August 9, 2017

5 Longest Running Horror Film Franchises

Annabelle: Creation pops up in theaters this weekend and we are totally not excited for it. It may be because it is the fifth film in The Conjuring franchise, or because it is a sequel to a prequel from the series. However, if there are any films that can drill out sequels on a year-by-year basis, horror films take the cake. Here are the horror series that have the most installments.


Honorable mentions to A Nightmare on Elm Street with nine films in the franchise and Child's Play with a respective seven. 

Halloween

'Halloween'; Courtesy of Compass International Pictures


Film Count: 10
What is the Series About: A young child wears a mask and kills his older sister. He is hospitalized in a psychiatric institution. Fifteen years later, he escapes and goes on a killing spree on Halloween. Each film follows a killing spree type storyline.

Leave it to mastermind John Carpenter (The Thing, Escape from New York) to bring about one of the most iconic horror movie villains in cinema. One has to wonder how such a memorable character lasted through 10 films. Well, he didn't. Michael Myers appeared as the villain in nine out of the 10 films. Halloween III: Season of the Witch featured a different cast and was based around witchcraft. The idea was to make the film series an anthology with different characters and stories in each film. It only lasted for that one film and Myers was back for every other film. The series went on to gross $308 million domestically. You can thank Jamie Lee Curtis in the starring role alongside a continuous killing spree in each film. Currently there are plans to create a direct sequel to Halloween II with David Gordon Green directing.  

Children of the Corn

'Children of the Corn'; Courtesy of Hal Roach Studios


Film Count: 10
What is the Series About: A bunch of kids in a cult in the middle of nowhere and they hate adults.

Yes. Just Yes. There have been 10 films based on the Stephen King novel Children of the Corn. Definitely not as popular as some of the other franchises on this list: six of the films were released direct-to-video while one became a television film. The first two Children of the Corn went into movie theaters nationwide. They came away with a little over $21 million off  a total of a one million dollar budget. The tenth film in this everlasting, but unnecessary series, is titled Children of the Corn: Runaway and is slated to be released straight-to-DVD sometime this year. 

Hellraiser

'Hellraiser'; Courtesy of Cinemarque Entertainment BV


Film Count: 10
What is the Series About: A puzzle-box that opens a realm to another dimension. Within that dimension live human-like organisms who take human souls to be tortured with sadomasochism. 

Along with Stephen King and John Carpenter, another popular name among horror fanatics is Clive Barker. Barker hasn't taken his talents too far out of the realm of horror, focusing his skills on continuing the Hellraiser franchise, bringing about the terrific Candyman, and filling his time with TV-movies. Hellraiser is Barker's quintessential masterpiece. Hellraiser II as well. Anything after, not so much. Four of the franchise films were released in theaters, collecting $48 million, while the rest went straight-to-DVD. The current status of the series is up in the air with another straight-to-DVD film releasing sometime in 2017, and a remake being helmed by Barker in the works.

Friday the 13th 

'Friday the 13th Part III'; Courtesy of Paramount

Film Count: 12
What is the Series About: An un-killable man with mommy issues.

The Friday the 13th franchise may be one of the more durable series due in part to the fact that Jason never appears in the first film. The second film goes right into murdering the lead character of the first film. Friday the 13th Part III is the first appearance of Jason's hockey mask.  There's a very vile concoction of a story set in space; and eventually Jason and Freddy Krueger meet up in an epic horror battle. In between the original trilogy and the craziness that consumes the last films, Jason goes to New York and heads to Hell. The series gets to take Jason to a lot of destinations, upping the fear factor to new extremes, and resulting in a much larger body count with each film. The series went onto gross $380 million in domestic box office revenue on a collective $80 million budget. The series has been halted by diminishing returns on other horror film franchises. 

Puppet Master

'Retro Puppet Master'; Courtesy of Kushner-Locke Company

Film Count: 12
What is the Series About: An Egyptian spell brings puppets to life. 

Demonic children, beings from another dimension, and murderous men don't have nothing on puppets. If you want to get through this horror franchise you'll have to set aside around 13 hours. The series started with the simple premise of puppets coming alive and killing people, because why not? Puppet Master has eventually grown into an epic horror franchise that set focus to World War 2 and the animated puppets being used by Nazis. How do you create such a long-lasting franchise? You release them straight-to-DVD and watch as the horror fanatics eat the idea up.

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