Scares and thrills help make Halloween one of the most popular holidays of the year. Many people like to go outside their comfort zones come Halloween, and what better way to do that than with haunted houses, corn mazes, spooky superstitions, and, of course, a bevy of scary movies?
Horror movies and Halloween go hand-in-hand. Many television networks and streaming services offer around-the-clock fright fests in the days leading up to Halloween. Some horror movies are instant classics, while others have attracted cult followings.
The following are some of the most financially successful horror films (box office figures, in millions, courtesy of IMDB.com).
The Blair Witch Project (1999) $140.53: Pitched as a documentary of found footage, moviegoers are led to believe the movie is actually a nonfiction account made by film students who vanished in a Maryland forest.
The Exorcist (1973) $204.57: A preteen girl becomes possessed by a mysterious entity, and the girl’s mom enlists the help of two priests to help save the soul of her daughter. This movie is not for the faint of heart and tackles the subject of demonic possession.
Gremlins (1984) $148.17: A new pet isn’t as innocent as it looks when his owner breaks three rules and unleashes malevolent creatures on a small town.
Halloween (1978) $168.5: This classic, along with ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ is often credited as starting the slasher movie genre. Masked Michael Myers is one of the most iconic horror movie antagonists – as recognizable as Freddy Krueger from the ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ films.
I Am Legend (2007) $256.39: A sole survivor from a plague that kills most of humanity and transforms others into monsters must try to find a cure for this horrific illness.
Paranormal Activity (2007) $119: Another take on the supernatural, this movie is presented with ‘found footage’ of a young couple who moves into a home haunted by a supernatural presence. It ultimately spawned a series five different films.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) $130.73: In order to help catch a serial killer who is killing and skinning his victims, an F.B.I. cadet needs the help of an incarcerated cannibalistic killer.
World War Z (2013) $202.35: A former United Nations employee travels the world in a race to stop a Zombie pandemic that is taking over governments and threatening to destroy humanity.