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The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

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Review of Best 80s Horror Movies

Vera Agne
Halloween is on the horizon which means it’s the perfect time for horror movies. The 80s were known for their slasher films and the suspenseful music.

The 80s were known for their iconic forms of entertainment like music and movies. Since Halloween is approaching up, I’d like to discuss some of the best rated 80s horror movies.

“The Shining” in 1980, was directed and written by Stanley Kubrick while working with novelist Diane Johnson on the script alongside it. The film, which features Jack Nicholson, Danny Lloyd, Shelley Duvall, and Scatman Crothers; it is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel. At the isolated Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, which shuts down during the winter every year, Jack Torrance assumes the role of supervisor. Manager Stuart Ullman informs Torrance, after his arrival, that Charles Grady, a former supervisor, killed himself, his wife, and their two small daughters in the hotel. In the meantime, Jack’s mental state deteriorates; he struggles with his writing and frequently relinquishes control of his emotions. A distinctive phrase from this film- “Here’s Johnny.” I would brand this movie as a psychological thriller rather than horror but still it is a recommended watch. I would rate this movie an 8/10.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” a supernatural slasher film, was directed and written by Wes Craven and produced by Robert Shaye. This film stars Johnny Depp in his cinematic debut, Ronee Blakley, John Saxon, Heather Langenkamp, and Robert England as Freddy Krueger. The plot of the movie revolves around a group of teens who are targeted by an undead former child killer named Krueger, who can kill people through their dreams, as a form of revenge for his parents’ burning him alive. I think this movie was a little bit too cheesy but nonetheless a classic. I would rate this movie a 6/10.

“Poltergeist” is a film made in 1982 and was directed by Tobe Hooper along with writer Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais and Mark Victor. This film stars JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, Craig Nelson, Dominique Dunn, and Oliver Robbins. Ghosts decide to pay a visit to a young family at their house. Before they “kidnap” the youngest daughter, the spirits first seem to be friendly and amusing to everyone by moving objects around the house; nevertheless, as time goes on, they become ominous and begin to terrorize the family. The most well-known scene from this movie was the little girl staring into the static blue television. This wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, but I still enjoyed it. I rate it a 6/10.

“Friday the 13th” is a classic slasher film made in 1980 and was directed and produced by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. It stars, Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Mark Nelson, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan, and Kevin Bacon. The story centers around a group of teenage camp counselors who are trying to reopen an abandoned summer camp with a tragic background but then they are killed one by one by an unidentified killer. I thought this movie was predictable and cheesy, but again still a classic; I would rate this movie a 5/10.

“Childs Play” another American slasher film made in 1988. The film, directed by Thomas Holland and cowritten by Don Marcini and John Lafia. It is the first movie in the Child’s Play series and the first one in which Chucky appears. Brad Dourif plays Chucky while Catherine Hicks and Chris Sarandon are the main actors. The storyline concentrates on a bereaved mother who presents her kid with a doll, not realizing that the doll harbors the soul of a serial killer. I don’t personally enjoy evil doll movies so I wouldn’t watch it again but if you do like this genre of horror, I recommend it. Overall, I would rate this movie a 6/10, as it earns points for its comedy factor.

“Re-animator” is a 1985 comedy horror film that was directed by Stuart Gordon and was produced by Brian Yuzna. The movie stars Jeffery Combs as he plays Herbert West, a medical student that has

invented a serum to “reanimate” deceased bodies. Along with his classmate, Dan Cain (Bruce Abott), they begin to experiment with this serum. I liked this movie because I thought it was an interesting concept. In the end, I rated this movie a 7/10.

“Henry: the portrait of a serial killer” is a psychological horror film made in 1986 and was directed and cowritten by John McNaughton. The plot follows a serial killer who seems to be able to commit crimes with impunity. The movie stars Michael Rooker in his cinematic debut as the killer Henry, Tom Towles as Otis, a prison buddy of Henry and Tracy Arnold as Otis’s sister. I love crime movies and particularly when they have an eerie factor to them. I rated this movie a 7/10.

“Christine” is a supernatural horror film made in 1983, which was written by Bill Phillips and was based on Stephen King’s 1983 novel and follows the changes that occur in the lives of Arnie Cunningham, his friends, his family, and his teenage enemies after he acquires Christine, a classic red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury. Christine has a possessive, jealous personality and seems to have a mind of its own, which has a detrimental effect on Arnie. Arnie is played by Keith Gordon. I liked the plot; I thought it was interesting and the actor portrayed his transition from his old self to the new self flawlessly. The film wasn’t slow as I thought it was going to be. To sum up, I rated this movie a 7/10.

In conclusion, the 80s did have some good horror movies; I can’t review them all but the movies I was able to review were great movies to watch because they are just classics.


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