With October officially here and Halloween quickly approaching, people are in the mood to be scared. Haunted house, escape rooms, and other frightening events are taking place all across the world. While those are great to visit, did you know that you can get that same frightful feeling without even leaving the comfort of your home?
There are tons of amazing horror films you can watch to get in the Halloween spirit, but instead of watching a standalone film, why not watch a whole franchise? October is the perfect month to binge on some classic Halloween movie franchises (although we maintain that horror flicks are great any time of the year). Without any further ado, let’s check out the best and most famous horror movie franchises.
We will start off the list by taking a look at one of the most disturbing and gory on this entire list, in the Saw franchise. The franchise revolves around the Jigsaw killer, who traps his victims in a variety of different traps or tests, which test their will to live and often results in their awful demise. The movie is full of horrific scenes and situations, so viewer discretion is definitely advised before you check out these films. This bloody franchise has spawned seven movies so far, which have collectively grossed well over $850 million at the box office. There is also a new addition coming out in October 2017, so you can finish off this Saw movie marathon by checking out the eighth film, called Jigsaw, in theaters.
9. Child’s Play/Chucky Franchise
To the people out there with a fear of dolls, this might not be the film franchise for you. This franchise stars Chucky, a notorious serial killer whose soul is trapped inside the body of a toy doll after a voodoo ritual. Yeah, it’s a bit far fetched, but it works well for this franchise. The direction of the franchise has changed a bit throughout the years, and it has still managed to be seen as a horror classic. It started as a straight up horror franchise, soon pivoted to become more of a slasher franchise with some humor incorporated, and then going back to being horror. Either way, the franchise has seven movies included in it, and has grossed nearly $200 million at the box office so far.
While it might not be as famous in North America as some of the other horror move franchises included in this list (as it is a British series), it is definitely one of the best. The storyline of the series focuses on a gateway to a hell-like realm, in the form of a puzzle box. This realm is inhabited by the Cenobites, which is an order of ex-human monsters who harvest human souls for experiments. The series of films prominently features one of these Cenobites, the iconic Pinhead. There have been a total of nine films in this series (with a tenth on the way), with the first three often being cited as the best of the bunch. If you have never seen this franchise, definitely give it a watch.
This franchise is an interesting one and it brought something completely new to the genre of horror films. In fact, Scream has largely been cited as revitalizing the horror genre in the late 1990s. It’s a slasher franchise at heart, that also has some comedy and self-awareness thrown in there. The debut film in the series was released in 1996 and is the highest grossing slasher flick of all time. The film (and the other films in the series) generally follow Sidney Prescott as she deals with a number of murderers who stalk and torment her. The films have collectively generated over $600 million at the box office and while none were able to capture the magic of the original, they are all still worth a watch.
When it comes to sci-fi horror films, no franchise can hold a torch to what Alien has done. The franchise features four main films, two prequels (Prometheus and Alien: Covenant) and a few spin-offs too, such as the Alien vs. Predator series. This franchise focuses on Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley and her wars and conflicts with an extraterrestrial type of creature, which is referred to as the Alien (although the technical term is xenomorph). While the first two films are typically seen as the best, the rest of the series are worth a watch as well, although some will say the series fell off of a cliff after the first two films. Collectively, the franchise has grossed over $1.3 billion in worldwide box office sales, making it one of the highest grossing horror franchises on the planet. Simply put, it is one of the best film franchises in general (despite the ups and downs), and definitely one of the best in the horror industry.
5. Paranormal Activity
This is one of the most recent additions to the horror movie genre, but has taken the industry by storm. The debut film came out in 2007 and since then there have been an additional four Paranormal Activity movies, plus a spin off. The films are centered on a family who is haunted by a demon that scares, stalks, and then eventually commits murders, turning family members and various other characters into victims. The series uses clever camera work and production to make it seem like it was found footage and that helps to make the films seem real and authentic. The films have collectively grosses nearly $900 million at the box office, which is very impressive for a franchise that is only about ten years old. While there are definitely some people out there who dislike this series, we would say it is a welcomed addition and definitely deserves a spot on this list.
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
When many people think of the word “horror”, their minds go right to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and rightfully so. This franchise has spawned eight movies, and countless other games, books, toys and more. The original was released way back in 1974 and the most recent hitting North American theaters in October 2017 (a prequel to explains the origin of the iconic killer). The series focuses on a character named Leatherface, who terrorizes and then typically kills his victims, who are unsuspecting visitors to the area where he lives. It is a terrifying franchise and one that will truly make you leap out of your seat. The franchise has collectively grossed nearly $250 million at the box office, with the 1974 original and the newest three films being the most popular in the series at the theater.
3. Friday the 13th
This franchise consists of a whopping 12 slasher movies, as well as countless comic books, books, video games, toys and more, making it one of the most popular on this entire list. It also helped to spawn one of the most famous horror characters in the world, the machete-wielding Jason Voorhees. Jason is the central character in the series and is a masked character, who drowned at Camp Crystal Lake, and is the reason why the lake is “haunted”. While the films weren’t too popular with the critics, the franchise is extremely popular amongst the public and brought in well over $450 million at the box office. Voorhees’s hockey mask continues to be one of the most recognizable images in the horror genre over the past few decades.
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street
You just learned about Jason and his franchise, now it’s time to learn about Freddy Krueger and his. Krueger is a former child killer who stalks teens in their dreams and kills them as revenge for being burnt alive by the parents of his victims. He is easily one of the most famous fictional characters in the entire horror genre. Krueger is the main character that the entire franchise of a Nightmare on Elm Street revolves around. There have been nine different films in this franchise (including the Freddy vs. Jason cross-over), with the first releasing way back in 1984 and the most recent reboot coming out in 2010. The films in this series have grossed a total of over $450 million and is far and away one of the most famous horror franchises in the world. It also has a ton of excellent installments that make for a great horror marathon.
With a name like Halloween, it should be no surprise that this franchise comes in as the most famous series of horror movies in history. The series consists of ten films, which predominantly focus on killer Michael Myers. Myers was committed to a sanitarium for children after murdering his older sister. However, once he escaped, he begins to stalk and kill the people of Haddonfield, Illinois. His killings often take place on Halloween, and these films are often set around the end of October. The films have grossed nearly $400 million (despite many of them being on a fairly small budget) and there is another one scheduled to be released in October 2018. Everything from the situations, the direction, the music, and the writing in this franchise are great. It is a must-watch if you haven’t seen it before, as it basically gave birth to the slasher genre.