The Most Popular Horror Movie Franchise: Ranking the Ultimate Fright Fests

Choose the Franchise you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Nov 30, 2023 08:11)
Dare to step into the spine-chilling realm of horror movie franchises? At StrawPoll, we've crafted a hair-raising ranking that'll leave you thrilled, intrigued, and eager for more! As a one-stop destination for thousands of polls and rankings on various topics, we now invite you to cast your vote for the most popular horror movie franchise of all time. Will it be the spine-tingling screams of "Saw" or the nightmarish hauntings of "The Conjuring"? Or perhaps you have a terrifying gem to add to our list? Don't be a scaredy-cat; come join us, vote for your favorite, and help us unravel the ultimate horror movie showdown. Let the fear take over and the nightmares begin!

What Is the Most Popular Horror Movie Franchise?

  1. 1
    This franchise has had multiple sequels and reboots, with the iconic character of Michael Myers terrorizing audiences since 1978.
    Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31st. It is a time for people to dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, attend parties, and engage in activities associated with the supernatural, including decorating homes, carving pumpkins, and watching scary movies. This holiday has a long history, originating from ancient Celtic festivals and later influenced by Christian traditions. Today, Halloween is widely celebrated in many countries around the world.
    • Date: October 31st
    • Origins: Ancient Celtic festivals and Christian traditions
    • Costumes: People dress up in costumes representing various characters
    • Trick-or-treating: Children go from house to house, asking for treats
    • Parties: Many people host or attend Halloween parties
  2. 2
    This franchise features the hockey mask-wearing killer, Jason Voorhees, who has become a pop culture icon.
    Friday the 13th is considered to be an ominous day associated with bad luck and superstition. It is believed to be a day filled with superstitions, fear, and potential danger.
    • Origin: The origin of the fear associated with Friday the 13th is unclear. It is believed to have a combination of historical and cultural factors.
    • Frequency: Friday the 13th occurs at least once every year and can occur up to three times in a single year.
    • Superstitions: There are numerous superstitions associated with Friday the 13th, such as avoiding certain actions, objects, or places to avert bad luck.
    • Pop Culture: Friday the 13th has been popularized and fictionalized in movies, books, and other forms of media. The horror film franchise 'Friday the 13th' created by Victor Miller is notably known.
    • Paraskevidekatriaphobia: Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the irrational fear specifically related to Friday the 13th.
    Friday the 13th in other rankings
  3. 3
    This franchise introduced the character of Freddy Krueger, a burned man who haunts people's dreams.
    Nightmare on Elm Street is a popular horror franchise that revolves around the character of Freddy Krueger, a supernatural serial killer who stalks and murders teenagers in their dreams. The franchise combines elements of psychological horror and slasher genres, creating a unique and chilling experience for audiences.
    • First Release: 1984
    • Primary Location: Elm Street, Springwood
    • Main Antagonist: Freddy Krueger
    • Signature Weapon: Glove with razor-sharp blades
    • Fear Manipulation: Freddy exploits his victims' fears
    Nightmare on Elm Street in other rankings
  4. 4


    This franchise features the Jigsaw Killer, who puts his victims through deadly puzzles and traps.
    The Saw is a traditional folk music instrument in Laos. It is a plucked string instrument that consists of a long, narrow wooden soundbox and strings made from silk or nylon. The soundbox usually has a resonating chamber made of bamboo, which gives the instrument its distinctive sound.
    • Number of strings: 3-4
    • Construction: Wooden soundbox with bamboo resonating chamber
    • Materials: Wood, silk or nylon strings
    • Tuning: Open tuning, usually tuned to a pentatonic scale
    • Playing style: Plucked
  5. 5
    This franchise parodies and pays homage to classic horror movies while also having its own unique twist.
    Scream is a popular horror franchise that consists of a series of slasher films. The franchise combines elements of horror, mystery, satire, and comedy to create an engaging and self-aware horror experience. Scream was created by screenwriter Kevin Williamson and film director Wes Craven.
    • Genre: Horror, Mystery, Satire, Comedy
    • First Film Release: December 20, 1996
    • Number of Films: 5
    • Main Characters: Sidney Prescott, Ghostface
    • Iconic Mask: Ghostface mask
  6. 6

    The Conjuring

    James Wan
    This franchise is based on the real-life cases of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
    The Conjuring is a supernatural horror film that follows the story of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren as they investigate a haunted farmhouse in Rhode Island. Released in 2013, the movie is known for its intense scares and chilling atmosphere.
    • Release Year: 2013
    • Genre: Horror, Supernatural
    • Director: James Wan
    • Writers: Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes
    • Main Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor
    The Conjuring in other rankings
  7. 7
    The Exorcist
    SDC at English Wikipedia · Public domain

    The Exorcist

    William Peter Blatty
    This franchise features possession and demonic entities, with the original movie being considered a classic in the horror genre.
    The Exorcist is a renowned horror franchise that originated with the release of the novel 'The Exorcist' in 1971, written by William Peter Blatty. The franchise gained immense popularity with the subsequent release of the widely acclaimed film adaptation in 1973, directed by William Friedkin. The story revolves around the possession of a young girl named Regan MacNeil and the efforts of medical professionals and priests to save her from demonic possession.
    • Setting: Washington D.C., United States
    • First Release: 1971 (novel), 1973 (film)
    • Genre: Horror
    • Medium: Novel, film, television series
    • Notable Characters: Regan MacNeil, Father Damien Karras, Father Merrin
    The Exorcist in other rankings
  8. 8
    This franchise features the killer doll, Chucky, who is possessed by the spirit of a serial killer.
    Child's Play is a popular horror franchise that started with the release of the first movie in 1988. It revolves around the story of Chucky, a serial killer's soul trapped in a Good Guys doll. The franchise combines elements of horror, slasher, and supernatural genres. Chucky goes on a killing spree, often targeting individuals who come into possession of the doll. The franchise has spawned several sequels and spin-offs.
    • First Movie Release: 1988
    • Genre: Horror, Slasher, Supernatural
    • Main Character: Chucky
    • Signature Phrase: Hi, I'm Chucky! Wanna play?
    • Number of Movies: 8 (as of 2021)
    Child's Play in other rankings
  9. 9
    This franchise features found footage of supernatural occurrences in people's homes.
    Paranormal Activity is a popular horror franchise that revolves around supernatural events filmed using handheld cameras, giving it a found footage format. The series includes a total of six films, released between 2007 and 2015. It is known for building tension and suspense through subtle paranormal activities and jump scares.
    • Franchise Start Date: 2007
    • Franchise End Date: 2015
    • Film Count: 6
    • Found Footage Format: Yes
    • Genre: Horror
    Paranormal Activity in other rankings
  10. 10
    This franchise features the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, who is based on real-life serial killer Ed Gein.
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a popular horror movie franchise that revolves around a group of individuals who encounter a family of deranged cannibals in Texas. The franchise is known for its intense and gritty atmosphere, graphic violence, and memorable antagonist, Leatherface.
    • Genre: Horror
    • First Film Release: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
    • Total Films: 8
    • Primary Antagonist: Leatherface
    • Setting: Texas, United States

Missing your favorite Franchise?


Ranking factors for popular horror movie franchise

  1. Box office gross
    The overall revenue generated by each film in the franchise is an essential factor, as it indicates the audience's interest and support for the movies. Higher box office gross generally equates to higher popularity.
  2. Number of installments
    A more extensive franchise with several films usually indicates that it's more popular since there is a sustained interest from the audience and the filmmakers.
  3. Critical reception
    Reviews and ratings from critics can help gauge the quality of a horror movie franchise. A popular franchise typically has more well-received films, which can contribute to its ranking.
  4. Audience reception
    Audience reviews, ratings, and feedback are crucial indicators of the popularity and success of a horror movie franchise. The more favorable the response from fans, the more popular the franchise is likely to be.
  5. Cultural impact
    The influence a franchise has on popular culture, such as common references, parodies, or adaptations, demonstrates its popularity. The more a horror movie franchise becomes ingrained in pop culture, the more successful it is likely to be considered.
  6. Awards and nominations
    Recognition from prestigious film awards and organizations can contribute to a horror movie franchise's popularity and critical success.
  7. Legacy
    The longevity and sustained interest in a horror movie franchise over the years is an essential factor to consider while ranking its popularity. A long-lasting and influential franchise is often considered more popular than a short-lived or less impactful one.
  8. Merchandise and tie-ins
    The sale of merchandise, such as action figures, clothing, and other collectibles related to the franchise, can be an indicator of its popularity. Similarly, tie-ins like books, comics, or video games that expand the franchise's universe can contribute to its ranking.
  9. Iconic characters
    The presence of memorable and iconic characters in a horror movie franchise can significantly impact its popularity and success. The more well-known and recognizable the characters are, the more popular the franchise is likely to be.
  10. Innovation and originality
    The introduction of new ideas, concepts, or storytelling techniques in a horror movie franchise can make it stand out and garner more popularity. The more innovative and unique a franchise is, the higher it may rank in terms of popularity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular horror movie franchise. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Franchise is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 206 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Franchise once every 24 hours. The rank of each Franchise is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular horror movie franchise

Horror movies have always been a popular genre among movie-goers. From classic black and white films to modern-day blockbusters, horror movies have been scaring people for decades. One of the most popular aspects of horror movies is the franchise. A horror franchise is a series of films that follow a particular storyline or theme. These franchises often have a large fan base and attract millions of viewers with each new release. From the iconic Halloween series to the spine-tingling Saw franchise, horror movie franchises have become a staple in the film industry. But which franchise is the most popular among horror movie fans? Let's take a closer look and find out.

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