best movies The Best '80s Horror Movies  

Originally by
51.9k votes 2.4k voters 124.7k views 181 items Embed

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!
list ordered by

1
971 312
Ranker Video
The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

The Scariest Demon Toys in Film History The Best British Documentaries

2
1,048 264
Ranker Video
A Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

3
884 255
Ranker Video
The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

4
798 283
Ranker Video
Poltergeist Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke

5
859 244
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

6
782 238
Ranker Video
Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

7
682 248
Ranker Video
Pet Sematary Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

8
746 188
Ranker Video
The Evil Dead Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi

9
637 221
Ranker Video
Halloween II Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

10
711 203
Ranker Video
The Lost Boys Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

11
626 244
Ranker Video
An American Werewolf in London Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Rik Mayall

12
586 217
Ranker Video
Fright Night Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

13
684 256
Ranker Video
Hellraiser Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

14
601 256
Ranker Video
Gremlins Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

15
570 240
Ranker Video
Child's Play Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

The Best Horror Movie Remakes The Most Infamous Cursed Movies of All Time

16
610 245
Ranker Video
Evil Dead II Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

17
483 235
Ranker Video
The Return of the Living Dead Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

18
504 200
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Part 2 Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Warrington Gillette

19
566 208
Ranker Video
Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

20
522 262
Ranker Video
The Fly Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

21
455 204
Ranker Video
John Carpenter's The Fog Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

22
400 245
Ranker Video
The Howling Dee Wallace, John Sayles, Slim Pickens

23
453 253
Ranker Video
Children of the Corn Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

24
486 186
Ranker Video
Creepshow Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

25
355 266
Ranker Video
Re-Animator Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, David Gale

26
363 213
Ranker Video
wiabux added Cujo Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter

27
422 209
Ranker Video
Christine Kelly Preston, Alexandra Paul, John Madden

28
337 232
Ranker Video
Day of the Dead Sherman Howard, Jarlath Conroy, Terry Alexander

29
339 253
Ranker Video
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Kathleen Kinmont

50+ Celebrities Who Never Had Kids 39 Ways to Repel a Potential Girlfriend

30
394 125
Ranker Video
CassiopeeLeduc added A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor

31
376 204
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Judie Aronson

32
346 205
Ranker Video
The Hitcher Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

33
318 212
Ranker Video
Sleepaway Camp Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Robert Earl Jones

34
322 229
Ranker Video
Pumpkinhead Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

35
258 200
Ranker Video
My Bloody Valentine Don Francks, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy

36
320 199
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

37
273 119
Ranker Video
CassiopeeLeduc added Silver Bullet Gary Busey, Corey Haim, Terry O'Quinn

38
241 198
Ranker Video
Prom Night Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

39
284 217
Ranker Video
House George Wendt, Kay Lenz, Richard Moll

40
228 232
Ranker Video
Return of the Living Dead Part II Mitch Pileggi, James Karen, Allan Trautman

41
221 211
Ranker Video
Near Dark Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

42
286 232
Ranker Video
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman

43
216 70
Ranker Video
daniel-claeys added The Amityville Horror James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger

The Greatest Kid Characters in Film The Best Adventure Travel Companies

44
237 225
Ranker Video
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

45
253 192
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning Corey Feldman, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr.

46
219 126
Ranker Video
CassiopeeLeduc added Creepshow 2 Stephen King, George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour

47
251 171
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D Betsy Palmer, Steve Miner, Richard Brooker

48
286 216
Ranker Video
Twilight Zone: The Movie Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow, Burgess Meredith

49
230 161
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Bennett

50
245 234
Ranker Video
Scanners Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill