Movies – 10 Horror Movies With Alternate Cuts
By the time most movies hit the theaters for fans to enjoy, they have had a number of hands involved making cuts that try to make everyone happy with the finished film, including the director, the producers, the studios, and of course, the audience. Horror movies seem to deal with this a lot as it’s hard to please the wide variety of horror fans, especially with too many cooks in the kitchen.
All these various contributing factors can sometimes cause issues that can lead to incredibly different cuts of the same film that sometimes go unreleased and unseen, or find new life as a director’s cut, extended edition or even international releases that greatly change the film, with some versions even becoming more well-known than the original theatrical releases.
10 Dawn of the Dead European Release/Zombi
George A. Romero’s iconic 1978 Dawn of the Dead was the second of his The Night of the Living Dead zombie films that helped lay the foundation for the genre that would later include the 2004 remake of the sane name by Zack Snyder.
However, the original Dawn of the Dead was recut by Italian horror legend Dario Argento with a new score from frequent collaborator Goblin that was released internationally as Zombi and features a tighter, gory action-filled version of Romero’s movie. Zombi‘s success launched its own franchise that includes Lucio Fulci’s gore-filled Zombi 2.
9 The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen!
William Friedkin’s 1973 classic The Exorcist is largely regarded as one of the scariest movies ever shown in theaters, though the cut that most fans now remember seeing likely wasn’t the one that shocked and terrified viewers in the original theatrical release.
An Extended Director’s Cut that was also billed as The Version You’ve Never Seen was released in 2000 that featured the previously deleted “spider-walk” scene and included a more positive moment in the end that some fans felt lessened the impact of the film’s climax, but has nonetheless been included in most home releases of The Exorcist.
8 Alien: Director’s Cut
While Ridley Scott’s 1978 Alien: Director’s Cut doesn’t ultimately change too much of the original sci-fi horror story, there are a number of alterations that affect the flow of the film that was made to keep the proper pacing when adding removed scenes.
One of the biggest changes was the revelation of a xenomorph nest on the Nostromo that appeared to be contradictory to later revelations in the series. Some scenes were also altered to make the Nostromo’s discovery of the alien threat more ambiguous when the original film teased foreknowledge of the xenomorphs.
7 Halloween 666: The Curse of Michael Myers
The Halloween franchise is well known for alternate endings and an infamous TV cut of the original film, however, it’s the Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (known to fans as Halloween 666) that changes the original film and potentially the rest of the franchise. The cut features alternate footage from the original workprint of the film.
The workprint was heavily altered by the studio to become one of the worst entries in the film series as it tried to make Michael Myers a supernatural killer. The alternate cut featured franchise star Jamie Lloyd in a more prominent role and set up Donald Pleasance’s Dr. Samuel Loomis as the new leader of the Cult of Thorn before his death resulted in further changes.
6 Mimic: Director’s Cut
Guillermo del Toro directed Miramax’s 1997 sci-fi horror Mimic which experienced documented troubles between del Toro and producer Bob Weinstein, resulting in a stressful filming environment and heavy studio influence on the final cut of the movie.
After the film began to develop a cult audience, del Toro was able to return to the movie and give it another cut that brought it closer to his original vision with an enhanced color palette that fans of the director are sure to enjoy more than the theatrical release.
5 Donnie Darko: Directors Cut
While it is often debated amongst fans whether Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko is a horror fan or merely adopts horror elements to craft the odd sci-fi thriller, though it captivated fans and developed a huge following that has continued to grow despite the many unanswerable questions raised by the film.
Kelly released a Donnie Darko: Director’s Cut that attempted to recut the film and make additions that helped make the plot easier to understand, though some fans were unhappy with the new cut and preferred the ambiguity of the original release.
4 Event Horizon
The alternate cut of Event Horizon exists mostly in legends and memory, as the original footage that was cut from the film’s original cut has presumably been lost or destroyed over the years, though recent reports have teased the inclusion of the lost footage in a new release of Paul W.S. Anderson’s sci-fi horror.
The cut scenes in question showcased a deeper look at the torments and horror experienced by the crew of the Event Horizon when it made the dimensional jump to Hell, which proved to be too horrific and graphic to pass censors, though fans have been dying to see it in full for years.
3 Hellraiser: Bloodline
The fourth cinematic outing of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser franchise hit theaters in 1996 after a troubled production that caused director Kevin Yagher to drop out of the production and use the Alan Smithee name while Joe Chappelle reshot scenes and changed the movie for the studio.
The film’s screenplay was touted as one of the best of the series and had the backing of Barker, though studio budget cuts led to a rewrite. The theatrical film attempted to explore different eras of the Hellraiser franchise in a non-linear manner that refocused on Pinhead and away from the new Cenobyte Angelique that lacked the potential of the original cut’s linear, action-packed story.
2 Exorcist: The Beginning/Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist
The prequels to The Exorcist aren’t quite alternate cuts of the same film, though they are definitely alternate takes on the same script and premise that were released separately as Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist. Director Paul Schrader directed Dominion based on a script from William Wisher Jr. that was shelved after the studio saw the finished film.
Director Renny Harlin was then hired to direct a new script that followed the same premise and also starred Stellan Skarsgård as Father Merrin which released as Exorcist: The Beginning. However, the film’s failure led to Schrader’s home release of his original Dominion film with Skarsgård, resulting in two similar prequel films from different directors that failed equally.
1 Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut
Writer/director Clive Barker adapted his novella Cabal into 1990’s Nightbreed, which explored the world of Midian that was hidden in Northern Canada and filled with monsters that ultimately became the film’s heroes after humanity got involved. The original cut of the film swung for the fences and dived into the monstrous world of Midian, though nearly an hour was cut for theaters.
After a VHS version of the original film known as The Cabal Cut led to the discovery of the original footage, Barker recut the film using some of the lost footage to release his original vision as Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut in 2015, which further cemented the movie’s cult status.
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