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10 Horror Movies That Suffered Excruciatingly Long Delays!

With the announcement that the Eli Roth-produced Clown finally getting a U.S. theatrical release after year’s of lying on Dimension’s shelf, it got us thinking about the countless number of other films that  have been made only to be shelved for months (or years) on end. Sometimes it’s just because a movie is bad and the studio wants to hold on to it and release it when the time is right in order to make a quick buck. Other times, the decision to hold on to movies makes absolutely no sense. Anyway, here are 10 of the most notable films

The Green Inferno

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2013, Eli Roth’s cannibal film was set for release the following September. However, as is wont to happen, financial trouble plaguing the production company caused the film to be pulled from release until September of 2015, where it went on to gross just over $7 million domestically. This was a case where shelving a film did not do it any favors, as two years of hype built the film up too much and by September 2015 word of mouth had died down.


Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

This critical flop was set to open on March 2, 2012 but ended up being delayed until the dump month of January the following year. The reason? Because lead actor Jeremy Renner has two movies coming out that year (The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy) and the studio wanted to wait until those movies were released and Renner became more of a household name. The move didn’t work that well domestically (it grossed $55 million on a $50 million budget), but it grossed $170 million internationally, prompting a sequel that is supposedly going to be released later this year.



Carrie’s move wasn’t as drastic, just being moved from March to October of 2013. The initial release date made sense, as it would be right before prom season, but releasing it in the horror-centric month of October was definitely a better move. Unfortunately, it only made $35 million on its $30 million budget.

1146139 - CARRIE

World War Z

World War Z is one of the more notorious films on this list, mainly because of it’s sketchy release schedule. After extensive reshoots and a last minute script re-write, the film was set to be released on December 12, 2012 only to be pushed back six months to June of 2013 so that Paramount could release Jack Reacher that month instead.


Trick ‘r Treat

Man, this one was rough for horor fans. Michael Dougherty’s outstanding Halloween anthology was supposed to be released on October 5, 2007, only to be pushed back indefinitely. It had its first public screening at Butt-Numb-A-Thon in Austin, TX on December 9, 2007 and went on to screen at several more festivals. It was a long two-year wait though, as it wasn’t released on home video until October 6, 2009. They couldn’t even give us a theatrical release?

TRICK R TREAT | via Legendary and WB

Case 39

This dud was filmed in 2006 and set to be released on February 8, 2008. It got a small push to February 22, 2008, then a bigger one to August 22, 2008. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was pushed back again to April 10, 2009 before receiving a final bump to October 1, 2010. To top it all off, the movie was terrible. Poor Renée Zellweger.

Case 39 Delays

The Wolfman

Like Case 39, The Wolfman also saw its release date pushed back several times. First up was November 12, 2008. Then February 12, 2009. Then April 3, 2009. Then November 6, 2009. It finally settled on February 12, 2010. With a worldwide take of $139 million on a $150 million budget, it proved to be one of the more costly flops Universal Pictures had had in quite some time. Shifting release dates weren’t the film’s only problem. The entire production faced issues. A director (Mark Romanek) left the project due to creative differences and a composer (Danny Elfman) left as well. There were six months of reshoots beginning in December of 2008 (just so del Toro could run on all fours as the titular beastie). It was all a big mess.


The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods is arguably  the best movie on this list, so it’s sort of confusing as to why it was delayed for two years. Originally slated for February 5, 2010 by MGM, it was pushed back to January 14, 2011 so that it could be converted into 3D (thank God that didn’t happen). In June of 2010 is was revealed that the film would be postponed indefinitely due to financial problems with the studio. It was eventually sold to Lionsgate and premiered on March 9, 2012 at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX before being released theatrically on April 13, 2012.


Amityville: The Awakening

Yeesh, who knows what is going on with this one? It was supposed to come out on January 2, 2015 but was removed from the schedule before being pushed back over a year to April 1, 2016. Poor test screening responses caused the film to be pushed back again to January 17, 2017. Even with a pretty great cast (which includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne and Cameron Monaghan), it doesn’t seem like we’ll be in for a good Amityville movie.

Amityville: The Awakening

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

If there’s any reason to delay a film, a pregnancy is certainly a good one. Those fans clamoring for the (hopefully) last Resident Evil film (I’m including myself in that group) must have been pretty disappointed when Resident Evil: The Final Chapter was moved from its September 12, 2014 release date because of actress Milla Jovovich’s pregnancy with husband (and director) Paul W.S. Anderson. Never fear though! It will be released on January 27, 2017.

Resident Evil: Afterlife

What are some other films that you feel took too long to get released? Let us know in the comments below!



  • rogXue

    Didn’t Jason X also have a nasty delay, causing a leak?

    • wehoaks

      I believe that is true. I think it was set for release in 2000 initially.

      • Mr. Screamer

        It says on Wikipedia that development for Jason X started in the late ’90s.

    • Reanimated Charlie

      I love Jason X, haha.

  • wehoaks

    The Green inferno was also a VERY BAD film.

    Jason X and Halloween: Resurrection also had delays as well, right?

    • Mr. Screamer

      About Halloween: Resurrection, here’s info from Wikipedia: The release date for the film was originally set as September 21, 2001, but producers at Dimension Films wanted the film to be stronger so re-shoots took place from September to October 2001. The release date was thus changed to April 19, 2002 and then again to July 12, 2002.

      And now I’m laughing so hard at the ”Dimension Films wanted the film to be stronger” bit. Keep it classy, Dimension.

      • wehoaks

        OH DIMENSION. Cute as a button.

      • alwayswipetwice

        Good thing for those re-shoots…

      • alwayswipetwice

        But I do have to admit that I say “Trick or treat, motherfucka!” a lot. Usually when I’m gaming because no one has a clue what the hell it’s from, so I get a chuckle. But then self-reflect on it and cry to myself.

  • eagleye

    The Green Inferno, You’re Next, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Burning Bright, and I think Antichrist took a while as well.

  • diapers

    What about All the boys love Mandy Lane?

    • eagleye

      Was supposed to be released in 2007 but wasn’t until 2013.

    • Graham

      I remember being so excited for All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. Filmed in 2006, it didn’t get a North American release until 2013, which is nuts. Although it did get a theatrical and video release in the UK in 2008.

  • Jacob

    I feel like Poughkeepsie Tapes definitely deserved a mention.

  • Creepshow

    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer was delayed 4 years. It took support from Roger Ebert to get it released into theaters.

    House of a 1000 Corpses was delayed for 3 years.

    And World War Z is a piece of “Hot Trash”! I wish it was still delayed to the point it never got made.

    • Reanimated Charlie

      There are worse films than World War Z but I did dislike the CGI abuse in that film.

    • alwayswipetwice

      Thank god. I thought I was the only one who despises WWZ. A completely missed opportunity to make an amazing adaptation of the book. Fucking piece of shit.

    • alwayswipetwice

      I just wanted to add that WWZ is a piece of fucking shit. And surprise surprise – Lindelof has a writing credit…

  • DarkBree

    Demonic. It was released first in my country and Turkey.

  • Jimmy Cthulhuhan

    7500… 3-4 years after having a theatrical trailer. Despite one of the worst endings ever, I enjoyed the rest enough.

    • Right? Such a good (creepy) movie with the worst tacked on ending.

  • pablitonizer

    “The texas chainsaw massacre: The next generation” was supposed to be released in 1994 but it was delayed till 1997, long wait!

  • LN

    What about the adaptation of the Stephen King novel Cell with Samuel L Jackson and John Cusack? That was filmed years ago and just got bought by Saban though at this point I suspect it’ll never see the light of day (big fan of the book which makes it more frustrating).

    This from IMDB:

    Distribution for the film was doomed from the start. Back in 2013, Benaroya Pictures and Miscellaneous Entertainment formed an international sales company, International Film Trust and took the as of yet filmed Cell (2016) to Cannes to sell off distribution rights. No US distributor signed onto the project. In February 2015, new startup distributor Clarius Entertainment picked up US distribution rights for Cell and planned on an late 2015 wide release and the extent of their marketing efforts was uploading a still image with their acquisition press release – no trailers were cut. Clarius released their first three pictures in 2014 and all three were box office flops – Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (2013), And So It Goes (2014) and Before I Go to Sleep (2014). Their other films weren’t better off: She’s Funny That Way (2014) went through a bidding war where Clarius won, however If any of the several studios that were bidding on the film took the rights, the film would have saw its theatrical rollout, but after Clarius left the film in limbo, the producers were only able to sell the pic to Lionsgate for a VOD release and small token theatrical release; My All American (2015), now as Aviron Pictures, flopped hard, grossing a mere $2 million in theaters; and The Outskirts (2016) saw itself in a similar bind as Cell. Unable to provide payment for She’s Funny That Way and its pending litigation, it is more than likely Cell and The Outskirts will go down a similar path. As of March 2016, no distributor has been found to replace Clarius.

    • Very informative. I thought Cell was originally set up at Dimension but perhaps that was way back when Eli Roth was attached.

  • alwayswipetwice

    Interesting mix of movies. Surprised FvJ isn’t on here, but I’m not sure if it was technically “delayed”. Couldn’t believe how much fun I had watching H&G. Such a gem. And blech to Carrie. Julianne Moore killed it, but Moretz was miscast, imo. I would have rather seen her play Tina. I also hated how they made her almost like an X-Men, with the way she used her hands and all. Part of what was frightening about the original is how inanimate she was. Spacek’s stares were terrifying and could cut through concrete. Having Moretz use her body so much undermines what telekinesis is.

    • Agree. FvJ may not have been delayed once it was FINALLY filmed but sheesh…some of those aborted scripts were awful. I’m not crazy about the final film but it could’ve been way worse.

      • alwayswipetwice

        Definitely a mixed bag, but the actors/acting pushes it over the fence into “unbearable” territory, imo. Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, and then Ken Kirzinger… GAH!

        • Yeah. I use to have a soft spot for Rowland (always thought B was stealing her shine) but she is a horrible actress.

          PS – the “shine” comment was mostly a joke…mostly.

          • alwayswipetwice

            Mostly. lol
            That was her “dilemma”. Heh…

          • Haha. I’m not sure how to type out the sound of a drum roll so….drum roll.

          • alwayswipetwice


          • Ahh. There we go. 🙂

    • Walker Leonard

      Especially considering Freddy vs Jason was first teased in 1993…who knows that reference???

      • alwayswipetwice

        I think we all do (unfortunately).
        Definitely one of the coolest teasers though.

  • House of 1000 Corpses was one I was dying to see for years before it finally came out. I remember the very early teaser trailer (using footage not in the movie) released back when it was still at Universal.

    • wehoaks

      Same. Then it was awful

      • Haha. I enjoyed it to a degree. I found it more darkly humorous than scary though. I know you’re feelings towards RZ but I haven’t written him off yet. I’d just like to see him try something different, or at least direct something he didn’t write himself.

        • alwayswipetwice

          6th time’s a charm? ;D
          His fake Grindhouse trailer is probably my favorite thing of his. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him make a feature of that, mainly because it would force him to drop the gimmick. Ain’t no trailer park Nazi’s (well, not in WWII Germany, at least).

          • Haha. I actually thought his trailer was the weakest though I’ve never been partial to Nazisploitation flicks. I loved Rejects and felt Lords of Salem had some great ideas that didn’t wholly pan out. His Halloween films were….um, interesting experiments.

          • alwayswipetwice

            Without a doubt his trailer was the weakest of the four – even of the five if we include the Hobo trailer (which turned out to be fucking awesome as a feature). I could care less about Nazisploitation too, but his idea just seemed so batshit crazy that I think it would be a nice change of pace to see him do it. And Nic Cage’s cameo as Fu Manchu is better than anything that guy has done in years. “This is my Mecca!”

            And I can’t really watch Rejects anymore. It’s just too sadistic for me, but content aside, I can understand why people think it’s his best. Heh… his Halloweens.

        • wehoaks

          I actually would see a Zombie movie written by someone else. Until then it is going to continue to be trash city.

    • Creepshow

      Yup. I saw that teaser trailer in the theater when I saw The Mummy Returns. (I know, I know)
      But the teaser had dudes in hazmat suits digging in a big trench.

  • boomstick13

    Phantasm V: Ravager or The Pickaxe Murders Part III: The Final Chapter

    • Pickaxe Murders 3? Is there a 1 and 2? Are these older slasher films I’ve somehow never heard of?

      • Mr. Screamer

        No, there isn’t a 1 or 2. It is actually a 2014 movie that is a homage to ’80s slashers.

  • turk

    Not that it was a great movie (although, I didn’t hate it), but wasn’t “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” pushed back years after filming?

    • jmacgrath

      I was just coming here to say Mandy Lane! Dimension Films bought it at TIFF in 2006 and was supposed to release it in 2007, then was sold to Senator Entertainment in 2008.. then they went bankrupt and Radius-TWC (another division of The Weinstein Company, same as Dimension) bought the rights to the film.. finally giving it a limited release and VOD in 2013, about 7 years later. Totally should have made the list! 😛

      • turk

        Thanks for the summary. I knew it was a long time, because I was waiting to see it, but that’s insane. If I remember, didn’t it get released in the UK a year or so earlier than the US?

        • Jimmy Brown

          It got released here (the UK) in early 2008, I remember seeing trailers for before films in late 2007.

        • jmacgrath

          Yeah it did, in 2007 I think. So lame it took so long to come to North America 🙁

  • Frank Popp Jr.

    Army of Darkness and Texas Chainsaw next generation took about 4 years…

  • Brey Compton Arriaga

    What about Halloween Returns, Friday the 13th new reboot and Jeepers Creepers 3? They still under development, can’t wait for them!!!! Hope they’ll be great 😀 <3

    • Mr. Screamer

      Halloween Returns is kinda scrapped after Dimension lost the rights to the franchise, Jeepers Creepers 3 will also very likely never be made because of Victor Salva and Friday the 13th will keep being pushed back until it is cancelled or something like that.

  • MadCows

    How about The Poughkeepsie Tapes? Where the F is that shit?

  • I Am Colossus

    The Manson Family or Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer

  • The new Friday the 13th will break the guiness record! It’s being delayed since 2009.

  • sliceanddice

    the films suffered and so did we. not cabin, though.

  • Adam

    With the exception of Lions Gate, I think most major studios have lost interest in the horror genre mainly due to the high cost/high returns Superhero and animation films have provided film companies since the first Spider-Man film came out way back in 2002 and Toy Story in the 90’s. There’s no doubt people still love Horror movies and it’s definitely one of the biggest produced genres but a low budget film like It Follows or We Are Still Here , even though they are fantastic horror films, have no chance of survival against a Batman film or any mega-budget film. The costs to advertise a horror film like a superhero film would be more than it cost to make it in the first place so there is just no rational way to give a film like Trick or Treat a wide release, but I will admit The Conjuring is an exception. Plus the other major factor that plays in is KIDS. Parents don’t want to take there children to see people getting there heads chopped off so they take them to see movies like Hotel Transylvania because it’s more acceptable and everyone knows the more kids you can get in the theatre the more money you will make.

  • scooby279 .

    I always hate waiting for a movie to come out. The Green Inferno took forever! it is the best movie on this list, but the wait for Green Inferno was worth it, it was awesome. The new Amityville looks good, too bad it got pushed back again.

  • Halloween_Vic

    Cabin in the woods definitely is the best on that list, and whatever happened worked in favor I guess because that is one of the best Horror films made IMO. Amytiville you can tell is gonna suck, the fact that its been pushed back so much and due to poor screening test? Yea it doesn’t look promising for that films future, then again who knows.

  • Robert Goode

    Cabin in the Woods best on this list? Clearly you didn’t actually watch Trick R Treat.

    • gabriel

      Both trash

  • Darnell

    FEBRUARY?? I have been hearing about this film for two years yet there is no release date and i saw a report it might not release at all any time soon.

  • gabriel

    Between Trick R Treat and Cabin in the Woods, I’ll take The Mormon Tabernacle Choir because they both sucked. The Wolf Man is definitely the best on this damned list, but it could’ve been better of course.

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