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 355
    Down 61

    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

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  2. 2
    Up 328
    Down 102

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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  3. 3
    Up 282
    Down 88

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

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  4. 4
    Up 271
    Down 95

    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

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  5. 5
    Up 271
    Down 66

    Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

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  6. 6
    Up 239
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    Doug Bradley, Kenneth Nelson, Andrew Robinson

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  7. 7
    Up 226
    Down 74

    Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

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  8. 8
    Up 244
    Down 89

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser

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  9. 9
    Up 203
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    Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

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  10. 10
    Up 204
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    Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

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  11. 11
    Up 171
    Down 99

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

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  12. 12
    Up 200
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    Frank Oz, Rik Mayall, Jenny Agutter

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  13. 13
    Up 197
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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 181
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

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  16. 16
    Up 193
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    Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff

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  17. 17
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    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

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  18. 18
    Up 141
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

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  19. 19
    Up 229
    Down 55

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

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  20. 20
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    Down 39

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

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  21. 21
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    Down 66

    Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Rex Everhart

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  22. 22
    Up 147
    Down 87

    John Sayles, John Carradine, Patrick Macnee

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  23. 23
    Up 117
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, James Ellis

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  24. 24
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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 Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

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  26. 26
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

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  27. 27
    Up 137
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

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  28. 28
    Up 131
    Down 66

    added by wiabux Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter, Dee Wallace

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  29. 29
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    Down 84

    Sherman Howard, Jarlath Conroy, Terry Alexander

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  30. 30
    Up 110
    Down 74

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Michael Pataki

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  31. 31
    Up 109
    Down 81

    Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

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  32. 32
    Up 93
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz

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  33. 33
    Up 93
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Dennis Hopper, Kinky Friedman, Bill Moseley

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  34. 34
    Up 139
    Down 70

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

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  35. 35
    Up 92
    Down 54

    Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

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  36. 36
    Up 110
    Down 58

    Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Peter Barton

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  37. 37
    Up 85
    Down 62

    Anthony Perkins, Dennis Franz, Vera Miles

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  38. 38
    Up 96
    Down 85

    Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow

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  39. 39
    Up 72
    Down 66

    Don Francks, Helene Udy, Keith Knight

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  40. 40
    Up 80
    Down 80

    Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

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  41. 41
    Up 82
    Down 91

    Bill Pullman, Paul Winfield, Michael Gough

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  42. 42
    Up 87
    Down 85

    Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside

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  43. 43
    Up 63
    Down 54

    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

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  44. 44
    Up 75
    Down 72

    James Karen, Allan Trautman, Forrest J Ackerman

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  45. 45
    Up 62
    Down 11

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

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  46. 46
    Up 76
    Down 78

    Barbara Crampton, William Hickey, Irene Miracle

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  47. 47
    Up 58
    Down 51

    Linnea Quigley, Lilyan Chauvin, Aron Kincaid

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  48. 48
    Up 84
    Down 66

    Mike Kellin, Robert Earl Jones, Felissa Rose

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  49. 49
    Up 71
    Down 52

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

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  50. 50
    Up 69
    Down 79

    often listed & ranked high on reranks George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

    open
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