A few weeks ago, I had someone send me a request for information. This fan had noticed my articles about horror movie history, and she had a question for me to answer. She wanted to know, “Out of all of the horror movie genres, which one has been the most successful?”
There are three ways to answer this question. It all depends on what someone considers to be successful. Since there are different ways to measure success, I will answer the question in three different ways.
There is one genre that could be considered the most successful because of the amount of movies that have been made out of it. One genre would be considered as successful because the main character is in the most movies. The third way to measure the success of a horror movie genre is to see how much money the movies in a particular genre made compared to the other horror movie genres.
Vampire movies have always been a fairly successful genre of horror movies. There is a subcategory to vampire movies in the fact that there are so many Dracula movies. The character of Dracula has been portrayed in one way or another in over 200 movies. There are over 130 movies that have his name in their titles.
This is considered to be a successful sub category since the character has been portrayed more often then any other character in history. This not only applies for horror movies, but for all types of movies and media as well.
If you look at the genre of psychotic killer movies, you will come across movies like Hannibal (2001), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and the Scream Trilogy. All of these movies are on the list of the highest domestic grossing movies of all time.
The subcategory of psychotic killer movies, the slasher films, causes the psychotic killer movies to be the most monetarily successful horror movies. Some of the franchise slasher films, such as the Friday the Thirteenth Series continue to be show at drive-ins to this day.
Some of you might be reading this and wondering what a construct is. Think of a construct as Frankenstein. It is a creature that was constructed into the image of a man.
While you might see a large number of actual Frankenstein movies on the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), you most likely will not see anywhere near the amount of movies that include constructs.
When Frankenstein was released in Japan, the nation went crazy with the idea of a construct movie. During the 1950s and 1960, over 30% of all of the movies made in Japan involved constructs. There are more construct movies then there are of any other horror genre. This might make the construct horror movie genre the most successful in your mind.
Whichever way you look at this article, you will find a definition for yourself as to what the most successful genre is in horror films. It will be interesting to see in the next twenty to thirty years if these positions are still held by the genres that hold them now.