Decade of Horror (2010-2017): What Have We Learned in the Past 7 Years? - Dread Central
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Decade of Horror (2010-2017): What Have We Learned in the Past 7 Years?



As we prepare to ring in the New Year here at Dread Central we just wanted to take this opportunity to get a bit retrospective. What we have for you guys here today is a look back at this past decade of horror.

Below you will find my rundown on the top 3 highest grossing horror movies per year, starting with 2010 and running all the way up to 2017.

In this post, we will go through what the highest-grossing films were (domestically) and then try to figure out what the trends were and how the landscape of horror on film has changed in just these few short years.

All of that said, break out your calculators and your thinking caps and let’s dive into this past Decade of Horror!

2010: Paranormal Activity 2, A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, and The Wolfman

Let’s start at the very beginning. In the year 2010 the top grossing horror films were Paranormal Activity 2 ($84.6 million), A Nightmare on Elm Street remake ($63 million), and The Wolfman reboot with Benicio del Toro ($62.1 million).

Here we continue on with the found footage craze that was all the rage in the early years of this decade. More specifically the Paranormal Activity franchise. On top of that, we were winding down on the whole remake craze that swept cinemas for too many years beginning with the 2003 release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.

If anything, 2010 will be remembered as the year that the horror remake died a quiet death. The reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street was so bad it, thankfully, killed (at least) Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes’ desire to produce any further rehashes.

Case in point, we also had the reboot/remake of the classic Universal monster The Wolfman. A worthy effort that Universal should have used as their jumping off point for the Dark Universe. Alas, it would be a few more years before Universal rolled out the Dark Universe on an uncaring audience with Tom Cruise and The Mummy.

2010: R.I.P.: Remakes

2011:  Paranormal Activity 3, Insidious, and Final Destination 5 

Next, we have the year 2011. Here the top three films were Paranormal Activity 3 ($104 million), Insidious ($54 million), and Final Destination 5 ($42.5 million).

What we see here is that, yes, the Paranormal Activity franchise was still killing it at the box-office. And, at least at this point, the continued success of the series made some sense considering Paranormal Activity 3 is the best entry in the series following the first film.

The year also saw the final entry in the Final Destination series (thus far) with the release of Final Destination 5 – which again is arguably the best entry in the series.

But where one hit horror series came to an end, another was just beginning.

What is most interesting about the year 2011 was the resurrection of James Wan. The man had made a name for himself with the 2005 horror-thriller Saw, but after a few flops (Dead Silence and Death Sentence, both released in 2007, earned only $22 million and $17 million, respectively), Wan and his writing partner Leigh Whannell had all but faded out of the horror picture like so many one-hit-wonders before them. But Insidious marked Wan and Whannell as more than accidental horror geniuses. The film changed the trajectory of horror films for years to come.

2011: James Wan Begins (Again).

2012: Paranormal Activity 4, The Devil Inside, and The Possession

Moving on to the year 2012. The top three highest-grossing horror movies were Paranormal Activity 4 ($53.9 million), The Devil Inside ($53.2 million), and The Possession ($49.1 million).

This year was dominated by the rise of the possession film back into the mainstream horror playground. The growing storm that was the return of James Wan took this year off before hitting us with a one-two punch the following year. So it was here in 2012, with the releases of the horrible Paranormal Activity 4 and the (somehow) even worse The Devil Inside that the craze that was found footage was put to slow, shaky-cam’d death. And the era of James Wan was about to hit full-force.

2012: R.I.P.: Found Footage

2013: The Conjuring, Insidious Chapter 2, and Mama

From here we move on to the year 2013 where the top three horror films at the domestic box office were The Conjuring ($137.4 million), Insidious Chapter 2 ($83.5 million), and Mama ($71.6 million).

And boom, just like that James Wan was back yet again in the mainstream horror box-office, this time with not only the sequel to his hit original Insidious film but with an all-new fright flick that would prove to be the beginning of the biggest horror universe Universal and its Dark Universe could have ever hoped to conjure with (natch) The Conjuring.

On top of the massive double whammy that Wan hit us with in the year 2013, we also witnessed the feature debut of one Andres Muschietti. A young filmmaker whose short film caught the eye of Guillermo del Toro and resulted in one of the better PG-13 horror films of the past few years (not directed by James Wan that is). As we all know, Muschietti would mostly lay low himself for the next few years, but when he eventually resurfaced he all but changed the face of horror from here on out. But we’ll get to that in a bit…

2013: James Wan Rises

2014: Annabelle, Ouija, and Deliver Us From Evil 

Then there is the year 2014 where the top-grossing horror flicks were Annabelle ($84.2 million), Ouija ($50.8 million), and Deliver Us From Evil ($30.5 million).

This would be known as the year that possession films died… Unless of course, they were from the mind of James Wan. Deliver Us from Evil with its killer pedigree all but proved that audiences were done with the devil and his attacks on the innocent. We had bigger fish to fry. And by bigger fish, I mean creepy dolls and creepy board games.

Okay, maybe not so much the board games. But never underestimate the power of a PG-13 teen horror flick at the box-office. After all, there is a whole world of movie-goers too young to drive themselves anywhere cool and will watch pretty much whatever they are allowed into year in and year out. Hence the surprise hit Ouija.

But the biggest thing 2014 taught us was that horror films didn’t need a number behind the brand to seal in a box-office draw. With Annabelle, we learned that successful films could spawn their own universes. This would be a major turning point in horror.

2014: R.I.P.: Possession Flicks (not directed by James Wan)

2015: Insidious Chapter 3, and Poltergeist, and Unfriended 

Moving right along we have the year 2015. This year the top-grossing fright flicks were Goosebumps ($79.3 million), Insidious Chapter 3 ($52.2 million), and Poltergeist ($47.4 million). Wait, some of you might be saying, Goosebumps isn’t a horror movie! Okay, fair enough. In that case, let’s throw in Unfriended ($32.4 million) as well.

This was a strange year in the way that – other than producing Insidious Chapter 3 – James Wan seemed to be taking the year off. And by “off” I mean he was off directing and producing some of the top horror films of the next few years.

All the same, this year left the door open for horror of the kid-teen variety.

Goosebumps was the highest grossing film, sure, but the PG-13 Insidious Chapter 3 and Poltergeist remake weren’t too far behind. Hell, even Unfriended – while rated R – was mostly a teen affair. Meaning it was aimed at the teens and their (possible) growing fears of social media.

Here was the year that James Wan stepped away for a moment, and guess what filled the hole he left? Yep, remakes and PG-13 horror.  But it’s all good. After all, Wan wasn’t down for the count by any means.

2015: James Wan lies (mostly) dormant and lets kid-teen horror have its day.

2016: The Conjuring 2, Don’t Breathe, and The Purge: Election Year

The following year was good old 2016 where we saw The Conjuring 2 ($102.4 million), Don’t Breathe ($89.2 million), and The Purge: Election Year ($79.0 million) score the top spots at the box-office.

Again, James Wan returned to rule with an iron fist made of jump-scares and pure terror.

However, not far behind was the killer home-invasion thriller Don’t Breathe directed by Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead remake). This film is a slight anachronism in that I feel would have been a major hit any year it came out. Don’t Breathe is one of the few films that feels like a legitimate Hitchcockian thriller, but still keeps such a modern vibe of polished dread.

What is surprising about this year though is it was the first time The Purge films cracked the top three highest grossing horror films of the year. Must have been the Election angle. Guess our country was beginning to feel the need for some political horror, huh? Maybe that will take over in an even greater fashion in the following years.

2016: Political Horror rises?

2017: It, Get Out, and Annabelle: Creation

And all of that brings us up to the year 2017. The year of horror that will stand as one of the best years horror films have had in perhaps of all time. Crazy but true.

This year’s top films were It ($327.3 million), Get Out ($175.4 million), and Split ($138.1 million). Don’t consider Split a horror movie? Okay, then like the 2015 entry above, let’s add in Annabelle: Creation ($102.0 million) for good measure.

And here is the year that I think Political Horror came back in a big way.

Sure It and Annabelle: Creation made some big bucks, but Annabelle Creation was part of the massively successful The Conjuring Universe and Stephen King’s IT would – like the above-mentioned Don’t Breathe – have been a massive success no matter what year the film finally crept out of the sewers and into theaters.

What’s interesting though is Jordan Peele’s Get Out.

The film was not a sequel, a remake, or a remake of a Japanese horror film. The film wasn’t another entry in a popular universe of connected films, and it wasn’t based on a novel by Stephen King.

No, Jordan Peele’s Get Out rose to the top, not only because it is one of the few modern-day masterpieces we have seen in years, but because of the social relevance contained within.

If I had to say, after analyzing this and the previous year’s top horror films, I’d bet social horror will be on the rise more and more over the next few years.


And there you have it. That’s our rundown of this past decade in horror. We showed you guys the top three (and sometimes four) highest-grossing horror movies per year and then we dug into what the trends were as the years progressed.

After all this analysis I think it’s safe to say that horror is on an upward climb, and we can only hope with all the quality young talent hitting the horror scene over the past few years, that the rise of horror will continue. On the big screen as well as the small.

What did you think of our findings and analysis of the Decade of Horror? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below!


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Dacre Stoker Takes Us On A Guided Tour Of London’s DRACULA Locations



As you can probably tell from the fact that I write for this site, I’m a huge fan of the original Dracula novel. So getting to meet Dacre Stoker, the great-grand nephew of Bram Stoker himself, was nothing short of an honor.

We started the tour by heading to the Golders Green Crematorium, where Bram’s ashes are interred. As you probably know, his son Irving Noel Stoker, who died in 1961, had his ashes placed in the same urn, whilst his wife Florence Balcombe, for reasons which we’ll probably never truly know, instead opted to have her cremated remains scatted across the crematorium’s gardens.

Anyway, whilst we were in the presence of Bram’s ashes on the third floor, Dacre reveled how the author’s death was overshadowed by the sinking of the Titanic, which occurred several days prior. He also took this opportunity to reveal how a study claiming that Dracula was released to a modest response from critics was taken from a survey of just six reviews, one of which was predominantly negative, and the rest were mostly positive. In other words, the book was actually warmly received by most critics at the time of its release.

Although he died in Los Angles, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari star Conrad Veidt also has his ashes interred at the same crematorium, so I was sure to pay him a visit too before we left.

After this, we headed to the three properties that Stoker called home whilst he was living in London, and whilst we weren’t allowed to go inside any of them, we were able to get some pictures outside whilst Dacre described his great grand-uncle’s history with each property. I was particularly surprised to hear that Bram was even awarded a medal because he almost saved a man from drowning in the River Thames, which lies just outside one of the properties, even though the man ultimately died after Stoker was unable to resuscitate him.

Dacre, who admitted to being fond of both Dracula Untold and the Twilight franchise, is currently co-writing Dracul with JD Barker, which will be the first authorized prequel to Dracula. The book is set to arrive in stores later this year, and you can look forward to our exclusive interview with Dacre about it closer to the date of publication.


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#Brainwaves Episode 86 Guest Announcement: Darin Scott – Director of Deep Blue Sea 2, Producer of Tales from the Hood, and LOTS More!



For the 86th episode of Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio, we’re going deep… deep into… well, usually trouble; but aside from that, joining us will be filmmaker Darin Scott, whose latest film, Deep Blue Sea 2, is currently taking a shark-sized bite out of home video. Scott will be joining us to talk about that flick, Tales from the Hood, working with Spike Lee, and a whole lot more!

Join us this coming Wednesday, April 25th, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.


Listen to Stitcher

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.


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What the Hell Happens in 3 From Hell? Let’s Speculate!



As all of us here are more than aware of at this point, writer-director Rob Zombie has just finished shooting his much-anticipated follow-up to House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects titled 3 From Hell. But what else do we know about the film and is it enough to speculate what might be in store for us once the movie hits theaters (or more likely VOD)? I’m not sure if we do… but it’ll be fun to try!

Let’s start off with what we DO know. So far we know the film will feature the return of the remaining Rejects with Bill Moseley as Otis Firefly, Sheri Moon Zombie as Baby Firefly, and Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding. We also know that Danny Trejo will be returning as Rondo from The Devil’s Rejects and Daniel Roebuck will be back in the lime-green saddle once again as Morris Green.

But then we have a seemingly endless cast of new characters Zombie has introduced over the course of shooting on Instagram. Some of these actors have (rumored) character names and some don’t. The actors that currently come with unconfirmed characters names include Clint Howard as Mr. Baggy Britches (another clown), Sylvia Jefferies as Heather Starship Galen, Lucinda Jenney as Nebraska, Bill Oberst Tony Commando, Steven Michael Quezada as Diego, Kevin Jackson as Gerard James, Christopher B. Duncan as Glassy Wolf, Tomas Boykin as Derek Zoom, Stacie Greenwell as Janice, Jan Hoag as Betty Lou, and Rob Welsh as Luke.

The actors currently without a name to their game are Dee Wallace, Richard Brake, Dot-Marie Jones, Emilio Rivera, Sean Whalen, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Tom Papa, Austin Stoker, Pancho Moler, David Ury, and Richard Riehle. Most of these names I recognize and some I don’t. Either way, as mentioned above, all of them evidently have no use for a name at the moment. I got all this info from IMDb, by the way. Take that for what you will.

With all of that info out of the way, how’s about we speculate on just what in the Hell (natch) will go down in this new Rob Zombie joint. First off, I think we can all just go ahead and assume that Zombie isn’t making a supernatural film here, so we’ll all just have to buy into the idea that Baby, Otis, and Spaulding survived that hail of gunfire from the finale of The Devil’s Rejects. If that’s how you’re going to play it Rob, whatever, I can deal. Supernatural sequel out of the way, this new film will no doubt begin with our lovable lunatics behind bars. Deep behind bars, I’m guessing.

But they’ll have to break out quick fast and in a hurry, so how does this happen? Well, Zombie does like himself some Charles Manson, so it only makes sense that he may try out a plot that involves a cult of Firefly Family followers. If this is the case then it makes a bit of sense that this Cult of Firefly would break out the Rejects one-by-one. I’m thinking the cult members will be Sylvia Jefferies as Heather Starship Galen, Lucinda Jenney as Nebraska, and Bill Oberst Jr. as Tony Commando. Hell, maybe even Clint Howard’s Mr. Baggy Britches is a super fan of Captain Spaulding. That could make for good times!

Now that we have at least a theory about who Sylvia Jefferies, Lucinda Jenney, Bill Oberst Jr., and Clint Howard might be playing in the film, let’s move on to some other peeps with names. I hate to come across as stereotyping or anything, but let’s assume that Steven Michael Quezada’s Diego is helping out Danny Trejo’s Rondo now that it seems Diamond Dallas Page isn’t onboard this new entry (or is he?). And in keeping with pairing new cast members up with the old let’s say that Kevin Jackson’s Gerard James plays the son of Ken Foree’s Charlie Altamont from The Devil’s Rejects. Jackson’s Gerard James is looking for revenge and lets also say that he has a group of fellow vigilantes in tow played by Christopher B. Duncan as Glassy Wolf, Tomas Boykin as Derek Zoom, Stacie Greenwell as Janice, and Rob Welsh as Luke.

That takes care of the characters with names. Now let’s move onto the ones without names. To continue the thought process above, Emilio Rivera may be a fellow cohort of Trejo’s Rondo and we know that Austin Stoker plays a newscaster. So that’s two down. Jan Hoag’s Betty Lou is probably a lover of Captain Spaulding’s at some point so let’s just go with that and move on. Richard Riehle and Dot-Marie Jones probably play the owners of some business (or RV) that befall the Rejects and/or their cult and Sean Whalen probably plays their dim-witted son. Something tells me that Zombie will then group Tom Papa, Pancho Moler, and David Ury together, and considering Ury and Moler both played crazy killers in Zombie’s 31, I’m betting he switches it up and makes them sweet buffoons this time around. Digging a bit deeper, Zombie always loves a good bit of social commentary in his film via an on-going media fire-storm so expect Papa, Moler, and Ury to be Morris Green’s on-set team. That’s of course if Moler isn’t Clint Howard’s cohort. But I hope it doesn’t go there.

This leaves us without roles for classic scream queen Dee Wallace, Zombie mainstay Jeff Daniel Phillips, and of course Doom-Head himself, Mr. Richard Brake. We’ve already established that a cult will break out the remaining Rejects, but now we need to figure out what happens after that. And this brings me to what the PLOT of 3 From Hell might be… Being that House of 1000 Corpses was about a group of victims trying to elude the Firefly Family, and The Devil’s Rejects was about the Firefly Family eluding the family of their victims, I’m thinking the only fresh place to take 3 From Hell is to pit the Firefly Family against another family of maniacs.

Enter Brake, Wallace, and Phillips.

This will be our new family of notorious killers that have risen up in the decade the Rejects have been behind bars. And neither family likes the other invading their turf. War ensues. But let’s have a bit of fun now with just what kind of killers this new family will be. I’m thinking since Zombie loves to keep religion in his films, and Brake is at his best spitting sinister monologue after sinister monologue, this new family will be super religious a la Kevin Smith’s Red State. Heaven’s Gate vs The Devil’s Rejects you could say. I’m thinking Brake will play a psycho Preacher. Thus giving the man the chance to go on and deliciously on about fire and brimstone and the end of days. Phillips will play his brother. And Wallace will play Mother.

Not to be overly cute, but the irony here is that with Baby, Otis, and Spaulding facing off against Brake, Wallace, and Phillips, the movie will be putting forth the question: “Which group are the REAL 3 From Hell?” Boom. Goodnight. Drops the mic.

Now I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a fucking blast to me. Whether or not Zombie goes this route is, of course, completely up in the air at this point. But, boy, it’s fun to speculate. What do you think of these 3 From Hell theories? Make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!


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