The list of the 10 best 80s horror movies includes some of the most suspenseful and frightening movies ever made. Famous horror franchises released films this decade, and some great characters were introduced. As special effects improved throughout this decade, slasher and other scary films became much more sophisticated, able to make scary moments seem more realistic and graphic.

  1. “Friday the 13th.” This may be the king of all slasher films in the horror genre, and it is one of the best 80s horror movies. An iconic bad guy, with iconic face-wear, chasing kids over an iconic theme song all helps to set the stage for horror films for the rest of the decade.

  2. “Nightmare on Elm Street.” This movie, one of the best 80s horror movies, introduced audiences to the terrifying Freddy, with a glove with knives for fingers. Perhaps the most frightening thing about him is that he exists in dreams, making him virtually inescapable.

  3. “Evil Dead.” This movie, so like many of the best 80s horror movies, involves dumb teenagers alone in remote places in the woods. After they watch a videotape that releases evil spirits, all hell breaks loose in this graphically gory movie.

  4. “American Werewolf in London.” This film won awards for its special effects and easily became one of the best 80s horror movies upon its release. Two young men backpacking through England get attacked by a werewolf, killing one of them and turning the other into a monster.

  5. “Fright Night.” This was one of the scariest vampire movies ever and one of the best 80s horror movies. The movie is about a teenager who has a vampire move in next door to him. Though only suspicious of his neighbor at first, things quickly become apparent that something is amiss.

  6. “Pet Sematary.” This adaptation of a Stephen King novel is about a family that lives near an old Indian burial ground. After learning that dead pet buried there come back from the dead—in physical form only—a tormented father decides to bury his recently-deceased child.

  7. “Hellraiser.” This is the first of nearly ten films in this franchise, and introduces us to the frightening Pinhead. It is about a person who gets transported into another world after purchasing and playing with a puzzle box. After another family moves into the house where he disappeared, things only get more fun.

  8. “Poltergeist.” This movie stars Craig T. Nelson as the patriarch of a family that lives in a house where strange things begin happening. It gives us the famous movies lines, “They’re here,” and “Don’t go into the light!”

  9. “Child’s Play.” This film starred, of all things, a doll as its evil-doer. A man being chased by the cops uses voodoo to transfer his soul into a doll, moments before being killed. The deranged doll—Chucky—now has anything on his mind but playtime.

  10. “Silent Night, Deadly Night.” This bizarre film is about a man who saw his parents killed by a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit when he was a boy, thus, turning him into a Santa-clad killer as well.