Bloopers that'll change the way you see these horror movies

You can't make a great horror movie without also making a few mistakes. The final girl bursts out laughing during her big escape scene; the blood-spewing machine malfunctions and saturates the entire set; the flesh-eating swamp monster trips over his own tentacles and falls down a flight of stairs. But sometimes, the accidents that happen while the cameras are rolling are too good to leave out. Here are a few of the best horror movie bloopers that made the final cut.

The Cabin in the Woods

Joss Whedon's 2012 entry into the horror genre was typically tongue-in-cheek, filled with intentional, hilarious subversions of various scary movie tropes—including the epic finale, in which a veritable encyclopedia of monsters escape from their cells and annihilate the technicians who've been holding them captive. But while the carnage of that last act was planned, one of its best scenes was the beneficiary of a happy (and, uh, messy) little accident, when the members of the effects crew decided to use their entire remaining supply of fake blood on actor Bradley Whitford's death-by-merman.

For those in need of a refresher, the merman emerges at the tail end of the finale to chow down on the face of poor Steve Hadley (Whitford). It's a bit of poetic justice for Steve, whose greatest unfulfilled wish was to see the merman in action—but its coup de graces comes when Steve's blood sprays rudely out of the creature's blowhole in a sort of aquatic belch.

The effect is hilarious; it's just not what the filmmakers originally planned. With only the one scene to shoot and a huge supply of fake blood being pumped through the creature's head, the merman blew like Old Faithful—and kept on blowing, until the blood ran out and the geyser-like effect was replaced by a farty red mist. Effects master David LeRoy Anderson of AFX later said, "I love the wide shot in the behind-the-scenes video where the blood keeps going and going, because it reminds me of that night, which was just hysterical. I kept thinking, 'How are they going to use this? He's sitting there flapping like a fish, and it looks like a hose spraying blood everywhere!' But the way they cut it together was perfect."

Scream

In 1996, Wes Craven's sendup of the slasher genre heralded the dawn of a new wave of smart, sleek, self-aware horror films. The special effects, however, were the same tried-and-true practical techniques directors have relied on for years, including the use of corn syrup to simulate blood. And in a movie where it seemed like someone was stabbed to death every other minute, things were extremely sloppy and sticky on set by the time the film reached its thrilling climax. This led to a hilarious unplanned exchange, when Skeet Ulrich lost control of the blood-covered phone and winged it right at Matthew Lillard's head. Lillard reacted with genuine indignation, shouting, "You hit me with the phone, d**k!"

Ordinarily, an outburst like that might have led to a shout of "Cut!" and a request to do the scene again. But according to the Scream DVD commentary, since Lillard was supposed to be playing the doofy sidekick to Ulrich's cold-blooded psychopath, his reaction wasn't even remotely out of character. Craven went ahead and kept it. As it turned out, it was a wise move; not only did the line make the final cut, it's one of the funniest moments in the movie.

Scream 3

Scream 3 was also improved by an on-camera mistake. The exciting conclusion to Wes Craven's Scream trilogy is full of scripted suspense, but one of its most action-packed fight scenes has a big blooper right in the middle. According to an encyclopedic collection of Scream 3 trivia, the confrontation between heroine Sidney (Neve Campbell) and killer Roman (Scott Foley) includes an actual, genuine stabbing, in the moment where Sidney leaps over a bar and nails Roman in the back with an ice pick. Foley was wearing a protective pad for the scene, but Campbell missed her mark and plunged the pick into Foley's actual flesh. No wonder his scream of surprise and pain seems so genuine!

The Descent (2005)

The Descent is a pretty terrifying movie in which a bunch of young female cave explorers are stalked and killed while doing what they love best: exploring caves. To make a long story short, they're trapped in a horrendous (and horrendously dark) cave system—and if that's not bad enough, light-eschewing monsters want to eat their delicious flesh. That's why it's so funny on the blooper reel when one of the victims, face all deformed from unspeakable things, gives a big ol' kiss and a declaration of love to one of the not-yet claimed humans.

Scream (1996)

A meta, self-referential, horror-movie-skewering satire that's still a great horror movie on its own, Scream reinvented the genre for in-the-know '90s audiences. Full of references to other movies and calling out genre tropes as they happen, Scream packs in a lot of Easter eggs, such as a cameo by Wes Craven—director of both Scream and the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. It's already funny and clever that Craven plays a high school janitor dressed like Elm Street's homicidal janitor Freddy Krueger. This outtake is even funnier: Craven, mop in hand, displays a gift for comic pratfalls on par with Dick Van Dyke or Chris Farley.

House of Wax (2005)

The mid-2000s brought about a horror revival of sorts, with films often featuring attractive young people recognizable from TV being brutally killed. Take the remake of the '50s horror classic House of Wax, which starred WB heartthrobs such as Chad Michael Murray from One Tree Hill, Jared Padalcki from Gilmore Girls…and socialite, reality star, and night vision camera owner Paris Hilton. To her credit, the often dispassionate Hilton gives everything she's got to her performance as a scream queen, shrieking bloody murder as the script requires. It's not nearly as annoying as the car alarm that goes off unexpectedly in the middle of a scene shot in the woods. (You'd think some P.A. would've disabled it before film started rolling, but so such luck.)

Scream 4 (2011)

Acting can be magical when a director gets a perfect, believable reaction from a performer—like one of abject terror in a horror movie, for example. Or, you can just pull a prank on an actor on a set of a horror movie and scare him for real. On the set of Scream 4, Erik Knudsen was apparently supposed to open a door and find nothing there. Instead of nothing, however, there was something—the terrifying and familiar Ghostface Killer of the Scream franchise. (At least Knudsen was a good sport about it.)

Halloween (2007)

Fine, upstanding British actor Malcolm McDowell is always an imposing presence who dominates every scene he's in, whether he's playing the hero, an antihero, or a villain. In Rob Zombie's 2007 version of Halloween, he plays Dr. Samuel Loomis, the former psychiatrist of crazed murderer Michael Myers (Tyler Mane). Myers eventually comes for Dr. Loomis, of course, and he cowers in fear in a darkened house. McDowell seems genuinely startled when Mane breaks in through a door behind him…only to immediately launch into a comical, profanity-laden tirade. "You must be f***ing joking!" McDowell screams. "Use the front f****** door, the bell's working!"

Halloween (2007) again

That Halloween reboot must have been a pretty lively set to work on, because its blooper reel offers up another goofy outtake. What's so funny about being stabbed? As far as actor Ken Foree is concerned, everything. While Michael Myers repeatedly stabs him with a prop knife and fake blood audibly oozes everywhere, Foree gets a case of the giggles that simply can't be killed with conventional imitation weapons.

Jennifer's Body (2009)

Jennifer's Body offered character relationships a bit more complex than those in the average horror movie. That's to be expected when the film is written by Oscar-winner Diablo Cody. Over the course of the film, nerdy Anita (Amanda Seyfried) comes to both love and hate her best friend, popular cheerleader-turned murderous succubus Jennifer (Megan Fox). Those mixed feelings physically manifest in a scene in which Seyfried screams accusatory things at Fox's character…and then kisses her. Or at least she tries to kiss her, as Fox is apparently so deep into her monstrous character that she takes a bite out of her costar.

The Witch (2016)

The Witch is one of the most truly haunting horror movies in years, in part due to its atmospheric setting in 17th century Massachusetts and supposition that the witches of the Salem Witch Trial era just might have been real. There's tons of weird stuff in The Witch, from dark woods to kidnapping to naked people drinking blood to a goat named Black Phillip that a pair of twins says talks to them. Not so scary, though? Horses. Particularly horses needing to go about their horse bodily functions with no regard for the very expensive film production happening right in front of them.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Anthony Hopkins deservedly won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, one of only a handful of horror movies to ever take home major Oscars. Hopkins is one the best actors in the world, and as such, is quite versatile—he played an American president in Nixon, and a repressed English butler in The Remains of the Day. He even played Rocky Balboa once. Really, he did—while his face and shirt were covered in blood during a twisted and hilarious outtake on the set of The Silence of the Lambs, that is.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Zombie-driven horror comedy Shaun of the Dead made a movie star out of Simon Pegg—and reunited the actor with his collaborators from the cult British sitcom Spaced, including director Edgar Wright and costar Nick Frost. They're all good friends and seem to share the same comedy hive mind, which means Pegg and Frost frequently ad-libbed and goofed off on the set of Shaun of the Dead, ruining takes but cracking up each other and anybody else in the vicinity. For example, there's this scene, in which Pegg's slacker character behaves in front of a mob of zombies the way a lot of people probably would: by profanely asking them to move along.