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!
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The List
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 407
    Down 79

    most listed Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

  2. 2
    Up 374
    Down 118

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

  3. 3
    Up 321
    Down 109

    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

  4. 4
    Up 321
    Down 104

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

  5. 5
    Up 263
    Down 87

    Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

  6. 6
    Up 314
    Down 82

    Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

  7. 7
    Up 275
    Down 107

    Doug Bradley, Kenneth Nelson, Andrew Robinson

  8. 8
    Up 292
    Down 105

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

  9. 9
    Up 237
    Down 99

    Frank Oz, Rik Mayall, Jenny Agutter

  10. 10
    Up 218
    Down 87

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

  11. 11
    Up 236
    Down 110

    Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

  12. 12
    Up 275
    Down 88

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

  13. 13
    Up 229
    Down 97

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

  14. 14
    Up 200
    Down 118

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

  15. 15
    Up 172
    Down 97

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

  16. 16
    Up 223
    Down 90

    Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

  17. 17
    Up 268
    Down 67

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

  18. 18
    Up 220
    Down 91

    Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff

  19. 19
    Up 187
    Down 98

    Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

  20. 20
    Up 142
    Down 115

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

  21. 21
    Up 174
    Down 97

    John Sayles, John Carradine, Patrick Macnee

  22. 22
    Up 169
    Down 78

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

  23. 23
    Up 261
    Down 50

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

  24. 24
    Up 190
    Down 75

    Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

  25. 25
    Up 208
    Down 96

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

  26. 26
    Up 188
    Down 78

    Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Rex Everhart

  27. 27
    Up 130
    Down 95

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

  28. 28
    Up 154
    Down 84

    Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

  29. 29
    Up 128
    Down 92

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Michael Pataki

  30. 30
    Up 170
    Down 80

    Kelly Preston, John Madden, Alexandra Paul

  31. 31
    Up 153
    Down 78

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

  32. 32
    Up 131
    Down 93

    Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

  33. 33
    Up 93
    Down 86

    James Karen, Allan Trautman, Forrest J Ackerman

  34. 34
    Up 123
    Down 93

    Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow

  35. 35
    Up 111
    Down 93

    George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz

  36. 36
    Up 107
    Down 95

    Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside

  37. 37
    Up 132
    Down 73

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

  38. 38
    Up 108
    Down 97

    Dennis Hopper, Kinky Friedman, Bill Moseley

  39. 39
    Up 111
    Down 71

    Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

  40. 40
    Up 99
    Down 76

    Mike Kellin, Robert Earl Jones, Felissa Rose

  41. 41
    Up 91
    Down 94

    Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

  42. 42
    Up 78
    Down 68

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

  43. 43
    Up 85
    Down 90

    George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

  44. 44
    Up 68
    Down 70

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

  45. 45
    Up 94
    Down 78

    Anthony Perkins, Dennis Franz, Vera Miles

  46. 46
    Up 86
    Down 18

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

  47. 47
    Up 93
    Down 102

    Bill Pullman, Paul Winfield, Michael Gough

  48. 48
    Up 85
    Down 81

    Don Francks, Helene Udy, Keith Knight

  49. 49
    Up 89
    Down 85

    Barbara Crampton, William Hickey, Irene Miracle

  50. 50
    Up 54
    Down 18

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

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