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The Best Horror Movies from the 80s and 90s

old horror films 1980s

This Halloween is supposed to be a washout. Hey, at least it’s not snow, right? So, it looks like a lot of coal crackers may be home bound instead of Halloweening. What a perfect time to dust off that VCR and pop in some of the best old horror movies from the 1980s and 90s.

Movie purists will argue there are great horror films before the 80s but when you see our list, you’ll realize it was a golden age of scary movies. Seriously, people still dress up for Halloween as Freddy and Jason. And we don’t even need to use their last names and almost everyone knows who we mean.

Best Old Horror Movies 1980s

Check out this list of some of great old horror movies:

The Thing (1982)

A shape-shifting alien runs amok in an isolated Antarctica research center, and paranoia soon consumes its occupants as they try to stay alive.

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Sleepaway Camp (1983)

What seems like a by-the-book slasher movie delivers one of the best twist endings in movie history.

The Fly (1986)

An experiment that goes horribly wrong leaves a brilliant scientist hideously disfigured in this horror classic.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Freddy Krueger quickly became a horror movie icon thanks to his blade fingers and ability to infiltrate his victims’ dreams. Sleep tight!

Children of the Corn (1984)


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Creepy kids, cult mentality, and corn make for an above-average scare fest.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

A stand-alone film in the Halloween anthology, Season of the Witch‘s yarn about haunted Halloween masks is a classic in its own right. Also, good luck getting the Silver Shamrock theme out of your head!

Pet Sematary (1989)

Master of Horror Stephen King wrote the screenplay for this movie adaptation of his book of the same name. This horror classic treats its audience to plenty of scares and an original song by the Ramones!

Hellraiser (1987)

This movie about a mysterious puzzle box that unleashes sadistic demons is violent and disturbing. Pinhead remains one of the scariest horror movie   villains ever.

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Friday the 13th (1980)

The quintessential 80s horror movie. If you’ve never seen it, watch it. If you’ve seen it, watch it again.

Aliens (1986)

Brilliant sequel to the 1979 sci-fi/horror hit, Aliens gives us even more Xenomorphs as well as some potty-mouthed Marines and one of the greatest movie lines of all time.

Child’s Play (1988)

Kids toys are inherently creepy, and this horror classic is here to remind us of that.  Child’s Play delivers a lot of laughs and some genuine scares.

Poltergeist (1982)


Kids today will never know how scary TV static was in the 80s. As spooky as this movie is, perhaps even creepier are the strange and tragic occurrences that plagued its cast and crew.

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The Shining (1980)

Disturbing imagery and a brilliant depiction of the descent into madness – The Shining has all the ingredients of a horror classic. This movie remains one of the greatest of it’s genre and will leave you feeling unsettled well after the end credits.

Maybe you’re looking for something a little more contemporary? Maybe those old VHS tapes from the 80s are all worn out. We’ve got some more contemporary classics here, too.

Best Old Horror Movies 1990s

The decade gave us a lot of great entertainment, including these 13 great old horror movies from the 1990s:

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The horror movie that launched a thousand imitators, Blair Witch remains the best among the found-footage films.

Raising Cain (1992)

The hilarious John Lithgow takes a very creepy turn in this underrated thriller about a psychiatrist with a spit personality.

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Candy Man (1992)

After hearing the horrible lore of the Candyman, a graduate student soon finds herself being stalked by a man with a striking resemblance to the urban legend.

Army of Darkness (1992)

This goofy dark/horror comedy is as quotable as it is entertaining. Buckle up!

Cape Fear (1991)

Robert DeNiro leaves you feeling unsafe long after the movie ends.

Copy Cat (1995)

Another underrated flick! This suspenseful thriller features murderer who is inspired by the crime scenes and modus operandi of famous serial killers.

Stir of Echos (1999)

A man is hypnotized, then begins seeing visions of a girl’s ghost in this chilling ghost story/murder mystery.

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Misery (1990)

Watch in anguish as a famous author is held captive and tortured by his “biggest fan.”

Scream (1996)


A fun take on the slasher genre, with nods to some of the horror classics of the past.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

This movie is spooky and suspenseful from beginning to its now famous ending.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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Tim Burton’s beautifully done take on Washington Irving’s creepy tale is a great, moody horror movie.

Se7en (1995)

Easily one of the greatest serial killer movies of all time.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Few villians are as memorable as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychologist and cannibalism enthusiast.

We can’t wait for you to tell us how wrong the list is or what ones we missed. Tell us what old horror movies you watch around Halloween.

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