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The Best Slasher Movies of the 1980s 

Ranker Film
Updated November 25, 2019 7.8k votes 745 voters 19k views 84 items

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

It's hard to argue that the 80s wasn't the pinnacle of the slasher genre. This best 1980s slasher movie list features several of the most iconic films in the genre; films that frightened a generation and spawned sequels which continue to frighten people everywhere to this very day.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
, Friday the 13th
 and Prom Night all began in the ‘80s, and each has spawned sequel after sequel. Also on this list of the best slasher movies from the 80s are My Bloody Valentine, April Fool’s Day, Happy Birthday to Me and Silent Night, Deadly Night. Hmmm… holidays may not be as safe as we think.
 

So, which of the movies on this list of good 80s slasher films sent a chill up your spine? Vote up the top bloody 80s slasher movies and make sure to add any we might have missed.

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list ordered by
1
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Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wes Craven

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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2
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Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

Released: 1980

Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham

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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The Most Chilling Quotes From 'Friday the 13th' #68 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #102 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

3
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Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

Released: 1981

Directed by: Rick Rosenthal

Halloween II is a 1981 slasher horror film directed by Rick Rosenthal, and written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. It is the second installment in the Halloween series and is a ...more

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#171 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #193 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #42 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

4
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Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Judie Aronson

Released: 1984

Directed by: Joseph Zito

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is a 1984 slasher film written and directed by Joseph Zito. It is the fourth film in the Friday the 13th film series. Though it was billed as "The Final ...more

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#246 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #135 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #39 of 137 The Goriest Movies Ever Made

5
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Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor

Released: 1987

Directed by: Chuck Russell

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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#187 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #258 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #65 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

6
Friday the 13th Part 2 ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Slasher Movies of the 1980s
Midnight Cookie Special added Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Warrington Gillette

Released: 1981

Directed by: Steve Miner

Friday the 13th Part 2 is a 1981 American horror film directed by Steve Miner. It is a direct sequel to Friday the 13th, picking up five years after that film's conclusion. The film marks the ...more

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#209 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #214 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #81 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

7
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Don Francks, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy

Released: 1981

Directed by: George Mihalka

My Bloody Valentine is a 1981 slasher film directed by George Mihalka and written by John Beaird. The film tells the story of a group of teenagers who decide to throw a Valentine's Day party ...more

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8
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Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Robert Earl Jones

Released: 1983

Directed by: Robert Hiltzik

Sleepaway Camp is a 1983 exploitation slasher film written and directed by Robert Hiltzik who also served as executive producer. The film came at a time when slasher films were in their heyday, ...more

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9
Friday the 13th Part 3: ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Slasher Movies of the 1980s
Midnight Cookie Special added Betsy Palmer, Steve Miner, Richard Brooker

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steve Miner

Friday the 13th Part III is a 1982 slasher film and the third entry in the Friday the 13th franchise, directed by Steve Miner. Originally released in 3-D, it is the first film to feature ...more

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10
Friday the 13th Part VI:... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Slasher Movies of the 1980s
Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo

Released: 1986

Directed by: Tom McLoughlin

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is a 1986 slasher film, the sixth film in the Friday the 13th film series. The film was written and directed by Tom McLoughlin. Although the original concept ...more

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11
The Burning is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Slasher Movies of the 1980s
Midnight Cookie Special added Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens

Released: 1981

Directed by: Tony Maylam

The Burning is a 1981 slasher film directed by Tony Maylam and written by Peter Lawrence and Bob Weinstein. It is based on an original story by Maylam, Weinstein, and Brad Grey, with a musical ...more

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12
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Farley Granger, Lawrence Tierney, Christopher Goutman

Released: 1981

Directed by: Joseph Zito

The Prowler is a 1981 horror film directed by Joseph Zito, and written by Neal Barbera and Glenn Leopold.

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#44 of 182 The Best Slasher Movies #149 of 161 The Best Horror Movies Of The 1980s #51 of 69 The Scariest Movies of the 1980s

13
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Tara Buckman, Linnea Quigley, Lilyan Chauvin

Released: 1984

Directed by: Charles Sellier

Silent Night, Deadly Night is a 1984 American slasher film produced by Ira R Barmak, written by Michael Hickey, directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr. and starring Robert Brian Wilson, Lilyan ...more

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14
Child's Play is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Slasher Movies of the 1980s
Piotr Adamowski added Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

Released: 1988

Directed by: Tom Holland

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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#112 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #195 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #43 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

15
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Elizabeth Berridge, Kevin Conway, Frank Grimes

Released: 1981

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

The Funhouse is a 1981 American horror film directed by Tobe Hooper. It was written by Larry Block and stars Elizabeth Berridge, Kevin Conway, William Finley, Cooper Huckabee, Miles Chapin, and ...more

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16
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Robin Stille, Michael Villella, Debra Deliso

Released: 1982

Directed by: Amy Holden Jones

The Slumber Party Massacre is a 1982 American slasher film directed by Amy Holden Jones and written by Rita Mae Brown. In the film, an 18-year old is left alone by her parents and plans on ...more

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17
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Eileen Davidson, Harley Jane Kozak, Kate McNeil

Released: 1983

Directed by: Mark Rosman

The House on Sorority Row is a 1983 American slasher film directed by Mark Rosman. The film has become a cult classic among fans of the genre.

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18
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Glenn Ford, Melissa Sue Anderson, Tracey E. Bregman

Released: 1981

Directed by: J. Lee Thompson

Happy Birthday to Me is a 1981 American-Canadian slasher film directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Melissa Sue Anderson and Glenn Ford. It was released on 15 May 1981, and has since become ...more

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19
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Jamie Lee Curtis, Brittany Snow, Leslie Nielsen

Released: 1980

Directed by: Paul Lynch

Prom Night is a 1980 Canadian slasher film directed by Paul Lynch, based on a story by Robert Guza, Jr., and starring Leslie Nielsen and Jamie Lee Curtis. The story concerns a group of high ...more

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#389 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #197 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #79 of 128 The Best Horror Movie Franchises

20
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Corey Feldman, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Bennett

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Carl Buechler

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21
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Jamie Lee Curtis, Vanity, David Copperfield

Released: 1980

Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode

Terror Train is a 1980 slasher film, directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson and David Copperfield. It follows the members of a college fraternity who played a ...more

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#546 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #569 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #93 of 182 The Best Slasher Movies

22
Halloween 4: The Return ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Slasher Movies of the 1980s
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Released: 1988

Directed by: Dwight H. Little

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is a 1988 horror film directed by Dwight H. Little and written by Alan B. McElroy. It is the fourth installment of the Halloween film series and focuses ...more

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23
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Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman

Released: 1986

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

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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24
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Deborah Foreman, Thomas F. Wilson, Ken Olandt

Released: 1986

Directed by: Fred Walton

April Fool's Day is an American mystery dark comedy horror film released in 1986 by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Fred Walton, from the screenplay by Danilo Bach. The original music ...more

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#414 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #268 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #24 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings

25
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Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Brooke Bundy

Released: 1988

Directed by: Renny Harlin

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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#372 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #154 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #3 of 12 12 Horror Movies Featuring Gnarly People-To-Animal Transformations