Ah, the Sounds of Screams. To many a horror fan, the sounds of a hapless victim screaming onscreen and a terrified audience screaming back in the audience are both thrilling and comforting. In the spirit of this month’s theme, we dove into the Collector’s Crypt and came back with some of our noisiest, but coolest, items yet! From creepy vintage radios to cursed music boxes, this edition is sure to make your heart sing – and scream!
Sounding Off With Sinister 2
Sinister, the directed and co-written by Scott Derrickson, became a creepy hit when it was released in October of 2012. Telling the story of a struggling true crime author (Ethan Hawke) who moves his family into the scene of the crime that his next book is based on and encounters way more than he bargained for in the form of a sinister (pun intended) entity known as Bughuul. Making his presence known by way of Super 8 snuff films, Bughuul sets his sights on the children of the family, and it’s probably already too late to move out!
Three years later, Bughuul returned to claim another set of young souls in Sinister 2, this time targeting a single mother (Shannyn Sossamon) who moves with her two twin boys into an abandoned farmhouse that, once again, was the site of a grisly murder. By now, Bughuul’s modus operandi of orchestrating the violent murders of entire families and filming them was well known to audiences, so the promotional campaign capitalized on that with some really cool goodies.
On social media, contests were held and fans could win Sinister 2 prize packs that included an awesome fully-functioning vintage-style radio, along with a T-shirt, color-changing mug, Super 8 camera keychain, and a Blu-ray copy of the first film. One of the jump scares in the sequel features an old radio, making this a must-have for Sinister fans.
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In addition to the giveaways, some lucky members of the press received Sinister 2 gift boxes, complete with Bughuul’s creepy visage painted on top in blood red. Inside, they found a stuffed rat and a film reel canister containing one Bughuul’s home videos on a USB flash drive. These were distributed in very limited numbers, but they can occasionally be found on eBay.
Wish Upon This Music Box… But Beware!
A variation on the classic tale The Monkey’s Paw, about a cursed item that has the power to grant wishes that come with a great price, 2017’s Wish Upon starred Joey King as a high school student who comes into possession of an antique music box. When she interprets the inscriptions on top to mean the box will grant her seven wishes, she absentmindedly makes a wish about her school bully. Soon enough, she will come to realize the box really does grant wishes, but each comes with a grisly drawback, each more disturbing than the last.
Wish Upon was heavily promoted on social media, and the advertising campaign included some awesome merchandise to get fans excited for the movie. Sweepstakes were held for fans to win prize packs that included Wish Upon-branded nail polish, a flashlight keychain, a selfie light, and most importantly, a set of Beats by Dre and Bluetooth-capable replica of the cursed music box that works as a wireless speaker. While you may think twice before making a wish with it in your presence, this would make a great collectible for any horror fan. They were never made available for sale to the public, so your best bet for finding one is to stalk eBay.
Sing in the Shower with Psycho III
Three years after Psycho II, and a whopping twenty-six years after the original Psycho, viewers once again checked into the Bates Motel in 1986 when Psycho III was released to theaters. Starring Anthony Perkins again as the troubled Norman Bates, the second sequel picked up shortly after the events of the following film, with Norman once again running the Bates Motel, and a string of murders once again occurring on and around the property.
Psycho III was the final film in the original series to receive a theatrical release, and it received an appropriately large promotional campaign with an assortment of complementary goodies courtesy of Bates Motel. Keychains adorned with the Psycho III logo welcomed guests back to the hotel, and Bates Motel-branded shower caps were given away to promote the movie as well.
The coolest item, however, and the reason for the movie’s inclusion in this edition of the Crypt, is the official Psycho III shower radio. A standard AM/FM shower radio made awesome by the inclusion of the Psycho III logo, these collectibles are prized by both Hitchcock fans and radio collectors. They can occasionally be found for sale online, but be warned – you may not hear anyone sneaking up on your shower if you sing too loud!
Bonus: Talking Keychains!
Keychains are common promotional item, cheap to produce in large quantities and available in virtually any shape to relate to the movie you’re promoting. Sometimes, they even add sounds, like these cool talking keychains we dug out of the depths of the Crypt for this month’s theme. Saw III received a talking keychain that recites Jigsaw’s signature quote, “I want to play a game.” And for the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, a keychain loaded with Freddy Krueger’s signature nursery rhyme was released.
That’s it for this edition of the Collector’s Crypt! Be sure to share your collectible horror items with us on Twitter, Reddit, or in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook, and tune in next month for another edition of the Collector’s Crypt. And meanwhile, have a Happy (and safe) Halloween!