Totally Awesome Horror Flicks from the 80s to Binge Watch with Friends
November 28, 2017 By Cait
Although the Title of the Movie is "Child's Play", Creepy, Possessed Doll Chucky Stole the Show, and Many Refer to the Iconic Movie as "The Chucky Movie".
Photo by: The Chipmunk King via YouTube.
The 1980s are iconic for a variety of reasons, including producing some of the most beloved, iconic, and outrageous horror movies to ever grace the silver screen. From completely over-the-top absurd B Horror Flicks, to Horror Movies that were so popular that they've been spun off into seemingly-endless franchises of fear, it's undeniable that the horror genre absolutely flourished in the 80s.
With seemingly countless horror movies made during the decade, it's hard to pick which ones are best to binge-watch. Not to worry - we've put together some of our top choices so that you can indulge in 80s Horror to your heart's content!
- The Evil Dead (1981) - If George A. Romero is the father of the modern day zombie movie, then Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are the fathers of campy horror. The Evil Dead was such a good movie, that they remade it in 1984, but despite Evil Dead 2 being really, really good, we have to say, the original is pretty awesome. You've got Bruce Campbell finding his footing as a horror icon, and Sam Raimi making his directorial debut, and boy, is it gold.
Basically, four students go on Spring Break to a remote cabin in the woods, and really spooky things start to happen. The cellar door flies open, and Ash (played by Campbell), and fellow-student Scotty go down into the cellar to investigate, where they find the Naturom Demanto, i.e. "The Book of the Dead". Alongside the clearly evil book, is a tape recorder, which the two decide they should obviously play, and the archeologist who previously owned the book, and made the recording, reads off some incantations, and all hell breaks loose after that (not a hyperbole!).
This film has blood, gore, camp, and more, and should be on the top of anyone's "Must Watch 80s Horror" List.
- The Shining (1980) - So, Stephen King might not be the biggest fan of this adaptation of his iconic book, but that doesn't take anything away from this movie whatsoever. It's hands down one of the most engaging, suspenseful thrillers ever made, and let's be honest - no one ever looked a creepy twins the same after this film came out. Or, creepy old hotels, for that matter.
If, by some shocking twist of fate, you're unfamiliar with The Shining, here's the lowdown: Writer Jack Torrance (played by the always-iconic Jack Nicholson), is hired to watch a hotel property over the Winter, and jumps at the idea of spending the entire season in near-isolation, so he can write his book. Oh, but he's decided to bring along his wife Wendy, and creepy-as-hell son Danny, and things start to get weird.
Basically, being isolated from society makes Jack get stir-crazy, and when the hotel's chef Dick departs for the remainder of the season a month into the family's stay, well, that only escalates. Danny's creepy BFF is his finger, which he's named Tony, and who tells the boy to write REDRUM on the bathroom door, which (spoiler) is MURDER backwards, which Wendy realizes when she closes the mirror (why it wasn't obvious before that is anyone's guess).
At the same time, Jack starts seeing ghosts at the hotel, and they've instructed him to "correct" his wife, after she suggests maybe leaving this god-forsaken haunted place (she was attacked by one of said ghosts, by the way).
After getting the sense that something is wrong (using his telepathic connection, of course), Chef Dick decides to head back to the hotel to see what's going on, and let's just say the answer is nothing good.
If you ever encounter a child on a tricycle in a hotel hallway - run like hell.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - A Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic for many reasons, and as you may already know, it has spawned an entire franchise of films staring horror icon Freddy Krueger. Just how does Freddy stalk his prey? Why in their dreams, of course. That's right - you're not safe, even in your sleep, and that makes having nightmares after going to see "A Nightmare on Elm Street" all the more terrifying.
Fifteen year old Tina has a nightmare about being stalked by a disfigured man in an (oddly festive) green & red sweater, and razor-clad hands. When she wakes up to her mother comforting her, and telling her it was just a bad dream, they notice 4 big slashes across Tina's nightgown. Realizing that Freddy is real after discussing her nightmare with her friends, the gang hatches a plan to basically lucid dream, and lure Freddy from "the dream world" into "the real world".
The film is definitely a edge-of-your-seat horror flick, and holds up surprisingly well, even decades later.
- Friday the 13th (1980) - We couldn't include A Nightmare on Elm Street, then leave out Friday the 13th, now could we? Similarly iconic, Friday the 13th spawned an entire franchise of films (and it was actually made before "A Nightmare on Elm Street"), and its villain, Jason Voorhees, has become a cultural icon. Nowadays, anyone who sees an old hockey mask is more likely to recognize it as "a Jason mask" than "a hockey goalie mask", and with good reason - the movie, and subsequent franchise, has become a major part of pop culture iconography that persists to this day.
If you've not yet seen the movie, here's the general premise: In 1958, a pair of lovebird camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake are violently murdered by an unseen assailant after they slip away for some alone time. Flash forward 22 years to Friday, June 13th, 1980, and you'll find Alice, a newly hired camp counselor at the recently-reopened Camp Crystal Lake trying to get directions to the camp, and locals warning her to stay away from the campgrounds.
She finally makes it, meets the other counselors, and, as luck would have it, as they settle in for the night, a thunderstorm approaches, and things start to get crazy. Remember that unseen assailant from 1958? Well, it turns out that's none other than Jason Voorhees, who is now a masked assailant, who starts plucking the counselors off one by one. It turns out that Jason died at Camp Crystal Lake in 1957 - he drowned in the lake, something that his mother, Mrs. Voorhees (she makes an iconic appearance alter in the film), blames on negligent camp counselors.
Chases, murdering sprees, and all sorts of chaos ensue as Jason exacts his revenge, leaving almost no survivors. If you love slasher flicks, then this is definitely the one to watch.
- Child's Play (1988) - If you hate creepy dolls, then you might want to skip this one. Or, if you are creeped out by dolls, but you enjoy this kind of thing, well, then this might just be the 80s horror movie for you. Although the actual name of the film is "Child's Play", the villain is so evil, so dubious, so iconic, that many refer to the movie by his name alone. Chucky. Oh - did we mention he's also a doll with a penchant for murdering people?
The movie opens with Charles Lee "Chucky" Ray, an escaped serial killer that's on the loose, getting shot and killed by detectives in a toy store after an epic chase scene. Using some sort of voodoo magic (no - really - actual voodoo magic), Chucky transfers his soul to one of the "Good Guy Dolls" at the store - the doll that literally everyone now recognizes as "The Chucky Doll".
Despite literally being an active crime scene and the site of a police shooting the night before, a widowed mother, Karen, visits the toy store the next morning (seriously), and buys the aforementioned"Good Guy Doll", which is now in fact "The Chucky Doll", and brings it home as a fun and wholesome gift for her son Andy. That night, Chucky manages to murder the babysitter with a hammer, and although Andy is a suspect at first, that's quickly brushed off, as he's an adorable six year old boy.
From there, Chucky basically sets the kid up to take the wrap for murder, because, you know, who's gonna believe it was a doll after all, and poor little Andy is institutionalized. In the meantime, Chucky goes to find the voodoo priest who taught him voodoo before he uh, became a doll, to figure out the whole "how can I stay immortal" thing.
Child's Play takes the whole "evil doll" thing to a whole new level, and the movie spawned a total of seven films (including the original). The latest installment actually came out earlier this year, and in it, we find out that little Andy (played by the same actor no less!) is now an adult, and that he's kept the original Chucky Doll's disembodied head to torture - so maybe he was a bit of a tiny sociopath after all.
What's Your Favorite 80s Horror Movie? Let Us Know in the Comments Below!