Data Study

Best Horror Movies: Which Does Each US State Love Most?

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Halloween is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get your popcorn, turn out the lights, and cue up your favorite scary movie. Not sure which is the best horror movie to put on? Well, maybe it would help to know which movie your state is most in love with.

Using a combination of information from Rotten Tomatoes and Google Trends, we partnered with Mindnet Analytics to analyze how interest in horror movies varied by state.

Best Horror Movies: Interesting Findings

  • The Devil’s Backbone is the horror movie most states are obsessed with, appearing as the most loved in D.C., Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas. Is it the best horror movie? You’ll have to watch and decide for yourself!
  • Bakjwi appears twice on our list, along with Freaks.
  • Some horror movie interests lie in the location they were shot or set in. For example, The Shining in Colorado.
  • Oregon is the most interested in horror movies, followed by Alaska, Washington D.C., Utah, and Wyoming.
  • Southeastern states seem to have the least interest in scary movies. Florida is the least interested, followed by Georgia, the Carolinas, and Mississippi.

Best Horror Movies by State

State Movie Most Obsessed with
Alabama Harpoon
Alaska Get Out
Arizona Night of the Comet
Arkansas Host
California Theater of Blood
Colorado The Shining
Connecticut The Wicker Man
Delaware Repulsion
District of Columbia The Devil’s Backbone
Florida 1408
Georgia Jacob’s Ladder
Hawaii Cargo
Idaho Frankenstein
Illinois I Walked With a Zombie
Indiana The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Iowa Peeping Tom
Kansas Tremors
Kentucky Halloween
Louisiana Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Maine The Lighthouse
Maryland Freaks
Massachusetts Jaws
Michigan The Devil’s Backbone
Minnesota Psycho
Mississippi The Loved Ones
Missouri The Bride of Frankenstein
Montana The Babadook
Nebraska King Kong
Nevada Freaks
New Hampshire Eraserhead
New Jersey The Devil’s Backbone
New Mexico Alien
New York Bakjwi
North Carolina It
North Dakota 10 Cloverfield Lane
Ohio Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
Oklahoma Zombieland
Oregon Host
Pennsylvania The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Rhode Island The Invisible Man
South Carolina An American Werewolf in London
South Dakota La Llorona
Tennessee Island of Lost Souls
Texas The Devil’s Backbone
Utah The Silence of the Lambs
Vermont Bakjwi
Virginia Dead Ringers
Washington Don’t Look Now
West Virginia The Night of the Hunter
Wisconsin The Love Witch
Wyoming A Quiet Place

A Word on Methodology

First, we used the list of the top 200 best horror movies from Rotten Tomatoes to determine a set of candidate movies that each state might be most obsessed with.

The data used to determine which movie each state is most obsessed with came from Google Trends state-wise search frequencies. For example, if you look at the relative search frequency for “The Shining” across states you see that people in Colorado have searched more for this movie than any other state.

This movie is therefore the movie that according to Google Trends data we deemed Colorado was most “obsessed” with in 2020. It is not necessarily the movie that they searched for more than all other movies, rather it is the movie that they searched for more than other states. The same procedure and logic applies to all other movie-state matches in our results.

In order to avoid counting searches for things that share the name of a movie such as “Cargo” we used the Google Trends search filter category 34 to return only counts of searches for movies. We only counted search frequencies from October 1st, 2019 through October 1st, 2020.

By William Parker

William Parker covers cord cutting for KTCB. He's an avid cord cutter, uses Netflix and Disney+ incessantly, and loves to tell everyone about it. Contact him at [email protected]

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