A Look at 10 of the Greatest Halloween Movies of the (Mostly) 80s

Family GeekMom TV and Movies

As a child of the 80’s and a Halloween Geek, I have a lengthy list of favorite Halloween movies. Many of these are for GeekParents only. Here are the classics, in no particular order, for your spooky enjoyment. If you haven’t seen any of these movies, go to your favorite online movie spot. Now. Quick! Less than a week until the Big Day!

    Gremlins: After viewing this 1984 classic, I had to have a Mogwai. Alas, they were unavailable at the time, but since then one has been added to our family. My kids love him as much as I do.
    Ghostbusters: My GeekDad and I use quotes from this movie on a daily basis. It drives my daughter crazy as she has yet to see the movie. “Nobody steps on a church in my town!”
    Alien: This movie is one of the most intense I have seen. Talk about suspense. Ridley Scott uses darkness to his advantage and you never see much of the creature, but are terrified none the less.
    Nightmare on Elm Street: This movie still scares me and I don’t watch it often. I can’t sleep after it. It features delicious Johnny Depp in his first major film role. Though his small part is out scared by Freddy Krueger, a now cult figure and Halloween staple at haunted houses.
    Evil Dead I, II, and III: While campy, this series provides some great humor in the form of Ash, played by Bruce Campbell, fighting off the “Deadites”. These films were created by Sam Raimi, the Spider Man director and Xena: Warrior Princess producer. You’ll never look at a chain saw in the same way. Some creative types have even created a musical based on the series and there was a comic book as well.
    The Lost Boys: No list would be complete without at least one vampire flick and this one was THE movie in 1987. Captured the time period perfectly.
    Zombieland: While this one was not particularly scary, it gave GeekDad and I a wealth of new one liners. Woody Harrelson is hilarious and one of the best scenes features a surprise appearance by ghostbuster Peter Venkman. “Double Tap!”
    The Exorcist: Saving the best for last, this movie scares me to death. Last time I watched it was in 1992 and even then it was through my fingers. Who can forget the pea soup and the infamous head spin. Definitely a cult classic.

So, fellow GeekWomen (and men) what are your favorite scary movies?

“Ray has gone bye-bye, Egon… what’ve you got left?” “Sorry, Venkman, I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.”

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12 thoughts on “A Look at 10 of the Greatest Halloween Movies of the (Mostly) 80s

  1. My daughter is 15 and when she turned 13, we started watching my favorites from when I was a teenager. I don’t think Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street aged well. We laughed more than anything. Lost Boys and Alien are still great though.

    This is a great list. I can’t think of anything I’d add.

  2. My daughter is 15 and when she turned 13, we started watching my favorites from when I was a teenager. I don’t think Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street aged well. We laughed more than anything. Lost Boys and Alien are still great though.

    This is a great list. I can’t think of anything I’d add.

  3. ‘Zombieland’ don’t count; far too recent. I’d replace it with ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’. Granted, neither Disney Productions nor Bradbury were excessively pleased with the movie — despite Bradbury writing the screenplay himself — on its initial release, but, damn, Jonathan Pryce nailed the role of Dark. His performance still creeps me out to this day.

    I like Freddy as an antagonist, but he was far too fantastic, not nearly believable enough for me. The gore was so over the top it became comical rather than scary. The original ‘Halloween’, on the other hand, scared a generation of potential babysitters out of a job. That came out at a time when the media glommed onto serial killers as if they were movie stars; Michael Meyers was all too real (right up until he started coming back again and again ad infinitum).

    Of course, if we can break the 80s Only rule, the I wanna add in ‘Shaun of the Dead’. It had just enough humor to take the edge off of the only monsters that still give me nightmares.

  4. ‘Zombieland’ don’t count; far too recent. I’d replace it with ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’. Granted, neither Disney Productions nor Bradbury were excessively pleased with the movie — despite Bradbury writing the screenplay himself — on its initial release, but, damn, Jonathan Pryce nailed the role of Dark. His performance still creeps me out to this day.

    I like Freddy as an antagonist, but he was far too fantastic, not nearly believable enough for me. The gore was so over the top it became comical rather than scary. The original ‘Halloween’, on the other hand, scared a generation of potential babysitters out of a job. That came out at a time when the media glommed onto serial killers as if they were movie stars; Michael Meyers was all too real (right up until he started coming back again and again ad infinitum).

    Of course, if we can break the 80s Only rule, the I wanna add in ‘Shaun of the Dead’. It had just enough humor to take the edge off of the only monsters that still give me nightmares.

  5. Good points. Unfortunately editors make errors–in this case, it was mine! Zombieland is totally not an 80s film. But I’ve fixed the title, and hopefully that works.

    Late nights scheduling posts with virtually no sleep is probably not the most brilliant of ideas… 😀

  6. Good points. Unfortunately editors make errors–in this case, it was mine! Zombieland is totally not an 80s film. But I’ve fixed the title, and hopefully that works.

    Late nights scheduling posts with virtually no sleep is probably not the most brilliant of ideas… 😀

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