Melanie Griffith in 'Joyride'; Sissy Spacek in 'Carrie'

Oh, what might have been! Alison Lohman gives a terrific performance as the cursed loan officer Christine Brown in Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell, which opens tomorrow. If not for the vagaries of scheduling, though, Ellen Page would have played the lead role. Would Page have been any better? We'll never know, but she joins a long list that inspires thoughts of 'What if ...?'

Once upon a time, we might have seen Leslie Howard as the titular Frankenstein and Bela Lugosi as The Monster. Instead, Colin Clive played the good doctor, Boris Karloff got a jump-start on life, and the rest is horror history. Here are seven more recent examples of actors and actresses who were considered for key roles in great horror films ... and the ones who replaced them, listed in chronological order. [Disclaimer: Based on information provided on IMDb's "trivia" pages, so no guarantees on accuracy.] Better? Worse? You decide.

1. Melanie Griffith / Sissy Spacek (Carrie)

Even though she was in her mid-20s, Spacek looks so young and fragile as Carrie that it's difficult to imagine anyone else in the role. Griffith was 18 or 19 and already had made an impression in Night Moves, The Drowning Pool, and Smile when she auditioned to play the telekinetic high schooler. Conveying Carrie's complexities might have been beyond her still-developing skills at that point. The pic above, left, is from Joyride, released the following year.

categories Cinematical