The Best '80s Horror Movies

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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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  1. 1
    + 708
    - 207
    The Shining is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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  2. 2
    + 771
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    A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks
    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

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  3. 3
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    Friday the 13th is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

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  4. 4
    + 600
    - 185
    Poltergeist is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


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

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  5. 5
    + 606
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    The Thing is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

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  6. 6
    + 550
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    Aliens is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

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  7. 7
    + 522
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    The Evil Dead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi

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  8. 8
    + 490
    - 167
    Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

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  9. 9
    + 452
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    An American Werewolf in London is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Rik Mayall

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  10. 10
    + 444
    - 153
    Halloween II is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

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  11. 11
    + 487
    - 197
    Hellraiser is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

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  12. 12
    + 520
    - 142
    The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

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  13. 13
    + 433
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    Fright Night is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

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  14. 14
    + 442
    - 167
    Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

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  15. 15
    + 345
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    The Return of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

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  16. 16
    + 431
    - 176
    Evil Dead II is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

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  17. 17
    + 408
    - 163
    Child's Play is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

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  18. 18
    + 376
    - 196
    The Fly is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

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  19. 19
    + 328
    - 174
    Children of the Corn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

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  20. 20
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    Friday the 13th Part 2 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Warrington Gillette

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  21. 21
    + 321
    - 138
    John Carpenter's The Fog is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

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  22. 22
    + 300
    - 171
    The Howling is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dee Wallace, John Sayles, Slim Pickens

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  23. 23
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    - 149
    Predator is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

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  24. 24
    + 343
    - 128
    Creepshow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

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  25. 25
    + 255
    - 191
    Re-Animator is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, David Gale

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  26. 26
    + 250
    - 155
    Day of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Sherman Howard, Jarlath Conroy, Terry Alexander

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  27. 27
    + 322
    - 136
    Christine is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

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

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  28. 28
    + 268
    - 143
    Cujo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    added by wiabux
    Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter

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  29. 29
    + 237
    - 167
    Halloween 4: The Return of Mic... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Kathleen Kinmont

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  30. 30
    + 250
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    The Hitcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

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  31. 31
    + 245
    - 67
    A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: D... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

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

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  32. 32
    + 252
    - 131
    Friday the 13th: The Final Cha... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Judie Aronson

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  33. 33
    + 212
    - 142
    Sleepaway Camp is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Robert Earl Jones

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  34. 34
    + 232
    - 159
    Pumpkinhead is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

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  35. 35
    + 174
    - 59
    Silver Bullet is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

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

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  36. 36
    + 167
    - 161
    Return of the Living Dead Part... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mitch Pileggi, James Karen, Allan Trautman

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  37. 37
    + 176
    - 126
    Prom Night is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

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  38. 38
    + 178
    - 139
    My Bloody Valentine is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Don Francks, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy

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  39. 39
    + 221
    - 134
    Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

    ;
  40. 40
    + 210
    - 157
    House is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    George Wendt, Kay Lenz, Richard Moll

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  41. 41
    + 106
    - 22
    The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks & added by daniel-claeys
    James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger

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  42. 42
    + 207
    - 166
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman

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  43. 43
    + 180
    - 123
    Friday the 13th: A New Beginni... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Corey Feldman, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr.

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  44. 44
    + 169
    - 150
    Halloween 5: The Revenge of Mi... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

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  45. 45
    + 210
    - 164
    Twilight Zone: The Movie is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow, Burgess Meredith

    ;
  46. 46
    + 191
    - 169
    Scanners is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill

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  47. 47
    + 160
    - 158
    Near Dark is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

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  48. 48
    + 159
    - 122
    April Fool's Day is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    Deborah Foreman, Thomas F. Wilson, Ken Olandt

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  49. 49
    + 156
    - 152
    The Changeling is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies


    George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

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  50. 50
    + 120
    - 87
    The Stepfather is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best '80s Horror Movies

    added by CassiopeeLeduc
    Terry O'Quinn, Shelley Hack, Jill Schoelen

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