12 Best Horror Movies of the 1980s

The 1980s was an important decade in the television and movies industry. Most of the genres were undergoing change and directors were exploring new ways of telling their stories. But there was one genre that ruled the 1980s more than any other. Yes, you guessed it right: horror. The 1970s had shown with films ‘The Exorcist’ and  ‘Omen’ that horror movies have a huge potential at the box office. So, more and more filmmakers and producers started getting behind the genre that till this day remains amongst the most popular. With that said, here’s the list of top old horror movies of the 1980s.


12. The Dead Zone (1983)

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Based on a novel by Stephen King, this is easily one of David Cronenberg’s more straightforward and accessible films. In The Dead Zone, choice plays a key role, both the ability to make decisions and the horror that results from having those decisions taken away from you. The inventive plot sees a man haunted by images of future events, finely played by Christopher Walken in one of his least flamboyant performances. His hollow eyed, almost shell-shocked interpretation strikes the mark perfectly and he is ably supported by Herbert Lom as a pragmatic doctor and holocaust survivor and Martin Sheen as an insidious senatorial candidate.


11. The Thing (1982)

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The Thing is horror master John Carpenter’s remake of the 1951 film The Thing from Another World, which stars James Arness as a Frankenstein-esque alien menacing a scientific expedition. It is a fascinating, horrifying, and utterly engaging from the first frame to the last.With a thick, thick air of intense paranoia and jaw-dropping monster effects work, The Thing stands as one of the greatest films of both the horror and science fiction genres.


10. Christine (1983)

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It is John Carpenter’s thriller based on a Stephen King story about an “evil” car that possesses its owners to kill. Keith Gordon stars as geeky Arnie Cunningham, who buys “Christine” and soon becomes obsessed with her. The movie was filmed around the Los Angeles area. The first hour of Christine is the director at his best, with his camera mapping out all the ways small towns can be both comforting and confining. With tight editing and some decent scares make this one of the better King adaptations.


9. They Live (1988)

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Chances are if you’ve heard of They Live, it is for one of two reasons. One, you’ve heard the line that launched a million t-shirts: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.” Or two: You’ve seen the prolonged alleyway fight scene between Roddy Piper and Keith David on YouTube (or the fantastic South Park parody of it).  But if you’ve never seen the film itself those two things might give you the impression that it’s just another cheesy action flick from the eighties, but in keeping with the theme of the film, appearances can be deceiving. The execution of film is admirable. This is a must see cult-classic.


8. The Fly (1986)

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“The Fly” is one of the more realistically creepy films you will ever see. With great pacing leading up to the incredible transformation, David Cronenberg’s fantastic picture is all about suspense, and he is a master at keeping you engaged. In the vein of “Videodrome,” “The Fly” follows a similar formula, as we follow the main character’s transformation into a monster of multiple sorts.


7. Evil Dead II (1987)

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Evil Dead II, also known as Evil Dead II:Dead by Dawn, is a 1987 sequel to Evil Dead. The film is as the previous film directed by Sam Raimi and stars Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry and Dan Hicks. It’s not really a sequel but more a different remake of the first one with superior special effects and camera work, and it is definitely a lot funnier, with a more bizarre physical humor that includes a squealing possessed hand and a hysterical Bruce Campbell stealing the scene.

Read More: Horror Movies 2000s

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