The Best 80s Horror Movies Films
0Ultimate List
by  * Ranker
Staff
tags 18,769 votes 932 voters 69,204 views 98 items f p @

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
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
L The List
Z
B Comments
& Embed
G Options
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 441
    - 88

    most listed Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 402
    - 132

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 353
    - 117

    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 349
    - 115

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

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 283
    - 97

    Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 342
    - 91

    Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 313
    - 112

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

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 289
    - 120

    Doug Bradley, Kenneth Nelson, Andrew Robinson

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 251
    - 109

    Frank Oz, Rik Mayall, Jenny Agutter

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 258
    - 116

    Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 238
    - 96

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 294
    - 95

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 215
    - 126

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

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 246
    - 102

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 188
    - 104

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

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 241
    - 93

    Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 287
    - 70

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

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 195
    - 106

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 155
    - 121

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

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 240
    - 97

    Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 182
    - 104

    John Sayles, John Carradine, Patrick Macnee

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 277
    - 57

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

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 176
    - 83

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 198
    - 80

    Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 223
    - 100

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 201
    - 83

    Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Rex Everhart

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 137
    - 101

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

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 160
    - 89

    Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 182
    - 86

    Kelly Preston, John Madden, Alexandra Paul

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 136
    - 100

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Michael Pataki

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 162
    - 83

    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter, Dee Wallace

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 134
    - 101

    Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 128
    - 102

    Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 97
    - 94

    James Karen, Allan Trautman, Forrest J Ackerman

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 116
    - 99

    Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 115
    - 102

    George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 96
    - 99

    Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 140
    - 79

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

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 113
    - 106

    Dennis Hopper, Kinky Friedman, Bill Moseley

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 121
    - 77

    Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 105
    - 82

    Mike Kellin, Robert Earl Jones, Felissa Rose

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 85
    - 76

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 74
    - 75

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 89
    - 97

    George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 102
    - 82

    Anthony Perkins, Dennis Franz, Vera Miles

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 89
    - 87

    Don Francks, Helene Udy, Keith Knight

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 98
    - 110

    Bill Pullman, Paul Winfield, Michael Gough

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 95
    - 22

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

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 93
    - 90

    Barbara Crampton, William Hickey, Irene Miracle

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 71
    - 68

    Linnea Quigley, Lilyan Chauvin, Aron Kincaid

    ) open
99 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists