Investing In Horror Movies Can Be a Scream

Jeremy Kopp
Vice President, Media Society
September 29, 2015

Horror film fans are the most dedicated and loyal audience in entertainment. Those who are seeking to learn how to fund a movie may want to consider investing in the horror genre for potentially monstrous returns.

Why Are Horror Movies Successful?

Simply put, die-hard fans are willing to watch almost any horror movie as long as it delivers where it counts…on the scares. The genre has consistently created lucrative outcomes with very low budgets. The profits can be huge, especially if the film makes it to a theatrical release. This can be the film investor’s dream.

How Are Horror Movies Able to Keep a Low Budget?

Horror movie production does not require heavy-hitting film finance companies or studios.

Typically, it is not necessary for horror films to cast A-list stars to make them successful. In fact, many producers prefer to use lesser-known actors for their roles because they tend to be more believable. Much like using unknown actors, producers like to use few special effects because it makes the movie more authentic. By utilizing lighting, disorienting camera work, sound design, music and editing, filmmakers can achieve their desired reaction from the audience.

One of the most notable success stories, The Blair Witch Project, was made with a consumer-grade, handheld video camera. The realistic, documentary style storytelling coupled with brilliant marketing created one of the highest grossing horror films of all time. More recently, Paranormal Activity successfully made audiences jump out of their seats for a mere $15,000 production cost!

If you can scare an audience for a smart price, the upside can be tremendous.

The Blair Witch Project 1999

The Blair Witch Project 1999

What Does This Mean to the Investor?

For the investor, low-budget horror movies can be a virtual gold mine. While they will likely never see an Academy Awards Ceremony, they are still valuable to those involved in movie investing. As well, successful horror films often become franchises with follow-up sequels and prequels (Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious, The Purge, Paranormal Activity, etc). This can turn a single film investment into multiple lucrative opportunities.