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10 Best Horror Movies from the 1980s

by Amanda S 2 years ago in movie review

The 1980s were when horror movies really started to get produced at a fast pace.

The Ghoulies

The 1980s were a time that was heavily inspired by the horror movies of the 1970s. Especially Halloween and The Exorcist there would be so many movies involving slashers and paranormal horror. It is very hard to go through the amount of horror movies that were coming out. A lot of them were not very good, unfortunately. But there were still movies that intentionally, or not, were good. So, here are my top 10 best horror movies from the 1980s.

10. Child's Play (1988)

Directed by Tom Holland (not that one). Written by Don Mancini, John Lafia, and Tom Holland. Starring Catherine Hicks and Chris Sarandon.

The Plot: A single mother really just wants to give her son a good birthday gift. Good Guy Dolls are everywhere and her son obviously wants one. She buys one off of a homeless man and gives it to her son, not expecting what is about to happen to happen. The doll isn't what she thought it would and her son is about to get into a whole lot of trouble.

Why You Should See It: It's not a perfect movie and there are a lot of problems in the plot of the movie. But it's spooky and a whole lot of camp. There's something about a freckled red headed doll killing anyone that gets in his way from becoming a child. It's well-acted and there's not even complaints about the child actor.

9. The Lost Boys (1987)

Directed by Joel Shumacher. Written by Janice Fischer, James Jeremias, and Jeffrey Boam. Starring Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, and Jami Gertz.

The Plot: A small family move to Santa Carla after the divorce, to live with their absolutely nuts grandfather. They spend a lot of time on the boardwalk, and the oldest brother (Michael) starts to hang out with a very bad crowd. His younger brother (Sam) starts to hang out with some vampire hunters.

Why You Should See It: Another movie that is on the campy side. It's a fun ride. It's also probably the only time I've ever listened to The Doors. The Coreys are really a lot of fun and their failure to properly slay the vampires because they get all their information from comic books. This is a movie from my childhood that I greatly enjoy.

8. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Directed and Written by Shinya Tsukamoto. Starring Tomorowo Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, and Shinya Tsukamoto.

The Plot: A salaryman accidentally runs over a man that has a metal fetish. This is, he enjoys cutting his body open and shoving metal into the wound. As time goes on, he starts to have metal pushing through his skin in horrifying ways.

Why You Should See It: This is the obligatory movie that is not for the faint of heart. This movie is a lot to take in and there's a similar kind of feeling as Eraserhead. As in, it's uncomfortable and a little bit wild.

7. Evil Dead II (1987)

Directed by Sam Raimi. Written by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel. Starring Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, and Dan Hicks.

The Plot: Ash and his girlfriend go to a cabin in the woods to spend time together. However, Ash plays a recording of the Necronomicon that unleashes all kinds of demons on them. His girlfriend gets possessed and he has to cut her up. He's just trying to survive while the daughter of the archaeologist that read the Necronomicon

Why You Should See It: The reason that this movie is on here and the original is not, is because this movie goes completely crazy with the camp of what is going on. This movie takes that camp and has as much fun with it as possible. There's a few moments where it's a little unsettling. It's totally worth watching.

6. Poltergeist (1982)

Directed by Tobe Hooper. Written by Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor. Starring JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, and Beatrice Straight.

The Plot: A family of five moves into a newly developed community and things seem much better for them now. Until Carol Anne starts to talk to someone in the static of their television. There's something on going in the house, with movement of objects that shouldn't be moving. It seems fun until Carol Anne is sucked into a portal within her closet.

Why Should You See It: This movie is a classic and it's got a lot going for it. The effects are pretty dated at this point but they're really good for the time period. It's a good story and really unique. It also has Zelda Rubinstein, who is so perfect in her role.

5. Hellraiser (1987)

Directed by and Written by Clive Barker. Starring Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, and Ashley Laurence.

The Plot: The story really begins when Larry and his second wife, Julia, move into the house that had belonged to his brother Frank. Larry's daughter, Kristy, doesn't live in the house but sees her father often. Unknown to the family, Frank used a puzzle box in order to reach the maximum carnal pleasures.

Why You Should See It: This is the first movie that Clive Barker directed and it's an amazing debut. This is one of the few movies that reached popular success but is also rough to watch. There's a lot of gore, especially when looking at the Cenobites.

4. Aliens (1986)

Directed by James Cameron. Written by James Cameron, David Giler, and Walter Hill. Starring Sigourney Weaver.

The Plot: Fifty-seven years after the first movie happened, Ripley is found in space. She's notified that the planet with the Aliens has now been colonized, and the colony has recently gone silent. The crew lands and finds out that things are much worse than expected.

Why You Should See It: I do tend to put this movie a little bit higher than the original. There's so much going on, including the survival of a young child. Ripley is dealing with the trauma of having lost her entire crew, losing fifty-seven years, and also coming to terms with the death of her own child. It's also much scarier to have a bunch of aliens.

3. Friday the 13th (1980)

Directed by Sean S. Cunningham. Written by Victor Miller. Starring Betsy Palmer, Kevin Bacon, and Adrienne King.

The Plot: Decades after a brutal double homicide, a group of camp counselors come to Camp Crystal Lake to fix it up for the coming season. They get warned by Crazy Ralph who warns them that this is Camp Blood and that they're going to die up there. Unknown to them, there is someone watching them in the woods.

Why You Should See It: This movie isn't at all like Halloween and has a few twists that are going to keep you on the edge. The famous Tom Savini did the special effects and makeup, so you know you're going to see some solid kills. It's a good slasher movie with plenty of surprises.

2. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

Directed and Written by Wes Craven. Starring Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, and Robert Englund.

The Plot: A group of teenagers start having frightening dreams featuring a man in a striped sweater with knives on his fingers. Things only get worse when some of them start dying. There's a struggle in trying to figure out how to escape their dreams and escape a very dedicated demon that's haunting them.

Why You Should See It: First of all, Robert Englund is a master of playing Freddy Krueger. While most of his counterparts are silent, Freddy is very vocal in mocking the people that he's about to murder. There's something really scary about not being able to escape from death in your dreams. It's definitely worth the watch and so are quite a few of the sequels, especially the second one.

1. Halloween III (1982)

Directed and Written by Tommy Lee Wallace. Starring Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, and Dan O'Herlihy.

The Plot: It's Halloween and it's time to have some nice masks. After the strange death of Harry Grimbridge, a doctor is confused about why he was holding a jack'o lantern mask. There's something not quite right about these masks and he's intending to get to the bottom of it.

Why You Should See It: A lot of people don't like this movie because it's not like the other in the series. There was an intent for the films to be like an anthology, hence why this movie came out. It's a good movie and I've always really enjoyed it. This is probably the hottest take I had this entire article.

Thank you for reading this! If you enjoyed this, please leave a tip down below. I'm always willing to have chats on Twitter about these articles: @spookywaii.

movie review

Amanda S

Fascinated by horror and entertainment.

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Amanda S
Read next: Everybody Dies Pt. 1.

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