10 Most Popular Horror Movies

Monday, January 31 by C.T. Wright

Naming a list of the 10 most popular horror movies sounds like a game you’d play to pass the time at a friend’s party. Almost everyone loves horror films and it’s not hard to understand why. Thrills, suspense, gore and gimmicks that can make girls jump into guys laps are all good fun. Most people have seen the films on this list but if not, enjoy:

  1. “Paranormal Activity” (2007). This low budget “mockumentary” broke box office records while scaring the pants off people. It's subtle scares build as the movie goes on, requiring that you keep the rewind button close. It might seem like there's little going on but the ending is sure to leave you guessing.
  2. “Saw” (2004). From the opening till the very end this horror movie keeps you on the edge of your seat. Claustrophobic and clever, it is one of the most original horror movies of the digital age. You know a movie is popular when it spawns five sequels in as many years and gives rise to "Jigsaw," the popular culture killer from the franchise.
  3. “Scream” (1996). Made during the heyday of the pop teen renaissance and packed with a who's who of then TV stars, Scream reinvigorated a sagging horror movie genre. Both scary and fun, the film uses every great horror film before it for reference. The killer’s mask from this movie remains a popular Halloween favorite.  
  4. “Halloween” (1978). John Carpenter’s masterpiece about a masked killer stalking small town babysitters has become a modern classic. Michael Myers is a pop culture icon. The movies haunting score is infamous in its own right.  This popular horror movie was once the highest-grossing independent movie of all time.
  5. “Friday the Thirteenth” (1980).  With over twelve sequels and a Freddy Kruger mash-up flick, this is clearly one of the most popular horror movies ever.  Jason Voorhees has immortalized the hockey mask as a symbol of intimidation.
  6. "A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984).  “Here’s Freddy!” The burned face, finger knife-wearing Mr. Kruger has more one-liners than a stand-up comedian. For a time in the 1980’s, Freddy was the face of horror. There were a string of movies, a TV show, merchandise, and anything else imaginable. It doesn’t get any more popular than that.
  7. “Hostel” (2005). What Saw did for torture porn, Hostel took to the next level. Young college-aged guys backpacking through Eastern Europe and picking up hot chicks is a classic male fantasy. Getting lured into a snuff house and getting left for dead turns that fantasy into a nightmare.
  8. “The Ring” (2002). The marketing campaign for this remake of the Asian horror film of the same name had everyone buzzing. “Seven days…” The first words you hear after the phone rings had everyone scared to pick up and even more afraid to watch TV alone in the dark.
  9. “The Grudge” (2004). Another remake of an Asian ghost story, this horror movie has also become a franchise.  Most notable for it’s scene of fingers coming out of the back of someone’s head, it’s become a popular teen midnight movie.
  10. “The Blair Witch Project" (1999). This dizzying film was the low budget box-office king befor Paranormal Activity came around. Filmed in the same “mockumentary” style, the movie became a popular cult hit and viral Internet sensation. The sequel didn’t live up to the promise of the original but the Blair Witch will always be remembered.
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