Deleted scenes can be utterly fascinating, expanding on the plot of a movie or revealing the things that directors decided didn’t fit or were just entirely unnecessary.
They can also reveal just how harrowing things could have been. And in some of these terrifying films, that’s really saying something…
1. IT – Baby sacrifice
Andy Muschietti’s horror hit nearly featured a scene that they decided was too grim to put in the movie. Too grim for a movie about a killer clown with a mouth full of needle teeth, if you can believe it.
The flashback scene would have shown Bill Skarsgård in non-Pennywise form back in the 1600s. To escape his rampage, a mother offers him her baby as a snack. Yeah, probably even more horrible than monster clowns.
2. Alien – Cocoons
Being torn apart by a slavering xenomorph would be horrible enough, but this extended scene reveals a worse fate for the victims.
Ripley finds the missing Dallas stuck in a goopy cocoon – presumably as a host for new aliens. All he can do is beg for her to burn him alive with her flamethrower. We’ll stick with the evisceration if that’s okay.
3. The Fly – Experiments
David Cronenberg’s horror classic goes full-The Thing in this cut scene in which Jeff Goldblum’s Seth Brundle continues to experiment with the genetic-combination properties of his matter transporter.
The wild house cat-baboon hybrid that results is as tragic as it is monstrous.
4. Batman v Superman – Please call back later
Man of Steel was accused of portraying a Superman who isn’t really all that worried about the citizens put at risk by his superpowered shenanigans.
When asked why Superman is unable to hear his kidnapped mother’s cries for help in Batman v Superman, director Zack Snyder described a deleted scene in which she is being drowned out by all the other people asking for Clark’s help.
His solution? Ignore all of them. We can see why they didn’t go with that one.
5. The Avengers – Captain America is so lonely
Joss Whedon mainly went for an upbeat tone in The Avengers, which is probably why a scene featuring Steve Rogers – in which he attempts to come to terms with being frozen since World War II – was shelved.
Steve goes through some files on his old friends, only to learn that nearly all of them are dead. Sad Captain America sure would have put a downer on the rest of the movie.
6. Mrs Doubtfire – Unhappy families
The subtext of ’90s family favourite Mrs Doubtfire is pretty disturbing, from the creepy lies to the actual attempted murder of Pierce Brosnan.
But the horror and misery of the movie is very much on the surface of these two deleted scenes, where Robin Williams and Sally Field’s constant arguing repeatedly threatens to leave their kids in therapy for the rest of their commitment-phobic lives.
7. Logan – Mr Jean Grey
Having watched Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine swansong Logan, you might struggle to believe that director James Mangold thought that anything was ‘too dark’ to put in the movie.
You would be wrong, as revealed in Mangold’s commentary for the movie during the section in which Wolverine, Laura and Professor X take shelter with a kindly family.
When asked if Logan is married, the Prof says: “He was. She passed. She was a pupil at my school. I knew her many, many years. She was lovely. Her name was Jean Grey.” Pause. “He killed her.”
Too soon, Charles. Too soon.
8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – Doomed love
Tonks and Remus’s romance is much better developed in the books than the films, where they just become yet another casualty in the battle of Hogwarts.
This abandoned scene is short, but with the brief chat about Tonks leaving their baby to join the battle, it really twists the knife.
9. Zootropolis – Shock therapy
While not technically speaking a ‘grim ‘n’ gritty’ movie, Disney’s Zootropolis/Zootopia didn’t shy away from more adult themes like prejudice and unwillingly administered hallucinogens.
But this deleted scene – which reveals how predators are able to live in harmony with their prey via a bar mitvah-like ‘Taming Party’ and a very sad little bear – would have tipped the kids’ movie into harrowing. So, so harrowing.
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