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!
  • 11 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 420
    - 81

    most listed Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 382
    - 126

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 332
    - 112

    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 328
    - 109

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

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 272
    - 89

    Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 323
    - 86

    Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 281
    - 110

    Doug Bradley, Kenneth Nelson, Andrew Robinson

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 301
    - 107

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

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 243
    - 101

    Frank Oz, Rik Mayall, Jenny Agutter

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 227
    - 89

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 244
    - 112

    Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 281
    - 90

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 204
    - 120

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 235
    - 99

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 176
    - 100

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

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 228
    - 91

    Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 275
    - 68

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

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 191
    - 101

    Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 148
    - 115

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

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 226
    - 94

    Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 176
    - 100

    John Sayles, John Carradine, Patrick Macnee

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 267
    - 55

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

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 172
    - 79

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 192
    - 76

    Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 216
    - 96

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 194
    - 78

    Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Rex Everhart

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 133
    - 97

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

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 156
    - 85

    Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 133
    - 94

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Michael Pataki

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 175
    - 80

    Kelly Preston, John Madden, Alexandra Paul

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 157
    - 78

    added by wiabux Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter, Dee Wallace

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 132
    - 95

    Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 125
    - 95

    Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 93
    - 89

    James Karen, Allan Trautman, Forrest J Ackerman

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 113
    - 94

    George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 109
    - 96

    Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 92
    - 94

    Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 135
    - 75

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

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 110
    - 100

    Dennis Hopper, Kinky Friedman, Bill Moseley

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 101
    - 78

    Mike Kellin, Robert Earl Jones, Felissa Rose

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 114
    - 73

    Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 82
    - 71

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 69
    - 71

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 86
    - 91

    George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 86
    - 82

    Don Francks, Helene Udy, Keith Knight

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 97
    - 78

    Anthony Perkins, Dennis Franz, Vera Miles

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 90
    - 19

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

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 94
    - 104

    Bill Pullman, Paul Winfield, Michael Gough

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 91
    - 86

    Barbara Crampton, William Hickey, Irene Miracle

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 55
    - 18

    ranked low on reranks & added by CassiopeeLeduc Corey Haim, Gary Busey, Terry O'Quinn

    ) open
100 +

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