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The Biggest Box-Office Hits With Terrifying Basements

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Horror movies can do incredibly well or incredibly poorly at the box office, and it’s hard to tell which a movie will be before it happens. Box office success might not be the only indicator of a good movie, but it’s something many people look at when judging whether they’ll be interested in a film. Here are seven box office successes that also have some terrifying basement secrets.

The Exorcist – $441.3 Million

At the top of the list is The Exorcist, a movie that made $441.3 million on a $12 million budget, a return of nearly 37 times. The Exorcist is nothing if not terrifying; some viewers even fainted upon seeing some of the more horrifying scenes. The basement, however, is not one of those ultra-terrifying scenes. 12-year-old Regan finds a Ouija board in the basement, which she uses to initially contact the demon.

A Quiet Place – $340.9 Million

In a move that surprised most box office predictions, A Quiet Place managed to create $340.9 million at the box office, which is a return of over 20 times its budget of around $17 million. This movie starts out mostly creepy and dread-inducing, but soon builds to incredible heights near the end. One truly terrifying moment in the series takes place in a basement; the soundproof basement floods one night, attracting some of the sound-sensitive monsters.

The Silence of the Lambs – $272.7 Million

From the beginning, The Silence of the Lambs looked like it was going to be a huge hit. It made $272.7 million at the box office, which is over 14 times its initial budget of $19 million. Many utterly horrifying things happen during this movie, because it includes two serial killers — one seemingly on the protagonist’s side. The seemingly antagonistic serial killer, Buffalo Bill, has a dry well in his basement, where he starves women before he skins them.

Parasite – $266 Million

This movie broke boundaries, becoming the first foreign language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It’s also the highest-grossing South Korean film, as it made $266 million worldwide — a return of over 23 times its initial budget of about $11.4 million United States dollars. The backdrop of a large part of the movie is a basement apartment, or banjiha, and it symbolizes the class issues in the movie.

Get Out – $255.4 Million

Many critics praised Get Out for its effective use of horror to make a cultural point. Its low production costs of $4.5 million, combined with its high box office gross of $255.4 million, gave it a return of over 56 times. One truly unforgettable moment of the movie occurs in a basement. The main character undergoes hypnosis in a laboratory for transposing consciousnesses and goes to the Sunken Place.

The Grudge – $187.2 Million

Of all the movies on this list, The Grudge probably had the worst critical reception, with its IMDB score hovering around 4.1. However, that didn’t stop people from going to see it en masse; it grossed $187.2 million at the box office, which is over 18 times its budget of $10 million. When one character in the movie goes into the basement armed with nothing but a flashlight, it gives way to a truly terrifying scene.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show – $140.2 Million

Though its box office gross is the lowest on this list, The Rocky Horror Picture Show actually did better proportionally than any other movie. By keeping its production costs to only $1.4 million and grossing $140.2 million, it ended up bringing in over 100 times its production costs. The movie mixes campy B-movie plots with some truly thrilling scenes; the basement where Dr. Frank-N-Furter keeps his laboratory is also home to a Medusa Transducer that turns people into statues.


People find movies good or bad for all sorts of reasons; you’re never going to find a movie that everyone likes. However, the box office success of these movies proves that they were popular at least in theory for many people. See for yourself why so many people ended up coming to these movies by choosing one of them for your next movie night.

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