coming. Trust me when I say, take a few minutes and listen to this.
So, which mirror scare in this video is your favorite? Which one did they miss? Are there any other recurring horror movie scares that you’d like to see get the montage treatment? Tell us in the comments.