Happy Halloween: The Evil Dead is the Highest-Rated Horror Franchise on Rotten Tomatoes

Happy Halloween! The world has been abustle with celebratory activity over the past month, and here at Wolfbane it’s been no different. Mike Cramer celebrated by watching a movie every day like some sort of insane person with endless amounts of time, I celebrated by reviewing a single movie that takes place on Halloween night (but isn’t Halloween lol), and all of us celebrated by loading into our decalled minivan and heading to the cineplex to see the best horror franchise installment released in the past 40 years. Fun!

But if anyone really understands the Halloween spirit, it’s obviously Rotten Tomatoes, who celebrated this week by releasing an article filled with the scariest content of all: statistics! Ick! Before you violently recoil, stumbling to confess that you’re much more of an english/history person than a math/science person, wait! Because these statistics are actually pretty cool, and they’re all about our favorite topic of all…which is horror, obviously, you fool.

Best of all, sweet baby angel that you all know me to be, I’ve compiled a list of the most interesting of those statistics, which is to say a handful of the facts that pleased and delighted me most. If somehow this carefully curated bag of treats leaves you wanting, you can get the hell out of here and peep the rest of that list over on Rotten Tomatoes.

1. Please see the very important title of this post! The Evil Dead is the highest-rated horror franchise on Rotten Tomatoes!

The Evil Dead is not only my favorite film franchise (horror or otherwise), but also Wolfbane editor-in-chief Ric Slager’s favorite, too, which means that it’s obviously the most important bit of information that Rotten Tomatoes provided us with, and so deserves our top billing. It’s all of the confirmation neither Ric nor myself needed about our impeccable tastes and transcendent enlightenment as related to what is “good” and “great” and even “the best horror franchise all-time,” but it does feel good to be publicly validated by science.

Bruce Campbell in a promotional shot for The Evil Dead (1981)

Rotten Tomatoes gathered this info—all of this info—by examining franchises comprised of at least four films (remakes and spin-offs included) wherein each installment has its own “Tomatometer score,” (which is a phrase I don’t love using, but here we are).

With deliciously fresh Tomatometer scores of 95%, 98%, and 72% for the original series (in order of release), plus a respectable 61% for Fede Alvarez’s 2013 remake, Sam Raimi’s beautiful and perfect franchise is living right at the top where it belongs——where it has always lived in mine and Ric’s superior hearts, which, mind you, have now been validated by science (see above).

Additionally, if RT had factored in the sparkling Ash vs. the Evil Dead series score of 99%, the overall franchise average would jump from 82% to 100%!!!!! [Editor’s note: The overall total would actually only jump to 86%, but even more fun than math is lying about math to suit your own interests, which is a hot tip from me to you just in time for tax season.]

2. LOL, Everyone hates the Leprechaun franchise.

I mean, right? I can’t tell you how many movies exist in the Leprechaun series because it’s absolutely not worth looking up, but I can tell you that four of them have a Tomatometer score of 0%—which seems like it shouldn’t qualify as a rating, right? Let’s get into those negatives!

I can also tell you that the two highest-ranking movies—both with still objectively bad, matching scores of 25%—are titled Leprechaun in the Hood and Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood, so you can do with that information whatever you please, but keep it to yourself.

Anyway, enjoy this video that Vulture made earlier this year and accidentally titled “13 Absurd Scenes from the Leprechaun Movies” instead of its proper title, which is obviously “13 of the Greatest Scenes from the Leprechaun Movies.” I’ve submitted a correction.

3. “Horror movies should leave ‘3D’ out of their title…”

…says Rotten Tomatoes, me, you, and also everyone you’ve ever known. This gimmick is bad, these movies are bad, and the only thing they’ll leave you with is a goddamn headache.

4. Surprise! Horror movies are generally rated poorly on Rotten Tomatoes…

Here, buried most of the way down the page within fact four, is where I’ve buried my critique of Rotten Tomatoes, which is that it’s often wrong and bullshit and shan’t be blindly trusted (unless it’s validating the things that we know within our hearts to be true, please see point one above and also the title of this post, thank you so much).

By RT’s research, “70% of the 196 horror franchise films are rotten.” That’s a lot. That’s what Rotten Tomatoes calls “a total of 139 stinkers,” which I’m sorry I’ve now repeated.

Unsurprisingly, RT found that the premier installment of what later becomes a franchise is often the most highly ranked of its family, with 26 of the 34 total first franchise films examined getting Fresh Tomatometer ratings. In contrast, only 30 of their sequels, prequels, and/or remakes were able to snag the same high honor.

5. …But at least seven horror franchises managed to come out with totally fresh Tomatometer scores.

And at least that’s something, right? Those franchises are: Evil Dead (82%), Frankenstein (74%), [REC] (69%), Scream (64%), Psycho (62%), Dracula (60%), and whatever the fuck RT is calling the “Hannibal Lecter movies” (62%). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway, trick or treat! Happy Halloween! Gbbbyeee!

Boris Karloff and Colin Clive in 1931’s Frankenstein
About Carly Smith 26 Articles
Carly is an unapologetically opinionated writer who enjoys long walks on the beach, gazing adoringly at breathtaking sunsets, and consuming all forms of unadulterated, stomach-churning, sweat-inducing horror — the bloodier the better. Hit her up on the Twitter she sometimes uses @snarlyjones.

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