Here's the thing: people like being scared. As a species, we're one of the few that do things to scare ourselves for entertainment. Horror movie's are an example of that: we love being scared between the title card and closing credits. And if a horror movie can, by creeping dread or jump scares, keep us on the edge of our seat, we just can't stop talking about it. We scream in the theater, and later we seem to want to tell our friends and everyone we know, about our experience and thrill. And this chatter? Well, generally, it translates into 'success' for the movie. Below is a top ten list of the most successful horror movies in American cinema.
8 10: Paranormal Activity (2007): $107,917,283
7 The Grudge (2004): $110,175,871
6 Shutter Island (2010): $128,012,934
5 The Silence of the Lambs (1991): $130,742,922
4 The Conjuring (2013): $137,387,282
3 The Blair Witch Project (1999): $140,539,099
2 World War Z (2013): $202,359,711
1 The Sixth Sense (1999): $293,501,675
Between The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project, 1999 was a good year for horror movies. Like The Exorcist and The Silence of the Lambs, it was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and rocketed director and writer M. Night Shyamalan into the big leagues. The story of a young boy who claims to see the dead, and the psychologist trying to help him was a hit with audiences, not only for it's eerie nature, but also for it's poignant moments and, of course, the shocking twist at the end.
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