Horror movies have this ability to leave us shaken, disturbed and sometimes petrified of our own shadow. There are some classic horrors that even in adulthood can make shivers run down your spine. Every scene is timed to perfection so the director can achieve the loudest screams and the biggest jumps from the audience. Our scared reaction is their satisfaction and they will try every cruel trick in the book to get it.
Film shoots can last ten to twelve hours each day. These are often grueling, hot and demanding hours so it’s no surprise that these horror actors need to let their axe down once in a while. There is always someone present on set with a camera and can capture some moments that can really shatter the illusion of terror behind the scenes.
Sneaking a peek at these poignant moments means that we can finally breathe again and be reminded that it’s only a movie. Wait, these guys aren’t so scary at all – we were duped all along! Pulling back the curtain and finding such candid moments of the masters at work in these incredible ten photos from behind-the-scenes will be sure to put a smile (instead of a scream) on your face.
10. Jaws (1975)
Declared as the “greatest horror story” of all time, Jaws celebrated it’s 40th birthday this year and still remains the reason why many people don’t like to dip their toes in the sea. The most memorable line in the movie came from actor Roy Scheider, who ad-libbed the killer line: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”.
Steven Spielberg can be seen above sitting in the giant mouth of the shark. He named the huge mechanical beast “Bruce” after his own lawyer. When Bruce was first built it had never been tested in water before; the crew took it down to Martha’s Vineyard for it’s first attempt and it sank straight to the ocean floor. It took a whole team of divers to finally retrieve it for the movie.
9. Scream (1996)
Scream was based on real-life serial killer Danny Rolling who was also known as “The Gainesville Ripper”. In 1990, Rolling went on a killing spree in Florida and murdered five students. He would mutilate the bodies of his victims and even decapitated one. The movie placed so much fear in people’s hearts that the use of caller ID on house-phones had tripled since the movie was released.
Drew Barrymore took on the role of Casey for the movie as she is hunted indoors by the killer. To keep her in a state of panic and crying on set, director Wes Craven would constantly tell her stories about severe animal cruelty. Barrymore is a huge animal lover so the technique worked as she was in hysterics by the time shooting wrapped.
8. The Shining (1980)
The Shining is a terrifying tale of a young family who spend the winter season alone in a hotel. The father turns to violence, the mother has to flee from her own axe-wielding husband and their son won’t quit with the horrific premonitions. The props department created over 60 doors for the infamous “Here’s Johnny!” scene where Jack’s character breaks through the bathroom door.
The main actors, Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, both said it was the hardest movie they have ever acted in – mentally and physically. Duvall herself suffered from hair loss and nervous exhaustion on set.
7. Halloween (1978)
Halloween is a movie set in the late sixties where police discover Judith Myers had been stabbed to death by her 6-year-old brother, Michael. He was then institutionalized for fifteen years but on the night before Halloween he breaks out and all hell breaks loose. This is Myers above taking a break with a can of Dr.Pepper – not so scary at all, right?
The mask itself, which still today places fear in the hearts of many, had cost the props department just $2. They had run out of money so they bought a cheap William Shatner mask, took off the hair, cut the eyes and sprayed it white. The movie cost $300,000 to produce and went on to make over $45 million at the box office. Halloween is recognized even today as one of the most successful independent films of all time.
6. IT (1990)
Pennywise the Clown was best known for his petrifying appearance in IT, the movie was adapted from a novel by Stephen King. Actor Tim Curry, who took on the lead role, did such a good job of capturing how creepy the character was, that the cast and crew began to avoid him on set in between takes. Which probably explains why he is taking a break all on his lonesome in the above candid photograph.
Alice Cooper was originally cast for the role after Curry refused to take on the project due to the amount of hours he would have to spend in make-up everyday. Curry then changed his mind at the last minute and we couldn’t imagine anyone else delivering such a chilling performance.
5. Alien (1986)
We are sorry to spoil this for you but in Ridley Scott‘s sci-fi classic, Alien, the actual Alien is a guy in a rubber suit. Scott did not want this to come across on camera as it would have ruined the whole movie, so you never get to see the terrifying creature in its entirety. That was until this picture was released of a very hot and possibly exhausted alien taking a break.
The slime that drips off the alien was in fact K-Y jelly and when he opens his mouth, the tendons inside were actually shredded condoms. The original budget for production was $4.2 million but this was then doubled by the producers after they first viewed the storyboards and knew they were onto a winner. The movie went on to make over $100 million at the box office.
4. Child’s Play (1988)
Chucky was the doll who became a much-feared household name when he appeared in Child’s Play. His full name is Charles Lee Ray, named after killers Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray. The use of a doll as the main character in a horror movie lead to many angry protests from parents. Many believed Chucky would encourage children to become violent.
There was an incident in Manchester where a gang had kidnapped and murdered a 16-year-old girl. She was forced to listen to recordings of the gang leader shouting, “I’m Chucky, wanna play?” Despite this evidence, director Tom Holland stated that audience members can only be influenced by horror movies if they were unbalanced to begin with.
3. Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
Anthony Hopkins will always be remembered for his role as the spine-chillingly disturbed Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. His performance was only 24 minutes long throughout the entire film but still managed to bag him an Academy Award for Best Actor In A Leading Role. This candid photo of him being fed fries between takes really makes you look twice at the man behind the mask.
Jodie Foster, who took on the role of Clarice Starling, was advised by a female detective and how she would respond to situations. The scene where Starling cries by her car was shot after a suggestion from the detective who said the stress of all the brutal killings you see can just become unbearable. Crying it out for a few minutes was apparently her preferred stress-buster.
2. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street took only 30 days to shoot. Freddy Kruger – despite not looking too scary above as women cuddle him – became one of the most feared on-screen characters of all time, after only 7 minutes of screen time. The production budget was $1.8 million and this was made back on it’s opening box-office weekend alone.
This was also Johnny Depp‘s first movie when he was just twenty-years-old. He accompanied a friend along to an audition for the role but he was given the part instead. One of the reasons he was chosen was because director Wes Craven said his daughter found him “beautiful”.
1. The Exorcist (1973)
In 1973, when The Exorcist was first screened in movie theaters, there were so many people horrified by what they saw on the screen that they were known to faint. Even today it remains at the top of everyone’s list when they discuss the scariest horror movie of all time. If you adjust figures for inflation this is actually Warner Brothers’ highest grossing film of all time.
Linda Blair was only twelve-years-old when she took on this head-tuner of a role. In one scene, she had to projectile vomit over Father Karras when he is trying to perform the exorcism. Originally the scene was supposed to see her character vomit on his chest but the tubing which pumped the vomit became loose and it hit him directly in the face. This was the only take needed as director, William Friedkin, enjoyed the actor’s genuine reaction of horror when the vomit hit his face.