The Best Blumhouse Horror Movies, Ranked

13 minute read

If there's one name that carries a lot of weight in the horror movie industry, it's Jason Blum.

The founder and CEO of horror hit factory Blumhouse Productions, Blum has been responsible for more than $6 billion in global box office earnings over the past two decades. After producing a handful of non-horror movies in the early aughts, Blum put his company on the map by acquiring a low-budget indie titled Paranormal Activity after it screened at 2007's Screamfest Horror Film Festival. The rest is history, with the record-breaking success of the found-footage flick giving way to Blumhouse's now tried-and-true business model: ceding full creative control to directors to make a movie on a budget of around $5 million and then widely releasing the finished product through the studio system.

This approach has resulted in films of varying degrees of quality, ranging from Jordan Peele's Academy Award-winning Get Out to some truly suspect flops (remember Ouija and Truth or Dare?). But whether or not a movie is "good" doesn't really matter. If it's released under the Blumhouse banner, it has a fighting chance of lighting up the box office.

Following the disappointing debut of Night Swim in January, the production company's latest title, Imaginary—a PG-13 cautionary tale about a haunted teddy bear—hits theaters March 8. In honor of its release, here's a ranking of the 25 best Blumhouse horror movies to come before it.

25. Split (2017)

James McAvoy unnerves as a man suffering from a severe case of dissociative identity disorder who abducts three teen girls (Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, and Jessica Sula) and holds them captive in a windowless bunker in this controversial M. Night Shyamalan joint. Split came under fire for its depiction of mental illness and (spoiler alert) exploiting the trauma of childhood sexual abuse, but got a boost from McAvoy's ability to seamlessly transition between his character's 24 distinct personalities and the last-minute reveal that its story was connected to Shyamalan fan-favorite Unbreakable. A subsequent crossover film, 2019's Glass, turned out to be an underwhelming followup.

24. Insidious: The Red Door (2023)

Following some less than stellar entries in the franchise, Insidious: The Red Door was somewhat of a return to form for the supernatural saga. Directed by star Patrick Wilson in his feature debut, the series' fifth installment is a direct sequel to the first two movies and offers a fitting end to the story of the Lambert family. Set nine years after the events of 2013's Insidious: Chapter 2, the movie sees a now distant father-son duo Josh (Wilson) and Dalton (Ty Simpkins) confront the repressed demons of their past.

23. Ma (2019)

The memeworthy Ma has taken on a life of its own on social media, but it's also absurdly entertaining enough to stand alone as a campy psychological thriller. Starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer as a lonely, middle-aged woman named Sue Ann who befriends a group of high schoolers and invites them to party in her basement—only to turn the tables on the teens as her true motives begin to come to light—director Tate Taylor's horror debut is a darkly funny (if somewhat flat) revenge story.

22. SICK (2023)

Scream writer Kevin Williamson cleverly plays on the real-world fears surrounding a century-defining global health crisis in this COVID-era slasher. Set in April 2020 during the early days of the pandemic, SICK centers on a pair of college friends (Gideon Adlon and Bethlehem Million) who are preyed upon by a mysterious masked killer while quarantining together at a remote lake house. As Williamson told SyFy Wire, "Watch this movie and let it work as a release valve and make you breathe a little fuller."

21. Unfriended (2015)

Tapping into rising fears over the dark side of social media, the entirety of Unfriended takes place on a single computer screen. Shot from the first-person perspective of teenage Blaire (Shelley Hennig) as she navigates between open windows on her laptop while video chatting with five friends on the anniversary of the night one of their classmates killed herself, director Levan Gabriadze's online revenge thriller is a glorified—and gory—anti-cyberbullying PSA.

20. Oculus (2014)

Before he became Netflix's go-to horror anthology creator, Mike Flanagan had already established himself as one of the genre’s preeminent voices with a spate of memorable scary movie offerings. In Oculus, Flanagan took his first stab at telling parallel stories in the past and present—a narrative device that has become one of his signature calling cards—for a grim tale about a cursed mirror that haunts multiple generations of one unlucky family.

19. The Visit (2015)

Another found-footage offering, The Visit documents the week that teenage siblings Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) spend at the home of their estranged grandparents (Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie), whom they've never met before. That might not sound that scary, but as is true for every M. Night Shyamalan movie, there's a twist!

18. Happy Death Day (2017)

A college student (Jessica Rothe) must relive the day of her death over and over again as she attempts to figure out the identity of her masked killer in this black comedy slasher. Writer-director Christopher Landon's murderous take on the Groundhog Day concept earned praise from critics for playfully straddling the lines between comedy, horror, and romance for a delightful genre mashup.

17. Totally Killer (2023)

After her mother (Julie Bowen) is murdered by the infamous Sweet Sixteen Killer, 17-year-old Jamie (Kieran Shipka) travels back in time to 1987 to team up with the teen version of her mom (Olivia Holt) and thwart the killer's original murder spree—thus saving her mom in the present. Director Nahnatchka Khan weaves slasher tropes into a Back to the Future-esque premise for a blast of a horror comedy with a decent twist.

16. Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

The original Ouija may have been a boring, sluggishly-paced bust, but with Mike Flanagan at the helm of its prequel, the franchise got a new lease on life. Set nearly 50 years before the events of its predecessor, Origin of Evil centers on a widowed mother (Elizabeth Reaser) who unwittingly unleashes a sinister evil on her family when she brings home a Ouija board to reinvigorate her fraudulent medium business.

15. Freaky (2020)

This time around, writer-director Christopher Landon lends his signature slasher flourish to a Freaky Friday-inspired story. Featuring pitch-perfect performances from leads Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, horror comedy Freaky sees high school senior Millie Kessler fighting to regain her life after accidentally switching bodies with an infamous serial killer known as the Butcher.

14. Hush (2016)

A deaf-mute writer living alone in the middle of the woods finds herself in a fight for her life when a psychotic masked killer shows up at her secluded home to torment her. Co-written by and starring writer-director Mike Flanagan’s wife, Kate Siegel, Hush deconstructs genre tropes for a deadly game of cat and mouse that puts a fresh spin on the home-invasion thriller format.

13. The Black Phone (2022)

In his most recent horror outing, Blumhouse favorite Ethan Hawke tackles the role of the Grabber, a serial child abductor and killer terrorizing a Denver suburb. Based on Joe Hill's 2004 short story of the same name, director Scott Derrickson's The Black Phone traps viewers in a soundproof basement alongside Finney Shaw (Mason Thames), a 13-year-old boy at the mercy of a sadistic kidnapper who discovers he can contact the spirits of the Grabber's previous victims through a disconnected phone mounted to the wall.

12. Paranormal Activity (2009)

The one that started it all. Initially made for just $15,000 by director Oren Peli, Paranormal Activity ushered in the modern era of found-footage horror flicks and—with the help of Steven Spielberg—launched a franchise that's now worth nearly $1 billion. Shot as if a couple is recording themselves (and the demonic presence terrorizing them) on a video camera set up in their bedroom, the haunted house hit instilled a renewed fear of things that go bump in the night in theater audiences that often found themselves shrieking in terror at the movie's many jump scares.

11. The Purge (2013)

What would happen if for one night of the year all crime was legal in the U.S.? The Purge poses this hypothetical question—and posits the answer would reveal some ugly truths about American society. Kickstarting a franchise that has grossed more than half a billion dollars over five low-budget box office hits, the first chapter in creator James DeMonaco's Purge saga largely plays out inside the fortified Los Angeles mansion of James Sandin (Ethan Hawke)—a businessman who's made his money running a company that manufactures home security systems—his wife Mary (Lena Headey), and their two kids. When a bloodied stranger shows up begging for help on the night of the annual crime spree, the family is forced to confront the violence taking place outside—and decide what kind of people they really are.

10. Creep (2015)

A #HorrorTok favorite, the premise of found-footage feature Creep is simple: a bizarre Craigslist encounter turns into a waking nightmare for a struggling videographer named Aaron (Patrick Brice) who responds to an ad for a $1,000 filming gig. After driving out to a secluded cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains, Aaron finds himself at the mercy of Josef (Mark Duplass), an eccentric—and increasingly erratic—client who says he wants to record a video diary of sorts for his unborn child before he dies of an inoperable brain tumor. Unfortunately for Aaron, Josef's true intentions are much darker.

9. The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Rather than confining his second Purge film to the inside of one home, franchise creator James DeMonaco opens his dystopian world up to the Greater Los Angeles area in a sequel that improves on the conceit of its predecessor. In the vein of survival thrillers like The Warriors and Escape From New York, Anarchy follows a group of ordinary people—led by Frank Grillo's grizzled Leo Barnes, a man on a mission to avenge the death of his son—who are stranded outside as the city streets transform into a chaos-fueled hunting ground on Purge night.

8. Sinister (2012)

When struggling true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) moves his unwitting family into a home where the previous occupants were gruesomely murdered in order to research his next book, he soon learns he may have gotten himself wrapped up in something much more menacing. Inspired by a nightmare that co-writer C. Robert Cargill had about the cursed videotape from 2002's The Ring, Sinister draws on pagan mythology and grisly home movies for a truly unnerving viewing experience.

7. Creep 2 (2017)

Horror sequels don’t always work. But when they do, the results can be more harrowing than ever. Mark Duplass reprises his role as a psychotic serial killer, now going by the name Aaron, for a boundary-pushing follow-up to Creep that leans even further into all the elements that made the first one such a subversive horror success.

6. Halloween (2018)

The first film in director and co-writer David Gordon Green's Halloween reboot trilogy earned one of the highest horror movie openings of all time thanks to scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis making her long-awaited return to the role of Laurie Strode. Set 40 years after John Carpenter's seminal 1978 classic, 2018's Halloween ignores all previous sequels for a direct follow-up to the original that sees Michael Myers (Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney) return to Haddonfield to embark on a new killing spree. Just don't expect to get the same nostalgic thrill ride out of Green's second and third entries, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.

5. Us (2019)

Jordan Peele's follow-up to his acclaimed 2017 smash Get Out was a doppelgänger thriller that served as an allegory for systemic oppression in America. Featuring a standout performance from Lupita Nyong’o as both Adelaide and her double, Red, Us brilliantly underpins a bloody home-invasion thriller with a message about how society can, according to Peele, "do a good job of ignoring the ramifications of privilege."  

4. Insidious (2011)

What horror fan doesn't remember the first time they saw the now-infamous shot of the red-faced demon appearing behind Patrick Wilson's Josh Lambert in the original Insidious? Directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell (the creative duo behind Saw) the first installment in the $750 million-Insidious franchise opened the door to the Further, a shadowy dimension between heaven and hell occupied by evil spirits, malevolent entities, and possessive demons. The way in (and out) hasn't been fully sealed shut since.

3. M3GAN (2023)

Thanks to a savvy marketing campaign that turned its titular killer doll into an enduring internet icon, M3GAN had a lot to live up to when it hit theaters in early 2023. Luckily, director Gerald Johnstone's delightfully deranged horror comedy—which follows workaholic roboticist Gemma (Allison Williams) as she tests out her latest pet project, yassified companion doll M3GAN, on her 8-year-old niece Cady (Violet McGraw)—delivered on all fronts, earning a reputation as an instant cult classic and scoring a sequel announcement mere weeks after its release.

2. The Invisible Man (2020)

A modern reimagining of H.G. Wells' classic 1897 novel, The Invisible Man stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass, a woman who begins to suspect her abusive tech mogul ex didn’t actually commit suicide, but instead found a way to disappear in order to continue to physically and emotionally torment her. In an interview with TIME, writer-director Leigh Whannell spoke about how he based his adaptation of the thriller on real-life stories of abuse, with a specific focus on its psychological toll on victims. "In movies and TV shows, we’ve seen physical violence depicted many times before," he said. "But I felt I had not seen the emotional abuse and manipulation as much."

1. Get Out (2017)

Jordan Peele's masterful directorial debut needs no introduction. Following a young Black photographer (Daniel Kaluuya) who spends a more-than-harrowing weekend at his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) family home—a storyline that Peele has said reflected his experiences as a Black man in white spaces—the Oscar-winning Get Out established the comedian-turned-filmmaker as a horror auteur. In the years since Get Out's $255 million-release, Peele has continued to revolutionize the genre with films like Us (2019) and Nope (2022).

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