Horror films are having a moment. Once cheesy and cheaply made, horror films have become a popular, year-round genre that generated $733 billion in ticket sales in 2017. Here are 10 of some of the most popular:
The story of the stylish, blood-thirsty vampire prince from Transylvania has had more lives and remakes than, well, Dracula himself. The 1922 German silent film, “Nosferatu the Vampire,” is considered history’s first horror film. In the 1930s, actor Bella Lugosi’s portrayal set the standard by which all subsequent images of “Dracula” have been based.
The first horror film ever nominated for a Best-Picture Oscar. Based on Peter Blatty’s novel about a girl possessed by Satan, the film stunned and shocked audiences in 1973. Today, the special effects seem dated, almost quaint compared to modern-day fare.
Teenagers. Weird phone calls. A stalker who kills while wearing a creepy mask. What more do you need?
Alfred Hitchcock’s lean and spare masterpiece only features three main characters including Norman Bates, a mild-mannered motel manager who also happens to be a psychopath. The film’s shower scene is consistently ranked as one of the best moments in film history.
“Nightmare on Elm Street”
The 1980s film series made an icon out of “Freddie Kruger,” the ghoulish character at the centerpiece of the series about teenagers being terrorized in their sleep—to death.
Jordan Peele’s cerebral film uses race, class, medicine and the fears that each of those categories engenders. In 2018, “Get Out” won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.
The granddaddy of the horror-film series, “Halloween” remains popular by consistently offering new films centering on serial slasher Michael Myers since its debut in 1978.
“Blair Witch Project”
Made on shoestring budget in 1999, the black-and-white film about three young people who get lost in the woods, not only made money, its hand-held camera style made some theater-goers literally dizzy. Made for $60,000, the film made $250 million in theaters.
This 1968 film shocked audiences with its story of a young wife who unwittingly becomes entangled with Satan worshipers.
“The Thing From Another World”
The alien is murderous, and there’s no place to go for a group of scientists trapped in an outpost on Antarctica. Made in 1951, the film has spurred several remakes, but none as effective as the original. The last scene is downright chilling.