Graveyard Shift

Pretty Good Movies On Netflix Inspired By '80s Horror  

Orrin Grey
379 votes 93 voters 2.8k views 14 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite '80s-inspired horror movies on the streaming service.

There are plenty of Netflix horror movies out there for those who can't get enough ghosts and gore, but how do you find the movie that's right for your mood? You don't need access to the secret Netflix menu of horror films to find plenty of '80s throwbacks. Gremlins is on there. So is Poltergeist. Not to mention remakes and late entries into beloved slasher franchises - among them Jason X, Freddy vs. Jason, and Cult of Chucky. And for things inspired by '80s throwback horror movies, Netflix has Scream and Scream 4, just to get you started.

But what do you do if you've already seen all of those and still want more? Here's a handful of movies with the feel of '80s horror - from horror comedies to splattery gorefests built on practical effects - that you can stream on Netflix right now. Most of these won't be so scary you won't be able to finish them, but they should provide a fun night in - and feed your nostalgia craving in the process.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Pretty Good Movies On Netflix Inspired By '80s Horror
Photo:  Magnet Releasing

The horror comedy has been around for almost as long as horror movies have, but it definitely hit a peak during the '80s, with films ranging from Gremlins to Re-Animator to The Lost Boys, to name just a few. This genre hybrid hasn't disappeared in the last few decades, either, with Scream giving it a whole new boost of meta-textual juice in 1996 and plenty of successors picking up the mantle in the years since.

Few horror comedies of the last decade have captured the splattery, upbeat energy of the '80s as well as Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, a film that also jumps on board the meta train by flipping the "evil rednecks" angle on its head. Here, the eponymous heroes are just a pair of average guys trying to spend a peaceful weekend at a lakeside cabin when they encounter some vacationing college students who've seen too many horror movies. A few mishaps and misunderstandings later and everyone is caught up in a hilarious nightmare of mistaken identities and good intentions gone awry.

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Zombieland is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Pretty Good Movies On Netflix Inspired By '80s Horror
Photo:  Columbia Pictures

Zombieland may have been part of the "fast zombie" boom that started with 28 Days Later, mixed with the meta-horror focus on rules of survival popularized by Scream, but its structure is pure '80s. From the combo of buddy movie and coming-of-age love story to the gory zombies themselves to the no-nonsense means of dispatching them, there's something uniquely '80s about Zombieland's approach to the material. There's even a chainsaw right there on the poster - and a few more in the actual film.

Not sold? Look out for Bill Murray's cameo.

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Monster House is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Pretty Good Movies On Netflix Inspired By '80s Horror
Photo:  Columbia Pictures

What would the '80s have been without "kids on bikes" movies like Steven Spielberg's E.T. or Fred Dekker and Shane Black's Monster Squad? Years before Stranger Things reinvigorated the idea, there was the animated feature Monster House. From a screenplay by Community creator and Rick & Morty co-creator Dan Harmon, Monster House follows a trio of kids who learn that the spooky house in their neighborhood is an actual monster.

While Monster House may technically be a kids' movie, there are some genuinely creepy (and occasionally touching) moments, especially as we learn the truth about the house's origins. Plus, it's spot-on '80s, complete with the "expert in the supernatural" (voiced by Jon Heder) that the kids approach while he's playing an arcade game at a pizza place.

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Insidious is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Pretty Good Movies On Netflix Inspired By '80s Horror
Photo:  Film District

Sure, Insidious kicked off a string of sequels that then sort of transitioned into the whole Conjuring universe, not to mention a spate of other jump-scare delivery systems. But Insidious looks back as well as forward. And it's hard to deny its big Poltergeist energy, what with its depiction of a suburban family beset by escalating supernatural shenanigans, all centered around a young child. Just substitute Lin Shaye's paranormal investigator for Zelda Rubinstein's diminutive psychic researcher and you're there.

Plus, what's not to love about Tiny Tim singing "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" while that demon sharpens his Freddy Krueger claws?

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