11 trivia questions about scary movies

11 trivia questions about scary movies
Photo by Jose Francisco Morales / Unsplash

Whether you're the type of person who knows all the obscure references in indie horror movies or you steel yourself for one viewing of something a little spooky once per year, we all need a scary movie in our lives from time to time.

What constitutes "scary" will, of course, vary for all of us. If you're on the lower end of that spectrum and are prone to easy scares, perhaps learning a few new tidbits that you can share during the suspenseful parts will ease your pain. And if you're a horror diehard... well, you should already know all the answers to these trivia questions.

Here are 11 questions (and answers, if you dare to try your luck) about scary movies. We'll update this list every now and then when we have more questions to add.

What was the first zombie movie?

Let me ask you a question: Are you one of those people who starts posting memes about fall as soon as it hits September? Do you watch a different scary movie every day in October, culminating in that one perfect horror movie you watch every year on Halloween night? Do you make Jell-O brains for dessert just for fun?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you've probably seen at least one zombie movie in your life.

It's a rich and storied legacy that also spawned the TV zombie craze, which apparently is still going. Daryl from The Walking Dead will eventually just find an old folks home that has somehow been totally untouched by the zombie plague and call it good. And then it will turn into a romantic-comedy sitcom about Daryl and the orderlies and how he sometimes still has to go kill zombies. And probably Carol is there somehow.

But I digress... all of this undead mania has its roots, arguably, in a single film. Of all the masters who have touched this genre, only one could have started it all.

What production marked the first known zombie movie in cinema history?

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What's the name of the hotel in The Shining?

I have to admit, if someone asked me to watch over a mountain resort hotel for the offseason, I would strongly consider it. Then again, my kid's not psychic (as far as I know).

Turns out Jack Torrance and his family didn't have the relaxing, productive time they were hoping for. Instead, they were tortured, each in their own way, by a hotel which is really a character of its own in this twisted tale.

1980's The Shining is a masterclass in pacing, symbolism, and terror. I really don't care how close it is to the book — I mean, do we ever expect Stanley Kubrick to simply stick to the source material? Part of what makes this movie so good is that it's not just trying to recreate what was written. That rarely goes well. Instead, it's inspired by Stephen King's novel.

But let's save that debate for another time when there's a beer and we have a few hours to kill. For now, I'm just curious if you remember what the name of the fictional hotel was in this horror classic.


What does Bill Murray list as his one regret in Zombieland?

Zombieland was one of those movies that really surprised me — it's pretty dang good.

And a big part of that was the unexpected cameo from comedy legend Bill Murray. Not only did he show up out of nowhere, he played himself ... well, himself dressed as a zombie in an attempt to fool the other zombies which instead gets him shot by humans.

While he's bleeding to death he mentions the one potential regret of his career. What was it?

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The stabbing sound effect from Halloween is really a knife stabbing what?

Being a Foley artist seems really fun. For one thing, you're basically just watching movies all day, and you also get to hit random objects with other random objects.

It should come as no surprise that for John Carpenter's original Halloween, they didn't actually stab people. Instead, they invoked the art of Foley, and stabbed this object. What was it?

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How many dogs were involved in filming the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Cujo?

At the end of any movies that have animals in them, you always get to see the line about how none of them were harmed and there were people supervising and all that jazz. But for Cujo, you'd almost expect it to be the other way around. No humans were actually killed in this movie, but you should watch out!

As terrifying as the 1985 Stephen King movie adaptation made St. Bernards seem, we have to remember that it's all part of movie magic. And like every great movie moment, there's more to the story behind the scenes.

How many dogs acted in Cujo?

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What actor almost beat Kiefer Sutherland for the role of David in The Lost Boys?

If you're looking for someone to thank for all the cool vampire media we have today, you could do much worse than Joel Schumacher.

Schumacher ushered in a new style of depicting vampires with 1987's The Lost Boys, a cult classic that every person should be legally required to watch when they turn 14. Of course, you could also make the argument that Twilight was a result of the teen-vampire sensation sparked, at least in part, by this movie — but we'll set that aside for now.

If this actor had gotten the role of David instead of Kiefer Sutherland, this would have been a potentially very different movie. Who was also considered for the part?

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What was the original title of Ghostbusters?

Coming from a long line of spiritualists, it seems like Dan Aykroyd was always destined to write a movie about ghosts.

But when he and Harold Ramis teamed up to start working in earnest on the concept of 1984's Ghostbusters, it took multiple iterations before finally landing on the all-time classic comedy/fantasy/horror-ish movie we still know and love nearly 40 years later.

One of the key pieces that changed over time was the title — which is pretty hard to swallow considering the Ray Parker song is just so damn catchy. What was the original title of Ghostbusters?

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What’s the name of the iconic theme song from The Exorcist?

For anyone born before the horror resurgence of the late '90s, it doesn't take much to get you freaked the hell out — all you have to do is hear those opening notes for the theme song from The Exorcist.

Some of the effects don't particularly hold up today, but in 1973 this was the most terrifying movie with the most terrifying effects that anyone had ever seen in their damn lives. And it's carried a strong tradition of traumatizing viewers ever since.

Among all of the classic moments from this movie, the theme song stands on its own as an icon of horror. Do you know what it's called?

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Who played the leprechaun in ... uh, Leprechaun?

What would you do if you found a pot of gold? I mean, an actual, real little black cooking pot, full of gold coins?

Well if you've ever seen 1993's Leprechaun, you immediately shouted "LEAVE IT ALONE" at your screen.

This movie gave us many things — including a masterful performance by this actor. Who was it?

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What was used to make Freddy Krueger’s glove in A Nightmare on Elm Street?

You'd be hard-pressed to find a mind as warped as Wes Craven's. While it might seem almost cliché today, the writer and director's idea for a villain who can haunt and kill you inside your dreams was completely new when the original A Nightmare on Elm Street came out in 1984.

A variety of influences helped Craven to create the character of Freddy Krueger, from a childhood bully to a random old man who spooked him on the street (seriously). And all the little details came together to create one of horror's most iconic characters.

One of Freddy's most recognizable features is the bladed glove he dons. What did filmmakers use to create that glove?

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What famous comedian turned down the role of Winston in Ghostbusters?

I guess I just assume every actor or actress cast in any movie ever was the perfect fit for that role from the get-go. But turns out a lot of classic movies could have been way different had those originally offered the roles actually taken them.

I can't imagine Ghostbusters with anyone but Ernie Hudson playing Winston, but apparently that very nearly didn't happen. Who was offered the role of Winston but decided to turn it down?

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What's your favorite piece of scary movie trivia?