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
    + 489
    - 96

    most listed Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 444
    - 141

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 393
    - 124

    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 387
    - 124

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

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 387
    - 96

    Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 345
    - 118

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

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 321
    - 131

    Doug Bradley, Kenneth Nelson, Andrew Robinson

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 287
    - 116

    Frank Oz, Rik Mayall, Jenny Agutter

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 312
    - 109

    Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 272
    - 103

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 278
    - 114

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 219
    - 110

    Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 270
    - 100

    Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 324
    - 75

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

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 287
    - 124

    Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 242
    - 137

    Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 320
    - 105

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 315
    - 61

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

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 215
    - 117

    Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 202
    - 116

    John Sayles, John Carradine, Patrick Macnee

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 172
    - 134

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

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 262
    - 110

    Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 226
    - 87

    ranked low on reranks Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Rex Everhart

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 162
    - 110

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

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 197
    - 92

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 220
    - 88

    Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 246
    - 107

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 161
    - 109

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Michael Pataki

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 176
    - 100

    Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 176
    - 95

    added by wiabux Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter, Dee Wallace

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 149
    - 111

    Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 114
    - 103

    James Karen, Allan Trautman, Forrest J Ackerman

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 202
    - 96

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

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 131
    - 111

    Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 134
    - 112

    George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 159
    - 87

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

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 144
    - 110

    Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 124
    - 92

    Mike Kellin, Robert Earl Jones, Felissa Rose

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 140
    - 85

    Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 104
    - 85

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 93
    - 84

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 105
    - 93

    Don Francks, Helene Udy, Keith Knight

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 113
    - 30

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

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 106
    - 114

    Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 127
    - 116

    Dennis Hopper, Kinky Friedman, Bill Moseley

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 111
    - 73

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

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 102
    - 108

    George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 117
    - 91

    Anthony Perkins, Dennis Franz, Vera Miles

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 96
    - 77

    Thomas F. Wilson, Deborah Foreman, Leah Pinsent

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 94
    - 66

    Betsy Palmer, Steve Miner, Richard Brooker

    ) open
99 +

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