You are far from alone if the movies we are about to talk about have led to some sleepless nights. I mean hell, Freddy Kruger haunts you in your dreams, it’s like they’re trying to make you stay up all night! But rest easy friend, because we aren’t here to scare you back to your childhood by making you remember all your old demons. Instead, we are here to shine some light on the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes when creating a horror movie.
We have behind the scenes photos that in many cases, not only adds a humorous twist to some of your favorite classics but may even allow you to watch them without getting completely terrified (but no promises!).
Whether it is a more contemporary film like Hostel 2, The Conjuring, or some old classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and even a photo featuring a very young Leonardo DiCaprio in his first ever role.
There isn’t a horror fan out there that won’t love looking at the photos we have compiled below, so feel free to share the list on social media.
15. Nightmare On Elm Street
There are plenty of horror movies out there that are going to end and you’re going to be worried about falling asleep at night because it was just that terrifying. Now imagine if the thing you feared the most, came after you in your dreams? It’s the concept behind the Nightmare on Elm Street series which is now over 30 years old.
“I don’t think its Freddy. Freddy’s a logo, a logo for the experience… But it’s the hook of the violation of the most personal and private thing that you have which is your fantasies and your dreams, and that someone can get in their and monkey with your fears, and secrets, and desires, and fantasies, and twist them all around on you.”
The above photo may have done wonders at quelling some of your nightmares that a man was going to come running after you with a knife. Heck, just make sure you have some Dr. Pepper on you and you’re probably going to be good to go!
You may also find it interesting to note that there were actually 3 separate actors who played the role of the masked Michael Myers in the original Halloween. One of them, Tony Moran, has spoken out about why Myers became such an iconic character
“The mask, for one. It’s such an unusual type of mask. Two, how John Carpenter incorporated such fear and suspense without a lot of blood. And I think the music is huge. The music just made that movie,”
It may just be a coincidence, but it’s fun to note that Tim Curry is smoking in both of the above photos. Which also means that if you want to see an extra pissed off angry clown? Make sure he doesn’t have access to his cigarettes and cigars! The infamous miniseries It came out in 1990 and was based on the book written by Stephen King.
If you had a fear of clowns growing up, this movie definitely either played a role in that or was your worst nightmare! The movie is being remade and is scheduled to come out in 2017. It will star Bill Skarsgard in the role of Pennywise who previously may be best known for his role in Hemlock Grove. While we aren’t sure if he’s going to cause as many nightmares as Tim Curry, you better believe he’s going to try!
12. Hostel 2
Eli Roth is really clear about what it is he likes to see in a horror movie,
“When I go see an R-rated horror movie, I want lots of violence. I want nudity. I want sex and violence mixed together. What’s wrong with that? Am I the only one? I don’t think so,” which is why you shouldn’t be shocked that the photo from behind the scenes features not only a topless (…I mean tortured, but topless) girl as he stares on intently while covered in blood!
In case you can’t recognize it (because it somehow wasn’t burned into your memory) the above photo is taken from Hostel 2.
And while Roth is an incredibly talented director, his work still is not immune from critics including many who call his work “torture porn”. Roth opened up on his feelings about this in a past interview, saying,
“When I see a critic refer to Hostel as torture porn it feels like in the 1950s parents going, ‘I don’t want you to listen to that rock and roll. It’s dangerous!’ It makes me laugh. It makes me feel like they’re out of touch,” in the same interview Roth also said, “I’d love to see us get to a point where you can make a movie and not worry about the limits of the violence. Then I think they’d get so violent that people would get bored of it.”
11. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was released in 1974 and was so terrifying that it was literally banned in several countries and many theaters in countries where it was playing, agreed to stop playing it after numerous complaints. Perhaps we could have just shown this photo and people would have been reminded that it really is all just the movie?
Director Tobe Hooper was able to put the movie together for under $300,000 and the woman you see in the photo is Marilyn Burns who was the main protagonist. Needless to say, there were definitely shots of the movie in which she was covered with a heck of a lot more blood than in the above shot!
10. Child’s Play (1988)
Throughout this list, there won’t be any shortage of things that we talk about that are terrifying, so why not add dolls? You can thank Kevin Yagher for helping bring the creation to life as he was the main special effects technician on the film. We suppose that’s also why he looks pretty proud as he holds his charred creation in his hands.
Child’s Play was able to attract a nice following, earning $44 million on a budget of $9 million. Perhaps even more impressively, the franchise as a whole (which consists of 6 films) has earned over $250 million. You can argue none of this could have happened if not for such a talented man in charge of special effects.
Yagher has lent his talents to some of the most iconic movies in the horror genre, including several of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies and broke into the industry by working on Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
9. SAW 2
I’ll be honest, seeing this one instantly made me sigh with relief. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I thought they actually threw someone in a pit of needles for SAW 2, but I’d be lying if it wasn’t one of the more horrific moments that the series threw at us.
The original plan for the “trap” would have also included Amanda (the character) getting thrown in an even BIGGER pit with significantly more needles until she was up to her neck with the illusion being that she was swimming through the needles.
No, thank you!
Actress Shawnee Smith who played Amanda opened up about that day in a past interview, saying,
“That was an incredibly industrious undertaking. I think there was like 100,000 needles. And there were poor, abused people in a room snapping off the real needle and then inserting the [prop needle].”
8. Silence Of The Lambs
God, maybe Hannibal Lector wouldn’t have been so hungry all the time if he had somebody nearby feeding him some food? Just make sure that he has food that agrees with his stomach or you’re going to be racing to untie him from those restraints in a real hurry! In the above photo, we see director Jonathan Demme having some fun alongside Anthony Hopkins who went on to win an Academy Award for his performance in the movie.
While Hopkins has reprised the role in 3 other films (one direct sequel, and two others), this was the only movie of the series that Jonathan Demme was associated with. When you also consider Silence of the Lambs took home awards for Best Picture, Best Actress, Adapted Screenplay and Director, that they made a huge mistake of not making sure Demme remained closely with the series.
It was reported that Demme was requesting between $5-19 million for the sequel, whereas both Hopkins and Jodie Foster wanted $15 million.
7. The Shining
You know, when you see the twins from The Shining just chilling with such huge smiles on their face, it really makes all the nightmares that they caused seem silly. Lisa and Louise Burns are the two twin girls who iconically stepped into the role as the Grady daughters.
“Oh my God, we loved it. Every day felt like we’d been invited to a very exclusive party and we were the youngest, luckiest people to be there. Stanley wanted us on set every single day, so between scenes, we would play with Danny and Jack”, said the girls when they were later interviewed about their experiences working on the film.
It’s not all positives though, as they also admitted that they were rejected from some acting schools because of their role in the movie. Call us crazy, but these are two twins whose bad side I wouldn’t want to get on!
It’s one thing to make an absolutely terrifying movie about something like ghosts which at the end of the day, you can probably convince yourself that you aren’t going to get possessed anytime soon. But when Jaws came out in 1974 it showed the world that hey, maybe you should be super afraid of sharks too! Plus, who can forget the ominous music created by John Williams?
While the movie may have made you want to stay 100 feet away (at least!) from the nearest body of water, you may find it pretty humorous to see Steven Spielberg just chilling out in the mouth of the shark above.
5. Friday The 13th Part III
One of the most iconic horror franchises of all-time is the Friday the 13th series that seems to often feature a pissed off and hard to kill Jason Voorhees (or his mom) and some very frightened teenagers. However, in the above photo, you’re probably going to find yourself a lot less intimidated. After all, at least he already has a hatchet in his head? Though I still wouldn’t want to be messing with him!
The photo is presumably taken behind the scenes of the 3rd movie in the franchise that ends with Voorhees receiving the hatchet to the head. You have to give credit to the actor Richard Brooker to still be so interested in that edition of Time magazine that he didn’t want to put it down, even with the hatchet sticking out!
4. Dawn Of The Dead
It’s extra fun when we get to find photos online of people fully done up in prosthetics, just chilling out. After all, there were a ton of zombies required for Dawn of the Dead so you can imagine it was probably a pretty bloody set. You just also need to hope that nobody is going to slip on that giant puddle of blood!
Extra points for the person on the right standing over them but still having enough of an appetite to enjoy half of a donut. Dawn of the Dead is one of the most successful films to come from director George A. Romero and went on to earn over $55 million, despite only costing $1.5 million to make.
3. Evil Dead
When you watch the original Evil Dead movie which came out in 1981, it is very evident that the film was low-budget. In fact, the entire movie was made with roughly $350,000. The movie found itself a cult following though and the sequel boosted the film’s budget up to $3.6 million.
But that is peanuts compared to the $11 million that they got to play around with when they came together for the 3rd (and at the time, final) Evil Dead movie, titled Army Of Darkness which came out in 1992.
Now we aren’t saying #3 is a technological masterpiece, but it did continue the trend of utilizing some cool CGI and the above photos definitely show the lead actor Bruce Campbell enjoyed getting nice and familiar with it.
2. Critters 3
Are you ever curious as to how some of the big actors in Hollywood made their break? For Leonardo DiCaprio, he was roughly 14 years old when he got cast in his first ever movie, the horror “classic” (we use this term very lightly here) Critters 3. But if we’re being honest, it could be the worst movie in the world and if it means we get to have those hilarious photos of DiCaprio then you better believe we’re going to be in favor of it making our list!
It was reportedly Robert De Niro who saw DiCaprio in the movie and realized he had some potential, leading him to be cast in This Boy’s Life.
When talking about the latter movie, DiCaprio said “I have the most unbelievably fond memories of that movie. Whenever it comes on cable or anything, it gives me that little bump in the throat. I get a little bit emotional when I see it, because I was so excited and happy to be there. Just being there as a kid, working with Robert De Niro and being the star of a film, it was like winning the lottery.”
1. The Conjuring
James Wan is one of the most talented directors in the world of horror. Not only did he help kickstart the Saw series by directing and working on the screenplay for the original, but he also has hit a homerun with his Insidious and Conjuring horror franchises.
The above photo is from the set of the first Conjuring and while that box was most definitely an object of fear, you may find it fun to see James Wan stare in at it with such a level of intensity.
Don’t worry James, you won’t see anything in there that’ll scare the pants off of you, and if you did, it just means it would be another idea for you to put into one of your movies!