The following is my submission to the My Movie Year blogathon, hosted by Fandango Groovers Movie Blog. Be sure to check out all the other great entries.
While the ridiculous decade known as the 80s was indeed a grand and quirky time in the horror movie world, there is one particular year that I feel stood out among the rest. That year being the first of the decade, the year that would kick off popular trends such as hair bands, parachute pants and teenage slasher films. That crazy year is 1980 and these are the best 1980 horror movies.
5. Cannibal Holocaust
While it’s hard to say that Cannibal Holocaust is one of the “best” horror movies of 1980 considering it’s controversial nature, I think it does deserve a spot on the list since the movie did break some ground being the first of the found footage style movie genre. In addition, the director Ruggero Deodato’s dedication to giving the movie a hyper realism look while challenging it’s audience with what they are willing to accept in a horror movie is the act of a master troll, and that in my book deserves some recognition.
4. The Changeling
One of George C. Scott’s best horror movie performance and a haunted house tale that introduced a surprising and wonderfully satisfying twist. The Changeling set the bar for the haunted house movie genre that wasn’t seen since The Haunting. From the creepy wheelchair, the faint murmurs of ghosts, and the random ball bouncing down the stairs, this movie delivers with an unnerving paranormal experience.
3. The Fog
One of John Carpenter’s visually stunning masterpieces, The Fog movie is a great horror film which builds much of it’s suspense through atmosphere and the spooky seaside town of Antonio Bay. Not to mention that there is something that is inherently creepy about fog to begin with, as it plays upon our fear of what we cannot see.
2. Friday the 13th
A classic slasher film which, along with Halloween from two years earlier, would create a horror sub genre that would blow up throughout the entire 80s. Friday the 13th no doubt became the inspiration for many slashers to come, providing us with what we now consider cliche elements to the slasher genre.
1. The Shining
Usually considered one of the top horror movies of all time, let alone of the 80s, and no doubt the winner in not just the horror genre for 1980 but movies in general. This Stanley Kubrick film became a masterpiece while launching the career of Jack Nicholson into the stratosphere. The Shining truly has it all for a haunted house movie and to this day still delivers chills and very potent heebie jeebies.
Honorable Mentions & Non Horror Movies:
In addition to the 1980 horror movies above, the same year also had a number of other great movies outside the horror genre which rank among my favorites, giving further proof that 1980 was a badass year in the theatres.
These movies include: The Empire Strikes Back, Caddyshack, The Blues Brothers, Raging Bull, and Airplane.
Other honorable horror mentions: Prom Night, Terror Train, Maniac!, and Humanoids from the Deep