10 Horror Movie Scenes You Didn't See (Thanks To Test Audiences)

Test audiences are (mostly) the bane of creative daring.

Happy Death Day

Practically every movie ever released has been cut down extensively from its original rough cut, because throughout the editorial process filmmakers figure out what works best and what doesn't.

They're often given a helping hand by way of test screenings with random members of the public who generally don't know what they're about to watch.

The feedback from these screenings help further shape the edit, indicate where reshoots need to happen, and in more unfortunate situations prompt the studio to basically take the movie away from the director.

This is all as true in the horror genre as it is anywhere else, and because test audiences generally hate anything that's brutal or not totally predictable, they'll often suggest that scenes get cut or otherwise reworked in post-production.

And so, we have these 10 curious horror movie scenes that, due to test screening feedback, didn't make the final release.

Whether they were deemed too graphic or depressing, these scenes were all denied to general viewers because of those pesky test audiences.

Sadly these scenes haven't materialised since, and in some cases have actually been confirmed lost to time, for shame...

10. Preacher Dies - Deep Blue Sea

Happy Death Day
Warner Bros.

Before we start dunking on test audiences outright, let's kick things off with a rare instance of a test screening that almost certainly produced a better result, even if it's a shame the cut material has never been released.

Renny Harlin's shamelessly schlocky 1999 B-movie Deep Blue Sea features a memorable performance from LL Cool J as Sherman "Preacher" Dudley, the underwater lab's resident chef who gets fiery revenge on the shark that ate his bird.

In an original test screening, though, Preacher actually died fairly early in the film, yet because the audience was so pervasively disappointed by his demise while the unlikeable Dr. Susan McCallister (Saffron Burrows) got to live, their fates were reversed through reshoots.

In the end, Preacher is a major part of the re-filmed climax and narrowly survives, while McCallister is brutally devoured shortly before the end.

All in all the right calls were made, though considering how little we know about Preacher's original death, it's a damn shame the original shot scene has never been included on any home video release.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.