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Horror Movie Bloopers Better Than The Original Scene

Like all films, horror movies tend to work best when everything goes as planned — or at least, that's certainly what the producers, financiers, cast, and crew prefer. Every once in a while, however, something unplanned occurs that adds so much to the scene, it becomes better than the filmmakers ever imagined. In some cases, the unintended occurrence is embraced by the director and incorporated into the final cut of the film, as it is recognized as superior to the original scene. Many more of these bloopers are destined for the cutting room floor, though, or consigned to filling up gag reels on special edition home releases. Although these "mistakes" spin the characters, scene, or film as a whole in amazing and novel directions, they just aren't allowed to be part of the movie proper.

To celebrate these brilliant bloopers, we're taking a look at some of the greatest ones ever made in the process of filming horror movies. Each of these either made it into the final version of the film (and improved it), or were left out of the movie, to be featured only as extra, fan-centric material. Regardless, we're here to give them their due.

House of Frankenstein

Universal's monster-centric films literally pioneered the "extended universe" concept of interconnected film franchises, which has now exploded in popularity. The studio combined their creepy creations in films like House of Dracula and the comedic Abbott and Costello Meet... series of horror comedies. The 1944 film House of Frankenstein includes a veritable cavalcade of creatures, with the Wolf Man and Count Dracula joining Frankenstein's Monster in an engaging and spooky romp. The movie revolves around a larger-than-life plot that includes curses and murderers. Lon Chaney Jr.'s Wolf Man character also boasts what might just be his best makeup and best transformation in this film. 

None of these factors, however, save the film from incurring a particularly funny blooper with interesting implications. In one scene, a freshly transformed Wolf Man gazes into the mirror. He turns around to reveal ... untransformed human hands! It seems likely that the reflection of his hands was not intended to be seen, but there they are, clear as day. As this is a blooper that made it into the final film, fans are free to speculate as to its meaning. Perhaps it implies that he retains more humanity than previously thought while transformed?

Creature from the Black Lagoon

1954's Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of the greatest horror and monster films of the classic black and white era. The film follows a scientific expedition into the Amazon that stumbles upon the "Gill-man", a heretofore undiscovered amphibious humanoid who would fundamentally change our understanding of evolutionary pathways. The creature becomes infatuated with Kay, one of the members of the expedition, and alternately threatens and is threatened by the scientists and their team.

In one scene, the crew are supposedly sailing into the heart of the Amazon. This is a region said to be inhabited solely by the Gill-man and assorted tribes: It is utterly disconnected from the outside world. This isolation is central to the plot and the explanation of how this creature escaped our scientific understanding for so long. This scene, however, has an unfortunate and accidental "surprise guest" that introduces hilarious implications. 

For a brief moment, a telephone pole is visible above the tree line as the expedition's boat navigates the Amazonian waters. The pole is often obscured in matted widescreen versions of the film, but not in the original full-screen scene. This blooper suggests the Gill-man and his Amazonian neighbors have a far greater understanding of technology and connection than expected! As great as this movie is, it's a whole lot of fun to take this mistake seriously and speculate as to how the Gill-man built that telephone pole. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.

The Exorcist

The Exorcist is easily one of the most shocking horror films ever made. It has a frighteningly devilish plot, Linda Blair's strong lead performance as the young, possessed Regan, a marvelous score, and an incredible sense of realism that permeates the entire film. Part of this realism is due to director William Friedkin's commitment to authentic performances ... which meant eliciting authentic fright from his talented cast.

One example of this commitment (at his actors' expense) involves the infamous "pea soup" scene. Father Karras (Jason Miller) expresses absolute horror at the otherworldly vomit Regan spews during her terrifying demonic possession. Friedkin led the actor to expect the stream of pea soup to hit him squarely in the chest, but in fact, it was aimed intentionally at Miller's face. His performance exhibits true shock and revulsion, and has become a timeless scene in horror history.

The most shocking unplanned bit of realism, however, concerns the scene where Regan's mother (Ellen Burstyn) is pulled across the room by Pazuzu's power. The reason for her extremely believable shock? The apparatus used to pull her across said room did so much more violently than the actress agreed to — Freidkin ignored her explicit concerns for her own safety. Burstyn was unfortunately correct in her concern: She sustained a permanent injury from filming this scene. The performance is surely more realistic than intended, but at a cost no actor should have to pay.


Jaws is easily one of the most iconic, popular, and significant horror films of all time. Its performances, cinematography techniques, and tight, suspenseful plotting remain embedded in our collective subconscious, providing a plethora of memorable lines and moments. Like many popular films of the era, the film is connected to some harrowing rumors. Specifically, there are whispers that the actress who plays the titular shark's first victim (Susan Backlinie) was screaming in a fit of real terror, due to a malfunction of the device used to yank her under the water. As the rumor goes, the device broke her ribs, thus causing a reaction of real, true terror.

Rumors aside, there's no evidence that the actress actually suffered a fateful injury in the scene, fortunately. But the specific timing of the shark attack was a surprise to Backlinie, with director Steven Spielberg engineering it as such, to authentically startle the actress. As a result, her flailing and panicked reaction are an unvarnished portrait of terror in open water that is certainly more real than the actress intended — and the scene is definitely better for it.

Additionally, it should be mentioned that Roy Scheider's iconic line, "We're gonna need a bigger boat," was actually improvised by the actor. Moreover, the line was a crew in-joke related to the too-tiny boat used to support the barge loaded with production supplies.


Alien's infamous chestburster scene is perhaps the greatest jump scare in cinema history. In the scene, the Nostromo crew are enjoying a relaxed meal. Suddenly, John Hurt's Kane starts to choke, dropping onto the table. Blood splatters beneath his shirt while the crew panics. Then, suddenly, a small, extraterrestrial creature bursts through his chest and runs off, leaving the shocked crew behind.

Director Ridley Scott kept the specifics of the creature's emergence under wraps from most of the cast. John Hurt was rigged to a device loaded with pig organs, while the other actors were given no clue that the monster was going to pop out of his chest and splatter them with (totally real) guts. Thus, the cast was genuinely shocked and disgusted at the carnage of the creature's true emergence.

Of course, all of this was Scott's actual plan — but it worked even better than he'd expected. Here's where the blooper comes in. One unintended consequence of actually frightening the cast was that Veronica Cartwright (playing Lambert) actually fainted after catching a spurt of blood square in the face. This was a surprise that ended up selling the heck out of the terror of this memorable moment.

The Monster Squad

Fred Dekker's The Monster Squad is a funny 1980s horror comedy (emphasis on the comedy) that gathers a number of classic film creatures to pit against a group of kids. Despite boasting the Mummy, Frankenstein's Monster, and others, however, the most frightening of the entities assembled is clearly Count Dracula (Duncan Regehr), here portrayed as an undead vampire who wants an amulet that will allow him to conquer the world. His major opposition? A five year old girl, Phoebe Crenshaw (Ashley Bank), who ends up with the amulet in their final fight.

Their final conflict was the first time the young actress had seen the Count in full form, fangs and all. Understandably, this legitimately frightened her. A short time later, a portal opens up that sucks the monsters in. This effect used six gigantic fans that produced a tremendous wind. This created an excellent and effective look for the final film, but one that was a little much for our young protagonist. Bank was on a bench tied to a pull string, and (as chronicled in the actress' interview in Welcome to Our Nightmares), when the string was pulled a bit too forcefully, the frightened young girl felt like she was "being blown away," and started holding on to the grass for dear life. It wasn't the filmmaker's intent to frighten Bank so, but the scares contributed towards an excellent and emotional performance overall.

Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park takes place on an isolated island where cutting-edge science has resurrected long-extinct dinosaurs. Naturally, humanity is using them to populate a theme park where the dinosaurs are supposedly controlled ... until they escape and endanger everyone on the island. It's often classified as a science fiction adventure film, and by and large, it maintains a delicate balance of thrills, family-friendly moments, and solid story structure to justify that classification. That said, it's also full of frightening moments on an island where protagonists are trapped with bloodthirsty, dangerous creatures hunting them. Thus, it clearly also belongs on a list of horror films.

Spielberg has a strong command of detail, but one little mistake in an important scene clearly eluded the filmmaker. A bull is set up to feed the velociraptors, and is slowly dropped into a cage obscured by tall foliage. Cue loud sounds of eating and carnage. When the harness rises once more, it's ripped to shreds but without a spot of blood on it. It's an interesting oversight in a film with nearly flawless production design, but its existence in the film begs a ton of questions. Are the velociraptors more cultured and tidy eaters than we've been led to believe? Are they secretly vegetarian foley artists, acting like they're consuming the bull but secretly inviting it for lunch? Sure, a blooper's just a blooper, but this one invites a lot of intriguing questions that would absolutely change the film.

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project is one of the most influential horror films of recent history, sparking the popularity of "found footage" movies alongside being an excellent film in its own right. Case in point, the cast's realistic performances, combined with the film's savvy marketing, made many in the audience worry for an initial moment that the events depicted really happened. One key to this perceived reality is the length the filmmakers went to evoke real fright from the actors. The directors broke sticks and threw rocks to actually scare the oblivious performers, and also intentionally disrupted the cast's sleep and food rations to keep them on edge and feeling the "reality" of their frightening situation.

But one element that added realism was, in fact, entirely real, and not engineered by the filmmakers. The cast spent the duration of the shoot in the woods over a period of weeks, much as their characters do. The harrowing scenes in which Blair Witch's characters find themselves lost are actually real–the actors did, in fact, get lost on multiple occasions, and filmed footage that found its way into the final cut. While the film's realism is largely the product of talented actors improvising under scary conditions, their actually getting lost in the middle of the forest added a lot of fascinating tension to the film.

Blade: Trinity

The Blade series follows Blade, AKA "the Daywalker," a legendary dhampir (the product of a union between a vampire and a human) waging a constant war on vampire-kind. In Blade: Trinity, Blade finds himself framed for a series of murders in an attempt to secure the vampires' victory over him (and humanity) once and for all. They resurrect the first and most powerful vampire, Drake, as part of the same plan for vampire supremacy.

At one point, Drake holds a human baby over a rooftop edge — a threat aimed squarely at Blade's protective instincts. But in one take that didn't make the final cut, the baby refuses to stop crying. This prompts the ancient vampire (played by Dominic Purcell) to stop what he's doing and repeatedly attempt to calm the fussy child. He tries to ask the Daywalker what took him so long, before the child starts biting him and the crew cuts the take. 

It's a funny blooper unto itself, but it also begs so many, many questions about the Blade world that make it far better than the scene in the final cut of the movie. Why is the baby biting Drake? Is it something new that feeds on vampires (like the Reapers in Blade 2)? And does Drake's unwillingness in the blooper to do anything other than attempt to soothe the child mean he's softening his anti-human stance? All of these options add so much complexity to the film — and a lot of humor.

Shaun of the Dead

Edgar Wright's horror comedy Shaun of the Dead centers around two friends, Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost), who are caught unaware by the zombie apocalypse. They attempt to make their way to a local pub and wait the crisis out. As makes sense for a film heavy on comedy, there are several moments of hilarious improvisation that made it into the final cut, alongside a lot that weren't used, but made it into DVD features.

In one scene, Pete (Peter Serafinowicz) confronts Shaun about leaving the apartment door open overnight. It's a serious scene where Pete blames Ed, asks Shaun what Ed contributes, and even blames him for being a "drug dealer." In one of the film's funniest bloopers, however, things play out differently. It's the exact same scene ... except it's Pete as Paul McCartney, complaining to Shaun's John Lennon about Ringo Starr leaving the door open. 

The impressions are great (minus Simon Pegg's difficulties keeping a straight face), as are the ways the blooper inadvertently imagines a very unique and intriguing zombie apocalypse. If you aren't a zombie, does the plague, in the blooper-reality, still turn you into a Beatle? Has Paul, in a follow up to old conspiracies, died again, and come back as Pete? Are the zombies merely rabid fans, like the screaming young girls who chased the Fab Four across the world? We wish we knew.

The Descent

Neil Marshall's excellent 2005 film The Descent follows six women who go on an outdoor spelunking excursion into a huge Appalachian cave system. The cave entrance collapses, leaving the women trapped in its labyrinthine tunnels. One of the women, Juno (Natalie Mendoza), eventually admits she led the group to an unknown cave system instead of the well-mapped one the group intended to explore. It's safe to say the spelunkers are not happy with this revelation. What's worse is that they soon encounter a den of various bones, followed by an attack from a "crawler." The crawlers are mysterious, cave-dwelling humanoids who have adapted to the near-darkness of the cave and become animalistic predators. 

The crawlers certainly are scary, but one particular blooper shines a novel light on the species. In the flubbed scene, one of the women is dragged down a long passage by one of the crawlers, screaming while it appears to be attempting to consume her ... before she and everyone off-screen start laughing. The crawler gives her a good-natured pat, ending the failed attack. If we take this blooper seriously and imagine a version of the film that includes it, it begs the question: Was the crawler attacking her? Was it whispering jokes into her ear? What was it doing that provoked such laughter? Maybe they're more nuanced than we thought. Maybe they're just looking for an audience for their cave-bound improv nights.