The Best '80s Horror Movies

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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!
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  1. 1
    + 687
    - 201
    The Shining is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    the people's #1 & most listed
    The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

  2. 2
    + 750
    - 158
    A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks
    A Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

  3. 3
    + 611
    - 146
    Friday the 13th is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Friday the 13th Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

  4. 4
    + 582
    - 181
    Poltergeist is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Poltergeist Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke

  5. 5
    + 586
    - 186
    The Thing is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

  6. 6
    + 535
    - 169
    Aliens is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

  7. 7
    + 510
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    The Evil Dead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    The Evil Dead Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi

  8. 8
    + 478
    - 160
    Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Pet Sematary Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

  9. 9
    + 439
    - 167
    An American Werewolf in London is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    An American Werewolf in London Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Rik Mayall

  10. 10
    + 436
    - 148
    Halloween II is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Halloween II Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

  11. 11
    + 509
    - 138
    The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    The Lost Boys Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

  12. 12
    + 476
    - 193
    Hellraiser is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Hellraiser Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

  13. 13
    + 423
    - 134
    Fright Night is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Fright Night Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

  14. 14
    + 436
    - 161
    Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Gremlins Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

  15. 15
    + 339
    - 166
    The Return of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    The Return of the Living Dead Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

  16. 16
    + 419
    - 171
    Evil Dead II is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Evil Dead II Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

  17. 17
    + 400
    - 159
    Child's Play is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Child's Play Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

  18. 18
    + 370
    - 188
    The Fly is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    The Fly Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

  19. 19
    + 320
    - 169
    Children of the Corn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Children of the Corn Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

  20. 20
    + 346
    - 121
    Friday the 13th Part 2 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Friday the 13th Part 2 Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Warrington Gillette

  21. 21
    + 315
    - 130
    John Carpenter's The Fog is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    John Carpenter's The Fog Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

  22. 22
    + 292
    - 166
    The Howling is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Howling Dee Wallace, John Sayles, Slim Pickens

  23. 23
    + 382
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    Predator is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

  24. 24
    + 332
    - 127
    Creepshow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Creepshow Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

  25. 25
    + 251
    - 186
    Re-Animator is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Re-Animator Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, David Gale

  26. 26
    + 248
    - 151
    Day of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Day of the Dead Sherman Howard, Jarlath Conroy, Terry Alexander

  27. 27
    + 265
    - 138
    Cujo is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    added by wiabux
    Cujo Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter

  28. 28
    + 316
    - 133
    Christine is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

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

  29. 29
    + 235
    - 162
    Halloween 4: The Return of Mic... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Kathleen Kinmont

  30. 30
    + 249
    - 127
    Friday the 13th: The Final Cha... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Judie Aronson

  31. 31
    + 245
    - 142
    The Hitcher is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    The Hitcher Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

  32. 32
    + 237
    - 66
    A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: D... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks & added by CassiopeeLeduc
    A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor

  33. 33
    + 208
    - 139
    Sleepaway Camp is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Sleepaway Camp Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Robert Earl Jones

  34. 34
    + 165
    - 157
    Return of the Living Dead Part... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Return of the Living Dead Part II Mitch Pileggi, James Karen, Allan Trautman

  35. 35
    + 226
    - 157
    Pumpkinhead is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

    ;
  36. 36
    + 167
    - 57
    Silver Bullet is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

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

  37. 37
    + 172
    - 123
    Prom Night is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

    ;
  38. 38
    + 174
    - 137
    My Bloody Valentine is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Don Francks, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy

    ;
  39. 39
    + 218
    - 130
    Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

  40. 40
    + 204
    - 154
    House is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    George Wendt, Kay Lenz, Richard Moll

    ;
  41. 41
    + 202
    - 162
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman

  42. 42
    + 177
    - 119
    Friday the 13th: A New Beginni... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Friday the 13th: A New Beginning Corey Feldman, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr.

  43. 43
    + 167
    - 146
    Halloween 5: The Revenge of Mi... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

  44. 44
    + 101
    - 21
    The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks & added by daniel-claeys
    The Amityville Horror James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger

  45. 45
    + 205
    - 162
    Twilight Zone: The Movie is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow, Burgess Meredith

    ;
  46. 46
    + 189
    - 163
    Scanners is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Scanners Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill

  47. 47
    + 159
    - 154
    Near Dark is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Near Dark Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

  48. 48
    + 157
    - 118
    April Fool's Day is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Deborah Foreman, Thomas F. Wilson, Ken Olandt

    ;
  49. 49
    + 156
    - 147
    The Changeling is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    The Changeling George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

  50. 50
    + 119
    - 83
    The Stepfather is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    added by CassiopeeLeduc
    Terry O'Quinn, Shelley Hack, Jill Schoelen

    ;
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