Hollywood is a massive industry that pumps out new expensive movies constantly. Movies can be time-consuming, hard to shoot, and overall extremely stressful projects. Writers, directors, actors, and even producers put their heart and soul into the movies they make in order to create a project with meaning that will last in history. It’s a wonder then, that anyone would ever want to take a scene they shot and edited and just completely cut it from the movie.
When creating and shooting a movie, a lot can happen. You can change the meaning of the movie, or something just might not work the way you wanted it to. Having one short scene can really change the way a movie is perceived and remembered. Depending on how graphic the scene is as well, it could mean the difference between a PG and an R-rated movie. If you make your movie R-rated, there’s a whole audience that you’re missing out on, which can mean a lot of money. In some cases, entire actor’s performances can be cut out of the movie as well.
Regardless of the reason, plenty of scenes might end up getting cut out of movies every time they’re made. Luckily, most of these scenes can be seen on the DVD releases under special features. Some companies are even kind enough to release their deleted scenes online. That’s given us the ability to craft this list of 15 deleted scenes from horror movies you never had the chance to see:
15 Army Of Darkness, 1992
The Evil Dead is one of the most important horror movies ever made as well as a Halloween essential. Army of Darkness was the third installment of The Evil Dead trilogy, and for some, a fan favorite. If you hadn’t seen any of The Evil Dead movies and decided to start with Army of Darkness, you might be pretty confused since the movie doesn’t even take place in the present time. In order to help clear up any confusion new viewers might have had, the original opening of Army of Darkness included a scene that involved the movie's star, Ash, recapping the last two movies in order to fill in the viewers on what they had missed. However, at the point the movie came out, not many people were probably going to see Army of Darkness who hadn’t already seen the first two movies. Instead, we got a rushed recap, but either way for diehard fans, both openings would’ve suited our fancies. You can see the original version above, as well as a few other small deleted scenes.
14 A Nightmare On Elm Street, 1984
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror movie that became a franchise with the ability to ingrain itself in our pop culture, still to this day. The most famous scene, in which Nancy’s mother reveals that Freddy Kruger was an evil child killer that the parents burned alive, actually goes on a bit further to tell more information. Nancy’s mother reveals that not only did Freddy Kruger murder a bunch of innocent children, but those innocent children happened to be the siblings of Nancy and her friends! This adds quite a bit of tragedy to the story. Not only did these parents have to deal with the first deaths of their kids, but now they have to deal with the second siblings being murdered as well. The reveal of the deleted scene also shows even more motive for Nancy to put Freddy to sleep for good.
13 Poltergeist, 1982
Poltergeist is a movie that really made us change the way we think about haunted houses as well as condominium developments. The movie is full of uniquely terrifying scenes that have been replicated and idolized since the release. One of these scenes includes Diane getting dragged around her bedroom from the floor to the ceiling and back and forth. It’s a pretty chilling scene on its own, but there was more behind it that was cut for good. It involved there being a stain on the ceiling of some sort of blood-like material. The stain was supposed to eventually grow, pulsate, and become a tentacle-like creature. The creature was supposed to be foreshadowing the vortex that the closet would become, but the scene was ultimately cut. This was decided due to the fact that if they had included the figure, it would have risked making the rating more than just a PG.
12 The Babadook, 2014
The Babadook is a recent horror movie that gained huge popularity due to its ability to shock and terrify viewers in a new way. Audiences were terrified of the Babadook, but they seemed more to be annoyed with the character of Samuel, the little boy. Samuel seemed to always be bothering his mom and causing her more trouble. She was already dealing with a weird creature in her house but now she had to handle all the mischief her son got into. There was one deleted scene that might have helped us sympathize with the young boy a little more. A deleted scene on the DVD release of the movie revealed Samuel outside his school waiting for his mom to pick him up. It is revealed that he’s been kicked out. But the deleted scene shows him very apologetic and sorrowful for his actions. If the scene had been included, perhaps viewers wouldn’t have been so annoyed with the boy. You can see the clip here.
11 The Devil's Rejects, 2005
Rob Zombie is known for having gruesome settings and even more disturbing scenes. His movies are full of blood, gore, and violent and dramatic deaths. It comes as a surprise, then, that he decided to cut out a death in his movie, The Devil’s Rejects. The scene takes place in the hospital that Dr. Satan is staying in. Rosario Dawson plays his sweet and innocent nurse, not afraid to care for the monster. The nurse and a cop flirt a little back and forth over his sleeping body in the hospital bed when the cop suddenly gets called away. Out of nowhere, Dr. Satan reaches up and grabs Dawson’s throat. Several other cops rush in but aren’t able to pull him off before he has the chance to rip out her vocal chords. Dawson’s death is disgusting and dramatic, but for some reason, Rob Zombie decided he didn’t want to include it in the movie!
10 Paranormal Activity, 2007
Paranormal Activity helped revive the trend of making low-budget “found footage” movies. When you’re creating a movie that’s fairly simple to shoot and edit, there’s no doubt there’s going to be a ton of extra footage to work with. It’s not surprising then, to find out that the DVD release of Paranormal Activity actually came with multiple alternate endings. The ending we know consisted of the main character becoming possessed, throwing her boyfriend, and then looking at the camera. The biggest alternate ending, that arguably should’ve been used in the theatrical version, was much different. In the alternate ending, Katy still becomes possessed, but instead of just throwing her lover, she actually stabs him! She then has a showdown with the police and is ultimately shot down. It’s not quite apparent why the director chose to not use this ending, but we’re still glad it’s available to see, as it’s definitely the best.
9 The Sixth Sense, 1999
The Sixth Sense is definitely known for having one of the best twists in horror movie history. In order to pull that off, you have to have some pretty meticulously crafted scenes that won’t reveal the big twist while also maintaining an interesting and scary tone. One scene that was filmed but cut was taken out due to the fact that M. Night Shyamalan was worried that it would reveal too much. The scene consisted of the little boy, Cole, playing with toy soldiers while Bruce Willis’s character talks to him about the soldiers. Two of them are lying down and covered by a piece of red cloth. When Willis asks what happened to the two, Cole reveals that they were killed and gives very descriptive backstories into their lives. He becomes visibly upset about the situation, giving Bruce Willis a sign early on that there’s something extra special about this little boy.
8 The Ring, 2002
The Ring was a movie that changed the way we see random VHS tapes. The movie's plot revolves around a VHS tape that kills anyone who watches it, unless you make a copy of it, that is. After the movie was released, it was revealed that one actor was cut entirely from the movie. Chris Cooper played the role of a convicted child rapist and murderer who enlists the help of journalist Naomi Watts to clear his name and let everyone know that he had “found God.” She then goes on instead to give Chris Cooper the tape, resulting in his death. In an interview, Chris Cooper revealed that the entirety of his performance was probably cut due to the fact that there wasn’t enough of it. There were only two scenes, so the storyline was more of a distraction rather than adding something more to the movie. Unfortunately, no footage exists of this scene online.
7 The Descent, 2006
The Descent is a blood-filled movie that can be exhausting to watch. Very few movies are able to have so much gore while still chilling us to the bone. The Descent was able to do both of these things very well. Although a lot of people died along the way, The Descent can be remembered as one movie that actually has a slightly happy ending. Sarah is able to escape the terrifying world that exists below the streets. The alternate ending is much different. The version we’re used to that involves her escaping is actually not the original. The original alternate ending was shown in the U.K. first, but was later changed. The original ending shows Sarah waking up underground after only just hallucinating that she had actually been able to escape.
6 Alien, 1979
One of the greatest films of all time, let alone horror films, has to be the movie Alien. The movie itself was able to create a large franchise with multiple sequels and prequels. One of the reasons for this success has been due to the directing and editing of the overall film. The director had to decide what needs to be taken out and added in in order to craft the perfect movie. Ridley Scott made the right decision when he decided to cut a scene from the movie that showed the entire body of the actual alien in the movie. The scene was a short one, but it consisted of the Xenomorph crab walking backward. This was a good decision since we never actually get to see the entire creature in the movie. This allows the story to keep an element of surprise and lets the mystery of what the whole alien looks like live on in our imaginations.
5 The Silence Of The Lambs, 1991
The Silence of the Lambs was an incredible film that was able to earn five Oscars for various categories. The film already had a long run time, so it’s no surprise that a lot of the scenes were cut down in order to make it a bit shorter. Most of the scenes just cut down unnecessary dialogue without leaving too much out of the story. One scene that would have been especially good to include from these cut shots was the scene involving Clarisse finding Raspal’s head in the storage unit during her investigation. The original scene cuts shortly after the discovery, but in a version exclusive to the Criterion collection’s DVD release, Clarisse gets more time in the unit to investigate and handle her new discovery. Although we could have used a bit more of that part, the rest of the film was no doubt perfectly crafted. Unfortunatley, to get this extended scene, you have to buy the DVD.
4 The Exorcist, 1973
If you ask anyone what their favorite movie is, or what the scariest movie they’ve ever seen is, a lot of people would probably answer by saying The Exorcist. This is for good reason. The movie is over 40-years-old, so it’s no surprise that multiple versions exist of the critically acclaimed film. A lot of the changes that you might see from version to version are minor and usually involve cutting or adding a bit of dialogue. The biggest scene that was taken out, however, has to be a scene involving Regan doing a creepy backward spider walk. We’ve all seen the creepy scene when she does the walk down the stairs, but the shot goes on further to include Regan chasing her mother around the living room. The spider walk scene wasn’t even included in the original theatrical version, as director William Friedkin felt it didn’t look good enough. In 2000, when CGI was more popular and accessible, a different version was released that included this infamous scene. The original is still, unfortunately, unavailable for our viewing.
3 The Fly, 1986
The Fly is arguably one of David Cronenberg's best movies and one of Jeff Goldblum’s greatest performances. One of the reasons behind this amazing movie is the craftwork that went into building a tragic story alongside a gruesome tale. In order to do this, Cronenberg, unfortunately, had to cut some scenes from the film. One of these scenes was a gruesome clip that involved Jeff Goldblum’s character and a monkey-cat hybrid. The scene takes place during Goldblum’s transition into the fly and his experiments are becoming desperate. He decides to fuse together a monkey and a cat, but the results are gruesome. The creature attacks Goldblum, so he beats it with a pipe. The cut was due to the fact that audiences did not respond well after an early screening. Cronenberg quickly learned that when you create a character that harms an animal in any way, the audience loses all sympathy for that main character.
2 The Shining, 1980
The Shinning is remembered as one of the scariest movies of all time. The movie is insanely quotable and the filming of it is a lesson to anyone interested in working in the industry. When you have such an incredible movie, it’s likely to have some extra fat that has to be trimmed off to craft the perfect movie. This holds true for the actual ending of The Shining. The original version consists of a shot of frozen Jack and then smiling Jack in the picture of the ball from 1921. In between these two shots, however, exists another scene of his wife and son after they had escaped. The shot includes Danny playing a board game with a nurse and Wendy lying in a hospital bed. She gets an invitation from Stuart Ullman to come and stay in his home in L.A. This changes the ending slightly, as it tells us too much about what happened to Danny and Wendy after they escaped.
1 The Thing, 1982
The Thing, referring to the 1982 John Carpenter remake, is definitely a Halloween horror movie must. The film is so perfectly crafted and shot that it’s not surprising to find out there are a few deleted scenes. But the biggest deleted scene from the movie changes the entire story and perspective for viewers. As we know The Thing now, we know that the ending was a bit ambiguous, but from the camp burning down we can assume that the thing was destroyed and not left to terrorize any other scientists. But in a deleted alternate ending, a much different future awaits. In the cut scene, the infected dog is seen escaping the flames, assuming that he goes on to infect others with the "Thing." The cut scene allows for viewers to remain curious about the fate of the world from the Thing while the original probably helped kill any hope of a franchise full of sequels.