Horror movies are definitely a unique niche — you either love them or hate them. Some people love to be scared to death in a dark room surrounded by strangers, and others run at the mere suggestion of it. True, horror as a genre is largely snubbed by critics and awards shows, but there’s simply no denying that horror movies make crazy bank at the box office — these are just 25 of the highest grossing horror films of all time. You’ll want to check all the doors before falling asleep after watching any of these thrilling flicks.
Fans were clearly clamoring for more Jigsaw, because the third installment in the torture porn genre brought in tons of money at the box office during its 2006 run.
The sequel to the massively successful first film brought back much of the original cast (the ones who survived, anyway) and brought plenty of laughs and gore to boot.
In 2004, audiences simply had to know what happened when archaeologists stumbled upon an an alien warfare zone (spoiler alert: it didn't end well) in this sci-fi/horror flick.
The original movie which launched three sequels and a spin-off TV show, this is the granddaddy of '90s horror films. As head badass Sidney Prescott fondly reminds us in Scream 4, you "don't f*ck with the original." We wouldn't dare.
The 1999 remake of the horror classic of the same name from 1963 didn't receive stellar box office reviews, but that didn't stop audiences from coming in droves to see the Liam Neeson update.
The American version of the well-received Japanese original terrified the hell out of audiences in 2004 and spawned two sequels.
The original was so wildly successful that it was only a matter of time before audiences would be back on the beach, taking their chances at what's lurking in the water. Fear not, the music returned too!
This sleeper hit was actually released to the film festival circuit back in 2007, but saw a massively successful worldwide release in 2009. With a budget of $15,000, it's rumored to be the most profitable film ever made. Amazing!
The third film in the series edged out the original by a little bit, proving that strange things lurking in your home means big bank at the box office.
Back in 1994, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were merely young actors on the rise, and they starred in this popular gothic horror tale (and yep, that's a baby Kirsten Dunst as well!) -- so cool.
The first found footage horror film spawned what feels like a zillion copycats (yes, even Paranormal Activity) but this one takes the cake and raked in the dough, especially considering its budget was only $60.000!
The first of several American remakes of Japanese horror flicks, this one received largely positive reviews and was a box office success.
Director M. Night Shyamalan thrilled audiences with his tale of a group of people afraid of what lurks beyond their homestead. Many people don't know that Shyamalan wrote, produced, directed, and even had a small part in the film, which did very well at the box office.
After Annabelle scared the sh*t out of us in The Conjuring, producers decided the demon seed doll needed her own prequel, and it turned out to be a major money maker at the box office.
Hello, Clarice. The classic thriller starring starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins was released on Valentine's Day in 1991, and it seems audiences were hungry for love that weekend, because it did amazingly well. It's also widely considered one of the few horror movies to perform well at the Academy Awards: it won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Adapted Screenplay the following year.
This sexy psychological thriller starring Hollywood heavyweights Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer followed a couple who are haunted by a strange presence that uncovers secrets about their pasts -- and moviegoers loved it. Critics were mixed in their reviews, but it performed crazy well during its release in 2000.
This one is definitely more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie, but this 2010 Martin Scorsese movie about an ongoing investigation at a remote psychiatric facility creeped the hell out of viewers and was viewed by many as a nod to Alfred Hitchcock classics. We think Hitchcock would approve.
This 2004 film starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale is rumored to have paid homage to the Universal Horror Monster films from the 1930s and 1940s, and sci-fi and horror fans alike lapped it up: it was one of the biggest blockbusters of that year.
This supernatural flick tells the story of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren as they come to the assistance of a Rhode Island family who have found some seriously scary things in their farmhouse. The movie received great reviews from critics and horror buffs and inspired a sequel coming in 2016. It's estimated the movie made a profit of $161.7 million. Scary sweet, indeed.
This neo-noir psychological thriller boasted some pretty huge star power, including Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kevin Spacey and it did exceptionally well at the box office, making nearly 10 times its budget at the box office! Plus, who could ever forget the infamous "box" scene? *Shudders*
The first film had become a cult classic, so a sequel followed (and did tremendously well) nearly 10 years to the day, only this time Julianne Moore filled Clarice Starling's shoes. This one broke many box office records and cemented Hannibal Lecter as one of the most terrifying serial killers.. umm.. ever?
Two years prior to the release of his 2004 smash The Village, director M. Night Shyamalan made all of America terrified of finding crop circles in their backyards... no word on if lawn mower sales increased that year, but we're still creeped out by the movie!
Long considered one of the most frightening movies of all time, The Exorcist is a bona-fide horror classic and received numerous accolades upon its release in 1973, including ten Academy Award nominations, and it won two (Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay). It went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of all time and it was the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. New generations continue to find that it's hard to sleep after this one... with good reason!
I'm not sure how else to put this, but I think you're gonna need a bigger boat. The movie that made us all afraid to go in the water was a smash summer blockbuster back in 1975, and it's widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, all thanks to a friendly guy with some extremely large teeth and a hungry stomach. Many shark tales have followed since (Sharknado, anyone?) but none can touch the original. It's still flawless, over 40 years later.
Yep, M. Night Shyamalan is at it again -- this time, it's baby Haley Joel Osment as a boy who famously saw dead people and the child psychologist who tried in earnest to help him. This movie has earned its place among horror/thriller classics since its successful 1999 run, proving that audiences are suckers for a good ghost story with a twist. Just make sure you sleep with the lights on after watching this one... trust me.