The 24 Best Horror Movies of 1980

1). The Shining (1980)

Score: 8.2/10 IMDB: 8.4/10 Trailer Review
Signing a contract, Jack Torrance, a normal writer and former teacher agrees to take care of a hotel which has…
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Barry Dennen, Burnell Tucker, Derek Lyons, David Baxt

2). The Changeling (1980)

Score: 7.43/10 IMDB: 7.3/10 Trailer
It was the perfect family vacation for composer John Russell and his family when a freak automobile accident claims the…
Director: Peter Medak
Stars: J. Kenneth Campbell, Terence Kelly, Giancarlo Esposito, George C. Scott, Roberta Maxwell

3). Altered States (1980)

Score: 7.42/10 IMDB: 6.9/10 Trailer Review
It's the late 1960's. Just for a lark, graduate student Eddie Jessup, known for being unconventional, brilliant and slightly mad,…
Director: Ken Russell
Stars: John Larroquette, Drew Barrymore, William Hurt, Francis X. McCarthy, Evan Richards

4). The Ninth Configuration (1980)

Score: 7.3/10 IMDB: 7.1/10
A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for mentally ill and A.W.O.L. U.S.…
Director: William Peter Blatty
Stars: Tom Atkins, Richard Lynch, Jason Miller, Robert Loggia, Stacy Keach

5). The Fog (1980)

Score: 6.98/10 IMDB: 6.8/10 Trailer Review
As the centennial of the small town of Antonio Bay, California approaches, paranormal activity begins to occur at midnight. 100…
Director: John Carpenter
Stars: George 'Buck' Flower, Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, John Carpenter

6). Christmas Evil (1980)

Score: 6.8/10 IMDB: 5.3/10 Trailer
Widely recognized as the best of the Christmas horror efforts, Christmas Evil is the story of a boy who loves…
Director: Lewis Jackson
Stars: Mark Margolis, Rutanya Alda, Jeffrey DeMunn, Robert Lesser, Chris Browning

7). Alligator (1980)

Score: 6.7/10 IMDB: 5.9/10 Trailer
Ramon the alligator is flushed down the toilet as a baby and grows into a gargantuan monster by eating the…
Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Kane Hodder, Buckley Norris, Robert Hammond, Simmy Bow, Robert Forster

8). Motel Hell (1980)

Score: 6.5/10 IMDB: 6.1/10 Trailer
Farmer Vincent kidnaps unsuspecting travellers and is burying them in his garden. Unfortunately for his victims, they are not dead.…
Director: Kevin Connor
Stars: John Ratzenberger, Barbara Goodson, Rory Calhoun, E. Hampton Beagle, Nina Axelrod

9). Inferno (1980)

Score: 6.35/10 IMDB: 6.7/10 Trailer
Riddled with secret but horrid suspicion, the young American poet, Rose Elliot, writes to her brother and musicology student in…
Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Gregory Snegoff, Dario Argento, Edward Mannix, Alida Valli, Fulvio Mingozzi

10). Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)

Score: 5.85/10 IMDB: 5.7/10
It starts off in Vietnam where John Saxon gets bitten by P.O.W. John Morghen who has been infected with some…
Director: Antonio Margheriti
Stars: John Saxon, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Don Ruffin, Goffredo Unger, Laura Dean

11). Friday the 13th (1980)

Score: 5.66/10 IMDB: 6.5/10 Trailer Review
One summer at Camp Crystal Lake, a group of young counselors begin to get ready to lead campers. Unfortunately for…
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Stars: Tom Savini, Kevin Bacon, Adrienne King, Walt Gorney, Betsy Palmer

12). Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

Score: 5.65/10 IMDB: 5.7/10 Trailer
Scientific experiments backfire and produce horrific mutations: half man, half fish, which terrorize a small fishing village by killing the…
Directors: Jimmy T. Murakami, Barbara Peeters
Stars: Greg Travis, Don Maxwell, Rob Bottin, Anthony Pena, Linda Shayne

13). City of the Living Dead (1980)

Score: 5.65/10 IMDB: 6.3/10 Trailer
In the small New England town of Dunwich, a priest commits suicide by hanging himself in the church cemetery which…
Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lucio Fulci, Catriona MacColl, Michele Soavi, Robert Sampson

14). The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

Score: 5.55/10 IMDB: 6.4/10 Trailer
When a normal American family moves into a beautiful old English house in a wooded area, strange, paranormal appearances befall…
Directors: John Hough, Vincent McEveety
Stars: Derek Lyons, Kyle Richards, Frances Cuka, Carroll Baker, Ian Bannen

15). Effects (1980)

Score: 5.34/10 IMDB: 5.6/10 Trailer
Horror movie about an insane film director who hopes his crowning achievement will be a "snuff" documentary about the actual…
Director: Dusty Nelson
Stars: Tom Savini, Joseph Pilato, Debra Gordon, John Harrison, Marty Schiff

16). Nightkill (1980)

Score: 5.34/10 IMDB: 5.6/10 Trailer
The wife of a wealthy industrialist finds herself caught-up in a web of intrigue & murder which was created by…
Director: Ted Post
Stars: Sybil Danning, Fritz Weaver, Robert Mitchum, Michael Anderson Jr., Paty Lombard

17). Maniac (1980)

Score: 5.25/10 IMDB: 6.5/10 Trailer
Frank Zito misses his mother, who was killed in a car accident years before. She was abusive to him, and…
Director: William Lustig
Stars: Tom Savini, Caroline Munro, Frank Pesce, Kelly Piper, Randy Jurgensen

18). Macabro (1980)

Score: 5.25/10 IMDB: 6.1/10 Trailer
A New Orleans housewife leaves her daughter and son home alone to meet her lover. While with him, she receives…
Director: Lamberto Bava
Stars: Carolyn De Fonseca, Roberto Posse, Bernice Stegers, Stanko Molnar, Veronica Zinny

19). Fade to Black (1980)

Score: 5.2/10 IMDB: 5.9/10 Trailer
Shy, lonely Eric Binford delivers film cassettes and film-related supplies in Los Angeles for a living. But he really exists…
Director: Vernon Zimmerman
Stars: Christopher Lee, Mickey Rourke, Dennis Christopher, Morgan Paull, Tim Thomerson

20). House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

Score: 5.16/10 IMDB: 5.9/10 Trailer
Alex, a psychopathic mechanic, rapes a woman in the park. Later, a decadent couple pull into his shop needing car…
Director: Ruggero Deodato
Stars: Gregory Snegoff, David Hess, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Edward Mannix, Susan Spafford

21). Night of the Hunted (1980)

Score: 5.11/10 IMDB: 5.8/10 Trailer
A woman is taken to a mysterious clinic whose patients have a mental disorder in which their memories and identities…
Director: Jean Rollin
Stars: Natalie Perrey, Cyril Val, Brigitte Lahaie, Jean Hérel, Alain Duclos

22). Schizoid (1980)

Score: 5/10 IMDB: 5.0/10 Trailer
Julie is an advice columnist for the city newspaper who begins to receive anonymous notes threatening murder and worse. At…
Director: David Paulsen
Stars: Christopher Lloyd, Klaus Kinski, Flo Lawrence, Joe Regalbuto, Craig Wasson

23). Antropophagus (1980)

Score: 4.93/10 IMDB: 5.4/10 Trailer
Tourists take a boat to a remote island, where they find that most of the people have disappeared, and something…
Stars: Tisa Farrow, George Eastman, Zora Kerova, Margaret Mazzantini, Serena Grandi

24). To All a Goodnight (1980)

Score: 4.89/10 IMDB: 4.8/10 Trailer
It's Christmas break at the Calvin Finishing School for Girls, and the students are planning a big party while the…
Director: David Hess
Stars: Jane Osborn, Jennifer Runyon, Bill Martin, Harry Reems, Ann Tucker

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24+ List of 1980 Horror Films Worth Watching!

Best Horror Movies of 1980

Looking for the best 1980 horror movies? At the top of our list of the best horror movies of 1980 are "The Shining (1980), The Changeling (1980), Altered States (1980), The Ninth Configuration (1980), and The Fog (1980)." Our top list is an average of our review scores, Hell Horror viewers, and a few other sources.

The best horror film of 1980 is The Shining (1980) scoring 8.2/10 stars with our combined scores. IMDB already has over 745,340+ votes for this movie. Starring in The Shining (1980) is Jack Nicholson, Barry Dennen, Burnell Tucker, Derek Lyons, and David Baxt. Director Stanley Kubrick did a phenomenal job treating us with this 1980 best horror film which was remarkable.The Shining (1980) is in Horror, and Drama movie genres.

Next Best Horror Movies of 1980 The next best 1980 horror movie is The Changeling (1980) with a score of 7.43/10 stars. J. Kenneth Campbell, Terence Kelly, Giancarlo Esposito, George C. Scott, and Roberta Maxwell star in "The Changeling (1980)". The Changeling (1980) is directed by Peter Medak and has over 25,450+ IMDB votes. You can find The Changeling (1980) in Horror movie genres.

These are the best horror films of 1980, and we hope you enjoy the 42 movies on our list of good 1980 horror movies sorted best to worst.

Please let us know if there is a movie that you think belongs on our list that we missed.

More Horror Movies 1980 Lists: Wikipedia, Movieweb