The 80s were an interesting time to be alive. They gave us Nintendo, sleazy businessmen and a host of incredibly terrifying and creepy films. This is especially true following the release of Halloween. Some of those films have become cult classics, while others appear to have recently begun to fade away.

But like all good things, the familiar themes of the 80s seem to be coming back full circle. Between great shows like Stranger Things and a growing interest in retro video games, it seems appropriate to look back at films worth seeing again.

Child’s Play (1988)
Child's PlayFew things are scary anymore. We’ve seen just about everything film has to offer. Yet Chuckie is something different. No matter what Hollywood throws at us, there’s something intrinsically terrifying about a doll with a knife lurking around the shadows just waiting for the opportunity to stab you to death.

The first time I saw Child’s Play, I didn’t sleep especially well or enjoy seeing dolls for quite some time. Even now the film continues to linger on like some kind of traumatic childhood experience. That is a fright I’d like to see again! To make things even better, there’s no shortage of bad sequels to follow Chuckie into, so you’ll have lots to do starting with this one.

Fright Night (1985)
Fright NightSince Blade, vampire movies have been all about trench coats, leather, and making the whole vampire film genre into something sleek and cool. Yet before vampires went and pulled a Matrix, films such as Fright Night were making their own blend.

Fright Night blends a healthy mixture of humor, psychological intrigue (well, for an 80s movie) and classic vampire elements together to bring us an entertainingly campy feature. There’s nothing quite like it, as the film isn’t afraid to make fun of its vampiric origins. It instead embraces everything we enjoy about these nightstalkers and runs with it.

Unlike most 80s films, Fright Night holds up extraordinarily well. Despite an unremarkable take of roughly six million on opening weekend, reviews still remain extremely positive. Check it out!

Creepshow (1982)
CreepshowIt’s hard to say for sure whether Creepshow is more cheesy or creepy. It has elements of both, and it’s actually written by Stephen King (this was his first screenplay). The movie is set up to resemble old horror comics you’d expect to see running in the 1950s, so watching this one is kind of like a double throwback.

Each of the film’s five parts is a separate short story with a brand new cast of characters and actors to boot. As a result, each story packs in as much content as possible in a short amount of time. Watchers that get bored with long films should have no trouble with Creepshow, as there’s essentially no continuity between each part of the movie.

If you’ve ever seen Tales from the Crypt, get ready for something fairly similar. The special effects are about on the same level, but it doesn’t look bad for the time. Creepshow is probably more fun to watch with friends because it has just as many dark gags as it has scary moments.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm StreetJust over 30 years ago, Freddy made his debut in the iconic masterpiece A Nightmare on Elm Street, a film that would spawn a franchise still strong to this day. The thing about Freddy Krueger is that he’s scary enough all on his own, but the film makes him much worse by casting him as a psychological horror that therapists can potentially explain away.

If you haven’t seen any Elm Street films, the basic premise is as follows: Freddy only manifests in a person’s dreams. This leads to all kinds of different horrors for the cast to face, with the chief one being how long they can resist falling asleep.

Later films explore the different possibilities of Freddy’s past, how to deal with him and what his motives are. This film is much more straight to the point and easy to enjoy. Just don’t plan on visiting any boiler rooms any time soon after watching this, because you’ll never feel comfortable in one again.

The Shining (1980)
The ShiningThe last but certainly not the least creepy film on our list is Steven King’s The Shining. Few movies have had such a perfect combination of cast, set and writing, although Stephen King was actually not a big fan of the movie adaptation of his book.

In this film, Jack Nicholson stars as Jack Torrance, a struggling writer and likely stand-in for Stephen King. His retreat to the Overlook Hotel over the winter quickly transforms from a vacation with his family into a slow descent into madness.

To make things worse for our cast, the hotel is also haunted by what seems to be an increasingly larger number of ghosts throughout the film. Their presence and Jack’s underlying psychological issues ultimately drive him insane. Things only get worse from there.

The Shining is always worth a second viewing, but it’s an absolute must if you haven’t seen it yet. Pop culture and other horror films have continuously borrowed from various story elements since their debut in this film, especially the famous twins and “redruM.”

Additional Recommendations
There may not be a shortage of creepy 80s movies, but if you’re interested in a little background on the sudden growth in horror-slasher films, it might pay to go back a little further in time to watch Halloween. Known by many as the origin behind the seemingly endless line of knockoffs in the 80s, it’s a great movie by modern standards. It’s also good to see if you want some more background on why so many of these films have similar elements.
Do you know any great 80s horror films worth a watch? Post your suggestions in the comments section below if you have any amazing ideas or thoughts on the movies above.

About the Author: Caroline is and always will be into great horror movies, especially the classics. In addition to her interest in film, she also writes about technology and entertainment in general on Culture Coverage and Secure Thoughts. You can find her on Twitter at @CultureCovC

Movie posters sourced from IMDB.