13 Must-Watch Halloween Movies from the 1980s

The 80s was a decade of pop culture and the best halloween movies from that time period are no exception. These films are not just classics because of nostalgia, but because they have stood the test of time and continue to be enjoyed by people today.

The movies listed here are some of the best horror movies from the 80s, but there are many more that deserve to be on this list. So please add your favorites in the comments below!

1. Halloween (1978)

This movie is a classic horror film with a horror twist. It is one of the best movies to have been released in the late 1970s.

In 1978, John Carpenter made one of the most influential and successful horror films ever. The movie was a box office success and it spawned eight sequels, with the ninth set for release on October 19, 2018.

The story follows five teenagers who are stalked by an unknown killer in their small town on Halloween night. The killer turns out to be Michael Myers, who has been incarcerated for 15 years after killing his sister on Halloween night in 1963.

The film’s premise was inspired by the murders of real-life serial killer Ed Gein, who had also served time at Lincoln County Jail before being executed in 1984.

2. The Shining (1980)

In this movie, there are many scenes that showcase the horror of the protagonist Jack Torrance’s descent into madness.

The Shining is a 1980 American psychological horror film directed and co-written by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Diane Johnson is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name. It stars Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance and Shelley Duvall as his wife Wendy, along with Danny Lloyd as Danny Torrance.

This movie is an appropriate choice to watch on Halloween because it will make you feel scared, but not too scared that it makes you want to turn off the tv or leave the room.

3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The movie A Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror film. It was released in 1984 and is the first installment in the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

This review will cover the plot, characters, and themes of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Plot: The plot follows a teenager named Freddy Krueger who takes revenge on his victims by killing them in their dreams. When they wake up, they are unable to remember what happened during their dream and eventually die.

Characters: The main protagonist of this movie is Nancy Thompson, who gets stalked by Freddy Krueger for years and eventually finds out that she has been dreaming about him for all those years as well.

4. The Thing (1982)

The Thing is a 1982 American science-fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, starring Kurt Russell as an American paleontologist who is taken in Norway during a scientific expedition and isolated from the rest of his team.

The film was released on November 14, 1982 and grossed $50 million at the North American box office.

In 2011, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.


The Thing (1982) is an American science-fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter. It stars Kurt Russell as an American paleontologist who is taken in Norway during a scientific expedition and isolated from the rest of his team. The Thing (1982) was released on November 24, 1982 and grossed $16.4 million domestically for Universal Studios, becoming the second highest-grossing horror film of all time.

5. Evil Dead II (1987)

Evil Dead II is a 1987 American horror film directed by Sam Raimi. It is a sequel to the 1981 film The Evil Dead, and the second installment in The Evil Dead series.

Evil Dead II is a movie about an old man who has been possessed by evil spirits. It’s not your typical horror movie because it doesn’t have any jump scares or over-the-top gore scenes, but it’s definitely entertaining nonetheless. I would recommend watching this movie if you’re into horror movies that don’t rely on gore and jump scares to scare the audience.

6. Friday the 13th Part VI

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is a 1989 American slasher film directed by Tom McLoughlin and written by Victor Miller. It is the sixth installment in the Friday the 13th series. The film stars Adrienne King, Ken Kirzinger, John Shepherd, Steve Dash, and Kane Hodder.

7. Fright Night (1985)

A remake of the horror film “Fright Night”

was released in 2011. The film stars Colin Farrell as Peter Vincent, a vampire who is also a struggling artist. His next door neighbor is Jerry Dandridge (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who has just moved in and is a normal teenager. Jerry discovers that he can see vampires and must keep his secret from his parents, friends, and especially Peter.

8. Videodrome (1983)

The movie Videodrome is set in a near future where the media is all-powerful and has become the main source of information.

The main character, Max Renn, is a television news anchor who becomes aware of the dark side of the media. He starts to question how his own life has been affected by watching too much TV.

He starts to experience strange symptoms such as an inability to sleep and hallucinations, which he thinks might be due to his addiction to watching TV. As he investigates this phenomenon further, he discovers that there’s something more sinister at work than just addiction – there are mind-control devices that can manipulate people’s thoughts and behavior through television signals.

9. Near Dark (1987)

Near Dark is a 1987 American horror film directed by Kathryn Bigelow. It was written by John Sayles and stars Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Adrian Pasdar.

Near Dark is a 1987 American horror film directed by Kathryn Bigelow. It was written by John Sayles and stars Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Adrian Pasdar. Near Dark follows Caleb (Bill Paxton) who is bitten by a vampire during a hunting trip in the Southern United States in 1832.

Caleb’s wife (Adrian Pasdar) becomes infected with vampirism after she is bitten while trying to save him from the vampire’s clutches. Caleb must now find his way through the wilderness to find help for his wife before she turns into one of them as her husband was bitten by a vampire and turned into one of them.

10. Re-Animator (1985)

Re-Animator is a horror movie released in 1985. It tells the story of Herbert West, a scientist who has invented a re-animation formula that he uses to bring his dead colleagues back to life.

The film was directed by Stuart Gordon, written by Dennis Paoli, and produced by Brian Yuzna. It stars Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West, Barbara Crampton as Dan Cain, and Bruce Abbott as Peter Brackett. The film was a financial success and received mostly positive reviews from critics.

The film has been regarded as one of the best horror films from the 1980s; it is praised for its “gory special effects” and “funny dialogue”. The film is also considered to be one of the first zombie films.

11. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Tetsuo is a Japanese cyberpunk film from 1989. It is directed by Shinya Tsukamoto and written by Kazuyuki Asai. The story takes place in 2019 and follows the protagonist, Tetsuo, who has been implanted with cybernetic implants by his scientist father in order to help him live longer.

Tetsuo is one of the best halloween movies from the 80s because it was so original and unlike anything that came before it.

The film combines science-fiction, horror, and martial arts in an interesting way that makes for an exhilarating watch.

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) is a cult classic that everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime.

12. The Thing

The Thing is one of the best halloween movies from the 80s. It has a great cast, an intriguing plot, and a memorable soundtrack.

The Thing is a horror movie that was released in 1982 by John Carpenter. It was based on the novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr., which was published in 1938. The film stars Kurt Russell as MacReady, Wilford Brimley as MacReady’s commanding officer, Terence Stamp as Childs, David Clennon as Rennard and Keith David as Norris.

13. A Nightmare on Elm Street

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is one of the best halloween movies from the 80s. This movie successfully combines horror and comedy in a way that is both scary and funny. It has been remade multiple times, but none of them are as good as the original.

This film was released in 1984 and it tells a story about a teenager named Freddy Krueger who kills people in their dreams. The protagonist, Nancy Thompson, must find out how to stop him without waking up from her dream.