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Crunching Numbers: Scoring Every Major Horror Movie Franchise

Identifying the greatest genre franchises in existence is a lot easier said than done. There are some amazing creations out there, and a number of those amazing creations have gone on to spawn some excellent sequels. So what deserves a spot on this list, and what doesn’t? In order to give you something a little different, and give us a more transparent means of determining a winner, we’re going to simplify the point distribution system by breaking our judging criteria down into five separate categories. A film can earn up to 20 points per category; there are five different categories creating the chance to earn up to 100 total points. The more points earned, the higher the final ranking will be.

Take a look at our criteria:

Originality: this one is a no-brainer. The films and franchises that looked to break the mold and do different things to frighten viewers are the productions that are going to score well in this particular realm.

Legacy: The legacy category will allow us to highlight the number of sequels each franchise kickstarter inspired and their overall influence on the franchise as well as the genre as a whole.

Memorability: Look, Puppetmaster was a really fun flick, and it inspired a whole lot of sequels and a few unique killer doll flicks, but that doesn’t mean genre fanatics are running around talking the franchise. The simple fact is this: the PUPPETMASTER films have all but been forgotten, despite the fact that Full Moon is still pumping them out (Puppet Master: Axis Termination is slated for arrival this year). There are a number of franchises in a similar boat, which means that even some of your favorite franchises aren’t going to score well in this category.

The Gruesome Factor: This is where the graphic gore and jaw dropping brutality comes into play. If it’s a nasty franchise, big points will be doled out, assuming the special effects, visual or practical, are impressive. However, those particular points won’t be an ultimate deciding factor.

The Strength of the Antagonist: Whatever form it may take, we’re going to really examine the antagonistic angle of every film in every franchise. Is it a monster? How dangerous is that monster? How bad ass does that monster look? Is he a murderer of creative design? Are we stoked to see this monster return in an eventual sequel? We’ll be looking at questions of that nature in hopes of formulating a confident opinion regarding the impact a villain has not just on the franchise, or as an addition to the horror genre, but on the viewers as well.

Total: Look for our final tally here. We’ll be rating on a 20-point system, so there are a potential 100 points to be distributed.

A few notes:

Please keep in mind that these rankings are purely subjective.

The franchises in this list typically feature no less than four films. I chose to bypass franchises with three or less films. This is to keep the reading swift and article entertaining at all times.

Frankenstein

frankenstein-1

 

Originality: 20
Legacy: 20
Memorability: 20
The Gruesome Factor: 13
The Strength of the Antagonist: 20
Total: 93

A Nightmare on Elm Street


freddy-2

Originality: 19
Legacy: 20
Memorability: 18
The Gruesome Factor: 15
The Strength of the Antagonist: 20
Total: 92

 

Dracula

dracula-slider2-1

Originality: 18
Legacy: 20
Memorability: 20
The Gruesome Factor: 12
The Strength of the Antagonist: 20
Total: 90

Alien

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Originality: 18
Legacy: 20
Memorability: 18
The Gruesome Factor: 14
The Strength of the Antagonist: 18
Total: 88

Halloween

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Originality: 15
Legacy: 18
Memorability: 18
The Gruesome Factor: 15
The Strength of the Antagonist: 20
Total: 86

Child’s Play

 chuckydoll

Originality: 14
Legacy: 16
Memorability: 18
The Gruesome Factor: 14
The Strength of the Antagonist: 20
Total: 82

(of the) Dead

dawn-of-the-dead-1978-machete

 

Originality: 18
Legacy: 20
Memorability: 16
The Gruesome Factor: 10
The Strength of the Antagonist: 16
Total: 80

Scream

ghostface_in_scream-hd

Originality: 13
Legacy: 16
Memorability: 16
The Gruesome Factor: 15
The Strength of the Antagonist: 19
Total: 79

Friday the 13th

friday-the-13th-jason-voorhees-sixth-scale-feature-100360-1

Originality: 7
Legacy: 18
Memorability: 18
The Gruesome Factor: 16
The Strength of the Antagonist: 20
Total: 79

Phantasm

phantasm-angus-scrimm-620x349

 

Originality: 19
Legacy: 14
Memorability: 15
The Gruesome Factor: 13
The Strength of the Antagonist: 17
Total: 78

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

the-texas-chain-saw-massacre-comes-to-universal-orlandos-halloween-horror-nights

 

Originality: 15
Legacy: 16
Memorability: 17
The Gruesome Factor: 13
The Strength of the Antagonist: 16
Total: 77

Hellraiser

pinhead-hellraiser1

Originality: 15
Legacy: 12
Memorability: 10
The Gruesome Factor: 20
The Strength of the Antagonist: 20
Total: 77

Saw

jigsaw

 

Originality: 14
Legacy: 14
Memorability: 12
The Gruesome Factor: 18
The Strength of the Antagonist: 17
Total: 75

Underworld

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Originality: 13
Legacy: 15
Memorability: 17
The Gruesome Factor: 14
The Strength of the Antagonist: 15
Total: 74

 

Paranormal Activity

pa

Originality: 13
Legacy: 16
Memorability: 16
The Gruesome Factor: 10
The Strength of the Antagonist: 13
Total: 68

Resident Evil

resident-evil-the-final-chapter-pictures

Originality: 13
Legacy: 14
Memorability: 16
The Gruesome Factor: 13
The Strength of the Antagonist: 10
Total: 66

Leprechaun

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Originality: 15
Legacy: 10
Memorability: 11
The Gruesome Factor: 12
The Strength of the Antagonist: 17
Total: 65

Critters

critters-2-critter-close-shave

Originality: 14
Legacy: 10
Memorability: 10
The Gruesome Factor: 11
The Strength of the Antagonist: 18
Total: 63

Amityville Horror

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Originality: 10
Legacy: 10
Memorability: 10
The Gruesome Factor: 11
The Strength of the Antagonist: 18
Total: 59

Children of the Corn

corn4

Originality: 12
Legacy: 8
Memorability: 9
The Gruesome Factor: 17
The Strength of the Antagonist: 12
Total: 58

Pumpkinhead

pumpkinhead-1

Originality: 15
Legacy: 8
Memorability: 10
The Gruesome Factor: 15
The Strength of the Antagonist: 9
Total: 57

Puppetmaster

pmel

 

Originality: 13
Legacy: 9
Memorability: 9
The Gruesome Factor: 9
The Strength of the Antagonist: 15
Total: 55

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About The Overseer (1607 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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