Time travel is a very diverse sub-genre within horror, and with movies featuring everything from time-twisting slashers to time-traveling zombies, there’s bound to be a large supply of collectibles out there.
With it being a leap year, and it being time for another edition of the Collector’s Crypt, what could be more appropriate than a selection of items that tie in to this month’s theme of time travel/time loops/all things time-related here at Nightmare on Film Street?
Happy Death Day 2U
When Happy Death Day burst onto the scene in 2017, it didn’t hide it’s time loop element in a last-moment plot twist – it made it the focal point of it’s marketing campaign! This slasher set itself apart by telling the story of college student Tree (Jessica Rothe), who finds herself being murdered by a baby-masked killer… over and over again. As she continually wakes up to relive the same day again, she has to solve her own murder to end the loop.
Happy Death Day was a surprise hit for horror heavyweight Blumhouse Productions, and just over a year later, the cleverly-titled Happy Death Day 2U returned in 2019, with even more time loops for Tree and friends to navigate through! The poster featured the now-iconic masked killer holding out a cupcake with a number two candle stuck into it, a nice nod to the birthday cake-themed marketing of the original.
As the release date drew closer, lucky members of the press received boxes containing their very own Happy Death Day 2U cupcake-shaped candle! A perfect replica of the image on the poster, these were also available to win on various social media contests, in very limited numbers. In addition, paper masks of the baby-faced murderer were also distributed at screenings and media events. With the future of the series uncertain after a disappointing box office performance, these rare Happy Death Day collectibles are sure to cause a frenzy with fans. They have been known to appear on eBay, so keep an eye out if you’re interested!
Insidious: Chapter 2
The first Insidious followed the Lambert family as they moved from one house to another in an attempt to escape a haunting, but it pretty much stayed on a linear timeline. Two years later, Insidious: Chapter 2 appeared to do the same: it picked up immediately after the original, with psychic medium Elise (Lin Shaye) having been murdered by the possessed patriarch, Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson).
But rather than just repeat what had worked before, Insidious: Chapter 2 went even, well, further into The Further, the ghostly realm where the evil specters originated from to terrorize the unsuspecting family. It revealed that time works differently in The Further, allowing characters to interact with their younger selves, and even retroactively revealing the source of some of the hauntings from the first movie.
As a promotional item for the sequel, a version of the iconic lanterns that characters used to see in the darkness of The Further were created. Like most promotional items, they were only available to a select few, but they have been known to appear on eBay with some frequency.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
The timeline of the Paranormal Activity series has always been a little crazy (Parts 2 and 3 were mostly prequels, and an actual full sequel didn’t occur until Part 4), but a time travel element wasn’t actually implemented until the fifth entry, the spin-off film Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. Initially appearing to be unrelated to the previous films, the found footage follows teenager Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and two of his friends as strange happenings begin to occur in their apartment building.
It is ultimately revealed that Jesse has gotten involved with the same coven of witches first seen in Paranormal Activity 3, but that’s not the movie’s final twist: at the climax, Jesse’s best friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) attempts to escape the possessed Jesse by running through a strange-looking door – and ends up back in time, several years earlier, in no other than the home of Katie and Micah from the first Paranormal Activity.
These amazing merchandise packages were available as contest prizes, and were also sent to lucky members of the press when The Marked Ones was released to home media around Easter Sunday. The first five movies were included, as well as a crucifix, bottle of holy water, trading cards, and an easter egg marked with the symbol of the coven – a nice callback to the scene in which Jesse’s grandmother uses an egg in a ritual in an attempt to ward off the demon possessing him. An alternate version features the movie’s logo instead of the coven symbol.
Army of Darkness
In the concluding entry of Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead trilogy, beleaguered hero Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) finds himself having escaped from the blood-soaked cabin – and flung straight back to the Middle Ages by the time portal opened up at the end of Evil Dead II. Forced once again to battle the evil Deadites, with the added struggle of getting back to present day, Army of Darkness used the time-travel element to take the insanity level up another notch, just as the second entry did with a heavy injection of humor.
Released to theaters in February of 1993 to generally positive reviews from fans and critics alike, Army of Darkness just barely made back it’s budget. Despite this, it performed well on home video and quickly garnered the same cult following that loved the first two movies. Perhaps one contributor to it’s success on home video are these Army of Darkness-branded backpacks and thoroughly 90s fanny packs, distributed to video stores to promote the release. Versions have been spotted in red and black, giving collectors multiple options to hunt down!
Do you have any of these items, other time-related collectibles, or any other horror promo items you think would fit into the crypt? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit, and your collection could be featured in a future version of The Collector’s Crypt!