Oh, That Spielberg
See? Sharks aren’t all bad. Even someone who made a famous movie about a great white shark that eats lots of people was able to crawl right inside and have a laugh. Yes, that’s Steven himself, cuddling with one of the Bruce shark puppets that his film “Jaws” used to create the summer blockbuster.
Even if they aren’t real teeth, they look nice and sharp, but Spielberg doesn’t mind one bit. The characters can do their best, but knowing that the director of the film has gallivanted inside the monster’s very mouth doesn’t exactly make us fear for our lives when we’re in the water.
Was Gizmo That Big in the Movie?
If you have a tough time watching horror movies, most of these pictures will help dispel the fear. It’s all just fantasy. This picture, however, might make things worse if “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” scared you.
Of course, there have been many scarier movies than the sequel to “Gremlins,” but if the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” games have been haunting you, look away. This child-sized suit of Gizmo never made it into the finished product, as it was just one of many ways they tried to get the right shots. Plus, Gizmo is the hero of the franchise – he’s not scary, is he?
Now, Look Scared
In this picture, we get to see Judith O’Dea and Russell Streiner Trying their hardest to look as if they’re terrified of the awful sight they are seeing in the woods for “Night of the Living Dead” (1968).
What was, at the time, one of the scariest movies around, depicted the rise of the dead to terrorize the living. While it was certainly frightening at the time, we’re sure that if the moviegoers all those decades ago had seen this picture, they wouldn’t have screamed so hard at the theater.
Everybody wants to look good on their big day, and the bride of Frankenstein is no exception. Of course, this isn’t something we ever saw in the classic Universal Studios film – that wouldn’t really do much to keep the audience scared.
The Bride always looked immaculate when she was on-screen since she was created only to give the original monster a mate. What’s surprising is seeing the actress touching herself up instead of a crew member doing it. Maybe the budget was too low to afford someone who would be around all the time, or maybe the actual make-up artist was busy helping someone else.
They’re Not Sleepy; They’re Dead
Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people, but he finds quite a bit more than he bargained for. This 1999 Tim Burton film was gothic horror at its finest, with a good dose of action thrown in.
Plenty of characters die during the film’s running time, but unlike in the original story, Ichabod Crane – here played by Johnny Depp – escapes with his life. It might not focus on some of the scarier aspects of the movie, but we still get to see a little bit of BTS action as Depp strolls through the recently-dead, inspecting each one.
“Jaws” was a horror film of a different vein. It still had a monster, and it still had plenty of deaths, but it was less a ghoulie and more just a beast. It was also the movie that created the summer blockbuster and had plenty of people legitimately terrified to go swimming in oceans.
None of the sequels managed to garner much acclaim, but the first is a standout in movie history. In between takes, we see one of the characters relaxing next to the fake shark that is tearing up the boat. The different machines and puppets they used in the film all had the name “Bruce.”
It’s a Horror Movie for the Bad Guys
A horror movie? Maybe not. But there’s no denying that “The Dark Knight” had plenty of elements that are often in horror movies – it’s just that we aren’t the ones being scared.
We only get to see Heath Ledger’s Joker unmasked and un-painted face once in the movie, and it’s so quick you might not even realize it’s happened. But it’s easier to think of it all as an actor playing a part when you see Ledger getting his face painted by the crew. This Joker has become one of the more famous interpretations of the character – and proves to be plenty scary.
Acting Is for the Birds
There are no monsters, no magic, and it all takes place during the day, but few who saw “The Birds” when it first came out came away unscathed. It was a movie that took something incredibly normal and made it dangerous and frightening.
In this shot, all the birds that would be staring at our stars are painted toys that wouldn’t do any moving. As Hitchcock instructs the actors and actresses, the crew waits. Horror relies on the right context, and the context is gone here.
It’s Only Up From Here, Leo
Who’s that fresh-faced actor getting his fingers chomped? None other than Leonardo DiCaprio in his film debut, “Critters 3.” This movie is the second sequel, but the original film in the series was a science fiction, comedy, horror movie and garnered tons of critical acclaim.
“Critters 3” continues the story, though it moves from the town of Grover’s Bend to a much bigger city. It’s amazing that DiCaprio even continued acting since this stinker boasts a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As the picture shows, at the very least, he was able to have some fun during filming. Those teeth look sharp!
Move Your Face Like This
The number of outstanding movies that Hitchcock had his hand in is legendary. From “The Birds” to “North by Northwest” to “Vertigo,” he was the master of tension and thrills.
Most people consider his greatest work to be “Psycho.” From the very first scene, it drips with fear and suspense, but all of that suspense disappears when we see Hitchcock manhandling Janet Leigh’s face. He’s doing a bit of hands-on directing, but his austere British dress and jowly cheeks aren’t exactly scary. He became known for the tension he put in his films, but the man himself wasn’t exactly a creepy-looking fellow.
Just Trying to Listen to His Tunes
One of the most famous franchises of 80s slasher movies was “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” which gave us Mister Fred Krueger. With his burned skin, striped sweater, and slashing claw, he haunted the nightmares of many, both in and out of the movies.
He was a different kind of horror figure – compared to Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers, he was a chatterbox. Of course, he still had an actor. Robert Englund became famous for his portrayal, and as we can see here, he liked his tunes, and he was well-liked by the young actors and actresses he worked with. Including a teenage Johnny Depp!
Cannibals Can Be Funny Too
“Silence of the Lambs” has more than one fearful character, but Hannibal Lecter was the most famous of them all. Anthony Hopkins has portrayed the character in grace and elegance we would never expect to look so good on a psychopathic convicted felon.
But looking at this picture of Hopkins cracking a few jokes with director Jonathan Demme will help you see the totally normal guy behind the terrifying character. It looks like, despite the ominous vibe that dominated the film itself, the atmosphere on set was quite pleasant!
Make Sure to Cover My Bald Spot
Universal Studios was the king of monsters long before Godzilla came along to take the title. In “The Wolf Man,” a hairy creature terrorizes people in one of the more basic monster movie plots, but hey – it was 1941. Things weren’t exactly extravagant.
Even if, for some reason, this classic flick does raise your hackles, a picture of the monster at the barbers is going to get them back down. It makes sense, though. All that hair in fur, fake or not, is going to need some styling for it to look proper for the cameras.
The “Saw” series of movies is a prime example of modern horror. Gruesome injury and death, tense scenes, a dastardly villain, and too many sequels. The first few movies present the viewer with moral quandaries, shades of gray, and intense endings.
Director James Wan is seen here pointing something out to actor Cary Elwes, who played Dr. Lawrence Gordon. The movie is so often dim, bloody, and murky, so having the scene presented bright and colorful will take the edge off this dangerous, twisted, and bloody movie series.
Ready for My Close Up
Pennywise, the Clown, doesn’t just read the funny mags with kids when he has a break in the shooting. All that makeup has to look perfect for him to become an enduring horror icon still.
Though we have to say, having the white greasepaint run down his face might have made him just as scary. Or scarier, even! Not that actor Tim Curry needed any help being scary. He had so much fun with this role. It’s STILL his most famous, despite the fact that it happened about thirty years ago. Why are people afraid of clowns? It’s because of Tim Curry.
So That’s What They Look Like During the Day
It’s hard to come up with a horror movie more important to the genre than “Night of the Living Dead.” It took zombies from the origins as mind-controlled slaves of voodoo masters and turned them into the walking dead. It inspired dozens of sequels and basically gave birth to an entire sub-section of horror.
Ever enjoyed a little something called “The Walking Dead”? Then you have horror master George A. Romero to thank. The film is in black and white, partially to save money and partially to set the tone. But there are still photos of the cast and crew in living color, making everything way less ominous.
Universal Studios had a stranglehold on the world of horror back in the thirties and forties. They kicked things off with “Dracula” and then moved on to future classics like “Frankenstein,” “The Mummy,” and “The Invisible Man.” One of the crowns was the Frankenstein series, including the sequel “Bride of Frankenstein.”
The still here looks like something out of “Young Frankenstein” since we see our titular monster enjoying a nice cup of tea with a friend. We hope he can still sip with all that makeup on. These old movies don’t scare many anymore, but they still freaked out plenty of people when they dropped.
Getting Ready for the Hunt
Horror movies are always changing. As we get used to one scary thing, other things have to step into the gap they leave. “The Predator” was a combo of a classic monster movie and a slasher movie, with bloody action scenes and high tension that runs through the entire film. But, as anyone knows, there was actually a human being underneath that costume and makeup, which we can see for certain here.
Whether that’s actually the Predator’s actor getting ready for his big opening scene, or they’re just using him as a base to make sure the look is right, knowing there’s a human being in the costume makes it a little less scary.
No Kid on Set
The sixties were a prime time for religious horror, and “The Omen” is a classic example of the genre. A young boy dies, and he is replaced by the nefarious Damien Thorn, who turns out, after investigations, to be the prophesied Antichrist that is to bring about the events of Revelation.
Every scene with Damien is fraught with tension, and even those without have plenty of fear attached to them. A simple discussion between the “father” of Damien and a priest, as they sit and stand surrounded by lighting and camera gear, turns into just another day on the job without the context of the other scenes, the music, and the camera angles.
Honey, I Shrunk Myself
Before people figured out the best way to scare viewers, moviemakers were throwing everything they could as a way to see what stuck. One of the things that developed was body horror movies, including “The Incredible Shrinking Man” in 1957. Thanks to a combo of radiation and insecticide, the main character Scott Carey starts shrinking and doesn’t stop.
In order to create this film, the crew had to create numerous huge versions of small items, such as a pair of metal scissors, a glass full of whiskey, and more. In this scene, Carey is about to be washed through a huge storm drain as the crew films the scene.
Open the Gate
“The Gate” is a 1987 movie by Tibor Takács starring Stephen Dorff’s debut performance. It was never a mainstream hit, but it did garner a cult following. In it, a horde of demons emerge from the “gate” and start to terrorize the town.
The film took an odd tactic – instead of giving us small creatures in a normal-sized set, it used regular people in costumes in a huge set. The director here is telling the monsters what to do, and some of them have their masks off, revealing them to be normal dudes.
No Screaming Here
“Scream” was one of the first meta-movies in the horror genre – it used the idea of a movie villain terrorizing characters and kickstarted a new franchise.
At the very beginning, Drew Barrymore plays young Casey. Even though she was a big name, the movie plays with viewers by having Casey die literally right away – in the first scene. It was a twist to the slasher genre, and this picture shows us Barrymore having a chat with someone who is getting the scene ready for the action-packed opening. There was no mysterious magic at play in the movie, but it still got plenty of people screaming.
Bruce Campbell Is All Smiles
While calling “The Evil Dead” a horror movie is certainly correct; it’s a different film than a lot of the others on this list. It was almost like a horror-comedy.
Ash is forced to fight zombies in order to keep himself alive when he and a few friends find an audiotape that unleashes spirits, resulting in Ash’s four friends getting possessed. It was a huge success and spawned plenty of sequels. When he wasn’t fighting the forces of darkness, Campbell is seen here having a bit of lunch, and even with a torn-up shirt and a battered face, he’s able to give us a grin.
Go On, Accuse Him of Cheating
Obviously, Leatherface isn’t a nice dude. He kills people and turns their skin into household items. It really doesn’t matter what else he does; that’s bad dude territory.
“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is one of the most influential horror movies out there, but the sequel ended up being a bit goofy. Still, it’s well-liked enough in its own right. The director wanted more comedy in the sequel, which led in part to this behind-the-scenes picture of Leatherface having a not-so-friendly game of cards with his brothers the Cook and Chop Top.
See? He’s Normal
Creepy children have been a staple in horror movies almost since the very beginning. From the Grady twins in “The Shining” to Damien Thorn in “The Omen,” there are lots of them to remember fondly. Like Gage Creed from 1989’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary,” played by three-year-old Miko Hughes.
Once he’s buried and resurrected in the titular “sematary,” he goes on an unholy rampage, resulting in the deaths of his own parents. But Miko Hughes was still a kid, so despite the makeup, there are still shots of him playing around. Like a normal, not-resurrected-from-the-grave child.
Careful With the Pins, Kid
Based on the novella by Clive Barker (who also wrote and directed the first film), “Hellraiser” introduced us to Pinhead, a guy with a lot of pins in his head. He’s the leader, we think, of the Cenobites, extra-dimensional beings that equate pain with pleasure, and they’re going to make you think the same thing if you fall into their clutches.
Thankfully, Pinhead’s actor Doug Bradley doesn’t think the same way as his character. This picture is from when Pinhead walked around New York in full makeup as part of the promotion for “Hellraiser III” in 1992. Someone wanted a shot of their kid with the leader of the pain demons, we guess.
No! Bad Freddy! Spit it Out!
“The Nightmare on Elm Street” series spawned an incredible eight direct sequels, as well as remakes, crossovers, TV, novels, comic books, video games, and a revival series. Most aren’t great, but one sequel does stand out: “The Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors.”
In this one, there is a gal named Kristen Parker who can summon other people to the dream world at will. The most famous scene of the movie is when a huge snake-like Freddy tries to swallow her whole. It’s stabbed by a shard of glass and pukes her back out, but we still have a still of the actress looking far too unconcerned by the piece of movie magic circling her legs.
This Is What You Get for the Ending of the Dark Tower!
Horror anthologies have been part of the horror landscape for a long time, as far back as 1919’s “Unheimliche Geschichten” or “Eerie Tales.” One of the most famous anthologies was “Creepshow” in 1982, written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero.
The film includes well-known names such as Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, and Ted Danson, and King even got in on some of the acting fun, too. This isn’t a still from any of the shorts. However – it’s just a backstage snapshot of the king of horror hamming it up with one of his creations.
Smiles on Set
As far as the best horror movies ever go, one title that’s always in the mix is Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 “The Shining” adaptation. It terrorizes people to this day, whether it’s with the madness of Jack Torrance or Shelly Duvall’s chin.
Even as he was pushing Jack Nicholson to stranger acts and putting so much stress on Duvall that her hair started to fall out, Kubrick didn’t let the kids in the movie know it was supposed to be scary. That’s right – Danny Torrance was just doing his thing. Even the creepy Grady twins, played by real-life twins Lisa and Louise Burns, were all smiles when the cameras weren’t rolling.
He Is a Clown, After All
Classic horror fans will remember the original 1990 mini-series that took Pennywise the Clown from the printed page and put him on the television for all to fear. Played by actor Tim Curry, this clown terrorized the Losers, the group of kids and adults from the series.
“It” is all about learning how to face your fear and standing up to the things that have attacked you, but off-camera, they were all having a good time. They’re all bonding over an issue of “Mad Magazine” while they’re waiting for the next scene to get set up.
Under the Alien
Ridley Scott had the idea to make a haunted house in space, and the horror community was changed forever when his vision became the 1979 movie “Alien.” H.R. Giger designed the monster, making a dripping, horrific creature that would turn you inside out in a number of ways.
Of course, one of the easiest ways to get rid of the horror of a certain thing is to see the man underneath – in the first movie; it was Nigerian design student Bolaji Bodejo. His 6′10″ frame had arms and legs so long and spindly they were practically inhuman. This picture has stuntman Eddie Powell, a little too relaxed in his costume.
Taking a Drink
Michael Myers might be a murderous madman, but he’s got good taste in soft drinks. The “Halloween” series kickstarted the slasher horror genre using a John Carpenter soundtrack and a twisted, tainted Captain Kirk mask.
Myers has a constant menacing presence in the film. He’s even referred to in the credits as “The Shape,” making him less human and more force of nature. Obviously, there’s still a guy under there. Played in the first film by Nick Castle, he’s having a little fun by giving Myers a sip of Dr. Pepper. Nick Castle went on to direct a number of films, including “The Last Starfighter.”
Smiles When the Cameras Aren’t Rolling
In “The Exorcist,” Regan vomits pea soup, says terrible things about mothers, spins her head around on her neck, and a lot more. Played by Linda Blair, she’s one of the things that makes “The Exorcist” one of the terrifying movies ever.
It won Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars, a rare achievement for a genre film and even rarer for a horror film. When Linda Blair wasn’t acting, she was a regular cheerful kid. There are plenty of behind-the-scenes photos of Linda grinning with other members of the cast and crew, including director William Friedkin.
It’s Not JUST Brains
As of this writing, “The Silence of the Lambs” is the only horror film to win Best Picture at the Oscars and was only the third film ever, and still the latest, to win the five top awards from the academy. Suave, sort-of-villain, sort-of-hero Hannibal Lector set the world on fire even though he wasn’t the bad guy in the film.
He bragged about dining on the human liver with some chianti and fava beans, but it appears that kind of food couldn’t fit through his iconic mask. Director Jonathan Demme fed actor Anthony Hopkins some crispy fries, and the event was enough to get Demme laughing. We think. He might be waiting for Hopkins to bite a finger.
He’s a Gentleman, Not a Monster
There have been a lot of Godzilla movies, and many of them happened long before CGI came into being. The King of Monsters was first portrayed on screen by men in rubber suits, and there are oodles of pics out there that show him delivering Christmas gifts, drinking tea, and going on a date.
This King of Monsters is also the King of Chivalry, since at the end of the date, as we see here, he’s escorting his date home with a parasol to keep the sun off. He has to get back to work soon and smash most of Tokyo.
Monsters Need Cuddles
In 2006, Guillermo del Toro released “Pan’s Labyrinth,” which helped make him a household name after cult horror films and adaptations. There are plenty of monsters in the film, from the fascists of civil-war era Spain to the creatures of the Labyrinth.
The star of the show is the Pale Man, who had eyeballs in his palms instead of in his head. The actor who played the “good” monster (those quotes are REALLY heavy), the Faun, and the actor in the Pale Man are the same guy!
Working on The Thing
John Carpenter has proved that he is a master of horror not just because of the “Halloween” movies. “The Thing” is a cult classic that still has the teeth to give people the willies even now.
The monster that is in the movie switches forms over and over, and it gives everyone in the movie, and even those who aren’t part of it, a heap of paranoia. They used practical effects for everything, and they needed a lot of work, which is where we get pictures such as the one here, with artists working hard to make every grisly detail look just right.
Working on Her Swing
In horror movie history, there are few scenes more legendary than Jack Torrance chasing his wife up the stairs of the Overlook Hotel in “The Shining.” Kubrick, a notorious perfectionist, forced everyone to make something like a hundred a twenty takes of this scene, which no doubt helped contribute to the madness of the characters.
Even with all the stress and all those takes, that huge set of equipment must have taken them out of the feeling a little bit. Still, they managed to get the perfect scene out of it. Duvall has swung enough to get into the minor leagues if the legends of this scene are true.
Getting Her Neck Ready
By now, everyone knows that the villain in the first “Friday the 13th” movie isn’t Jason but his mother. At the same time, mama’s boy takes the reins from then on. While somewhat laughable now, it was a big thing when the first movie came out, and camps around the world suddenly saw fewer campers.
One of the victims that fall in the first movie has her young, tender throat cut open. OBVIOUSLY, they didn’t actually slit her throat – a touch of movie magic with some fake flesh and blood are all that this actress needed.
Are You Ready to Play?
“Child’s Play” has a murderous doll upping its body count, but the original cut of the film was much more psychological in nature. It left us wondering if the murders were actually due to the doll or if it was a manifestation of Andy’s pain.
But, the movie went with the killer doll, and the sequels have picked it up and run with it. Despite how scary the doll was in the film, it was still just a doll – there wasn’t even an actor inside. As this behind-the-scenes picture shows us, it’s taken apart and posed with, making it somewhat not scary.
It’s the Prom Queen!
If Sissy Spacek is covered in blood and you’re a self-respecting horror fan, then it shouldn’t be difficult for you to figure out what movie we’re talking about. The famous pig blood scene of “Carrie,” the movie based on Stephen King’s first book, brought in a new era of horror, using not only magic and mystery but also bullies and toxic relationships.
Carrie stalks the town, destroying everything as blood drips from her prom dress, and America was changed. Of course, it wasn’t real blood, which means Spacek is able to give us a smile while working on the scenes.
Have You Ladies Met My Mother?
“Psycho” changed lives. From the horrific string-centered soundtrack to the shocking reveals, the film-watching public could barely believe their eyes. When the leading lady bites it halfway through the film in the famous shower scene, her sister takes up the case to find out what happened.
When he wasn’t scaring the characters, Anthony Perkins was a charming guy. This picture has both of the ladies in fetching, matching dresses, keeping the ladder steady while Perkins looks on in approval. The redone version that starred Vince Vaughn went nowhere, but the television series “Bates Motel” picked up the torch and ran with it.
Looking Good, Baby
In the 1960s, religious, psychological horror became a thing thanks to “Rosemary’s Baby.” John Cassavetes stars as her husband Guy, who gives over his wife (Rosemary, played by Mia Farrow) to be taken by a certain unholy figure in exchange for a successful acting career.
Rosemary’s life starts to come apart as the child inside her grows. She has nightmares, people harass her on the street, and strange things keep happening. Worse, nobody seems to believe her. This shot is of director Roman Polanski framing the shot and directing Farrow during the section of the movie that builds drama and tension.
Puttin’ on the Ritz
This isn’t exactly a horror movie, but the genetics are there. “Young Frankenstein” comes from director Mel Brooks and actor Gene Wilder creating a humorous version of the classic tale, with Wilder appearing as the famous doctor’s grandson.
The straight, sincere acting elevated the humor to new levels – it manages to be a bit spooky in just the right places and uproarious in others. With the monster, played by Peter Boyle, strapped to a table, the crew sets up the shot. It takes certain camera angles to recreate the classic Universal Monster feeling, and they had to do some tricky setup.
Nothing Like a Bit of Rest
Not sure what you’re looking at? It should come as no surprise – this is a behind-the-scenes shot from “The Fly,” the 1986 horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg and starring Jeff Goldblum.
Jeff’s character, Seth Brundle, has a transporter accident, and his DNA becomes merged with that of a fly, who happened to be in the other transporter area. His body morphs, and he becomes a grotesque monster. When the cameras weren’t rolling, the hot and heavy makeup that had to be applied to Goldblum made it necessary for him to take a break when he could, which gives us events like this image.
Godzilla looks on in horror at the destruction he has wrought. Or, the actor inside the big rubber suit is looking on in approval at work the miniatures department has done for the movie “King Kong vs. Godzilla.”
This big monster movie was a huge crossover event in 1962, merging the King of Monsters and the last piece of the prehistoric age for the fight of a lifetime. The film culminates with the two monsters duking it out on top of Mt. Fuji. There’s no King Kong in this picture, but we still get to enjoy the stellar special effects work that the filmmakers came up with.
Ah, Man, It’s the 2000!
“Sleepy Hollow” gave us Depp at his best — creepy, kooky, and a bit strange. It had the perfect atmosphere to present one of the first American folk tales on the big screen, but of course, that spooky atmosphere didn’t always make it to when the cameras weren’t rolling.
For instance, this picture of Johnny Depp taking a puff of a mysterious cigarette while holding what was, at the time, the biggest and best Super Soaker that had hit the market, the Super Soaker 2000. Remember having to battle against one of those as a kid? Unless you had the numbers, you were going to lose.
Eyeing the Corner Pocket
As far as body count for horror icons goes, Jason has one of the highest, though that’s mostly due to having him appear in so many movies. He’s a consummate professional, and every kill is a little different. Special.
He works hard, and he needs to have something to relax with after the whistle goes off and it’s quitting time. Heading down to the pool hall is a perfect choice. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it gives our killer plenty of time to chat with the other killers. Plus, it uses geometry and careful thought – two things that we know Jason Voorhees is skilled at.