Are you ready to discuss 80’s horror movies? I know I am! This era gave me some of my favourite scary films of all time. It delivered and then some! I was born in 1989, so I’m a little bit partial to this decade. Click here and here to see my picks for the 60’s and 70’s. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
This 1987 British supernatural horror is very polarising in the spooky community. I feel like audiences either love or hate it. I’ve literally written a sexy/spooky book, so this blend of genres worked for me. If you didn’t know, this movie was written and directed by author, Clive Barker and based off of his novella, The Hellbound Heart. Sexual deviant, Frank, inadvertently opens a portal to hell, when he tinkers with a box he bought while abroad. The act unleashes gruesome beings called Cenobites, who tear his body apart. When his brother Larry and his wife, Julia, move into Frank’s old house, they accidentally bring what is left of him back to life. Frank then convinces Julia, his one-time lover, to lure men back to the house, so he can use their blood to reconstruct himself. There is plenty of sadomasochism, so be wary if that isn’t your thing! I will admit, the acting was a tad questionable but the story/concept was fun. I loved the Cenobites! I’m wondering if I should rank this franchise. Let me know if it’s worth doing. I’m excited for the 2022 reboot, featuring the very first female Pinhead!
2.) The Shining
What can I say about The Shining? It’s probably my second favourite horror movie of all time (first being IT – the remake). I had to include it here. In 1980, Stanley Kubrick gave us a film adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel by the same name. This story follows ‘family man’ Jack Torrance, who is offered a job as a winter caretaker at the remote Overlook Hotel in Colorado. When he arrives with his wife and telepathic son Danny, he soon realises that the isolation is enough to make him go crazy; not to mention the paranormal darkness moving through the halls and rooms. Before long, Jack is filled with a homicidal urge to kill his family and with not a guest in sight, nobody is around to hear them scream. I never get tired of watching it. It’s a masterpiece with many iconic scenes and lines. If you only see one movie on this list, let it be this one.
3.) The Thing
John Carpenter’s 1982 The Thing is absolutely one of the best horror movies of the decade. In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take it in, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines, leading to the discovery that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor, lead the crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off. This film produced some of the most grotesque monsters I have ever seen in cinema. They were downright nauseating to look at. However, my favourite part of the entire thing (see what I did there?) was the ambiguous ending. The tension between the two men was electrifying. That final scene was enough for me to rate it 5/5 stars.
4.) An American Werewolf In London
I recently watched this movie from 1981 for the first time with my mum and truly enjoyed it. It isn’t really talked about enough, so I wanted to include it here. Two American college students are backpacking through Britain when a large wolf attacks them. David survives with a bite, but Jack is brutally killed. As David heals in the hospital, he’s plagued by violent nightmares of his mutilated friend, who warns him that he is becoming a werewolf. When David discovers the horrible truth, he contemplates committing suicide before the next full moon causes him to transform from man to murderous beast. This film is definitely a blend of horror and comedy. It isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. There are some epic standout scenes, like the first time David transforms and the steamy shower moment. I highly recommend it!
5.) A Nightmare On Elm Street
Are you surprised to see 1984’s A Nightmare On Elm Street? I’m not! I do plan on ranking the entire franchise come Halloween, so stay tuned for that. In Wes Craven’s classic film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger, a disfigured midnight mangler, who preys on the them in their dreams – which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, our heroine Nancy, begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents, may be the key to unraveling the mystery. Let’s be honest, this movie has a weird filter. It took away from my viewing experience slightly but I still really enjoyed it. I’m such a fan of the concept. What sets this series apart from other slashers is the way Freddy infiltrates his victims nightmares. There is something so terrifying about not being able to go to sleep. Also, if you haven’t yet, YouTube young Johnny Depp’s death. It’s ridiculously bloody!
What did you think of my list? What are some of your favourite 80’s horror movies? Next month I will be touching the 90’s, 2000-2010 and 2010-2020. Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo