Top 50 Highest-Grossing 1980s Horror Filmsby IMDb-Editors | last updated - 05 Oct 2017
Check out the horror films - including comedy horror - that ruled the U.S. box office in the 1980s.
50. The Howling (1981)
Domestic Gross: $17,985,893
Plot: After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.
49. The Believers (1987)
Domestic Gross: $18,753,438
Plot: A New York psychiatrist finds that a satanic cult, which believes in child sacrifice, has a keen interest in his own son.
48. The Seventh Sign (1988)
Plot: Around the world, the signs of the apocalypse - as outlined in the Book of Revelation - seem to be coming to pass in the wake of a mysterious wanderer. Father Lucci, the Vatican Emissary assigned to investigate, dismisses the occurrences as natural, but Abby Quinn, a young American woman, has reason to fear they're real, and that the unfolding events may spell disaster for her unborn child.
47. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Domestic Gross: $19,170,001
Plot: Years after Tommy Jarvis chained him underwater at Camp Crystal Lake, the dormant Jason Voorhees returns to the camp grounds when he is accidentally released from his prison by a telekinetic teenager.
46. House (1985)
Domestic Gross: $19,444,631
Plot: A troubled writer moves into a haunted house after inheriting it from his aunt.
45. Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
Domestic Gross: $19,472,057
Plot: Tommy Jarvis goes to the graveyard to get rid of Jason Voorhees' body once and for all, but inadvertently brings him back to life instead. The newly revived killer once again seeks revenge, and Tommy may be the only one who can defeat him.
44. The Serpent and the Rainbow (198)
Domestic Gross: $19,595,031
Plot: An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people into zombies.
43. The Thing (1982)
Domestic Gross: $19,629,760
Plot: A research facility in Antarctica comes across an alien force that can become anything it touches with 100% accuracy. The members must now find out who's human and who's not before it's too late.
42. Altered States (1980)
Domestic Gross: $19,853,892
Plot: A Harvard scientist conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically.
41. The Fly II (1989)
Domestic Gross: $20,021,322
Plot: The almost-human son of "Brundlefly" searches for a cure to his mutated genes while being monitored by a nefarious corporation that wishes to continue his father's experiments.
40. The Final Conflict: Omen III (1981)
Domestic Gross: $20,471,382
Plot: The now adult Antichrist plots to eliminate his future divine opponent while a cabal of monks plot to stop him.
39. Jaws IV: The Revenge (1987)
Domestic Gross: $20,763,013
Plot: Chief Brody's widow believes that her family is deliberately being targeted by another shark in search of revenge.
38. The Dead Zone (1983)
Domestic Gross: $20,766,616
Plot: A man awakens from a coma to discover he has a psychic ability.
37. Christine (1983)
Domestic Gross: $21,017,849
Plot: A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.
36. Creepshow (1982)
Domestic Gross: $21,028,755
Plot: An anthology which tells five terrifying tales based on the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s.
35. Cujo (1983)
Domestic Gross: $21,156,152
Plot: Cujo, a friendly St. Bernard, contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.
34. The Fog (1980)
Domestic Gross: $21,378,361
Plot: Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers, which no one believes. On the eve of the town's centennial, many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers.
33. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Domestic Gross: $21,722,776
Plot: Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant.
32. Friday the 13th - Part V (1985)
Domestic Gross: $21,930,418
Plot: Still haunted by his past, Tommy Jarvis - who, as a child, killed Jason Voorhees - wonders if the serial killer is connected to a series of brutal murders occurring in and around the secluded halfway house where he now lives.
31. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
Domestic Gross: $22,168,359
Plot: The pregnant Alice finds Freddy Krueger striking through the sleeping mind of her unborn child, hoping to be reborn into the real world.
30. Ghost Story (1981)
Domestic Gross: $23,371,905
Plot: Two generations of men find themselves haunted by the presence of a spectral woman. When the son of one of the elderly men returns to his hometown after his brother's mysterious death, they attempt to unravel her story.
29. Fright Night (1985)
Domestic Gross: $24,922,237
Plot: When a teenager learns that his next door neighbour is a vampire, no one will believe him.
28. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Domestic Gross: $25,504,513
Plot: Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.
27. Halloween II (1981)
Domestic Gross: $25,533,818
Plot: While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for Michael Myers, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the serial killer is not far behind her.
26. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
Domestic Gross: $29,450,919
Plot: Four horror and science fiction segments, directed by four famous directors, each of them being a new version of a classic story from Rod Serling's landmark television series.
25. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
Domestic Gross: $29,999,213
Plot: A teenage boy is haunted in his dreams by Freddy Krueger who is out to possess him in order to continue his murder spree in the real world.
24. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Domestic Gross: $30,565,292
Plot: Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
23. The Lost Boys (1987)
Domestic Gross: $32,222,567
Plot: After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.
22. Friday the 13th: Final Chapter (1984)
Domestic Gross: $32,980,880
Plot: After being mortally wounded and taken to the morgue, murderer Jason Voorhees spontaneously revives and embarks on a killing spree as he makes his way back to his home at Camp Crystal Lake.
21. Teen Wolf (1985)
Domestic Gross: 33,086,611
Plot: An ordinary high school student discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself turning into a werewolf.
20. Child's Play (1988)
Domestic Gross: $33,244,684
Plot: A single mother gives her son a much sought after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.
19. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Domestic Gross: $34,581,519
Plot: Having revived from his wound, Jason Voorhees takes refuge at a cabin near Crystal Lake. As a group of co-eds arrive for their vacation, Jason continues his killing spree.
18. Psycho II (1983)
Domestic Gross: $34,725,000
Plot: After 22 years of psychiatric care, Norman Bates attempts to return to a life of solitude, but the spectres of his crimes - and his mother - continue to haunt him.
17. Friday the 13th (1980)
Domestic Gross: $39,754,601
Plot: A group of camp counselors are 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.
16. The Fly (1980)
Domestic Gross: $40,456,565
Plot: A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.
15. Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)
Domestic Gross: $40,996,665
Plot: The Freeling family have a new house, but their troubles with supernatural forces don't seem to be over.
14. The Shining (1980)
Domestic Gross: $44,017,374
Plot: 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.
13. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Domestic Gross: $44,793,222
Plot: A psychiatrist familiar with knife-wielding dream demon Freddy Krueger helps teens at a mental hospital battle the killer who is invading their dreams.
12. Jaws 3-D (1983)
Domestic Gross: $45,517,055
Plot: The sons of police chief Brody must protect civilians at a SeaWorld theme park after a 35-foot shark becomes trapped in the park with them.
11. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
Domestic Gross: $49,369,899
Plot: The last girl from Elm Street is still bothered by dreams about Freddy; soon he returns and kills her, but before she died she wills her power to a new friend.
10. Pet Sematary (1989)
Domestic Gross: $57,469,467
Plot: Behind a young family's home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable.
9. Predator (1987)
Domestic Gross: $59,735,548
Plot: A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior.
8. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Domestic Gross: $63,766,510
Plot: Three single women in a picturesque village have their wishes granted - at a cost - when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives.
7. Beetlejuice (1988)
Domestic Gross: $73,707,461
Plot: When a recently-deceased ghost couple find their now-vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they hire a sleazy ghost who gets rid of humans to help them.
6. Poltergeist (1982)
Domestic Gross: $76,606,280
Plot: A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.
5. The Golden Child (1986)
Domestic Gross: $79,817,937
Plot: A private detective specializing in missing children is charged with the task of finding a special child who dark forces want to eliminate.
4. Aliens (1986)
Domestic Gross: $85,160,248
Plot: 57 years later, Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team during her hypersleep. The moon from the original movie has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?
3. Ghostbusters II (1989)
Domestic Gross: $112,494,738
Plot: The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business.
2. Gremlins (1984)
Domestic Gross: $148,168,459
Plot: A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.