Producers and studio chiefs say we’re headed into a horror-movie boom, as they rush to sign big-ticket deals with top writers and directors in the genre and load their theatrical slates with scary thrillers. Major studios including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures’ New Line Cinema and Universal Pictures have recently poached A-list horror writers and directors and launched new divisions to bolster their spooky offerings. Horror films—which are typically made with much lower production budgets than superhero epics or science-fiction sagas—have long operated on a boom-and-bust cycle. When a scary movie becomes an unlikely hit, studios will try to replicate that success by making a flurry of similar titles. Then comes the bust: Quality inevitably suffers and audiences get fatigued by how many mediocre scary movies are coming out, leading studios to pull back.