Graveyard Shift The Best '80s Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
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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!
list ordered by

1
1,022 337
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The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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2
1,106 282
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A Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

3
936 271
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The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

4
908 258
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Friday the 13th Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

5
831 301
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Poltergeist Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke

6
825 254
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Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

7
720 259
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Pet Sematary Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

8
783 201
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The Evil Dead Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi

9
753 215
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The Lost Boys Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

10
667 238
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Halloween II Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

11
652 260
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An American Werewolf in London Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Rik Mayall

12
609 230
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Fright Night Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

13
714 269
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Hellraiser Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

14
621 271
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Gremlins Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

15
639 254
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Evil Dead II Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

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16
596 252
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Child's Play Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

17
510 248
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The Return of the Living Dead Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

18
528 212
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Friday the 13th Part 2 Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Warrington Gillette

19
597 220
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Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

20
544 273
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The Fly Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

21
483 211
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John Carpenter's The Fog Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

22
478 259
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Children of the Corn Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

23
422 255
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The Howling Dee Wallace, John Sayles, Slim Pickens

24
508 193
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Creepshow Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

25
370 276
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Re-Animator Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, David Gale

26
377 227
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wiabux added Cujo Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter

27
440 220
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Christine Kelly Preston, Alexandra Paul, John Madden

28
406 211
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Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Judie Aronson

29
351 241
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Day of the Dead Sherman Howard, Jarlath Conroy, Terry Alexander

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30
351 266
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Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Kathleen Kinmont

31
415 138
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CassiopeeLeduc added A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor

32
369 207
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The Hitcher Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

33
331 220
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Sleepaway Camp Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Robert Earl Jones

34
275 203
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My Bloody Valentine Don Francks, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy

35
338 234
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Pumpkinhead Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

36
339 205
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Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

37
292 125
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CassiopeeLeduc added Silver Bullet Gary Busey, Corey Haim, Terry O'Quinn

38
255 204
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Prom Night Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

39
297 221
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House George Wendt, Kay Lenz, Richard Moll

40
234 216
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Near Dark Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

41
237 240
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Return of the Living Dead Part II Mitch Pileggi, James Karen, Allan Trautman

42
300 237
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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman

43
235 75
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daniel-claeys added The Amityville Horror James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger

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44
249 234
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Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

45
302 220
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Twilight Zone: The Movie Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow, Burgess Meredith

46
265 203
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Friday the 13th: A New Beginning Corey Feldman, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr.

47
268 179
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Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D Betsy Palmer, Steve Miner, Richard Brooker

48
228 133
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CassiopeeLeduc added Creepshow 2 Stephen King, George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour

49
245 168
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Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Bennett

50
253 241
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Scanners Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill