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The Pope’s Exorcist


The Burning

The People Under the Stairs

National Lampoon's Vacation

The Covenant

American Horror House


  • Censored US Version
  • Uncensored SyFy Version
Release: Aug 31, 2013 - Author: Mike Lowrey - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB
The American Syfy channel doesn't just air material that is produced by third parties but does also launch own projects in cooperation with production companies. One of these is Active Entertainment, which has produced several genre films like Ghostquake. And they obviously supply other distribution channels, as well, and not all of them are as liberal as Syfy when it comes to violent content. This is why some of the company's films get a second version which is considerably more harmless. For example, Ghostquake has a way more tame alternate version called Haunted High (which we already did a comparison of).

Another example of this practice is the horror film American Horror House which is a surprisingly decent effort for TV purposes and has some quite graphic slasher ingredients. Here, we have a very heavily edited alternate version that goes by the name Paranormal Initiation. Apart from many simple cuts, we also get to see usage of harmless alternate material so that the sight of bloody details is avoided as thoroughly as possible.

Comparison between the censored, alternate version entitled "Paranormal Initiation" (on the German DVD/BD by Great Movies) and the uncensored Syfy version entitled "American Horror House".

43 differences, consisting of
23 cuts
18 scenes with alternate material
2 extended scenes in the AV

The Syfy version runs 280.44 sec. or approx. 4 minutes 21 seconds longer than the alternate version (AV).
Extended Scene in the AV
0:00:47: The Alternate Version (AV from now on) has a longer shot of the puppet and how the nanny walks up the stairs.
+ 6.8 sec.

Alternate Material
0:00:56: The AV shows the screaming nanny and the young Rosemary singing before it shows the title of the film, "Paranormal Initiation". On Syfy, the nanny screams and the camera pan starts with the dead parents lying in bed with their throats cut. Then, Rosemary can be seen whirling around the scissor and singing a song. The title "American Horror House" follows.
The Syfy version runs 15.96 sec. longer


0:06:52: The first on-screen murder can only be seen in the Syfy version and was simply cut from the AV. The cords cut bloodily into Marylynn's body. Miss Pena comes closer and stretches the cords further so that Marylynn finally falls apart like a bloody puzzle. Miss Pena enters the room and the door closes behind her. The AV only shows Miss Pena going into the room and how the door closes. Marylynn's fate is subject to the viewer's imagination.
31.56 sec.

0:22:03: The violin bow cuts into the hand.
5.8 sec.

Alternate Material
0:22:11: Syfy shows how Marylynn's ghost vanishes while continuing to cut in her own hand while the AV has an alternate shot of her disappearance. When she suddenly appears behind Det. Hammond, she screams at him and throws him to the ground. On Syfy, she has an extraordinary long tongue to scare him (no, she doesn't use it for anything else) while this effect is totally absent in the AV.
The Syfy version runs 0.28 sec. longer


0:25:35: Shot of the dead Missy lying on the ground.
2.8 sec.

Alternate Material
0:29:44: The ghost of the dead mother appears behind Colleen and exposes her bloody throat slit while looking up and screaming silently. The AV shows Colleen going to the stove earlier to make up for some of the time difference.
The Syfy version runs 3.2 sec. longer


Alternate Material
0:31:40: Syfy shows the rest of the cat, the AV shows the smiling Miss Margot.
The Syfy version runs 0.84 sec. longer


Extended Scene in the AV
0:31:45: The AV is slightly longer as Miss Margot prepares the soup.
+ 0.72 sec.

0:33:11: Cut as Tish lies on the ground gasping while a razorblade and a screwdriver stick bloodily in her face.
6.8 sec.

0:33:31: Again the dead Tish with half of the toolbox in her face. Her ghost looks at the body on the ground.
7.44 sec.

0:35:31: The tracking shot into the dumpster with the hurt Kaylee lying in it.
6.88 sec.

0:35:53: Again a cut murder scene. Kaylee lies in the dumpster, breathes heavily and looks at her severed body. Then the "bear" approaches, chokes her and stabs a bottle into her left eye. Kaylee screams in agony as the bottle is filled up with her blood. Finally, he punches onto the bottle, pushing it further into Kaylee's skull and she is completely dead.
35.72 sec.

Alternate Material
0:40:21: Slightly different take as the picture is drawn.
The Syfy version runs 0.12 sec. longer

0:42:29: Blood flows out of two water faucets.
11.52 sec.

0:42:54: The blood stops flowing.
4.44 sec.

0:43:24: Riley's death can be imagined in the AV but has been cut, as well. She fights but is ultimately drowned in the bathtub that is filled with blood. Her ghost can be seen on the surface after she died.
22.64 sec.

Alternate Material
0:46:23: The shots of Daria are a little longer in the AV while Syfy shows three shots from the diary. Here, we see pictures of the dead parents with their slit throats.
The Syfy version runs 0.2 sec. longer

0:50:47: An entire scene is missing here. Daria stands on the dancefloor and discovers a weird looking woman. Daria comes closer and we see that the woman is the dead mother. She exposes her neck and blood spurts from her wound directly into Daria's face and against her upper body. Daria is shocked and when Lloyd comes to her, it appears as if she only imagined all that since there's no sight of the mother or the blood. He asks her whether she took any drugs and she goes away puzzled while he follows her.
54.88 sec.

0:58:32: The ghost of Riley stands on the stairs and watches Det. Hammond.
4.96 sec.

0:59:31: Marylynn rips Det. Hammond's tongue out and as we all know from biology class, the tongue is directly connected to the intestines. And since that's the case, she can easily pull them out of his mouth until there's nothing left. He has a shocked look on his face and then falls to the floor.
23.32 sec.

1:00:00: Marylynn has a bloody mouth and disappears into thin air.
5.68 sec.

Alternate Material
1:05:15: The bald man is hit by the axe in both versions but only the Syfy version as CGI blood to offer.
The AV runs 0.12 sec. longer


1:05:18: Miss Pena is strangled a little more on Syfy.
0.6 sec.

1:05:20: And a little more strangling.
1.44 sec.

Alternate Material
1:05:23: The AV omits the shot of the dead parents and starts its tracking shot with the singing Rosemary. However, it is not identical to the Syfy version since it has jump cuts to get it over with more quickly while Syfy is in no hurry and shows the bloodied Rosemary in a slow tracking shot.
The Syfy version runs 4.8 sec. longer

Alternate Material
1:05:31: The flashback of Marylynn's death is harmless in the AV once more while Syfy shows her being fragmented.
The Syfy version runs 1.56 sec. longer


Alternate Material
1:05:34: Missy hits the ground on Syfy, the AV shows her falling down the stairs a little more.
The Syfy version runs 1 frame (0.04 sec.) longer


Alternate Material
1:05:37: The toolbox falls a little longer in the AV while Syfy shows Tish with tools in her head.
The Syfy version runs 1.92 sec. longer


Alternate Material
1:05:42: The bear murder is cut completely while the deaths of Riley and Det. Hammond are again more harmless in the AV.
The Syfy version runs 4.24 sec. longer


1:05:50: This scene was no problem earlier in the movie but now the death of the frat boy had to be shortened in the AV.
1.56 sec.

1:08:39: As Kaylee turns around, the Syfy version is longer as her face with the bloody eye socket is revealed.
0.8 sec.

Alternate Material
1:08:44: The dialogue scene between Kaylee and Daria's crew has more shots of her and the AV tries all it can to avoid the sight of Kaylee with her eye socket and therefore shows Daria's crew more often. Syfy has no such problems and we can get a good look of Kaylee.
The Syfy version runs 0.88 sec. longer

Alternate Material
1:09:08: The reason is not entirely clear but the Syfy version stays with Marylynn all the time while the AV pans to the bear standing in the background about halfway through the scene.
The Syfy version runs 0.24 sec. longer


1:14:17: The dead Colleen lies on the floor. Then her ghost appears and goes into the house.
15.16 sec.

1:20:04: A longer shot of the dead Tish.
2.08 sec.

1:20:08: She approaches Daria.
2.84 sec.

Alternate Material
1:20:13: Different order of shots as Tish grimly welcomes Daria to the Kappas.
The Syfy version runs 0.24 sec. longer


1:20:25: Syfy shows Tish slightly longer.
0.44 sec.

Alternate Material
1:20:27: As Tish lunges out with the knife, Syfy offers a closer shot of her.
The AV runs 1 frame (0.04 sec.) longer


Alternate Material
1:20:31: Syfy: close-up of the grinning Tish starting her stabbing attack, AV: longer shot of Daria and then a more distant shot of both girls.
The Syfy version runs 0.12 sec. longer


Alternate Material
1:20:36: More of the same. Close-ups of Tish's face are avoided in the AV by using longer harmless shots.
The Syfy version runs 3.16 sec. longer


1:20:41: Tish turns her head and exposes her face once more and Lloyd strikes out earlier.
0.96 sec.