10 Backstage Photos That Make Scary Movies Look Hilarious


Horror movies have the power to frighten, disturb, and provide many a middle school sleepover with rare glimpses of full-frontal nudity. But as we’ve mentioned in the past, learning how these things are made can ruin the horror for the viewer, turning previously terrifying moments into episodes of campy slapstick. Which sucks.

Let’s do it again.


Here’s Freddy Krueger Chilling Out On A Goddamn Park Bench

Aside from washing Mexican food down with expired eggnog, the worst thing that can happen to your dreams would be for Freddy Krueger to show up. The guy’s got knife hands, a deformed face, and most terrifying of all, an arsenal of bad puns. Any encounter with Freddy would be scary as hell — as long as it wasn’t while he was awkwardly loitering on a bench.

Passersby didn’t exactly seem to be screaming in terror. They basically gave him the same side-eye you’d expect anyone wearing a green-and-red striped sweater and knife glove to receive.

Oh, and remember that infamous shot of Freddy’s claw emerging from the bathtub?

Well, the reverse angle is decidedly less frightening …

And for close-up shots, there was no need to use the costumed actor; any crew member wearing a Freddy glove and one of his sleeves would do.

As for Tina’s horrifying death, whereby she gets bloodily dragged across a ceiling by unseen forces, the image of which is probably burned in your memory …

Well, you can thank two dudes for lifting the stuntwoman in place to get the shot of her falling to the bed. Two dudes who for some reason took off their shirts beforehand. Guess they didn’t want to wreck their good work clothes.


The Alien Movies Were Surprisingly Adorable

Before the franchise devolved into sexy shower murders and handsome robot doppelgangers making out with each other, the Alien movies were extremely intense. You’d think, then, that the making of one of these black rubber sex monster movies wouldn’t be anything like, say, a child’s birthday party. And it wasn’t. Except for the time it was.

20th Century Fox
“Hey, maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events, but we just got our candles lit.”

Yup, the stunt double for Newt, Louise Head, had her birthday party on set, attended by space marines and an android. Kind of makes your fifth birthday at Chuck E. Cheese’s seem like a rancid pile of donkey shit in comparison, huh? Everyone got involved. Here’s Head and Sigourney Weaver clowning around doing their best impression of the Alien Queen:

20th Century Fox
Unless this is an assault. This might be assault.

This wasn’t even the first surprisingly charming behind-the-scenes moment for the franchise. Back in the first movie, there were several shots of the Nostromo crew exploring the crashed spaceship. That had the potential to be really expensive to film, so to save money, they only made a half-size set and threw a couple of kids in spacesuits into it.

20th Century Fox
Picture probably not actual size, but really, who can be sure anymore?

Cool. One of the all-time great horror movies also evidently looked like the set of a space-based Sunny D commercial.


Hannibal Lecter Just Eats And Smokes Through His Mask

Hannibal Lecter is one the great movie villains, a psychologist cannibal capable of eating you and then telling all your friends about your secret bed-wetting problem. But despite the fact that The Silence Of The Lambs is genuinely a terrifying film, the behind-the-scenes snapshots make it look like it was as much fun as summer camp.

Here’s director Jonathan Demme getting a kick out of feeding Lecter:

Even that poor girl trapped down the well seems in high spirits.

And there was always time for the crew to grab selfies with Buffalo Bill’s human-skin-suit prop.

Even the recent Hannibal TV show was apparently silly as hell behind the scenes. There’s simply no way to wear those outfits without a bit of clowning around. Here’s Lecter puffing a cigarette in his trademark mask:

And here’s that creepy antler monster that Will Graham keeps hallucinating:

Yikes. That’s less “manifestation of pure evil” and more “guy at a Halloween party realizing there’s no way to pee in his dumbass costume.”


Hellraiser‘s Pinhead Enjoys Babies, Pizza, And Football

Pinhead from the Hellraiser franchise is an extradimensional monster person who dresses like someone trying to really shake up their senior prom. But beneath the black leather, hundreds of face pins, and generally ghoulish demeanor, there’s a normal dude. So normal that while filming the movie, some wise parent decided they shouldn’t not grab a picture of the Hell Priest cradling their infant.

And what’s more relatable than a man, even a hell man, scarfing down some pizza?

And Pinhead isn’t always wearing that black leather ensemble — that’s just for the office. When off work, he’s perfectly happy throwing on a T-shirt to go toss the football around.


The Old-School Movie Monsters Ate Cake, Smoked, And Made Out

Before “Universal Monsters” meant the guy from Jerry Maguire doing battle against mummies (and common sense in general), it meant the characters featured in the slew of classic horror pictures that started coming out in the 1930s. For instance, the Boris Karloff version of Frankenstein remains one of the quintessential depictions of the character. It’s a classic image of horror, as long as you don’t catch him enjoying some lovely toast and tea.

And sure, he’s a monster cobbled together with scraps of corpses, but he’s not monster enough to refuse a slice of delicious cake.

Similarly, the Creature from the Black Lagoon was a total goofball. Here he is mopping up around the pool:

And here he is dancing a jig:

And of course, making out with his co-star:

The Bela Lugosi version of Dracula is another classic, which we will now ruin by showing the cast trying to figure out what the hell was supposed to happen in it with the help of a comically oversized book.


The Descent‘s Cave Monsters Were A Whole Lot Sillier When Not Filming

The Descent is the story of six women exploring a labyrinth of uncharted caves, only to find that they’re full of deformed monster people.

To keep the actresses’ expressions of fear authentic, the director kept them and the actors playing the “crawlers” separate when they weren’t filming. And it’s a good thing, too, because the crawlers evidently spent their downtime being … less than terrifying. Here they are doing each other’s nails:

Or whiling away the time by smoking in bathrobes:

And of course, playfully exposing themselves:

Probably a good reason they were kept separate, then. It’d be lot harder to be scared of these guys after you’ve seen Crawlers Gone Wild.


The Psycho Set Featured Some Weirdly Zany Photoshoots

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie Psycho finds creepy motel owner Norman Bates stabbing his guests at the behest of his dead mother, in a grisly plot that could have been avoided if people in the ’60s had bothered to invent Yelp. Not surprisingly, there were some on-set photos taken to promote the movie, but they’re not really what you’d expect.

For instance, here’s Anthony Perkins, who played Bates, having his picture taken in front of the ominous Bates house. And what better way to advertise the story of a serial killer whose best friend is a corpse in a rocking chair than by having the actor happily perch on a ladder bordered by smiling girls in matching outfits?

Even stranger, a couple years after the movie came out, Harper’s Bazaar had a photo shoot at the Bates Motel, featuring Hitchcock creeping on a young model.

This is unsettling on its own merits, and even moreso when you realize it’s as if someone asked Hitch to perform an interpretive dance inspired by the future allegations against him.


The Conjuring Witch Posed For Selfies

There sure were a lot of terrifying moments in The Conjuring, from the possessed doll to the offscreen nightmare of the Nixon presidency. But there was maybe no greater scare than the reveal of the witch Bathsheba, perched atop a wardrobe.

But Bathsheba is a tad less intimidating when posing for selfies with the director:

Or forgoing the black magic she used to hover, and instead lying on top of some plywood:

Or, least evil of all, noodling on a piano:


The Evil Dead Movies Are A Lot Less Frightening When You See The Puppeteers

Before he was making movies about witchy love triangles in Oz and evil space symbiotes that turn you all emo, Sam Raimi made some damn good horror movies. The Evil Dead series is unquestionably classic, and as long as you weren’t one of the actors maimed while shooting the first movie, making them sounds like it was pretty fun. For example, instead of killer deadites, the actors in Evil Dead 2 were often dealing with puppets.

And this is how the deadite puppets got around:

There were still human versions of the deadites, but they were hardly more terrifying:

And here’s the same guy, having a chuckle with his makeup artist.


The Spooky Parts Of Ghostbusters Were Teams Of Nerds And Ghosts Wearing Jeans

Unless you work in the field of environmental protection, Ghostbusters isn’t really a horror movie. Still, there are some scary parts, especially for a kid. The librarian turns into a monster, Dana is terrorized by demons, and Dan Aykroyd is convinced that America needs to see him get blown by a dead person.

But behind the scenes, even the horror elements of the movie were rather goofy. The demon hands clawing at Dana were really a trio of puppeteers playing a super-awkward round of Twister.

And the terror dog …

… was in a few shots an animatronic puppet controlled by a team of nerds.

And Slimer is certainly less horrifying when you see him wearing jeans:

Interestingly, he switched to stockings for the sequel:

Oh, and here’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man with his head off:

That … that is actually quite a bit more terrifying than before. They were right to burn him.

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