ByKate Arrigan, writer at
I have an love for horror films and movie trivia
Kate Arrigan

The1980's was the decade of horror films and the start of some of the major horror franchise films such as The Evil Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser and Childs Play. This list will be like the last just a list of the films from the 80's that I have enjoyed over the years and some information about the films budgeting and gross profit. I will again also include videos/trailers relating to these films and I will speak about their remakes if applicable.

Lets start from the start..

The Shining- 1980

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. - IMDB

This is a classic Stanley Kubrick film starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. And is an adaption of a Stephen King novel of the same name.

This films shows what isolation does to the mind. Jack is trying to work on a novel and he just snaps, the film focuses around Jack and his family. Danny is Jacks son and he is the one with "The Shining" a sort of mental ability that allows him to communicate with Dick Hallorann when Danny is in trouble.

When the film was finished and Stephen King saw it, he was disappointed in the final product. King said he loved the visuals but the story had no substance, "Like a fancy car without an engine"

The Shining had a budget of $19,000,000 and its total dometsic lifetime grossing was $44,017,374.

This film had so much "paranormal" and "suspicious" circumstances that surrounded it that a documentary was made about the film and the production and all that surrounded it called Room 237 in 2012.

Trivia: It took three days and sixty doors to films the "Heeeerreeesss Johnny" scene.

Halloween 2- 1981

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.- IMDB

Halloween 2 is the 1981 sequel to Halloween 1978. This is continuation of the first film where we find Laurie Strode in hospital reeling from the aftermath of coming face-to-face with the bogeyman. This sequel also stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence. This sequel was not directed by John Carpenter but by Rick Rosenthal. Rosenthal used the same storyline for this film. In this film you can see the residents of Haddonfield reel from the incidents that occoured on Halloween night with the finding of the teenagers bodies (Annie, Bob and Linda).

Halloween 2 had a bigger budget than Halloween, the budget this time was estimated at around $2,500,00. Even though the whole film was set inside the hospital it game them the chance to pay the actors more money for their work.

The same mask was used in this film as was used in the first, it had to be repainted due to a number of reasons so that is why it looks somewhat different but it still is the Captain Kirk mask from Halloween 1978.

This would be the last time you would see Michael Myers until Halloween 4 in 1988.

The Evil Dead - 1981

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons. - IMDB

The Evil Dead tells the story of Ash and his friends who go to a cabin in the woods and they find a book. This book is the "Book of the Dead" which is opened and releases an evil amongst the friends. The main star of this franchise is Ash who is played by Bruce Campbell.

The Evil Dead has become a cult classics amongst all generations that have watched it. Its sequels went on to become just as popular but became more about the spoof and the comedy rather than the horror, but that suited the films and Bruce Campbells style of acting. As of 2015 Bruce Campbell will reprise his role as Ash in "Ash vs The Evil Dead" a ten episode horror/comedy TV show.

The Evil Dead had a budget of $375,000 and its Domestic Total Gross: $2,400,000.

The following scene scared the living shit out of me for years afterwards..

Poltergeist- 1982

A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts. - IMDB

Poltergeist is centered around the Freeling family. The family was a mother, a father and three children Dana, Robbie and Carol Anne.

One night Carol Anne communicates with spirits through the static on the television and she lets something into their world. After the family start experiencing strange happenings in the house Carol Anne is taken by the spirits to another world through her bedroom closet. Afterwards the family learn that their house was built on an ancient native american burriel ground and that they are the spirits that have taken Carol Anne. We see these corpses when Mrs Freeling falls into the dig out for the family's new swimming pool.

The family bring in Tangina who is played by Zelda Rubenstein. After the mother Diane Freeling travels into the closet to the other world to save Carol Anne they are reunited and the family are forced to leave the house as it is sucked into a black hole.

Poltergeist is one of the films that is considered to have a curse on the set because of terrible things that happened before, during and after filming. The film went on to have two sequels after the original film in 1982.

The budget for Poltergeist was Budget: $10,700,000 and its domestic total gross was $76,606,280.

Trivia: Some of the terrible things that have happened that is associated with the films are: The skeletons that are used in the mucky pool scene were real skeletons. People thought it was the skeletons that brought all the bad luck.

The actress that played the older girl Dana (Dominique Dunne) was strangled to death by her ex boyfriend just after filming the first film.

Just after filming the second film and before the filming of the third film the actress who played Carol Anne (Heather O' Rourke) died from a cardiac arrest that she suffered in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and died on the operating table when she arrived at the hospital.

Other things that occurred happened to producers and crew members which spooked them out.

Poltergeist was remade in 2015 and made a good attempt at keeping to the script and the screenplay of the original film, some aspects of the film stayed the same but the family's name was changed and so were their characters names.

A Nightmare on Elm Street - 1984

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. When 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. - IMDB

Freddy Kruger and A Nightmare on Elm Street is the reason some people have insomnia and sleep in fear. This Wes Craven classic stars a young Johnny Depp. A Nightmare on Elm Street was made after the success of Halloween in 1978 with that being a low budget film, Wes Craven knew it would be possible to produce a good low budget horror film in the 80's and center it around teenagers and promiscuity.

This film was different to other slasher killer films as Freddy Kruger came for you in your dreams. When you are in that state of slumber and lovely dream could turn into a deadly nightmare and the end of your life. These teens spent their nights trying to stay awake or if they dared to dream they would be in a game of survivor or they would have to fight to the death and hopefully not their own deaths.

A Nightmare on Elm Streets budget was an estimated $1,800,000 and it grossed $25,504,513 in total.

A Nightmare on Elm Street had 4 sequels and a remake between 1985 and 2010. In 2010 a remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street which had a $27,000,000 budget and grossed in total $63,059,655 in the United States.

Trivia: A Nightmare on elm Street took 30 days to film.

Robert Englund (Freddy Kruger) has less than 7 minutes of screen time.

The Evil Dead 2- 1987

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holds up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack. - IMDB

The Evil Dead 2 is the sequel to The Evil Dead 1981. This shows the return of Ash this is a continuation from Evil Dead 1981. This is where the Evil Dead franchise became a comedy/ horror genre rather than just plain horror.

Evil Dead 2 had a budget of $3,600,000 and its total gross was $5,923,044.


An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; demons are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.-IMDB

This first of the franchise film was directed by Clive Barker. The film centers around this puzzle box that is bought by Frank in Morocco. The box demands blood and flesh and after Frank solves the puzzle and is turn apart his lover Julia picks up men at bars to bring home for Frank to feast on to keep him alive.

This film spawned more in the franchise ranging from 1987-2011.

Hellraisers budget was $1,000,000 and it grossed $14,564,027 in the United States.

The Lost Boys- 1987

After moving to a new town, two brothers are convinced that the area is frequented by vampires. - IMDB

The Lost Boys was THE Vampire movie of the 80's. Every woman just fell head over heals for Jason Patric.

The films story is of Michael and Sam who move to a new town and try and make new friends. As Michael (Jason Patric) falls in with David (Keifer Sutherland) and his gang of friends which turn out to be vampires. On the other hand Michaels brother Sam (Corey Haim) befriends Edgar (Corey Feldman) who is obsessed with comics and vampires and tried to convince Sam that his brother and his friends are vampires.

The Lost Boys grossed over $32,222,567 in the United States.

Child's Play- 1988

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.- IMDB

Charles Lee Ray is a serial killer who, after being caught by the cops inside a toy store transfers his soul into a Good Guy Doll using the heat of demballa through voodoo.

While Charles is Chuckie the doll he continues his murderous rampage while trying to find a human vessel to transfer his soul into.

Child's Play spawned a number of sequels. Two sequels under the Child's Play name and Two others titled "The Bride of Chucky" and "The seed of Chucky" between 1990 and 2004.

In 2013 they released another film belong to the Chucky franchise titled "The curse of Chucky".

Child's Play had a budget of $9,000,000 and grossed a total of $33,244,684 in the United States.

This is my list for the films that I enjoyed from the 1980's. Next in my series will be my films from the 1990's.


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