“It’s a shit year for horror”. If you haven’t heard someone utter this remark yet, you will. There have been a total of 9 horror films with theatrical runs in 2012. Just nine (Cabin in the Woods and Prometheus are considered ‘Thrillers’. And these paltry nine films have resulted in only 8,323,830 tickets sold. A far cry from the 51,853,077 tickets sold last year and the record 100,171,155 tickets sold for horror films in 2007.
Until 2012 is completely in the record books, we don’t know how the year will stand up against its predecessors, but Killer Reviews decided to take a look back at the years of horror since 1995 to come up with two lists – The Best 5 Years of Horror and the Worst 5 Years of Horror. The best years will boast some impressive numbers and the worst 5 will prove that even in bad years, good movies can prevail.
We have already recapped the Worst Years of Horror and now we can turn our attention towards the positive. Here are our choices for the Best Years of Horror (since 1995):
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 31
Top Horror Films: I Am Legend, 1408, Hatchet, The Mist
Total Gross of Horror Films: $689,177,546
Recap: With 31 horror movies being released and 100,171,155 tickets sold, 2007 is the high mark on our list. There were big budget horror (I Am Legend), Stephen King Horror (The Mist, 1408), sequels (Hostel II, The Hills Have Eyes II), new classics (Hatchet, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon) and even some old friends (Halloween). Even some of the lower performers (Fido, Wind Chill) were better than average films for their genre. The total take of all horror films in 2007 represented over 7% of the entire box office for the year.
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 23
Top Horror Films: Paranormal Activity, Friday the 13th, The Final Destination
Total Gross of Horror Films: $584,630,728
Recap: The Paranormal Activity franchise took audiences by storm in 2009 to the tune of over $100 million. But it wasn’t alone in its stellar performance. Friday the 13th – a reboot of the original series – exceeded expectations and won its opening week-end. And titles Drag Me To Hell, Halloween 2, The Collector, My Bloody Valentine and Pandorum all contributed to a better than average year.
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 28
Top Horror Films: The Omen, Hostel, Silent Hill
Total Gross of Horror Films: $553,291,644
Recap: No horror film topped the $100 million mark at the box office, but there were some strong entries with Saw III ($80 million), The Omen ($54 million) and Final Destination 3 ($54 million). Hostel, Slither, Wolf Creek and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning also had their debut. With 28 movies spread out over the 12-month period, there was a major horror release each calendar page.
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 16
Top Horror Films: Freddy vs. Jason, 28 Days Later, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Total Gross of Horror Films: $485,046,435
Recap: Definitely a fun year for horror fans. Not only did we get our long awaited face off between Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, but we got running zombies, the return of Leatherface, saw the birth of Eli Roth (Cabin Fever) and with Wrong Turn and House of 1,000 Corpses thrown in, we get a year that gave horror fans a diverse and memorable year of film titles.
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 15
Top Horror Films: Halloween H2O, Urban Legend, Sphere
Total Gross of Horror Films: $317,637,319
Recap: Maybe not the greatest of years in terms of horror films being released with only 15, but there was some good quality in the mix. Bride of Chucky, John Carpenter’s Vampires and The Faculty joined I Know What You Did Last Summer and Species 2. Unfortunately, the year also brought us the updated version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and the gawd-awful An American Werewolf in Paris. Still, not a bad year all things considered.
We still don’t know how 2012 will turn out once December rolls around. There have been only 9 horror films released so far this year, but that is not overly unusual as studios wait until October to launch their tent pole films. Will be interesting to see where the year falls when the numbers are in and we will return at the end of the year to recap 2012 in full.