December 6, 2023

What Could Have Been: Horror Movie Scripts

TrapjawIt often amazes me how films get made.  An idea lives in its author’s head.  The author writes it down.  It gets reworked, edited, and sometimes doesn’t even resemble what it once was.  Did you know that the original Night of the Living Dead idea started as a film entitled Monster Flick and about aliens befriending teenagers?

The evolution of a film from an idea to a script to a finished product has always intrigued me.  Well, I stumbled across this article at talking about horror films that never were.  Many of the concepts talked within were scripts that I had assembled or knew where to find, so I tracked down some of absolute favorite horror film scripts.  Only two (Hellraiser: Bloodline, Dawn of the Dead) were made, but each is significantly different than what we saw on the screen.

Dawn of the Dead (Shooting Script, original ending)

I actually read this script before seeing the original.  It’s ending is much darker and reminiscent of NOTLD.  In Romero’s envisioned trilogy, he didn’t want the films to end on high notes (until the finale).  For the most part, this matches the 1978 masterpiece however.

Day of the Dead (early Romero)

Despite Romero getting his biggest budget yet for this Day, his vision was still too big for it.  This one featured zombies filled with bombs and full camps of civilians.

Resident Evil (Romero)

Who better to pen a script for film Resident Evil but the man who created the genre?  His version is clunky, and again, focuses on the humans.  While that writing works for the Dead series and The Walking DeadResident Evil is about survival and action.  The man is a genius, but this film needed to go a different direction and did.

Hellraiser Bloodline

One of my favorite scripts ever is Bloodline.  While the film doesn’t seem to pull it all together, the script really dives into the Lament Configuration’s origins.  A majority of the script takes place without Pinhead, and rumor has it that the studio said no to another installment that didn’t feature the cenobite until way past the halfway point.  This would have been a fun one to see (especially the dark carnival).


This one just hit our radars last week.  It’s a fun script, and it’s a shame we won’t get to see this incarnation.  However, it might be interesting to see some of the ideas out there anyways and how closely the upcoming film mirrors this one.

Freddy vs Jason (Abernathy)

A cult brings Freddy and Jason to life.  It’s…not very good.  It reads much more like fan fiction than anything.  Freddy is way too talkative, Jason is hero-ish in this one, and the ending would probably piss more people off than the NOES remake did.

Jason vs Freddy (Braga, Moore)

Jason is arrested and put on trial for murder.  During his incarceration, they discover that he has been driven mad due to lack of sleep.  Guess who’s causing his sleep problems?  We get robo Jason, but this one just doesn’t feel like it’s even the same silent killer we’ve watched for years.  His whole mythology is way off.

Freddy vs Jason (Briggs )

We get a cop drama here, and the Freddy cult reappears.  This script is boring, but the finale is interesting:  Freddy is the devil and Jason must fight him…in hell.

Final Nightmare (Unused Script) – Crave,Talalay

Somehow, Freddy has completely sent the town Springwood into a nightmare land.  The only person that escaped was Jacob, the child from The Dream Child.  Luckily, the Dream Police face off with him against Freddy.  It’s clunky at best.

(Oh…and if you’re looking for something different than just scripts, I found an online video that goes through the Freddy vs Jason vs Ash comic series page by page.)


I love horror movies, and I have since I was young. My favorite genre is the zombie genre, but it has completely been overdone in the last few years. I'm not a big fan of the horror movie formula, and I love it when a director turns it on its head. Please follow me on twitter (@_trapjaw_) and like me on facebook (scaretissuetrapjaw) for updates and to be immediately informed of new posts/projects.

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Tyler Doupe'
9 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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