Halloween is truly the greatest holiday of the year. It’s a time to celebrate what scares us. It’s a holiday that allows us to embrace vices and go wild. The phrase “trick or treat” literally means give me candy or I will prank you. What other holiday is celebrated by taking your children from house to house demanding candy under the threat of mayhem? Flag Day? Not likely. So, Halloween is the PERFECT time to embrace some of the spookiest films that Hollywood has on tap, and it just so happens that many of the best were made in the 80’s. So you can have the most fun and frightful 80’s throwback Halloween, I put together this gruesome playlist that is sure to delight and disgust your guests.
Friday The 13th (1980)
A horror movie to launch a thousand horror movies, Friday The 13th is an 80’s classic that stands the test of time, even to this very day more than three decades later. In fact, a current show right now is basically hanging its entire season’s plot around this exact film: American Horror Story: 1984. This belongs on your playlist because it would be just plain rude to leave out the granddaddy of all slashers.
The Thing (1982)
Talk about standing the test of time. This film has still yet to be topped in terms of pure disgusting body horror. The special effects, mostly 100% practical instead of digital, are worthy of an award all on their own, not to mention that the film is also one of the world’s best thriller murder mysteries to boot. Who thought a bunch of hippy scientists trapped in a research station on the South Pole would turn out to be so scary?
The Evil Dead (1981)
If chins could kill! Bruce Campbell stars in this gory, spooky, and pretty funny genre-twisting horror flick. It is infinitely quotable. It has a chainsaw hand. It has some of the best laughs and scares in the business. This film has it all. Shop Smart. Shop S Mart!
The Monster Squad (1987)
Do you love the 80’s? Do you love classic Steven Spielberg films that feature curious kids solving spooky mysteries while the adults are all bumbling buffoons? Do you enjoy Stranger Things? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then you will love The Monster Squad. If you’re a Stranger Things fan and haven’t seen this film, then you will recognize a LOT of the things that the Duffer brothers “borrowed” from this beloved 80’s gang-of-kids-solve-monster-mystery film.
From wacky kids solving mysteries about the Wolfman and Dracula to the terrors of a merciless alien race that looks like it is straight out of Satan’s nightmares, you have the Alien franchise. There is no fun, no camp, no bright light of hope in this franchise, only terror. This film poses the question: “What if humans were no longer at the top of the food chain?” The answer is a colony of giant space alien bug creatures that have two sets of razor sharp teeth and acid for blood. If there’s one lesson to be learned from this franchise it’s that you should always ALWAYS listen to Ellen Ripley and that if you encounter an alien like these you should just nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.
While these didn’t quite make our top five, they are still very worth watching and mentioning. The other movies you should have on your Halloween playlist are as follows:
The Blob (1988)
The Evil Dead (1981)
The Shining (1980)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The Fly (1986)
Stranger Things, seasons 1, 2, and 3