Best Horror Movie Franchises of All Time – Part 3

Posted on 28 Aug 00:00


Humans are social beings, and being entertained is a special part of humanity. We read novels, swim, play ball games, listen to music, and watch movies to entertain ourselves. The first movie ever made was called 'Roundhay Garden Scene' and was released in 1888. Louis de Prince directed it. Over time, the movie industry has evolved, and now we see  movie franchises. This refers to a series of films of the same fictional universe. While some franchises are determined from the onset. The majority are created when a film is released in the market and receives positive responses, moving the crew and the cast to produce sequels for the initial movie.  

1.  Texas Chainsaw Massacre Franchise - $199.3 million

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most classic horror movie franchises of all time. The franchise has eight slasher films, comics, and a game adapted from the original movie. The series focuses on Leatherface, a cannibalistic serial killer, and his family. They terrorize naive visitors to their territories in the desolate Texas countryside and kill them. Afterward, the cannibalistic family cooks them.

Director: Kim Henkel wrote the first movie's screenplay, which Tobe Hooper used to direct the film. The two were later involving in writing and directing other three movies in the series. Jeff Burr, Kim Henkel, Marcus Nispel, Jonatha Liebesman, John Luessenhop, and Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo directed the other movies.

Main cast: Jim Siedow is the only actor with recurrent roles (the first and second films) and portrays the character Drayton Sawyer. Marietta Marich (Luda Mae Hewitt), Terrence Evans (Monty Hewitt), R. Lee Amy (Sheriff Winston Hoyt), and Andrew Bryniarski (Leatherface) also played recurring roles in the franchise. For continuity B (1974, 2013-2017), only John Dugan (Grandfather Sawyer) had recurring roles. He appeared on the first and second films.

Awards and nominations: one of the franchise’s films, 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning', was nominated at the 27th Golden Raspberry Awards (2006) for a Worst Prequel or Sequel but lost to 'Basic Instinct 2'. The first movie in the series earned $30.9 gross. The highest-grossing film was 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (2003), grossing $80.6 at the box office.

2.  Insidious Franchise - $189.8 Million

Insidious is another horror movie franchise with four films;

Insidious (2010)
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)
Insidious: The Last Key (2018)

The plot is demonology. The first two movies center on a continuously haunted couple by demons of a hellish realm known as the 'The Furthera dark place where souls are damned to remain forever, a place which is not meant to be tread by the living and time does not work as it does in the real world, until they take the family's life, which is what they seek. Events occur after the couple's son mysteriously enters a comatose state and becomes a vessel for ghosts in an astral plane. The third film is a prequel that focuses on the same psychic who aids the family. However, this time she comes to help a young girl who calls out to the dead. The fourth movie follows the girl when her own family becomes haunted.

Director: the first two movies in the franchise were directed by James Wan and Leigh Whannel. Leigh Whannel directed the third movie alone. Adam Robitel and Patrick Wilson directed the fourth and fifth films in the franchise.

Main cast: the main cast in the franchise consisted of many stars. Lin Shaye (Elise Rainier), Leigh Whannell (Specs), Angus Sampson (Tucker), and Patrick Wilson (Josh Lambert) acted in all the films. Rose Byrne (Renai Lambert) Ty Simpkins (Dalton Lambert) took part in the first, second, and fourth films.

Awards and nominations: The movies have never been nominated or awarded for anything. They grossed $189.8 million at the box office. Its first installment earned $54.0 million while the highest-grossing film is 'Insidious: Chapter 2' (2013), which earned $83.6 million.

3.  Poltergeist Franchise - $179.7 million

Poltergeist is an horror franchise distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The series has four films;

Poltergeist (1982)
Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)
Poltergeist III (1988)
Poltergeist (2015)

Poltergeist's plot centers on demonology. The first three movies in the series revolve around the Freeling family and its members.  A group of ghosts led by a demon known as 'The Beast' is attracted to Freeling's youngest daughter, Carol Anne. Consequently, the demons stalk and terrorize the family. In the last movie, the family still struggles to make ends meet. They relocate to a suburban home, and Carol Anne is kidnapped by spirits that possess the house.

Director: Tobe Hooper and Brian Gibson directed the first and second movies, respectively. Gary Sherman and Gil Kenan directed the third and fourth films, respectively.

Main cast: Zelda Rubinson (Tangina Barrons) and Heather O'Rourke (Carol Anne Freeling) have recurring roles in the series's first three movies. Craig T. Nelson (Steve Freeling) and JoBeth Williams (Diane Freeling) acted in the first two films. Other roles were portrayed by different actors and actresses.

Awards and nominations: the Poltergeist saw significant success in the industry. Its first film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including the Best Visual Effects award. It won the BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects. The second movie had mixed reviews but was still nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and two Saturn Awards.

4.  The Amityville Horror Franchise - $170.5 million

The Amityville Horror franchise is a series of five horror films, namely:

The Amityville Horror (1979)
Amityville II: The Possession (1982)
Amityville 3-D (1983)
The Amityville Horror (2005)
Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

The series plot centers on the Lutz family's experiences after they move into a house at 112 Ocean Avenue, Long Island. The first film revolves around James Brolin and Margot Kidder as a young couple (the Lutz family) who purchase a home in Amityville. The home is haunted by hostile supernatural forces. Ronald DeFeo Jr. and, his family initially lived in this house. DeFeo killed six members of his family here before the Lutz family moves there.

Director: the first film was directed by Stuart Rosenberg. Andrew Douglas directed the second film. Each of the other movies within the series has a different director.

Main cast: James Brolin and Kidder Margot are the leading characters in the first movie, while Melissa George and Ryan Reynolds lead in the second movie. They represent the Lutz couple. Each character was portrayed by a different individual for all the films in the series.

Awards and nominations: the first installment received two nominations; an Academy Award for Best Original Score by composer Lalo Schifrin and Kidder and a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress. The second movie received lots of critics and was neither nominated nor awarded for anything.    The Amityville Horror (1976) was the first and the highest-grossing film in the series, with an $84.6 million gross.

5.  The Omen Franchise - $162.5 Million

The Omen franchise is a horror franchise consisting of six films; 

The Omen (1976),
Damien:  Omen II (1978),
Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981),
Omen IV: The Awakening (1991),
The Omen (Remake, 2006), and
Damien (Remake, 2016).

The storyline revolves around Damien Thorn. He is a child born of Satan and given to Robert and Katherine Thorn before being passed along through the Thorn families. It is later unraveled among the families that Damien is, in fact, meant to be the Antichrist, and as an adult, is attempting to gain control of the Thorn businesses and obtain the ultimate power grab, the presidency.

Director: each of the movies in the franchise has a different director. Richard Donner and Don Taylor directed the first and second films. The third and fourth movies were overseen by Graham Baker and Jorge Montesi &Dominique Othenin-Girard. John Moore directed the fifth film in the franchise.

Main cast: the main character, Damien Thorn, is portrayed by different actors throughout the entire film. Leo McKern is the only actor with recurring roles in the first and second movies. All other characters are represented by different actors in each movie.

Awards and nominations: the series did vey well in the market primarily because of its first movie, which also happens to be the highest-grossing film with a $60.9 million gross. The movie received several awards and nominations like a Saturn Award for Best Actor in the Horror Film, an Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress, an Academy Award for Best Original Score, and the British Society of Cinematographers for Best Cinematography. For all the mentioned nominations, the film won the awards.

6.  Child's Play Franchise - $126.1 million

Child's Play (alias Chucky) is a horror slasher film series consisting of eight films:

Child's play 1, 2 & 3
Bride of Chucky
Seed of Chucky
Curse of Chucky
Cult of Chucky
Child's Play

The storyline revolves around a notorious serial killer named Chucky. He disguises himself by performing a voodoo ritual to transfer his soul into a "Good Guys" doll, which helps him escape death frequently.

Director: Tom Holland directed the first movie in the series. Other films in the series were overseen by different individuals. Don Mancini directed the fifth, sixth, and seventh movies in the franchise.

Main cast: Brad Dourif is starred in the series as Chucky in all the films and TV series, except for the 2019 Child’s Play Reboot. Edan Gross and Jennifer Tilly also play recurring roles as Good Guy/Buddi and Valentine Tiffany.

Awards and nominations: the franchise won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Franchise. Its first, second, and fourth films were box office successes, with all of the films generating over $182 million worldwide. Alongside revenues from sales of videos, DVDs, VOD, and merchandise, the franchise has generated over $250 million. The first movie in the series generated $33.2 million and is the highest-grossing film in the series.

7.  Psycho Franchise - $102.7 Million

Psycho is a horror movie series consisting of six films loosely based on Robert Bloch’s Psycho novels. The movies in the franchise are:

Psycho (1960)
Psycho II (1983)
Psycho III (1986)
Bates Motel (1987)
Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990)
Psycho (1998)

The storyline revolves around the life of Norman Bates. Bates is a deeply disturbed young man who operates the Bates Motel. His dictator like, overbearing relationship with the mother causes him to be mentally unstable. Consequently, Bates ends up having a psychotic twisted personality. He occasionally kills people because of this delusional condition.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock directed the first movie. Each of the films had a different directors.

Main cast: Anthony Perkins stars in the first four franchise's movies and portrays Norman Bates. When he ceases taking up this role, some actors take it over. Virginia Gregg (Norma "Mother" Bates), Robert Alan Browne (Ralph Statler), Hugh Gillin (Sheriff John Hunt, and Lee Garlington (Myrna) also play recurring roles in the second and third films.

Awards and nominations: the series was a success in the market. Its first movie grossed $32 million and received four Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction but lost them to other films. Another film was awarded two Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Director. All the three sequels were nominated for Saturn Awards, but they lost them. The highest-grossing film was 'Psycho II' (1983), with a $34.7 million gross.

8.  Evil Dead Franchise - $74.1 Million

Evil Dead is a supernatural horror film franchise consisting of four films;

The Evil Dead (1981),
Evil Dead II (1987),
Army of Darkness (1992), and
Evil Dead (2013).

The series’ plot revolves around the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (known as the Book of the Dead). This is an ancient Sumerian text which wreaks havoc upon a group of cabin inhabitants in a wooded area in Tennessee in America.

Main cast: the franchise stars Bruce Campbell (Ashley Joanna "Ash" Williams) in almost all the movies. It's only in Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, where Ash's love interest Linda appears without him. All other cast members do not have recurring roles and only appear in a single installment.

Director: Sam Raimi is the director and co-writer for the franchise’s original trilogy. Fede Álvarez directed the 2013 Evil Dead.

Awards and nominations: the first film hasn't received any nominations or awards but has attained a cult following. The second film was nominated for several awards, including Saturn Awards for Best Horror Film and Best Visual Effects, which they all lost to other movies. Army of Darkness was nominated for two Saturn Awards; Best Makeup and Best Horror Film (it won the latter). The last installment received several nominations and won several, including Golden Trailer Awards for Best Makeup and Best Special Effects. The first film grossed $29.4 while the 2013 Evil Dead earned $54.2 million, the highest gross for the series.


Movies have become a significant aspect of human entertainment. The film industry has evolved and created movie franchises for better plot development. A franchise is a collection of films with the same fictional universe. This article discussed eight horror movie franchises you might want to explore.      

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