March 3, 2024

Favorite Horror Films From 1980

I’m a big list guy. I love putting them together and I love debating them. I’m starting a new, hopefully regular, series here on the site where I’ll be looking at my favorite horror films through the years. I’m what they call a “child of the 80’s” as I was born in 1976 so those are my “formative years” so to speak. I’m going to start with 1980 just as a jumping on point. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy horror films from before 1980 because I certainly do… this is just an arbitrary starting point. If this series takes off as I hope it does, once I get to current year I’ll start working backwards from 1980.


Without any further build up, here goes…

Chewie’s Top 5 Horror Films From 1980

All of these films received their theatrical release within calendar year 1980.

Maniac (1980)#5 – Maniac

Starring Joe SpinellCaroline Munro & Abigail Clayton, Maniac tells the story of a psychopath, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City who kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree? The 2012 remake stars Elijah Wood in the title role.

#4 – Prom Night

A masked killer stalks four teenagers, responsible for the accidental death of a little girl six years earlier, at their high school’s senior prom. Prom Night stars Leslie Nielsen and Jamie Lee Curtis… yes, that Jamie Lee Curtis.

#3 – Terror Train

A masked killer targets six college kids responsible for a prank gone wrong three years earlier and who are currently throwing a large New Year’s Eve costume party aboard a moving train. Terror Train stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson & David Copperfield. Amazing how similar in plot this one is to Prom Night and that they both star Jamie Lee cementing her as the original “Scream Queen”.

Friday The 13th (1980)#2 – Friday The 13th

A group of camp counselors is stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child’s drowning. Starring Betsy Palmer (RIP), Adrienne King and Kevin Bacon (OK, so he didn’t star… but he got a bitchin death scene), this one needs no introduction to someone reading this site. This initial entry actually isn’t one of my favorite of the series but it spawned something SO awesome that it’s high on my list. It would be #1 if not for…

#1 – The Shining

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. The Shining stars Jack NicholsonShelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd and was the first film I ever reviewed for ScareTissue. It’s also #3 on my all time top 10 list so the fact that it’s #1 here is no surprise.

Did I leave off your favorite horror film from 1980? Leave a comment with your thoughts!


I've been a fan of horror and slasher movies for as long as I can remember. I consider the original Halloween to be the best horror movie of all time and my guilty pleasure horror flick would be The Exorcist III. You can find me on Twitter at @406Northlane or TikTok @406Northlane where I'm sure I'll offend you at least once a day.

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[…] Friday The 13th – As a horror fan this is the start of one of my favorite franchises. Made it onto my Top 5 Horror Films over on ScareTissue. […]

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