Top Horror Movies of the 1980s That You Must Watch

Top Horror Movies of the 1980s
Top Horror Movies of the 1980s

Top Horror Movies of the 1980s: Horror as a genre did not always enjoy the same status as it has earned in the present-day cinematic universe. It would not be wrong to state that the 1980s was the breeding ground for horror as a genre in movies. Though horror movies were there even before the 1980’s Horror Movies, we saw complete domination of horror movies in the ’80s. 

Horror movies have always been a classic genre in the film industry. Nowadays the craze for horror is increasing but there were some classic horror movies that serve as the nurturing point for modern-day horror films. For those who are into retro and are a Horror freak, below are some of the vintage 1980s Horror movies. Best Horror Movies on Netflix

Classic 1980’s Horror Movies: 

The Shining(1980):” Stephen King’s best work”

Initial release- 23 May 1980

Director- Stanley Kubrick

The Shining is the 1980 psychological horror film based on the novel of the same name written by Stephen King. The film’s story concerns an alcoholic zealous writer Jack Torrance who accepts the job of a janitor at a jerkwater inn named Overlooked Hotel. Jack moves in with his wife and a son with psychic abilities who is able to see through the hotel’s horrible past. The manager of the hotel tells Jack about the former caretaker who killed his entire family while suffering from distressing claustrophobia called cabin fever. When a winter storm arrives at the hotel, the Torrance family experience some supernatural activities around them.

Jack starts having horrific nightmares and eventually loses his mind. While his son gets visibly abrasions while looking out for mysterious room 237 and the golden room.

Book of the Dead(1981): “The Evil Dead”

Book of the Dead

Initial release-  15 October 1981

Director- Sam Raimi

Book of the Dead also known as The Evil Dead is an American supernatural horror splatter movie. Based on college friends who went on vacation in an outlying forest area and then experiences the possession by demons. The story revolves around the five characters who are university students. Who went for sojourning in an isolated chalet in the woods far from the city area. In the cabin, they find antiquated tapes that are supposedly incarnated.

One of them plays the tape recorder which resurrects the diabolic spirits and ends up bewitching the students one by one. The group then finds ways to repel the spell and dismember a possessed host. Their so-called spending quality time becomes a trip to hell.

Poltergeist(1982): “Saving the daughter “


Initial Release- 4 June 1982

Director- Tobe Hooper

Poltergeist is a horror-thriller film that concerns the struggle of a family that tries to save their daughter from a malign ghost. The Freeling family lives a pretty moderate life at Cuesta Verde in the suburbs of California. One night the daughter of the family Carol wakes up at midnight and starts chattering with the television. The television displays static and then a spectral white hand emanates abruptly from the telly. And then the house experiences strange tremors. When the children start getting grabbed by supernatural spirits. The family realizes that Carol is stuck inside the television that is attuned to an empty channel and disgorging Carol’s voice.

The Freelings call parapsychologists to look into the matter to tell them that their house is possessed by a Poltergeist that involves more than one spirit.

A Nightmare on Elm Street(1984): “Killed for real or in dreams? “

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Initial Release- 9 November 1984 

Director- Wes Craven

A Nightmare on Elm Street is an American slasher horror film about victims who are killed in their dreams. This film serves as the debut movie for Johnny Depp. The film’s plot is about a girl named Nancy who dreams of a man named Freddy attacking her and burning her arm. After her friend Tina is killed by a blurred man in her dream while sleeping. Nancy from then on experiences more nightmares wherein she and her friends are slashed by Freddy. While having one of these nightmares she clasps Freddy’s fedora in the real world with the initials “Fred Krueger”.

Nancy then learns that Fred was a psychopath child killer who turned into a vengeful ghost after being blazed alive by the parents to seek justice. Nancy then unlocks the way to defeat the spirit but fails.

Re-Animator(1985):” HP Lovecraftian”


Initial Release- 18 October 1985

Director- Stuart Gordon

Re-Animator is a 1985 horror comedy film hinged with the 1922 novel Herbert West- Reanimator written by H.P. Lovecraft.  The film plots a medical student named Herbert West who invents a reagent that can bring deceased bodies back to life. but his invention has a flaw as the body recovers half-dead in a zombie state. West and his friend Dan experiments this reagent on one of their university professor Dr.Hill. but this backfires on them when Dr.Hill gains the ability to telepathically control the minds of other revived dead bodies by conducting certain brain surgery on them. They then strive to stop Dr.Hill’s monstrous entrails.

The Fly(1986):” Teleportation device “

The Fly

Initial Release- 15 august 1986

Director- David Cronenberg

The Fly is a 1986 sci-fi horror film based on the short story of the same name authored by George Langelaan. The film gained high commercial success and ended up winning an Academy Awards for Best makeup. The diegesis follows the miserable story of an intelligent scientist Seth Brundle who has invented teleportation devices. His own invention turns into a nightmare when he teleports himself with a housefly unknown to his knowledge. After having an argument with his girlfriend Veronica. When a few days pass and the couple reunites, they both observe the strange physical changes on Seth’s body.

Seth then checks his computer records only to find out that his body was fused with the housefly during the teleportation because the computer programming deteriorated confusing the two life-forms.Over the passing weeks, Seth’s body undergoes various changes and gradually starts transforming into a “Brundlefly” like creature.

Wicked City(1986): “The Black Guards”

Wicked City

Initial Release- 19 April 1987

Director- Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Wicked City is an animated Japanese action-horror dark fantasy film. It is based on the first installment of the series of the same name, Black Guard penned by Hideyuki Kikuchi. The story of the film explores the co-existence of the human world with that of the demon world. Moreover, whose fence is protected by a secret police force called the Black Guard. The Black World and the Human World co-exist in alternate dimensions with a peace treaty to maintain communal harmony. The story revolves around the human named Taki. Who is an electronics salesman and a secret Black Guard. He gets assigned to guard a peace signatory Mayart with a partner from the Black World known as Makie.

May is attacked by the radicals of the Black World who are against the peace treaty. The trio then faces many obstacles and fights with an enormous enemy called Shadow. Amidst this, Taki and Makie manage to fall in love with each other promoting the immutable peace between the humans and the demons.

The Gate(1987): Something from below the earth “

The Gate

Initial Release- 15 May 1987

Director- Tibor Takacs

The Gate is a Canadian supernatural horror film that follows the plot of two boys who fortuitously release the afreets in the patio of their house. A young boy Glen finds that his treehouse has been cut down by the workers and unearthed a hollow concavity which was filled by the workers. He and his friend Terry dig and open the hole left by the tree and mistakenly leave a few drops of blood behind. When Glen’s parents leave the house for a few days, they put the boys in their teenage daughter Al’s care. Weird and terrifying events start occurring and they then discern that the cause of the frightening incidents is the release of demons from the geode in their backyard. Glen fights his way through to save his sister and friend when captured and sucked by the demons.

Child’s Play(1988):” Chucky the iconic doll”

Child's Play

Initial Release- 9 November  1988

Director- Tom Holland

Child’s Play is a Hollywood horror slasher film and is the first installment of the Child’s Play series. The story plots the characters of a mother and son who encounter a series of petrifying events after buying a toy. The life of a six-year-old boy named Andy is endangered when his widowed mother Karen gifts him a good guy doll as a birthday gift. After Andy is sent to an asylum as a suspect for two murders. Karen suspects the doll and investigates it from the peddler she bought the doll. She then with the help of a detective called Mike learns that the doll is possessed by the spirit of a dead serial killer. And struggles to save her child from being harmed by the toy. 

Puppet Master(1989): “Anthropomorphic puppets”

Puppet Master

Initial Release- 12 October 1989 

Director- David Schmoeller

Puppet Master is a 1989 American horror film that focuses on the animated Egyptian spell of anthropomorphic puppets. Probably this would be the first film that literally stars living puppets. The film’s story gets twisted when a group of psychics tries to make contact with their old friend only to find that he has committed suicide. They then visit his place to investigate his death when one of them named Alex is beset with macabre visions. After searching through Neil’s house at the Bodega Bay, they discover about a mysterious puppeteer Andre Toulon. Who had a collection of vicious and barbaric puppets and had a classic history.

You must also want to have a look at the Scariest Horror Movies of all time

Previous articleTop Christmas Horror Movies that you should watch this Holiday Season
Next articleTop PG-13 Horror Movies of all Time
I am a Digital Marketing Analyst with an Engineering Degree in Computer Science. I am equally interested in Programming and Digital Marketing. I take care of Software Development and also contribute to multiple SEO Blogs. At, I help in Keyword Analysis related to Horror Movies / Films, Directors, Actors, Houses etc. I do On-Page, and Off-Page Optimization regularly. I study various Blogs on Horror Genre and provide Content Suggestions to the Content Development Team. I also train Junior Staff Members on Digital Marketing Methodologies particularly SEO techniques. Waiting for your valuable feedback which makes me grow stronger. Thank You.