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Best 80s Halloween Movies

The 80s was a great decade for horror movies. It was an era that saw the rise of some of the best 80s Halloween movies ever made.

Horror fans were treated to a wide variety of horror films that ranged from the grotesque to the creative. One of the elements that made these movies stand out was the best makeup and special effects that were used to create truly terrifying scenes.

image of 80s Halloween movies in a collage form with text

80s Halloween Movies

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp (Actors)

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Famed horror director Wes Craven made fans afraid to go to sleep with the creation of Freddy Krueger. Actor Robert Englund was the perfect choice and ever since this movie came out in 1984, Freddy has been scaring the crap out of audiences.

When it comes to the best 80s Halloween movies, there are a few titles that stand out. First on the list is A Nightmare on Elm Street, which is widely regarded as one of the best horror movies of all time.

The film was directed by Wes Craven and starred Robert Englund as the terrifying and iconic character of Freddy Krueger.

The special effects of the slasher film used to bring Freddy Kreuger to life were groundbreaking at the time, and still hold up today.

The Thing
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David (Actors)

The Thing

Another classic horror film from the 80s is The Thing. Directed by John Carpenter, this movie is considered one of the best horror movies of all time. The film starred Kurt Russell and was a remake of a 1951 movie of the same name.

The special effects in this film were truly extraordinary. The Thing was an alien creature that could take on any form, and the makeup artists did an incredible job of bringing this monster to life on the screen.

The Shining
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd (Actors)

The Shining

The Shining (based on Stephen King book) is an absolute must-watch for anyone who loves horror movies. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson, this movie is a masterpiece of the horror genre.

The sets, makeup and special effects make the movie unforgettable and build up the suspense to crescendo.

The Goonies
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen (Actors)

The Goonies

Though not your standard Halloween movie, this children's adventure is a classic! When the town kids (the goonies) are threatened with losing their homes they go on a search for a long lost pirate's gold.

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Their treasure map and various combined skills lead them through a mountainous maze as they run from notorious mobsters who are also in search of the gold.

Will they find the treasure in time to save their homes or will the bad guys get to them and the money before any of this is possible?

The Evil Dead (4K UHD)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Bob Dorian, Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss (Actors)

The Evil Dead

If you're a fan of classic horror movies and The Living Dead, The Evil Dead should be on your watch list. This horror film was directed by Sam Raimi and starred Bruce Campbell.

It was one of the most creative and bizarre horror movies of the time. The special effects were impressive and the story was so unique that it quickly became a cult classic.

This movie will scare the bejeezus out of any adult let alone a child. Beware: No children please! This movie is about a group of friends who are spending the weekend in an isolated cabin.

They have to pass a bridge that is on the verge of falling to pieces. When they reach the cabin there is a wooden bench that is rocking sideways by itself hitting the outside of the cabin.

When one of the guys reaches the door, the bench stops moving altogether. (I'm getting chills just writing about it) Once in the cabin, a tape recorder and book are discovered and played by the group.

From that point until the end, demons start possessing the souls of the crew one by one! This movie will creep you out!

feature sized image of 80s Halloween movies in a collage form

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran (Actors)


Halloween is another classic horror movie from the 80s that deserves a mention. The film was directed by John Carpenter and starred Jamie Lee Curtis in her breakout role. This movie popularized the slasher genre and went on to become one of the most iconic horror movies of all time.

Probably the most horrifying and intense movie of all time. Not sure of too many people who haven't seen Halloween II (1981) (1981), but to those who have must appreciated the value of this movie. It's a movie that never dies, it's a never-ending classic. It's a must-have for your movie collection.

The majority of the setting takes place in a dark and almost empty hospital. The psychotic Michael Myers is on the hunt for his sister where she is hospitalized and kills her. During his hunt for his sister, he kills off the night crew.

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When he does find his sister he moves ever so slowly but always seems to be right behind her even though she moves as fast as she can. A true classic.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis (Actors)


This classic horror comedy isn't exactly as frightening as it is funny. Director Tim Burton's vision of two ghosts trying to scare away the yuppies that have moved in or ‘invaded' their beloved home is clever and damn hilarious at times.

Michael Keaton plays the title role of Beetlejuice, a mischievous, exorcising ghost with a lot of power and a lot of brass. Beetlejuice tries to break free from his model prison, terrorize everyone including his fellow ghosts, and ends up saving the day in one way or another.

This is essential to enjoy Halloween – if not for the laughs and entertainment, but for the colorful way in which Tim Burton tells this story.

An American Werewolf in London
  • Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, Glover, Brian (Actors)
  • John Landis (Director)

An American Werewolf in London

This great, fun scary movie changed the way we looked at werewolves. Before An American Werewolf in London, it was The Wolf Man that scared audiences with its realistic vision.

But when John Landis (Coming to America) created this film about two young American tourists exploring England, he made audiences believe in the myth once again. The two Americans discover the old, living legend of the werewolf residing in the fields of a town outside London, and from there, one of the young tourists goes on a killing spree.

Not only is the horror evident in the monster's attacks, but when this young man starts seeing his victims as ghosts, it's genuinely freaky. This is a great contribution to your Halloween viewing experience.

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Director James Cameron created a sequel of the Outer Space movie that rivals its first film in brilliance. The action/ science-fiction/ horror classic is intense, scary, and energetic in its speed.

Lt. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), a young woman and sole survivor of the alien attack on the mining spaceship, Nostromo is thrown back into the frey.

Alongside a platoon of space marines, Ripley saves the life of a little girl, Newt, battles a horde of alien beasts, and takes on the mother of all space creatures, the alien queen in this essential scary movie.

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Friday The 13th

Here is another scary box office movie that rates right up there with the best of them. Friday The 13th was released in 1980 but has been so popular over the years that it has developed a cult status following and has been redone quite a few times.

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After I saw the serial killer Jason Voorhees of Camp Crystal Lake hack up all those people I definitely had a different perspective on swimming in the lake and summer camp.

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Child's Play

1988's Child's Play brought us Chucky, a murderer whose spirit is stuck in a child's toy. While if you are a rational person Chucky shouldn't scare you at all, but for some reason he does.

I remember my little sister being scared to death of Chucky and eventually wasn't allowed to watch the movie any more. This is a classic movie and the only Halloween film that everyone should see.

The 80s was an incredible era for horror movies. The best 80s horror movies stand out for their creativity, great makeup, and special effects. Whether you're a die-hard horror fan or just a casual viewer, there's something for everyone to enjoy on Halloween Night.

These movies have become classics in the horror genre and continue to influence new generations of filmmakers and viewers alike. If you're looking for the best film to watch on Halloween night, any of these films is a great choice.

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People Also Ask:

What is the 80s cabin horror movie?

The 1980s saw the rise of several iconic cabin horror movies, but one of the most famous is “The Evil Dead” (1981). Directed by Sam Raimi, it follows a group of friends who venture to a remote cabin in the woods, only to unleash evil forces when they discover a mysterious book and play a recording of incantations.

The film is known for its gruesome and supernatural elements, marking a significant entry in the horror genre. It spawned sequels and a devoted fan base, becoming a classic '80s cabin horror movie.

What Halloween movies came out in 1985?

Here is a list of some Halloween-themed movies that were released in 1985:

  1. “The Midnight Hour”
  2. “The Black Cauldron”
  3. “Teen Wolf”
  4. “Re-Animator” (not specifically Halloween-themed but a cult horror film)
  5. “Silver Bullet”
  6. “Return to Oz” (although it's more of a dark fantasy film)

What is the most seen Halloween movie?

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is one of the most widely watched Halloween movies. Directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton, this stop-motion animated film tells the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who discovers Christmas Town and tries to take over Christmas.

It's beloved for its unique blend of Halloween and Christmas themes, catchy music, and imaginative visuals.

Families and fans of all ages enjoy this film, making it a holiday classic for both Halloween and Christmas celebrations, and contributing to its enduring popularity.

Why the 80s was the best decade for horror movies?

The 1970s changed how scary movies worked, but the 1980s made them even more awesome. People love slasher movies, but in the '80s, we got cool monsters like Freddy and scary stuff that messes with your body, like “The Fly”.

It was also when funny and gory movies called “splatter comedies” became a thing. So, if you like horror, the '80s was a big deal because it brought lots of new and exciting stuff to the scary movie scene!

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