The Best 80s Horror Movies Films
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The Best 80s Horror Movies

List Criteria: Movies in the horror genre that were originally released in the 1980s

This list of the best 80s horror movies is a lengthy one, with good reason. The 1980s were a phenomenal decade for horror films, with some of the best, scariest, creepiest and in some cases, campiest films ever made. Several of the greatest horror films ever made were released in the 80s. This list of the top scary films from the 1980s is by no means complete, so feel free to vote for your favorites and please, add any great ones that are missing. You can also rerank this list any way you like.

The 1980s ushered in a kind of golden age for horror movies, with so many titles coming out so fast that it was difficult to keep up. Every week, a handful of new and freaky horror films were released in theaters. And sequels? Oh good grief, the sequels! '80s horror movies included the originals and sequels for the wildly popular Nightmare on Elm Street, Evil Dead, and Friday the 13th franchises. Halloween, while released in the late-1970s, did spawn several sequels released in the 80s.

While slasher horror films and monster movies have existed since the early days of cinema, the genre reached its height in the 1980s. Every major horror film, with a handful of exceptions, featured some sort of psycho killer on the loose, stalking poor, helpless (and clueless!) teenagers. Sometimes these killers were human, other times they were aliens or – gasp!murderous clowns. Graphic violence was the norm, the shock value kept going higher and higher, and these films were certainly among the most nausea-inducing great films of all time.

Need more horror? Check out the best 1990s horror movies as well!

  • 12 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 508
    - 98

    most listed
    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 462
    - 144


    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 410
    - 127


    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 403
    - 127


    Craig T. Nelson, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 405
    - 98


    Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 361
    - 120

    the people's #1
    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 334
    - 133


    Doug Bradley, Kenneth Nelson, Andrew Robinson

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 298
    - 119


    Frank Oz, Rik Mayall, Jenny Agutter

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 323
    - 111


    Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 286
    - 103


    Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 229
    - 114

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 287
    - 120


    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 282
    - 101


    Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 337
    - 77

    ranked low on reranks
    Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 294
    - 128


    Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 248
    - 143


    Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 328
    - 108


    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 329
    - 63

    ranked low on reranks & added by shaneoram2d
    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 223
    - 120


    Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 209
    - 119


    John Sayles, John Carradine, Patrick Macnee

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 178
    - 137

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, James Ellis

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 235
    - 87


    Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Rex Everhart

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 269
    - 112

    ranked low on reranks
    Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 168
    - 113

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Sherman Howard, Jarlath Conroy, Terry Alexander

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 206
    - 94


    Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 225
    - 91


    Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 257
    - 111


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 166
    - 113


    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Michael Pataki

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 181
    - 104


    Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 183
    - 96

    added by wiabux
    Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter, Dee Wallace

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 153
    - 117


    Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 118
    - 107


    James Karen, Allan Trautman, Forrest J Ackerman

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 212
    - 98

    ranked low on reranks
    Kelly Preston, John Madden, Alexandra Paul

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 135
    - 115


    Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 139
    - 116


    George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 165
    - 90

    ranked low on reranks
    Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Peter Barton

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 132
    - 93


    Mike Kellin, Robert Earl Jones, Felissa Rose

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 148
    - 113


    Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 102
    - 86


    Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 109
    - 88


    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 145
    - 88


    Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 113
    - 94


    Don Francks, Helene Udy, Keith Knight

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 120
    - 32

    ranked low on reranks & added by CassiopeeLeduc
    Laurence Fishburne, Patricia Arquette, Zsa Zsa Gábor

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 108
    - 118

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 130
    - 120


    Dennis Hopper, Kinky Friedman, Bill Moseley

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 117
    - 74


    Corey Feldman, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr., Marco St. John

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 106
    - 111


    George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 99
    - 68


    Betsy Palmer, Steve Miner, Richard Brooker

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 120
    - 95


    Anthony Perkins, Dennis Franz, Vera Miles

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 99
    - 81


    Thomas F. Wilson, Deborah Foreman, Leah Pinsent

    ) open
101 +

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