(Photo by New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection)

80 Best ’80s Horror Movies

Welcome to Camp Rotten! We’ve got lakes for skinny dipping, Necronomicons for candle-lit reading, and your esteemed camp counselors: A finer breed of spurned psychos, unstable writers, and sarcastic undead you’ll never meet. That’s right, wastoid, they’re all here and more in our list of the 84 Best 1980s Horror Movies!

After the 1970s blew the doors open on horror for mass appeal, and New Hollywood directors became, well, Hollywood, the industry started cranking the movies out by the bloody bucketload. During this hallowed decade of spandex and Spandau Ballet, slashers hit critical bloat (Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp), as guffaws mixed in with the guts (Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2). Horror directors who made their name in the ’70s, like John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper, put up valiant fights with The Thing and Poltergeist. And when in doubt, Hollywood just twirled the rolodex to that subtle off-white card with Stephen King’s number on it (The Shining, The Dead Zone). The only stipulation for a movie to be considered for this list was a Fresh rating, before we sorted by a ranking formula that factors a movie’s number of reviews and release year.

Alright you sportos, motorheads, geeks, zeeks, bloods, dweebies, and head bangers: See who’s really bad with the best scary 1980s movies that did blast ever so bodaciously from the theaters and out your VCR!

90 Best ’70s Horror Movies | 40 Best ’90s Horror Movies
80 Best 2000s Horror Movies | 140 Best 2010s Horror Movies
200 Best Horror Movies of All Time | Best Horror Movies of 2020

#80

Vampire's Kiss (1989)
61%

#80
Adjusted Score: 61465%
Critics Consensus: He's a vampire! He's a vampire! He's a vampire!
Synopsis: An uptight New York literary agent (Nicolas Cage) thinks he is a vampire after encounters with a neck-biter (Jennifer Beals)... [More]
Directed By: Robert Bierman

#79

The Blob (1988)
62%

#79
Adjusted Score: 62729%
Critics Consensus: The Blob can't replicate the B-movie charms of the original, though its fast pace and gory thrills pack enough of a punch to make it a worthwhile update.
Synopsis: A teen rebel (Kevin Dillon) and a cheerleader (Shawnee Smith) try to fight formless slime oozing through town and engulfing... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Russell

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 61807%
Critics Consensus: A fun '80s adventure with a slightly scary twist, The Monster Squad offers tween-friendly horror with just enough of a kick.
Synopsis: Members (Andre Gower, Robby Kiger) of a monster fan club meet Count Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein, the Mummy and Gill Man.... [More]
Directed By: Fred Dekker

#77

The Church (1989)
64%

#77
Adjusted Score: 63200%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tourists are trapped in a cathedral cursed since the Crusades by the mayhem of German knights.... [More]
Directed By: Michele Soavi

#76

The Hitcher (1986)
62%

#76
Adjusted Score: 65697%
Critics Consensus: Its journey is never quite as revelatory as it could be, but The Hitcher stands as a white-knuckle vision of horror, bolstered by Rutger Hauer's menacing performance.
Synopsis: A teenage motorist (C. Thomas Howell) cannot get away from a twisted man (Rutger Hauer) he picked up and ditched... [More]
Directed By: Robert Harmon

#75

Cat People (1982)
61%

#75
Adjusted Score: 64802%
Critics Consensus: Paul Schrader's kinky reimagining of Cat People may prove too grisly and lurid for some audiences, but its provocative style and Natassja Kinski's hypnotic performance should please viewers who like a little gasoline with their fire.
Synopsis: A woman's (Nastassia Kinski) discovery that intense desire turns her into a leopard jeopardizes her relationship with a zoo-keeper (John... [More]
Directed By: Paul Schrader

#74

Inferno (1980)
64%

#74
Adjusted Score: 64827%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young man (Leigh McCloskey) returns from Rome to his sister's (Irene Miracle) satanic New York apartment house.... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#73
#73
Adjusted Score: 65039%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A professor (Francesca Ciardi) finds the remains of a film crew in the Amazon and brings the camera footage back... [More]
Directed By: Ruggero Deodato

#72

Pumpkinhead (1988)
65%

#72
Adjusted Score: 66417%
Critics Consensus: With effects work and solid direction from Stan Winston -- and Lance Henriksen adding welcome gravitas -- Pumpkinhead is a creature feature that stands a cut above.
Synopsis: An old woman summons a grotesque figure to punish teenage dirt bikers for killing a man's (Lance Henriksen) son.... [More]
Directed By: Stan Winston

#71

Cujo (1983)
62%

#71
Adjusted Score: 65323%
Critics Consensus: Cujo is artless work punctuated with moments of high canine gore and one wild Dee Wallace performance.
Synopsis: Bitten by a rabid bat, a huge dog traps a Maine woman (Dee Wallace) and her young son (Danny Pintauro)... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#70
Adjusted Score: 66818%
Critics Consensus: Although it's occasionally overwhelmed by excessive special effects, The Serpent and the Rainbow draws on a chilling atmosphere to deliver a intelligent, politically informed story.
Synopsis: An anthropologist is plunged into the world of voodoo while in Haiti looking for a powder that turns men into... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#69

Street Trash (1987)
67%

#69
Adjusted Score: 66504%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A case of contaminated alcohol has a debilitating effect on the vagabonds haunting the streets and junkyards of Brooklyn.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Muro

#68

Brain Damage (1988)
64%

#68
Adjusted Score: 64215%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A boy (Rick Herbst) grows addicted to psychedelic jolts from an eel-like brain-eating monster called Elmer.... [More]
Directed By: Frank Henenlotter

#67
Adjusted Score: 66618%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A dying millionaire (Herbert Lom) throws a castle costume party that's a killer.... [More]
Directed By: Alan Birkinshaw

#66

The Funhouse (1981)
67%

#66
Adjusted Score: 67086%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Naughty teens (Elizabeth Berridge, Cooper Huckabee, Miles Chapin) are locked in a carnival fun house with a man in a... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#65

Swamp Thing (1982)
63%

#65
Adjusted Score: 66849%
Critics Consensus: Unabashedly campy -- often to its detriment -- Swamp Thing is not without its charms, among them Adrienne Barbeau as the damsel in distress.
Synopsis: A government agent (Adrienne Barbeau) seeks a bayou scientist (Ray Wise) and finds a big, green monster who likes her.... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#64

The Beyond (1981)
67%

#64
Adjusted Score: 67434%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Gruesome deaths occur when a woman (Katherine MacColl) inherits a hotel that is one of seven gateways to hell.... [More]
Directed By: Lucio Fulci

#63
Adjusted Score: 68932%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An English nobleman (Hugh Grant) links a skull and a dragon legend to a vampire temptress (Amanda Donohoe).... [More]
Directed By: Ken Russell

#62

Cat's Eye (1985)
67%

#62
Adjusted Score: 67976%
Critics Consensus: An effective if knowingly silly Stephen King anthology that combines comedy and terror.
Synopsis: Stephen King tales follow a cat into a smokers clinic, onto a penthouse ledge and into a girl's (Drew Barrymore)... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#61

Friday the 13th (1980)
63%

#61
Adjusted Score: 68236%
Critics Consensus: Rather quaint by today's standards, Friday the 13th still has its share of bloody surprises and a '70s-holdover aesthetic to slightly compel.
Synopsis: The reopening of Camp Crystal Lake spells murder and mayhem for a group of sexually promiscuous counselors.... [More]
Directed By: Sean S. Cunningham

#60

Bad Taste (1987)
71%

#60
Adjusted Score: 72251%
Critics Consensus: Peter Jackson's early low-budget shocker boasts a disgusting premise - aliens harvesting humans for fast food - that gives the budding auteur plenty of room for gross-out visuals and absurd cleverness.
Synopsis: Gun-toting assassins try to wipe out a group of aliens that wants to use humans in New Zealand for food.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#59

Lady in White (1988)
69%

#59
Adjusted Score: 68708%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A widower's (Alex Rocco) young son (Lukas Haas) sees the ghosts of children molested and murdered in the 1960s and... [More]
Directed By: Frank LaLoggia

#58

Q (1982)
71%

#58
Adjusted Score: 73495%
Critics Consensus: Q's campy charms may be lost on audiences who want their monsters frightening, but a game cast and lovingly retrograde visual effects give this kaiju romp some majesty.
Synopsis: A fleeing gangland flunky (Michael Moriarty) finds the New York nest of Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl, the man-eating flying serpent.... [More]
Directed By: Larry Cohen

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 71225%
Critics Consensus: A silly and ribald superhero spoof, Toxic Avenger uninhibited humor hits more than it misses.
Synopsis: A 98-pound nerd (Mark Torgl) from New Jersey lands in a vat of toxic waste and becomes a benevolent monster... [More]
Directed By: Michael Herz, Samuel Weil

#56

Christine (1983)
69%

#56
Adjusted Score: 70680%
Critics Consensus: The cracks are starting to show in John Carpenter's directorial instincts, but Christine is nonetheless silly, zippy fun.
Synopsis: When a gawky teen (Keith Gordon) restores a 1958 Plymouth Fury, the car takes on a life of its own... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#55

The Stuff (1985)
71%

#55
Adjusted Score: 71552%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A private detective investigates a new consumer taste treat that's absolutely delicious and just possibly lethal.... [More]
Directed By: Larry Cohen

#54

The Howling (1981)
72%

#54
Adjusted Score: 74528%
Critics Consensus: The Howling packs enough laughs into its lycanthropic carnage to distinguish it from other werewolf entries, with impressive visual effects adding some bite.
Synopsis: A shaken TV newswoman (Dee Wallace) finds a doctor's (Patrick Macnee) retreat crawling with werewolves.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#53

Scanners (1981)
70%

#53
Adjusted Score: 73273%
Critics Consensus: Scanners is a dark sci-fi story with special effects that'll make your head explode.
Synopsis: A scientist (Patrick McGoohan) sends a "scanner" (Stephen Lack) to hunt others like him with explosive psychic powers.... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#52

Motel Hell (1980)
68%

#52
Adjusted Score: 70228%
Critics Consensus: Eerie and satirical, Motel Hell has no vacancy when it comes to low-brow horror gags.
Synopsis: Farmer Vincent (Rory Calhoun) and his portly sister, Ida (Nancy Parsons), put lost motorists in their popular smoked meats.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Connor

#51

Dead and Buried (1981)
76%

#51
Adjusted Score: 76978%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A sheriff (James Farentino) and his wife (Melody Anderson) realize the town coroner (Jack Albertson) has been creating an army... [More]
Directed By: Gary A. Sherman

#50

Child's Play (1988)
71%

#50
Adjusted Score: 74044%
Critics Consensus: Child's Play occasionally stumbles across its tonal tightrope of comedy and horror, but its genuinely creepy monster and some deft direction by Tom Holland makes this chiller stand out on the shelf.
Synopsis: A killer sought by a Chicago detective (Chris Sarandon) becomes a doll called Chucky, bought by a woman (Catherine Hicks)... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#49
Adjusted Score: 75042%
Critics Consensus: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors offers an imaginative and surprisingly satisfying rebound for a franchise already starting to succumb to sequelitis.
Synopsis: Institutionalized teenagers who share similar nightmares join forces to rid themselves of a murderer's influence.... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Russell

#48

The Burning (1981)
80%

#48
Adjusted Score: 80159%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A disfigured caretaker with shears returns to the summer camp where campers played a prank on him five years earlier.... [More]
Directed By: Tony Maylam

#47

Hellraiser (1987)
72%

#47
Adjusted Score: 76524%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by writer-director Clive Barker's fiendishly unique vision, Hellraiser offers a disquieting - and sadistically smart - alternative to mindless gore.
Synopsis: A puzzle box summons the Cenobites, destroying a family (Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence).... [More]
Directed By: Clive Barker

#46

Creepers (1985)
76%

#46
Adjusted Score: 77329%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An American (Jennifer Connelly) at a Swiss finishing school calls on insects to help a paralyzed scientist (Donald Pleasence) fight... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#45

Creepshow (1982)
74%

#45
Adjusted Score: 76791%
Critics Consensus: It's uneven, as anthologies often are, but Creepshow is colorful, frequently funny, and treats its inspirations with infectious reverence.
Synopsis: Five Stephen King tales inspired by 1950s comic books include a nagged professor (Hal Holbrook) and a tycoon (E.G. Marshall)... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#44

Unsane (1982)
77%

#44
Adjusted Score: 78745%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While visiting Rome, a writer (Anthony Franciosa) of gory thrillers becomes the target of a killer who re-creates scenes from... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#43
Adjusted Score: 77619%
Critics Consensus: Killer Klowns from Outer Space's title promises darkly goofy fun -- and more often than not, the movie delivers.
Synopsis: Teens (Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder) flee from large clowns who shoot people with popcorn and spin cotton-candy webs.... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chiodo

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 74382%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fraternity pledges (Jason Lively, Steve Marshall) pull a prank with a frozen body and let sluglike creatures loose on campus.... [More]
Directed By: Fred Dekker

#41

Wolfen (1981)
75%

#41
Adjusted Score: 76781%
Critics Consensus: Police procedural meets werewolf flick in Wolfen, a creepy creature feature with a surprisingly profound side.
Synopsis: A New York detective (Albert Finney) and a psychologist (Diane Venora) discover mind-reading wolves are killing people in the Bronx.... [More]
Directed By: Michael Wadleigh

#40

Dead of Winter (1986)
77%

#40
Adjusted Score: 76650%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man (Jan Rubes) in a wheelchair and his henchman (Roddy McDowall) groom an actress (Mary Steenburgen) for their blackmail... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Penn

#39

Basket Case (1982)
76%

#39
Adjusted Score: 78120%
Critics Consensus: While Basket Case definitely delivers all the gonzo gore promised by its cracked premise, it's really set apart by its rich vein of genuine pathos.
Synopsis: Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) checks into a sleazy hotel with a wicker basket containing his telepathic Siamese twin.... [More]
Directed By: Frank Henenlotter

#38

From Beyond (1986)
78%

#38
Adjusted Score: 78256%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A psychiatrist (Barbara Crampton) and a scientist (Jeffrey Combs) test a dead inventor's (Ted Sorel) device for stimulating the pineal... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Gordon

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 78503%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An office worker (Tomorowo Taguchi) transforms into a metallic creature and battles a similar enemy in the streets of Tokyo.... [More]
Directed By: Shin'ya Tsukamoto

#36

Sleepaway Camp (1983)
78%

#36
Adjusted Score: 79911%
Critics Consensus: Sleepaway Camp is a standard teen slasher elevated by occasional moments of John Waters-esque weirdness and a twisted ending.
Synopsis: Bunks and the showers are a mad stabber's beat at a summer camp strictly for teens.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Hiltzik

#35

The Hidden (1987)
72%

#35
Adjusted Score: 74208%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An FBI agent (Kyle MacLachlan) and a homicide detective (Michael Nouri) hunt the current human host of an orally exchanged... [More]
Directed By: Jack Sholder

#34

The Fog (1980)
75%

#34
Adjusted Score: 81506%
Critics Consensus: A well-crafted return to horror for genre giant John Carpenter, The Fog rolls in and wraps viewers in suitably slow-building chills.
Synopsis: Californians (Adrienne Barbeau, Hal Holbrook, Janet Leigh) are haunted by corpses from a 100-year-old shipwreck.... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 80673%
Critics Consensus: Valley Girl culture satire Night of the Comet gets lots of mileage out of its slapstick sci-fi zombie approach.
Synopsis: Valley girls (Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney) and a trucker (Robert Beltran) run into cannibal zombies in this parody of... [More]
Directed By: Thom Eberhardt

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 80703%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An innocent girl (Sarah Patterson) meets wolves and werewolves in fantasies echoing the tale of Little Red Riding Hood.... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#31

Alligator (1980)
80%

#31
Adjusted Score: 81577%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A herpetologist (Robin Riker) helps a detective (Robert Forster) track her flushed-away pet, now a king-size mutant called Ramone.... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#30

The Lost Boys (1987)
76%

#30
Adjusted Score: 82523%
Critics Consensus: Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars.
Synopsis: A woman (Dianne Wiest) and her sons (Jason Patric, Corey Haim) move to a coastal California town full of teenage... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#29

Day of the Dead (1985)
83%

#29
Adjusted Score: 85438%
Critics Consensus: Day of the Dead may arguably be the least haunting entry in George A. Romero's undead trilogy, but it will give audiences' plenty to chew on with its shocking gore and scathing view of society.
Synopsis: The living dead regroup above while humans (Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato) sweat it out below in a Florida... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#28

Videodrome (1983)
78%

#28
Adjusted Score: 83472%
Critics Consensus: Visually audacious, disorienting, and just plain weird, Videodrome's musings on technology, entertainment, and politics still feel fresh today.
Synopsis: A programmer at a TV station that specializes in adult entertainment searches for the producers of a dangerous and bizarre... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#27

The Changeling (1980)
83%

#27
Adjusted Score: 83970%
Critics Consensus: George C. Scott's somber performance gives this haunted house horror a moving soul to go along with its harrowing scares.
Synopsis: A music professor (George C. Scott) rents a Seattle mansion haunted by a boy killed and replaced decades before.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Medak

#26

Predator (1987)
82%

#26
Adjusted Score: 85419%
Critics Consensus: Predator: Part sci-fi, part horror, part action -- all muscle.
Synopsis: A sneaky alien monster attacks commandos (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura) on a jungle mission in South America.... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#25

Dead Ringers (1988)
83%

#25
Adjusted Score: 86414%
Critics Consensus: Dead Ringers serves up a double dose of Jeremy Irons in service of a devilishly unsettling concept and commandingly creepy work from director David Cronenberg.
Synopsis: Twin-brother gynecologists (Jeremy Irons) are divided by a patient (Geneviève Bujold) and doomed by drugs.... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#24

Possession (1981)
87%

#24
Adjusted Score: 87913%
Critics Consensus: Blending genres as effectively as it subverts expectations, Possession uses powerful acting and disquieting imagery to grapple with complex themes.
Synopsis: A young woman (Isabelle Adjani) forsakes her husband (Sam Neill) and her lover for a tentacled creature.... [More]
Directed By: Andrzej Zulawski

#23

Holy Blood (1989)
86%

#23
Adjusted Score: 89638%
Critics Consensus: Those unfamiliar with Alejandro Jodorowsky's style may find it overwhelming, but Santa Sangre is a provocative psychedelic journey featuring the director's signature touches of violence, vulgarity, and an oddly personal moral center.
Synopsis: In Mexico, the traumatized son (Axel Jodorowsky) of a knife-thrower (Guy Stockwell) and a trapeze artist bonds grotesquely with his... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky

#22

Altered States (1980)
85%

#22
Adjusted Score: 88953%
Critics Consensus: Extraordinarily daring for a Hollywood film, Altered States attacks the viewer with its inventive, aggressive mix of muddled sound effects and visual pyrotechnics.
Synopsis: A psychophysiologist (William Hurt) experiments with drugs and a sensory-deprivation tank and has visions he believes are genetic memories.... [More]
Directed By: Ken Russell

#21

Beetlejuice (1988)
85%

#21
Adjusted Score: 89181%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly bizarre and overflowing with ideas, Beetlejuice offers some of Michael Keaton's most deliciously manic work - and creepy, funny fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: A ghoul (Michael Keaton) helps a newly dead couple (Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis) haunt the tasteless new owners of their... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#20

The Stepfather (1987)
88%

#20
Adjusted Score: 89593%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Pacific Northwest teen (Jill Schoelen) suspects that her mother's (Shelley Hack) smiling new husband (Terry O'Quinn) is not what... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Ruben

#19

Gremlins (1984)
85%

#19
Adjusted Score: 91010%
Critics Consensus: Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.
Synopsis: An inventor (Hoyt Axton) gives his son (Zach Galligan) an odd little creature which multiplies into monsters which wreck the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#18

They Live (1988)
85%

#18
Adjusted Score: 89830%
Critics Consensus: A politically subversive blend of horror and sci fi, They Live is an underrated genre film from John Carpenter.
Synopsis: When two men (Roddy Piper, Keith David) put on special sunglasses they see aliens and subliminal messages.... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#17

The Thing (1982)
86%

#17
Adjusted Score: 92735%
Critics Consensus: Grimmer and more terrifying than the 1950s take, John Carpenter's The Thing is a tense sci-fi thriller rife with compelling tension and some remarkable make-up effects.
Synopsis: Antarctic outpost men (Kurt Russell, A. Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter) fight a slimy alien able to assume the form of... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 91465%
Critics Consensus: The Opera house location gives plenty to work with for director Dario Argento, who hits his decadently bloody high notes here.
Synopsis: A hooded figure forces a young diva (Cristina Marsillach) to watch as he murders performers in a production of Verdi's... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#15
Adjusted Score: 92495%
Critics Consensus: Terrifying and funny in almost equal measure, John Landis' horror-comedy crosses genres while introducing Rick Baker's astounding make-up effects.
Synopsis: A New York student (David Naughton) becomes the scourge of London after being bitten by a beast on the moors.... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#14

Poltergeist (1982)
86%

#14
Adjusted Score: 92039%
Critics Consensus: Smartly filmed, tightly scripted, and -- most importantly -- consistently frightening, Poltergeist is a modern horror classic.
Synopsis: A suburban couple's (Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams) little girl is drawn from her bedroom into a nightmarish other dimension.... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#13

Near Dark (1987)
82%

#13
Adjusted Score: 87291%
Critics Consensus: Near Dark is at once a creepy vampire film, a thrilling western, and a poignant family tale, with humor and scares in abundance.
Synopsis: The lure of romance and adventure leads a bored Oklahoma farmhand into the clutches of a group of modern-day vampires.... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#12
Adjusted Score: 93829%
Critics Consensus: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is an effective, chilling profile of a killer that is sure to shock and disturb.
Synopsis: Ex-convict Henry (Michael Rooker) gets close to the sister (Tracy Arnold) of the prison buddy (Tom Towles) he teaches how... [More]
Directed By: John McNaughton

#11

The Dead Zone (1983)
90%

#11
Adjusted Score: 94038%
Critics Consensus: The Dead Zone combines taut direction from David Cronenberg and and a rich performance from Christopher Walken to create one of the strongest Stephen King adaptations.
Synopsis: A man (Christopher Walken) comes out of a coma able to see the probable futures of anyone he touches.... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#10
Adjusted Score: 93859%
Critics Consensus: A punk take on the zombie genre, The Return of the Living Dead injects a healthy dose of '80s silliness to the flesh-consuming.
Synopsis: Punk rockers, a cremator (Don Calfa) and medical-supply workers (Clu Gulager, James Karen) have a problem with zombies in Kentucky.... [More]
Directed By: Dan O'Bannon

#9

Fright Night (1985)
92%

#9
Adjusted Score: 95189%
Critics Consensus: Fright Night deftly combines thrills and humor in this ghostly tale about a man living next to a vampire.
Synopsis: The host (Roddy McDowall) of a late-night TV horror show believes a teen's (William Ragsdale) next-door neighbor (Chris Sarandon) is... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#8

The Shining (1980)
84%

#8
Adjusted Score: 95391%
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
Synopsis: A writer (Jack Nicholson) goes mad while serving as caretaker with his wife (Shelley Duvall) and clairvoyant son (Danny Lloyd)... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 95200%
Critics Consensus: Remixing Roger Corman's B-movie by way of the Off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors offers camp, horror and catchy tunes in equal measure -- plus some inspired cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: A clerk (Rick Moranis) in a Skid Row flower shop feeds people to Audrey II, his talking plant from outer... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#6

Re-Animator (1985)
93%

#6
Adjusted Score: 98764%
Critics Consensus: Perfectly mixing humor and horror, the only thing more effective than Re-Animator's gory scares are its dry, deadpan jokes.
Synopsis: A medical student (Jeffrey Combs) brings his headless professor back from the dead with a special serum.... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Gordon

#5

The Fly (1986)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 99441%
Critics Consensus: David Cronenberg combines his trademark affinity for gore and horror with strongly developed characters, making The Fly a surprisingly affecting tragedy.
Synopsis: David Cronenberg's remake of the 1958 classic about a botched experiment that transmutes a man into a monstrous insect.... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#4
Adjusted Score: 99011%
Critics Consensus: Wes Craven's intelligent premise, combined with the horrifying visual appearance of Freddy Krueger, still causes nightmares to this day.
Synopsis: Freddy Krueger, a badly burned boogeyman with razors on his glove, haunts and kills teens in their dreams.... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#3

Evil Dead 2 (1987)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 100734%
Critics Consensus: Evil Dead 2's increased special effects and slapstick-gore makes it as good -- if not better -- than the original.
Synopsis: Cabin visitors (Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry) fight protean spirits of the dead with a chainsaw, a shotgun and Egyptian incantations.... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#2

The Evil Dead (1981)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 101068%
Critics Consensus: This classic low budget horror film combines just the right amount of gore and black humor, giving The Evil Dead an equal amount of thrills and laughs.
Synopsis: Teens (Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker) in a remote cabin accidentally resurrect demonic forces with a taped incantation and... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#1

Aliens (1986)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 105604%
Critics Consensus: While Alien was a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Aliens packs a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.
Synopsis: On planet LV-426, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and a dwindling number of Marines battle an almost-unstoppable army of monstrous predators which... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

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