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 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.
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  1. 1
    Up 375
    Down 68

    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

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  2. 2
    Up 344
    Down 110

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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  3. 3
    Up 298
    Down 93

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

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  4. 4
    Up 290
    Down 100

    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

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  5. 5
    Up 253
    Down 99

    Doug Bradley, Kenneth Nelson, Andrew Robinson

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  6. 6
    Up 285
    Down 73

    Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

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  7. 7
    Up 240
    Down 80

    Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

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  8. 8
    Up 263
    Down 92

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser

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  9. 9
    Up 210
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    Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

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  10. 10
    Up 217
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    Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

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  11. 11
    Up 213
    Down 93

    Frank Oz, Rik Mayall, Jenny Agutter

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  12. 12
    Up 183
    Down 107

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

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  13. 13
    Up 211
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    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

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  14. 14
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    Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

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  15. 15
    Up 209
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    Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff

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  16. 16
    Up 195
    Down 81

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

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  17. 17
    Up 153
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

    open
  18. 18
    Up 244
    Down 85

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

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  19. 19
    Up 246
    Down 58

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

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  20. 20
    Up 240
    Down 42

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

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  21. 21
    Up 158
    Down 92

    often listed & ranked high on reranks John Sayles, John Carradine, Patrick Macnee

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  22. 22
    Up 173
    Down 71

    Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Rex Everhart

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  23. 23
    Up 127
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, James Ellis

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  24. 24
    Up 144
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    Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

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  25. 25
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    ranked low on reranks Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

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  26. 26
    Up 168
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    Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

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  27. 27
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

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  28. 28
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    Down 86

    Sherman Howard, Jarlath Conroy, Terry Alexander

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  29. 29
    Up 142
    Down 72

    added by wiabux Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter, Dee Wallace

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  30. 30
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    Down 85

    Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

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  31. 31
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    Down 83

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Michael Pataki

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  32. 32
    Up 101
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz

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  33. 33
    Up 153
    Down 71

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

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  34. 34
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    Down 88

    Dennis Hopper, Kinky Friedman, Bill Moseley

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  35. 35
    Up 100
    Down 62

    Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

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  36. 36
    Up 119
    Down 66

    Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Peter Barton

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  37. 37
    Up 106
    Down 88

    Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow

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  38. 38
    Up 90
    Down 71

    Anthony Perkins, Dennis Franz, Vera Miles

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  39. 39
    Up 79
    Down 73

    Don Francks, Helene Udy, Keith Knight

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  40. 40
    Up 86
    Down 86

    Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

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  41. 41
    Up 94
    Down 91

    Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside

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  42. 42
    Up 85
    Down 80

    Barbara Crampton, William Hickey, Irene Miracle

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  43. 43
    Up 84
    Down 76

    James Karen, Allan Trautman, Forrest J Ackerman

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  44. 44
    Up 86
    Down 97

    Bill Pullman, Paul Winfield, Michael Gough

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  45. 45
    Up 68
    Down 61

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

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  46. 46
    Up 74
    Down 15

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

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  47. 47
    Up 92
    Down 71

    Mike Kellin, Robert Earl Jones, Felissa Rose

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  48. 48
    Up 75
    Down 83

    often listed George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

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  49. 49
    Up 61
    Down 58

    Linnea Quigley, Lilyan Chauvin, Aron Kincaid

    open
  50. 50
    Up 78
    Down 58

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

    open
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