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8 Horror Movie Franchises You Probably Didn’t Know Were So Prolific

Blade from the "Puppet Master."
Full Moon Features

Tired of binging the same old standbys, like Friday the 13th, every Halloween? Check out something a bit more obscure! You might have heard of some of our picks, but you probably didn’t know they were just one in a series.

While some films might go on to Oscar-winning fame by telling a succinct story contained within a single film, you’re not going to find anything like that on this list. What you will find are campy, low-budget horror films that just kept on going (perhaps, long after they should’ve stopped).

For fans of cheap horror flicks, though, there’s a gold mine of things to watch this Halloween!

Boogeyman (Total Films: 5)

Boogeyman (2005) is the story of a young man who spends his adulthood making sure the boogeyman doesn’t get him. While most adults don’t believe in such things, Tim watched his father get dragged away by the monster. The movies instill the fear that maybe the things that scare you as a child don’t always stay in childhood.

The first film got bad reviews for a dull plotline but made enough money to get two more films made. There are three films in the Boogeyman franchise from the ’00s. However, those films were loosely based on the 1980 film The Boogey Man, which also had a sequel. This one has all the psychological delights you’d expect from an early ’80s horror flick.

All five flicks are worth watching if you like stories about things that go bump in the night. Unfortunately, the 2005 movie isn’t available to stream, but you can buy the DVD.

You can stream Boogeyman 2 and 3 for free on Sony Crackle. The Boogey Man is available for free on Amazon Prime.

Puppet Master (Total Films: 14)

It all started in 1989, and it doesn’t seem like it will end anytime soon. Counting the one released this year, there are now 14 films in the Puppet Master franchise. Toys that come to life have been the subject of many a horror movie, so that might explain the strange popularity of this series.

In the first film, a bunch of puppets brought to life by magic go around killing people. You learn as you watch more of the films that there’s a reason for their murderous deeds. These aren’t necessarily evil puppets, even though it looks that way.

It’s not until Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge that you begin to understand the real story behind these animated toys.

This is a long franchise, but it’s a great watch if you’re interested in creepy dolls, Nazi history, or leeches. Many of them are available to stream on Shudder.

Sleepaway Camp (Total Films: 4)

In some ways, Sleepaway Camp is the typical nightmare summer camp scenario. The difference is, the killer isn’t supernatural. She’s just a confused kid seeking revenge on the people who make her feel like an outcast.

This franchise also has two movies that were never completed. While the series might be plagued by bad acting and poor filming, it became a cult classic anyway.

You can catch the first three Sleepaway Camp movies on Amazon Prime.

Night of the Demons (Total Films: 4)

Night of the Demons follows some teens partying in a big mansion. Things go horribly wrong when some demons show up and possess some of the partygoers.

In the next two installments, the parties take place at the haunted Hull House, but the 2009 film takes place back at the haunted mansion.

The movies have the expected makeup gore of ’80s horror flicks. There’s also nudity, swearing, sex, drugs, and lots of death. They’re worth watching for their vintage horror goodness—even the remake has something to offer gore fans.

You can catch the first two movies and the remake on Amazon Prime.

Witchboard (Total Films: 3)

Witchboard is an absolute classic, featuring spirit boards, possessions, and mediums. In the first film, a guy leaves his Ouija board at a friend’s house, and she breaks the rules by playing alone. Her mistake invites possession and other strange phenomena.

If you want to be scared straight from using spirit boards, this is the film series to watch! The fantastic original was followed by two more films.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to get by on only the first two films, unless you find Witchboard III: The Possession at a thrift store. You can stream the original on Amazon Prime and grab the second one on DVD.

Piranha (Total Films: 5)

What’s more frightening than the man-eating great white shark in Jaws? How about a school of hungry fish with razor-sharp teeth and an appetite for blood? The Piranha film franchise currently consists of five films, spanning from 1978 to 2012.

In a nutshell, some killer piranhas are released into a local waterway and go on a killing rampage. It’s a classic B-movie franchise that will make you think twice before dangling your toes in the water.

You can rent all of the Piranha movies on Amazon Prime.

Basket Case (Total Films: 3)

This series is a must-watch for fans of old-school freakshows and oddities. It’s about conjoined twin brothers who seek revenge on the doctor who separated them.

One of the twins is deformed and has a habit of killing people his brother gets close to. Both return in the two sequels, along with the deformed son of the evil twin in the third installment.

You can rent the first two films on Google Play and get the third on Blu-ray.

Ghoulies (Total Films: 4)

Comedy is often found in horror, and Ghoulies is no exception. This four-movie franchise is reminiscent of the Leprechaun franchise, although with fewer films and no pot of gold.

In Ghoulies, viewers learn the dangers of messing with the occult. A guy tries to summon a demon to do his bidding using occult objects left behind by his father. Instead, though, he summons the ghoulies—troublemaking little demons that are reminiscent of goblins.

The first film was delightfully horrible enough to spawn more Ghoulies, set everywhere from amusement parks to colleges. If you have Amazon Prime and Vudu, you can check out all four films.


If you’re looking for some new, old horror to watch during Halloween season this year, our picks won’t steer you wrong!

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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