The 10 Biggest Horror Movies Of All Time

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In anticipation of All Hallows' Eve Geek Dave counts down the 10 highest grossing horror movies of all time.


Although horror films appeal to a smaller audience than say superhero movies, romantic comedies or the big Summer action blockbusters, many of them have made a surprising amount of money, and often from a very small budget. So let's take a look at the 10 highest grossing horror movies that have hit the big screen.

I'm only including the most successful installment in any franchise, and also only counting proper R-Rated horror movies in this list. So you won't find any PG Rated soft-horror like World War Z, or supernatural thrillers like The Sixth Sense. Nope, we're counting down the slashers, the gory, the demonic possessions, and the downright scary...


10. The Amityville Horror (1979) $86.4million
Despite full disclosure by the real estate agent of the home's history, George and Kathy Lutz purchase a large house on the coast of Long Island. "Houses don't have memories" George says. George was wrong.


9. Saw 2 (2005) $87million 
The most successful in the Saw franchise sees Jigsaw lock a few unlucky people in a booby trapped shelter, they need to find a way out before they inhale too much of the lethal nerve gas and die.


8. Scream (1996) £103million
The first installment in the Scream series saw a masked killer murdering teenagers in a small town. The following two sequels also performed really well at the box office, 1997's Scream 2 took $101.4million, and in 2000 Scream 3 raked in $89.1million.


7. Interview with the Vampire (1994) $105.3million 
Tom Cruise stars as the vampire named Lestat who takes a liking to Brad Pitt's Louis and offers him the chance to become a creature of the night. The all star cast led this R rated vampire tale to box office success.


6. Paranormal Activity (2007) $108million
This low budget (really low budget - made for just $15,000!!) was a surprising hit in 2007. Telling the story of a young couple, who after moving into a suburban home, becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence. In 2011 the third movie (which cost $5million to produce) in the franchise almost rivaled the original with an impressive $104million.


5. The Grudge (2004) $110.4million
The first in the franchise's three films was the most successful. It was inspired by the Japanese original and even had the same director, Takashi Shimizu.


4. The Ring (2002) $129.1million 
Journalist Rachel Keller investigates the urban legend behind a videotape that may have killed four teenagers (including her niece). Viewer's die seven days after watching it, so after her son pops it in the VCR she has a race against time.


3. The Conjuring (2013) $137million
The most recent horror movie on this list sits pretty at $137 million plus change. No wonder a sequel is on its way next year.


2. The Blair Witch Project (1999) $140.5million 
Another low budget success. The original 'found footage' movie was shot for just $60,000, and launched a phenomenon. It's another urban legend tale which sees three film students travel to Maryland to make a film about the Blair Witch. The three went into the woods on a two day hike, and never came back. One year later, the students film and video was found in the woods.


1. The Exorcist (1973) $232.9million
The original tale of a young girl's demonic possession, and the priests who do battle against it, is the most successful horror movie of all time and often voted the scariest. It was banned in the UK for many years, and early VHS copies would trade hands for ridiculous prices. After the censorship laws were relaxed an extended cut of The Exorcist was re-released in 1998. Adjusting for inflation, in the USA The Exorcist would be the ninth highest grossing movie of all time. As new generations discover the movie its total rises, and to date has a worldwide gross of $441,071,011. Not a bad return on its original $8million budget!

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