Entertainment

The Best Horror Movies of 1981 

Reference
Updated September 23, 2019 1.3k votes 114 voters 1.7k views 95 items

List of the best 1981 horror movies, ranked by how many upvotes they've received by other fans of the genre. All types of scary movies are represented below, including thrillers, slashers, gore, psychological horror films and more. These are all the horror movies that defined the year 1981, so vote for your favorites and help them rise to the top. This poll is also a great resource for finding new movies that you haven't already seen, especially since you can watch trailers for each film right on this page. To make sure this list is as accurate as possible, please don't downvote a movie if you haven't seen it.

List features movies like The Evil Dead, Halloween II, and many more This isn't necessarily a list of all horror movies from 1981, but it does contain all the ones worth watching.
list ordered by
1
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Dir. by Steve Miner (1981), starring Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Warrington Gillette
2
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Dir. by John Landis (1981), starring Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Rik Mayall
3
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Dir. by Sam Raimi (1981), starring Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi
4
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Dir. by George Mihalka (1981), starring Don Francks, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy
5
Halloween II is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horror Movies of 1981
Dir. by Rick Rosenthal (1981), starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards
6
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Dir. by Joseph Zito (1981), starring Farley Granger, Lawrence Tierney, Christopher Goutman
7
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Dir. by Tony Maylam (1981), starring Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens
8
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Dir. by David Cronenberg (1981), starring Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill
9
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Dir. by Joe Dante (1981), starring Dee Wallace, John Sayles, Slim Pickens
10
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Dir. by Tobe Hooper (1981), starring Elizabeth Berridge, Kevin Conway, Frank Grimes
11
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Dir. by J. Lee Thompson (1981), starring Glenn Ford, Melissa Sue Anderson, Tracey E. Bregman
12
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Dir. by Lucio Fulci (1981), starring David Warbeck, Veronica Lazăr, Catriona MacColl
13
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Dir. by Andrzej Żuławski (1981), starring Sam Neill, Isabelle Adjani, Heinz Bennent
14
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Dir. by Eric Weston (1981), starring Clint Howard, R. G. Armstrong, Haywood Nelson
15
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Dir. by Gary Sherman (1981), starring Robert Englund, Jack Albertson, Barry Corbin
16
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Dir. by Frank De Felitta (1981), starring Charles Durning, Lane Smith, Larry Drake
17
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Dir. by Edward Hunt (1981), starring José Ferrer, Michael Dudikoff, Julie Brown
18
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Dir. by Ken Hughes (1981), starring Rachel Ward, Leonard Mann
19
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Dir. by Lucio Fulci (1981), starring Lucio Fulci, David Warbeck, Patrick Magee
20
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Dir. by Tom DeSimone (1981), starring Linda Blair, Peter Barton, Ron Gans
21
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Dir. by Tobe Hooper, Romano Scavolini (1981), starring Robert Englund, Chandra West, Ray Baker
22
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Dir. by John Irvin (1981), starring Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
23
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Dir. by Joe D'Amato (1981), starring Edmund Purdom, Ted Rusoff, George Eastman
24
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Dir. by Jeff Lieberman (1981), starring George Kennedy, Jamie Rose, Chris Lemmon
25
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Dir. by Herb Freed (1981), starring Vanna White, Linnea Quigley, Christopher George