Graveyard Shift The Best '80s Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
Originally by
55.5k votes 2.6k voters 130.9k views 182 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
1,030 340
Ranker Video
The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

14 Famous People Who Have PhDs The 13 Sexiest Psycho Girlfriends in Internet History

2
1,114 285
Ranker Video
A Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

3
947 272
Ranker Video
The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

4
839 302
Ranker Video
Poltergeist Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke

5
913 261
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

6
831 256
Ranker Video
Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

7
726 261
Ranker Video
Pet Sematary Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

8
791 202
Ranker Video
The Evil Dead Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi

9
761 216
Ranker Video
The Lost Boys Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

10
673 240
Ranker Video
Halloween II Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

11
660 262
Ranker Video
An American Werewolf in London Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Rik Mayall

12
613 232
Ranker Video
Fright Night Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

13
720 272
Ranker Video
Hellraiser Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

14
629 272
Ranker Video
Gremlins Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

15
647 255
Ranker Video
Evil Dead II Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi

The Scariest Horror Movie Animals 15 Real Things That Are Straight Out Of Horror Movies

16
516 250
Ranker Video
The Return of the Living Dead Clu Gulager, James Karen, Linnea Quigley

17
601 256
Ranker Video
Child's Play Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

18
532 215
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Part 2 Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Warrington Gillette

19
549 275
Ranker Video
The Fly Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

20
602 222
Ranker Video
Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

21
489 213
Ranker Video
John Carpenter's The Fog Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

22
427 256
Ranker Video
The Howling Dee Wallace, John Sayles, Slim Pickens

23
482 262
Ranker Video
Children of the Corn Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

24
512 193
Ranker Video
Creepshow Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

25
373 277
Ranker Video
Re-Animator Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, David Gale

26
381 228
Ranker Video
wiabux added Cujo Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter

27
443 221
Ranker Video
Christine Kelly Preston, Alexandra Paul, John Madden

28
356 242
Ranker Video
Day of the Dead Sherman Howard, Jarlath Conroy, Terry Alexander

29
408 212
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Judie Aronson

35 Awesome Behind the Scenes Pictures of Movie Monsters The Greatest And Completely True Keanu Reeves Stories Ever Told

30
356 267
Ranker Video
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Kathleen Kinmont

31
421 139
Ranker Video
CassiopeeLeduc added A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor

32
373 208
Ranker Video
The Hitcher Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

33
335 221
Ranker Video
Sleepaway Camp Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Robert Earl Jones

34
276 205
Ranker Video
My Bloody Valentine Don Francks, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy

35
340 236
Ranker Video
Pumpkinhead Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

36
339 208
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

37
295 126
Ranker Video
CassiopeeLeduc added Silver Bullet Gary Busey, Corey Haim, Terry O'Quinn

38
258 205
Ranker Video
Prom Night Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

39
299 223
Ranker Video
House George Wendt, Kay Lenz, Richard Moll

40
239 217
Ranker Video
Near Dark Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar

41
239 242
Ranker Video
Return of the Living Dead Part II Mitch Pileggi, James Karen, Allan Trautman

42
301 239
Ranker Video
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman

43
238 76
Ranker Video
daniel-claeys added The Amityville Horror James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger

The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time The Best Scottish Actresses Working Today

44
249 237
Ranker Video
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Beau Starr

45
305 220
Ranker Video
Twilight Zone: The Movie Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow, Burgess Meredith

46
266 205
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning Corey Feldman, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr.

47
270 181
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D Betsy Palmer, Steve Miner, Richard Brooker

48
229 136
Ranker Video
CassiopeeLeduc added Creepshow 2 Stephen King, George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour

49
245 171
Ranker Video
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Bennett

50
255 242
Ranker Video
Scanners Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill