Movie Gems: Top 80s Horror Films Loved by Reddit

Movie Gems: Top 80s Horror Films Loved by Reddit
Top 80s Horror Films

Horror fans are in for a frightful treat of nostalgia. Reddit's horror community often reminisces about iconic films from the 1980s that many consider the "golden age" of the genre. But pinpointing the decade's most impactful movies loved by fans poses a screaming challenge. While classics like "The Shining" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" typically top the list, countless underseen gems deserve more recognition for their surreal style and ahead-of-their-time storytelling.

By analysing over 50 recent Reddit threads where users recommend and rave about their favourite 80s horror, I compiled a definitive list of the top 20 films that Redditors can't stop freaking out over. From psychological supernatural thrillers like "The Changeling" to sci-fi masterpieces such as "The Thing," this killer collection of nostalgic nightmares includes well-known picks and obscure hidden gems that every horror enthusiast ought to see. So lock your doors, turn off the lights, and rediscover the iconic 80s horror movies that continue to haunt fans decades later.

1. The Changeling (1980)

The Changeling (1980)

When it comes to haunted house films, Reddit users consistently rank The Changeling among the greatest ever made. This 1980 Canadian psychological thriller stars George C. Scott as a grieving widower who moves into a mansion plagued by a vengeful spirit.

With its chilling séance scene and mesmerising mix of grief and ghostly encounters, The Changeling sets itself apart with an emotional weight lacking in many haunting tales. No surprise, redditors call it “the scariest ghost movie ever.” The film’s agonisingly slow burn, air of sadness, and shocking plot twists leave horror fans eternally haunted.

2. The Fog (1980)

The Fog (1980)

As one of John Carpenter's coolest films, Reddit users can’t stop raving about The Fog’s ominous atmosphere, thick with chills. Adored for its coastal setting shrouded in creepy fog bringing revenge-seeking ghosts, the movie earns high praise as “a classic ghost story” with visually stunning cinematography.

While lighter on gore than Carpenter’s slashers, The Fog carries a foreboding ambience and legendary score that leaves viewers perpetually peering over their shoulders for spectral pirates. And who could ever forget that ending? No wonder Reddit calls The Fog “a perfectly told ghost story” and an essential 80s horror gem.

3. Terror Train (1980)

Terror Train (1980)

Jamie Lee Curtis kicked off the 80s, earning her dominating title as the decade’s “Scream Queen,” beginning with this New Year’s Eve-set slasher. Despite featuring Curtis at the height of her early fame, Terror Train remains surprisingly underseen. But Reddit users champion this genre gem, calling it “a great atmospheric slasher” with an ingenious killer twist.

The clever costume party backdrop only amplifies the thrills as the mystery assailant dons new disguises while stalking a group of college kids aboard a moving train. The claustrophobic setting, gruesome kills, and charismatic Final Girl performance make Terror Train the next stop for horror fans longing for a slice of 80’s slasher greatness.

4. The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead (1981)

Sam Raimi’s diabolically entertaining The Evil Dead has earned its undying place in the horror hall of fame, spawning sequels, remakes, a masterpiece, and a TV series. This possessed paranormal ride made Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams an instant icon and kicked off Raimi’s eclectic career. Redditors widely call it “a masterpiece,” overflowing with demented style and gory substance that leaves your hair standing on end.

The shoestring budget only amplifies the thrills as five friends unleash untold horrors from the Book of the Dead inside a cabin in the woods. From heroically dodging demonic trees to dismembering your girlfriend with a chainsaw, The Evil Dead births endless nightmares with its frenzied finale that is nothing short of legendary. Groovy indeed!

Underrated 90’s Movies Voted by Reddit Users
Underrated gems from the 90s that often get overlooked when discussing the best movies of the decade. We list 13 of the best right here!

5. Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

While other slashers gorge solely on gore, Happy Birthday to Me serves up something more sinister. High school senior Virginia wonders if she has gone insane, attacking friends as a killer, coinciding with her birthday. Others believe a demented classmate seeks vengeance against the school’s popular clique, “Top Ten.”

Daring to deliver one of horror’s greatest twist endings before The Sixth Sense even existed, Happy Birthday to Me keeps fans intensely debating the mystery assassin’s identity decades later. Consensus on Reddit crowns it “hands down one of the best 80’s slashers” that’s “like Friday the 13th meets Carrie.” Consider this birthday flick the sweetest coming-of-rage gem in horror history.

6. Just Before Dawn (1981)

Just Before Dawn (1981)

In an era overflowing with campy slashers, Just Before Dawn, hailed by Reddit as “a forgotten backwoods gem,” that outpaces genre standards. Its adventurous premise follows campers who encounter unforeseen horrors deep in the Oregon woods, including inbred human relics with murderous intent.

Part rural revenge thriller and part human hunting ground, this outdoorsy nightmare takes a minimalist approach, focusing on nerve-wracking chases and stellar sound design to generate relentless suspense. Hailed as “criminally overlooked,” Just Before Dawn deserves a spot on any horror fan’s survival movie bucket list as a gripping example of low-budget thrills done exquisitely right.

7. The Entity (1982)

The Entity (1982)

Terror takes an exhaustively literal turn in The Entity, based unbelievably on actual events in 1974. This criminally underseen supernatural thriller earned acclaim for bringing thought-provoking themes of psychology and sexuality faced by survivor Carla Moran.

After a sadistic invisible entity invades her home and relentlessly attacks her body, Moran faces dismissive psychiatrists who claim the assaults exist only in her mind. Barbara Hershey earned acclaim for her visceral lead performance conveying more realistically-depicted terror than most horror films ever dare. “Truly ahead of its time,” The Entity’s harrowing social commentary leaves fans shaken by its boundary-pushing authenticity.

8. The Thing (1982)

The Thing (1982)

When it comes to sci-fi horror, Reddit calls John Carpenter’s The Thing unequivocally “a perfect movie.” This nail-biting Antarctic thriller unleashes claustrophobic tension and monstrous paranoia as an alien lifeform ravages an isolated research base by grotesquely impersonating the team. No celluloid creature has ever looked so uniquely otherworldly and utterly terrifying.

While the groundbreaking practical effects steal the show, Carpenter masterfully crafts nerve-fraying suspense around who’s still human versus insidious invader. Add Kurt Russell’s steely performance as helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady leading the infection fight, and The Thing secures its frostbitten legacy with some of horror’s most iconic scenes. “You gotta be f*ing kidding..."

9. The Keep (1983)

The Keep (1983)

Hailed as “the most unique Nazi movie ever made,” visionary genre pioneer Michael Mann unleashes his sole horror outing, The Keep rendering Reddit users endlessly captivated by its bizarre beauty. When Nazis occupy a Romanian fortress, they unleash an ancient malevolent entity with vampiric tendencies turning soldiers into faceless smoke beings. What unfolds bonds World War II and supernatural horror with artsy visual opulence.

While initially deemed a box office bomb and critical failure, The Keep’s mesmerizing directing style and otherworldly villain set to Tangerine Dream’s synth masterpiece have earned it a cult following. Reddit calls it “the Mt. Everest of Guilty Pleasure Films” that deserves appreciation as “a gorgeous art house film...way ahead of its time.” Visually and thematically it’s an unforgettable oddity unlike anything you’ve seen.

Looks a lot like Vecna doesn't it?

10. Videodrome (1983)

Videodrome (1983)

Reddit users call this provocative sci-fi classic “David Cronenberg’s masterpiece” for warping reality into an unsettling flesh-fusion fantasy still years ahead of its time. When a TV station president stumbles upon a broadcast signal featuring torture and murder, he slowly becomes seized by disturbing hallucinations of sinister conspiracies and sadomasochism.

Hailed as one of horror’s most subversive social commentaries, Videodrome makes viewers fall down an unnerving rabbit hole, questioning whether we shape technology or if technology shapes us. Known for birthing grisly special effects of the flesh mutating on itself, the movie introduced audiences to Cronenberg's iconic obsession with "body horror," leaving skin perpetually crawling. Long live the new flesh!

11. The Company of Wolves (1984)

The Company of Wolves (1984)

Cinematic surrealism soars ravishingly, blending sexuality and spine-tingling horror in Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves. As a young girl's dreamlike exploration of her emerging womanhood, a loups-garou stalks the countryside, cursing victims into accursed beasts. Part allegory and part cautionary tale, this artfully directed fantasy unfolds like a dark fairytale, exploring adolescent anxieties around budding desires and beastly men.

While light on outright scares, The Company of Wolves allures with stunning makeup effects, bringing gruesome new meaning to man versus nature. Reddit hails this "stylish and strange" gem as "the best werewolf movie ever made" for its dreamlike portrait tracing womanhood's frightening passages into sexual power. Unlock your curiosity and indulge your wild side with this erotically charged trip promising primal transformation.

12. Firestarter (1984)

Firestarter (1984)

Drew Barrymore's explosive feature film debut Firestarter unleashes telekinetic vengeance against a shadowy government agency in this sci-fi thriller based on Stephen King’s novel. After surviving an experiment giving them psychic abilities, young Charlie and her father go on the run from agents seeking to weaponize her firestarting powers. So when they inevitably catch and corner Charlie, these men unleash something far more dangerous.

Under Mark L. Lester’s thrilling direction, nine-year-old Barrymore gives a career-defining performance with a disturbing edge that earned instant iconic antihero status. With its smart girl power message coupled with killer practical effects as Charlie lights enemies ablaze, Firestarter sets souls on fire bolstered by George C. Scott portraying its riveting heavy. “It’s a crime this isn’t more popular,” says Reddit.

13. Lifeforce (1985)

Lifeforce (1985)

Legendary horror master Tobe Hooper hypnotises viewers by fusing space vampires, zombies, and eroticism in this epic sci-fi spectacle, Lifeforce. When an intergalactic expedition to Halley’s Comet discovers phallic-shaped alien creatures and an alluring female space vampire, chaos consumes London as an epidemic of exploding undead spirals out of control.

Claimed to be “one of the most bonkers major studio films ever made,” Hooper’s tour de force visual effects highlight this apocalyptic extravaganza reminiscent of Nigel Kneale’s Quatermass series. Despite being a massive box office flop, Lifeforce found cult infamy through its wildly original meshing of sci-fi and gothic horror that shatters genre boundaries. Hailed as “a wonderful hot mess,” allow Lifeforce to mesmerizingly suck you into its weird wormhole.

A young woman (19 years old Mathilda May) is seen in full frontal nudity for half the runtime of the movie!

14. Chopping Mall (1986)

Chopping Mall (1986)

Leave it to Roger Corman to produce a campy gem like Chopping Mall offering a killer twist on mad scientist tropes with deadly results. When a shopping mall implements state-of-the-art security robots, a lightning storm causes these combat droids to glitch transforming them into ruthless automatic assassins targeting teen employees party after-hours.

Gleefully blending sci-fi with B movie splatter thrills, the carnage escalates as these malfunctioning “Protectrons” unleash lasers and bombshells to hilarious effect. Described by one Redditor as "RoboCop versus horny teenagers," Chopping Mall delivers riotously gory thrills worth dying for. “Such a fun midnight movie,” says Reddit, that will have you applauding its clever killbots with glee.

15. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

Just when audiences thought Jason Voorhees drowned for good, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives reignites the iconic slasher franchise with explosively entertaining results. When an unwitting friend seeks closure by cremating Jason’s corpse, a botched resurrection ritual instead causes him to be struck by lightning, unleashing the silent killer indestructible and more vengeful than ever.

Sharply directed by Tom McLoughlin, this wildly imaginative sequel cleverly reinvents the tenacious slayer to undead status in his most brutally badass outing yet. Overflowing with ambitiously creative kills from triple decapitations to hilarious RV body smashing, Jason Lives reigns eternally supreme for blending insatiable horror with irresistible humour. “Easily the BEST of the series,” raves Reddit!

16. Night of the Creeps (1986)

Night of the Creeps (1986)

In this outrageously campy crowd-pleaser, alien slug creatures accidentally unleash an interstellar contagion on teens in 1959 turning victims into axe-wielding zombies. Thirty years later the infected bodies and cryogenically frozen slugs thaw unleashing mad scientist mayhem at a college campus coinciding with their homecoming dance.

Mashing up sci-fi with 80’s horror tropes, Night of The Creeps stays uproariously fun thanks to first-time director Fred Dekker’s vibrant style. Featuring Tom Atkins as a badass hardboiled detective fighting infected zombies with a flamethrower, this handling of alien attacks and undead freaks has earned eternal cult reverence. Hailed as “the most fun you'll have watching a horror,” it’s the ultimate B movie treat with nonstop delights.

17. The Wraith (1986)

The Wraith (1986)

In this supernatural revenge tale evoking The Crow, murdered teen Jake comes back from the dead to avenge his killers as a mysterious Phantom racer driving a sleek hovering sports car. Helping guide him is alluring telepathic teen Keri who can connect with this wraith to bring down a pack of hostile road racing thugs.

Back before his career peak, Charlie Sheen captivates as the vengeance-seeking specter. Supported by markedly novel car stunts and chases across gorgeous Arizona desert highways, The Wraith’s imaginative blend of action and fantasy noir still beckons Reddit users. While deemed a box office disappointment in 1986, The Wraith has earned admiration as an undiscovered genre gem destined to emotional fulfillment upon revisitation.

18. Angel Heart (1987)

Angel Heart (1987)

If you crave a top-tier adult psychological thriller, Reddit calls Angel Heart’s terrifying mystery a tantalizing match made in hell. At the behest of cryptic client Louis Cyphre, seedy private investigator Harry Angel descends into the New Orleans supernatural underworld seeking crooner Johnny Favorite who welched on a Satanic debt.

Mickey Rourke conveys gravitas as the P.I. plagued by lucid spiritual hauntings and occult forces while Robert De Niro’s "Louis Cyphre" earned infamy for being utterly petrifying. With smokey harmonic perfection courtesy of cinematographer Michael Seresin and a divisively disturbing twist climax, Angel Heart’s soul-selling sorcery never loses its menace leaving your psyche thoroughly possessed.

19. Dolls (1987)

Dolls (1987)

In what’s celebrated by Reddit as “Stuart Gordon’s horror masterpiece,” murderous marionettes rule with psychotic glee after a family seeking shelter from a storm crashes at a spooky Victorian mansion owned by evil toymakers. Soon these devilish playthings set deadly sights hindering their victims from ever leaving.

From aesthetically stunning gothic production design to stop motion effects animating the porcelain nightmares, Dolls ensnares viewers with fantastically twisted set pieces drenched in dread. With moral lessons warning spoiled brats and abusive adults alike, Gordon strikes demented gold delivering one of horror’s best creepy doll films ever sewn. “They walk. . .they talk. . .THEY KILL!”

20. Evil Dead II (1987)

Evil Dead II (1987)

Sam Raimi returns Ash Williams to the diabolical woods in this riotously entertaining quasi-remake that forever cements Bruce Campbell’s iconic cult status. After accidentally unleashing ancient Sumerian demons from the infamous Necronomicon, Deadites interdimensionally invade the remote forest cabin possessing Ash's girlfriend and hand while transforming small woodland critters into monstrous murderers.

Amping up visual hilarity and gore in gleefully grotesque ways, Evil Dead II solidifies itself as a landmark of horror comedy. Campbell's charismatically exaggerated performance battling his own mutant extremities pushes both humor and horror into ingeniously absurd extremes culminating in stop motion monsters, time portals and medievals. Hailed by Reddit as "so much better than it has any right to be,” this eternal classic never ceases to giddily delight. "Let’s carve ourselves a witch!"

The Final Cut

The 80's left an undying impact on horror, gifting audiences with iconic villains, practical effects mastery, thought-provoking themes, and imaginatively gory thrills that forever transfigured genre boundaries. While mainstream popularity was gained by tentpole slashers like Freddy and Jason, the decade harbored countless cinematic jewels beyond the marquee.

By surveying which 80's horror films Reddit's community calls the scariest and coolest of the decade, hopefully an urge has awakened within all horror aficionados to rediscover the nostalgic nightmares, leaving devotees eternally screaming for more! So swap Netflix algorithms for these definitively curated sinister gems, and get shrivelling with the best from horror’s most reverently remembered era. Just pray you survive their murderously memorable legacy!


Movie Gems: Top 80s Horror Films Loved by Reddit, a list by TheRewindZone
By analysing over 50 recent Reddit threads where users recommend and rave about their favourite 80s horror, I compiled a definitive list of the top 20 films that Redditors can’t stop freaking out over. From psychological supernatural thrillers like “The Changeling” to sci-fi masterpieces such as “The Thing,” this killer collection of nostalgic nightmares includes well-known picks and obscure hidden gems that every horror enthusiast ought to see. So lock your doors, turn off the lights, and rediscover the iconic 80s horror movies that continue to haunt fans decades later.