best movies The Best '80s Horror Movies  

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List Rules 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 Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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A Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

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Poltergeist Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke

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The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

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Friday the 13th Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

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Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

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Pet Sematary Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

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The Evil Dead Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi

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An American Werewolf in London Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Rik Mayall

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The Lost Boys Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

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Halloween II Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

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Fright Night Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

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Hellraiser Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

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Gremlins Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

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Child's Play Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

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The Return of the Living Dead Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

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Evil Dead II Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

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Friday the 13th Part 2 Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Warrington Gillette

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Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

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The Fly Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

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The Howling Dee Wallace, John Sayles, Slim Pickens

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John Carpenter's The Fog Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

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Children of the Corn Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

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Creepshow Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

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Christine Kelly Preston, Alexandra Paul, John Madden

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Cujo Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter

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Re-Animator Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, David Gale

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Day of the Dead Sherman Howard, Jarlath Conroy, Terry Alexander

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A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor

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Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Kathleen Kinmont

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Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Judie Aronson

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The Hitcher Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

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Sleepaway Camp Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Robert Earl Jones

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Silver Bullet Gary Busey, Corey Haim, Terry O'Quinn

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Pumpkinhead Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

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Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

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My Bloody Valentine Don Francks, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy

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House George Wendt, Kay Lenz, Richard Moll

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Return of the Living Dead Part II Mitch Pileggi, James Karen, Allan Trautman

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Prom Night Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

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Near Dark Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman

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The Amityville Horror James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger

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Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

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Friday the 13th: A New Beginning Corey Feldman, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr.

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Creepshow 2 Stephen King, George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour

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Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D Betsy Palmer, Steve Miner, Richard Brooker

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Twilight Zone: The Movie Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow, Burgess Meredith

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Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Bennett

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Scanners Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill