Entertainment

The Best 80s Monster Movies  

Ranker Film
1.8k votes 230 voters 8.5k views 30 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite monster films that were released in the 1980s.

For your enjoyment, here is a list of the best 80s monster movies. Monster movies were less prevalent in the 80s compared to decades before, but surprisingly there are some really good ones here. From the remake of The Fly to the first sequel to Alien (and possibly the best of the bunch) to Cliver Barker’s Hellraiser, this decade is out to impress.
 

Prominent on this 1980s monster film list is Nightmare on Elm Street, the film that made falling asleep terrifying and spawned four sequels during the decade. You will also find, John Carpenter’s The Fog, Friday the 13th (which spawned another brand that just keeps going) and Teen Wolf with Michael J. Fox.
 

So, which of the movies on this list of good 1980s monster films gave you the willies? Vote up the top 80s monster movies and make sure to add any we might have missed.

list ordered by
1
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Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter
The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

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#116 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #7 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #928 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

2
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Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn
Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

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#173 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #33 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more

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#114 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #49 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing Freddy Krueger Is Based On The Disturbing True Tale Of 18 People Inexplicably Dying In Their Sleep

4
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Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence
Hellraiser is a 1987 British horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, based upon his own novella The Hellbound Heart. The film spawned a series of sequels.

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#317 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #25 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Timefeaturing Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Hellraiser'

5
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Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi
Evil Dead II is a 1987 American horror comedy film directed by Sam Raimi and a parody sequel to the 1981 film The Evil Dead. The film was written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel, produced by Robert ...more

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#229 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #134 of 440 The Funniest '80s Movies #31 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time

6
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Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Fly is a 1986 American science fiction horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, ...more

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#39 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #13 of 22 Horror Movies You Can't Even Finish Watchinglisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
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Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film concerns a group of teenagers who are taken out one by one while attempting ...more

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#77 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #10 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Timefeaturing The Best Kills In Friday The 13th With A Machete

8
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Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates
Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more

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#35 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #26 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing 'Gremlins' Was So Intense That It Led To The Invention Of The PG-13 Rating

9
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Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson
Creepshow is a 1982 horror anthology film with elements of black comedy directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. The film's ensemble cast included Hal Holbrook, Adrienne ...more

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#150 of 440 The Funniest '80s Movies #47 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #826 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

10
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Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, Tom Welling
The Fog is a 2005 horror film directed by Rupert Wainwright and starring Tom Welling, Selma Blair and Maggie Grace. It is a remake of John Carpenter's 1980 film of the same name and was produced ...more

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#713 of 837 The Scariest Threats to the United States #476 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time #13 of 33 Horror Movie Reboots No One Ever Asked For

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Tom Noonan, Stephen Macht, Jon Gries
The Monster Squad is a 1987 horror comedy film written by Shane Black and Fred Dekker and directed by Fred Dekker. It was released by Tri-Star Pictures on August 14, 1987. The film features the ...more

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#142 of 440 The Funniest '80s Movies #367 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Timelisted on All Vampire Movies: List of Vampire Movies and Vampire Films

12
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Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a 1987 American slasher fantasy film and the third film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Chuck Russell, written by ...more

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#321 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #202 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #69 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time

13
Critters is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Chris King-Way added Billy Zane, Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh
Critters is a 1986 cult comedy horror science fiction film starring Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush and Scott Grimes. It was the directorial debut of Stephen Herek who ...more

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#189 of 440 The Funniest '80s Movies #244 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #141 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

14
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Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower
Pumpkinhead is a 1988 American supernatural horror film. It was the directorial debut of special effects artist Stan Winston. While Pumpkinhead received mixed reviews, the film has built up a ...more

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#124 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #365 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #68 of 84 The Best Pumpkin Things

15
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Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister
Phantasm is a 1979 American horror film directed, written, photographed, co-produced, and edited by Don Coscarelli. It introduces the Tall Man. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike, who tries to ...more

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#108 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #167 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #44 of 128 The Best Horror Movie Franchises

16
Child's Play is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon
Child's Play is a 1988 American horror film directed by Tom Holland, written by Tom Holland, Don Mancini, and John Lafia, and starring Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad ...more

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#166 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #125 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #18 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time

17
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Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (marketed as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2) is a 1986 American black comedy slasher film directed by Tobe Hooper. A radio host (Caroline Williams) is ...more

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#193 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #29 of 136 The Goriest Movies Ever Made #38 of 217 The Worst Sequels Of All Time

18
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Brooke Bundy
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is a 1988 American slasher fantasy film and the fourth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Renny Harlin, stars ...more

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#131 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #351 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #23 of 99 The Best Horror Movie Sequels

19
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Robert Englund, Hope Lange, Clu Gulager
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge is a 1985 American slasher horror film and the second film in the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. The film was directed by Jack Sholder and ...more

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#211 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #121 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #325 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

20
Alligator is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Chris King-Way added Dean Jagger, Sydney Lassick, Robert Forster
Alligator is a 1980 American monster movie, directed by Lewis Teague with a screenplay by John Sayles. It stars Robert Forster, Robin Riker, and Michael V. Gazzo. It follows the attempts of a ...more
21
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Michael J. Fox, Doug Savant, James Hampton
Teen Wolf is a 1985 American fantasy comedy film released by Atlantic Releasing Corporation starring Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard, a high school student who discovers that his family has an ...more

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#132 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #94 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #75 of 440 The Funniest '80s Movies

22
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Wally George
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is a 1989 American slasher horror film and the fifth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins, stars Robert ...more

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#250 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #69 of 217 The Worst Sequels Of All Time #55 of 99 The Best Horror Movie Sequels

23
Humanoids from the Deep ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Hayden the Monster Man added Helena Bonham Carter, Clint Howard, Emma Samms
24
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Bill Freehan, Jerry Butler, Frank Henenlotter
Basket Case is a 1982 American horror comedy film written and directed by Frank Henenlotter. It has two sequels, Basket Case 2 and Basket Case 3: The Progeny by the same director. It is notable ...more

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#282 of 440 The Funniest '80s Movies #556 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #8 of 20 The Scariest Horror Movies With Twins

25
Creature is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Hayden the Monster Man added Klaus Kinski, Wendy Schaal, Diane Salinger
Creature - Die dunkle Macht der Finsternis ist ein Horrorfilm aus dem Jahr 1985. Regie führte William Malone.