My Favorite Horror / Thriller Film's of the 1980's

by RageNelson | created - 25 Sep 2011 | updated - 25 Sep 2011 | Public

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1. Friday the 13th (1980)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
19 Metascore

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan

Votes: 95,105 | Gross: $39.75M

2. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

7.6
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60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 75,030 | Gross: $30.57M

3. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.1
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Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King

Votes: 45,915 | Gross: $21.72M

4. My Bloody Valentine (1981)

R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.2
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46 Metascore

A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.

Director: George Mihalka | Stars: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight

Votes: 14,004 | Gross: $5.67M

5. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
70 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 157,318 | Gross: $2.40M

6. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

R | 95 min | Horror, Thriller

5.7
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Having revived from his wound, Jason Voorhees takes refuge at a cabin near Crystal Lake. As a group of co-eds arrive for their vacation, Jason continues his killing spree.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: Dana Kimmell, Tracie Savage, Richard Brooker, Terry Ballard

Votes: 37,119 | Gross: $36.69M

7. Poltergeist (1982)

PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

7.4
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79 Metascore

A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson, Beatrice Straight

Votes: 118,767 | Gross: $76.61M

8. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

8.2
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57 Metascore

A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur

Votes: 296,457 | Gross: $13.78M

9. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

PG | 101 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

6.5
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44 Metascore

Four horror and science fiction segments, directed by four famous directors, each of them being a new version of a classic story from Rod Serling's landmark television series.

Directors: Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, Steven Spielberg | Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Doug McGrath

Votes: 28,210 | Gross: $29.50M

10. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror

7.5
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78 Metascore

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon

Votes: 169,081 | Gross: $25.50M

11. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

6.0
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After being mortally wounded and taken to the morgue, murderer Jason Voorhees spontaneously revives and embarks on a killing spree as he makes his way back to his home at Camp Crystal Lake.

Director: Joseph Zito | Stars: Erich Anderson, Judie Aronson, Peter Barton, Kimberly Beck

Votes: 34,363 | Gross: $32.98M

12. Gremlins (1984)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

7.2
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70 Metascore

A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, John Louie

Votes: 162,438 | Gross: $148.17M

comedy/horror.

13. The Toxic Avenger (1984)

R | 82 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

6.2
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Tromaville has a monstrous new hero. The Toxic Avenger is born when meek mop boy Melvin falls into a vat of toxic waste. Now evildoers will have a lot to lose.

Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman | Stars: Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion

Votes: 20,989

14. Fright Night (1985)

R | 106 min | Horror, Thriller

7.1
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When a teenager learns that his next door neighbour is a vampire, no one will believe him.

Director: Tom Holland | Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall

Votes: 48,388 | Gross: $24.92M

15. Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated | 105 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.2
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A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale

Votes: 45,317 | Gross: $2.02M

16. Silver Bullet (1985)

R | 95 min | Horror

6.4
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26 Metascore

A werewolf terrorizes a small city where lives the paralytic Marty Coslaw, his uncle, and his sister, the story's narrator.

Director: Daniel Attias | Stars: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Megan Follows

Votes: 18,922 | Gross: $5.40M

17. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror

7.3
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When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies.

Director: Dan O'Bannon | Stars: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews

Votes: 44,308 | Gross: $14.24M

18. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

8.4
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86 Metascore

57 years later, Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team during her hypersleep. The moon from the original movie has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 551,602 | Gross: $85.16M

19. The Hitcher (1986)

R | 97 min | Thriller

7.3
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A young man who escapes the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked by the hitcher and framed for his crimes.

Director: Robert Harmon | Stars: Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey DeMunn

Votes: 36,828 | Gross: $5.84M

20. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

R | 96 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

6.6
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49 Metascore

A psychiatrist familiar with knife-wielding dream demon Freddy Krueger helps teens at a mental hospital battle the killer who is invading their dreams.

Director: Chuck Russell | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Craig Wasson, Patricia Arquette

Votes: 56,984 | Gross: $44.79M

21. Angel Heart (1987)

R | 113 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

7.3
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A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 68,538 | Gross: $17.19M

22. Evil Dead II (1987)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror

7.8
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69 Metascore

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva

Votes: 125,824 | Gross: $5.92M

23. Hellraiser (1987)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

7.0
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57 Metascore

An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; the demonic cenobites are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.

Director: Clive Barker | Stars: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman

Votes: 85,240 | Gross: $14.56M

24. Near Dark (1987)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.0
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A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is turned on by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Votes: 27,975 | Gross: $3.37M

25. Predator (1987)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

7.8
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42 Metascore

A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall, Elpidia Carrillo

Votes: 318,376 | Gross: $59.74M

26. Near Dark (1987)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is turned on by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Votes: 27,975 | Gross: $3.37M

27. The Lost Boys (1987)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
63 Metascore

After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes

Votes: 102,572 | Gross: $32.22M

28. Beetlejuice (1988)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Fantasy

7.5
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70 Metascore

When a recently-deceased ghost couple find their now-vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they hire a sleazy ghost who gets rid of humans to help them.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Annie McEnroe

Votes: 212,139 | Gross: $73.71M

comedy/horror

29. Dead Heat (1988)

R | 86 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

6.0
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Two policemen are brought back to life to chase down supernatural criminals.

Director: Mark Goldblatt | Stars: Treat Williams, Joe Piscopo, Lindsay Frost, Darren McGavin

Votes: 5,210 | Gross: $3.59M

30. Heathers (1988)

R | 103 min | Comedy

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
73 Metascore

In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Director: Michael Lehmann | Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk

Votes: 69,058 | Gross: $1.11M

31. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

6.1
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Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town.

Director: Stephen Chiodo | Stars: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon

Votes: 26,038 | Gross: $15.63M

32. Night of the Demons (1988)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

6.3
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Ten teenagers party at an abandoned funeral parlor on Halloween night. When an evil force awakens, demonic spirits keep them from leaving and turn their gathering into a living Hell.

Director: Kevin Tenney | Stars: Cathy Podewell, Alvin Alexis, Hal Havins, Allison Barron

Votes: 10,171 | Gross: $3.11M

33. Pumpkinhead (1988)

R | 86 min | Fantasy, Horror

6.2
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After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers.

Director: Stan Winston | Stars: Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D'Aquino, Kimberly Ross

Votes: 16,090 | Gross: $4.39M

34. They Live (1988)

R | 94 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.3
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52 Metascore

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George 'Buck' Flower

Votes: 85,798 | Gross: $13.01M

35. Parents (1989)

R | 81 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

6.2
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A young boy living in 1950s suburbia suspects his parents are cannibalistic murderers.

Director: Bob Balaban | Stars: Randy Quaid, Mary Beth Hurt, Sandy Dennis, Bryan Madorsky

Votes: 5,073 | Gross: $0.87M

36. Pet Sematary (1989)

R | 103 min | Horror, Thriller

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
38 Metascore

Behind a young family's home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable.

Director: Mary Lambert | Stars: Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Fred Gwynne, Brad Greenquist

Votes: 72,352 | Gross: $57.47M

37. The 'Burbs (1989)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Mystery, Thriller

6.9
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44 Metascore

An overstressed suburbanite and his fellow neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman

Votes: 56,909 | Gross: $36.60M