10 Horror Movie Scenes You Haven’t Seen (Thanks to Test Audience)
Virtually every film ever released has been significantly scaled down from its initial cut, as throughout the editorial process, filmmakers determine what works best and what doesn’t.
They often get a helping hand through test screenings with random audience members who usually don’t know what they’re about to watch.
Commentary from these screenings helps shape the edit further, informs where reshoots should take place, and in more unfortunate situations prompts the studio to pull the film from the director.
All of this is as true in the horror genre as anywhere else, and since test audiences generally hate anything brutal or not entirely predictable, they often suggest that scenes be cut or reworked in post-production.
And so, we have these 10 curious horror movie scenes that, due to screening test returns, didn’t make the final release.
Whether deemed overly graphic or depressing, these scenes were all denied to the general public due to those pesky test audiences.
Sadly, those scenes haven’t materialized since, and in some cases have actually been confirmed lost to time, out of shame…
Before we start diving into the test audience, let’s start with a rare example of a test screening that almost certainly produced a better result, although it’s a shame the cut material was never released.
Renny Harlin’s 1999 B-movie Deep Blue Sea unashamedly features a memorable performance by LL Cool J as Sherman “Preacher” Dudley, the resident leader of the underwater lab who takes ardent revenge on the shark that ate it. his bird.
In an original test screening, however, Preacher actually died quite early in the film, but because audiences were so deeply disappointed in his demise as the insufferable Dr. Susan McCallister (Saffron Burrows) got to live, their fate was reversed by retakes.
In the end, Preacher is an important part of the refilmed climax and narrowly survives, while McCallister is brutally devoured shortly before the end.
All in all the right calls have been made, although given how little we know about the original death of Preacher, it’s such a shame that the original shot scene was never included in no home video output.