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The best horror movies from the 1980s



the glowing nightmare on Ulmenstrasse, gremlins

Nightmare on Elm Street / The Shining / Gremlins

Ah, the 80s – a decade probably best remembered by its big hair, leg warmers, and mullets – but let’s not forget the gruesome, chill-inducing, and oh-so-wonderfully terrifying horror films that defined the genre coming generations.

To take A nightmare on Elm Street, a film that still powers our nightmares (and has also shut us off from striped sweaters forever). Or the bloodbath and masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick The glow. (We are still afraid of long, empty corridors to this day.) And who could forget the most terrifying vacation horror movie of all: Gremlins.

Sure, modern horror is great, but scary 80s movies weren’t afraid to take risks. Join us on our terrifying journey into the past: Here are 15 of the best horror films from the 80s, from classics to classics the weird and experimental kind that keep you hidden under the covers.

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1

Gremlins (1980)

What if a bunch of restless Furby-like dolls terrorizes a small town on Christmas Day? That’s what Gremlins Researched, and we’re really glad our parents gave us GI Joes when we were growing up.

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2

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

This’ 80s film by Wes Craven, which spawned a handful of sequels, dug into people’s ultimate fear: what if our nightmares were real? And what if there was no way to escape them? Freddy Kruger remains the goat of the horror villains of the decade.

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3

The Shining (1980)

A writer and his family are tasked with watching over a hotel in the Rockies during an especially harsh winter season, which as you probably know leads to utter madness. All work and no play makes Jack a boring boy!

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4th

Poltergeist (1982)

A family is haunted by an otherworldly figure who casts a dark shadow on their house (who also has the option of reaching them on their television, our other worst fear).

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5

That Thing (1982)

A group of American researchers in Antarctica sees a helicopter shooting at a sled dog that has entered their camp – only to find out it is a dog Not the friendly, cuddly kind. (We save you from any spoilers.)

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6th

Aliens (1986)

Legendary for all sorts of reasons, but mostly because the sequel somehow made it through better than the already great original. We stan Sigourney!

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7th

Evil Dead (1981)

A group of young college students rush to a secluded cabin in the woods – where all good things happen – and encounter the ultimate demonic character in this bloody film.

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8th

Whose (1983)

We have a lot of feelings Theirs. Is it the best horror movie ever? Probably not. But it’s entertaining as hell and even more fun when you realize that the dog is being played by a mechanical dog and a stunt man on certain punches.

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9

Friday the 13th (1980)

At the time of this classic film’s release, it was critically postponed. Even so, it was hugely popular at the box office and resulted in 11 (yes, 11) sequels. It all started here.

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10

Videodrom (1983)

A David Cronenberg Special, Videodrome follows the president of a television station who stumbles upon the television’s dark web when he finds a show that torments his characters. Is it all fiction? (You can pretty much guess the answer.)

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11

Child’s Play (1988)

There are plenty of bad guys to be scared of on this list, but sadly, nothing scares us more than Chucky. This is where the Child’s Play franchise was born.

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12th

The Fly (1986)

Jeff Goldblum is undergoing the ultimate transformation in this horror classic and we are really excited to see him in some form or another.

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13th

Christine (1983)

What if the villain was a murderous and bloodthirsty car? Nobody ever said it until Stephen King wrote a novel about it that was later turned into this horror classic.

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14th

Pet Sematary (1989)

Another brilliant film adaptation by Stephen King, Pet Sematary explores a family’s experience of the tragic loss of their son – and what they are willing to see again.

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fifteen

Night of Horrors (1985)

What if a vampire becomes your neighbor and chases both your mother and girlfriend? We now know thanks to this cult classic (also remade in 2011).

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