The Best Horror Movie Franchises
The best horror movie franchises of all time have some incredibly large shoes to fill, as well as having some hard criteria to live up to. Certainly, some of the biggest factors in determining a great Hollywood horror franchise should include box office numbers and the sheer number of films in the franchise, but let's face it, a list of the best scary film franchises of all time should be based on one thing... how scary the movies really are! This list includes some of the biggest and the most successful horror movie franchises, collections, and trilogies ever, so vote for your favorites and feel free to re-rank the movie series' in any order you want.
Any list of great horror movie franchises must encompass nearly 100 years of terror on the big screen! From masterful older horror movies like the Universal Monsters franchise to the best 80s horror movie franchises like the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street series to the best modern-day classic franchises like the Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring franchises, there is a little something for each and every horror fan ever right here on this list.
With so many outstanding horror franchises to choose from, how do you pick the best? If you need a reference point, you should check out this list of the greatest horror films ever made. You'll note that several of the top-ranked films are actually the cornerstones of fantastic horror franchises, including Halloween, Alien, The Exorcist, and Poltergeist. So be sure to vote up the best horror franchises ever!
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Halloween is without a doubt one of the strangest popular horror franchises ever released. While the first film in the series is arguably one of the best the genre has ever produced, its subsequent 12 sequels all become increasingly weird and wacky. With 5 different timelines, films that contradict one another, a reboot series, a standalone spinoff, and one of the most beloved killers in horror history, Michael Myers has been busy meeting the minds and scaring the bejesus out of horror fans for nearly 50 years, and he has no sights on slowing down anytime soon. Without a doubt one of the biggest horror franchises of all time and one of the scariest movie series to ever grace the silver screen, it doesn't matter how weird or bizarre this franchise becomes, horror fans big and small will always come back to this esteemed and beloved horror movie series.
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Freddy Kruger ushered in a new age of terror throughout the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and created one of the scariest movie series and most beloved horror figures of all time. A killer who hunts down teens in their dreams, this bone-chilling premise was executed to perfection throughout its initial 7 film run and subsequent reboot, and the franchise as a whole remains one of the best scary movie series to watch. Utterly terrifying, frightfully fun, and wickedly entertaining, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic horror franchise for a reason, it helped define the genre as we know it and produced some of the best horror films of all time.
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With 12 mainline film entries, the Friday the 13th franchise helped usher in the slasher subgenre of the 80s and 90s, and introduced the world to one of the most beloved and adored killers in all of horror, Jason Voorhees. One of the most successful horror movie franchises of all time and without a doubt one of the scariest movie series of all time, Friday the 13 influenced, inspired, and astonished generation after generation of horror fans. While subsequent installments in the franchise would become wackier and more ludicrous, looking at you Jason X, there is no doubt about the amount of fun, joy, and terror this beloved horror franchise brings to its community.
With only three films released over a decade-long span, one would be forgiven to question the validity of The Conjuring franchise as one of the best scary movie series of all time, however, this incredibly impactful and revolutionary mainstream horror franchise has more than earned its flowers atop the horror dynasty. Arguably one of the most successful horror movie franchises of the last 30 years, The Conjuring redefined what horror was throughout the decade, as its uber popularity led to many films attempting, and failing, to recreate the magic the films had. Utterly frightening ghost stories with heart as well as chills, The Conjuring franchise is one of the best modern horror movie series and a masterclass in terror.
The Scream franchise quickly climbed the ranks to become one of the best scary movie series of all time, with director Wes Craven creating a meta slasher/murder mystery that enthralled, entertained, and scared the living daylights out of people. With 4 mainline entries from the master of horror, Ghostface and the Scream horror franchise as a whole became one of the top horror franchises thanks to its ability to keep things fresh and fun. With Wes's tragic passing, many believed the series would be finished, but the team at Radio Silence have continued the franchise and paid a beautiful tribute to the man who created it. With six films in two and a half decades and no signs of slowing down, Scream is quickly becoming a staple and classic horror franchise.
No franchise has turned the horror genre up on its head more often than the utterly bonkers Evil Dead franchise. It is incredibly difficult to have one of the simultaneously scariest movie series and funniest movie series, but somehow Evil Dead manages to toe this line beautifully. From its original installment in 1981 which was seen as one of the vilest and most revolting films in history, to its sequel in 1987, Evil Dead II, which is revered as one of the best horror comedies of all time, to its 2013 remake that redefined what brutality in horror could truly be, Evil Dead is one of the most successful horror movie franchises of all time, and while it may just have 4 films, it is still one of the best horror series of all time.