The '80s truly were the heyday for horror movies. From A Nightmare on Elm Street to Poltergeist, some of the greatest movies in the genre were released in the '80s. Many relatively unknown directors made their name in decade, unleashing movies that have stood the test of time.
It was a unique era of horror, one of practical effects and genuine terror. As filmmakers hadn't become so reliant on jumpscares, real effort was put in to make sure that audiences had a hard time getting to sleep after leaving the theatre. This resulted in some of the most memorable scares in cinema history.
The sheer wealth of options meant narrowing it down to just ten proved difficult, with many memorable scenes being left on the cutting room floor. Billy's fatal encounter with the titular creature in Predator, and Jason's shocking return in the original Friday the 13th are just some of the amazing moments that got beat out.
The moments that did make it, however, are gripping works of horror that are terrifying to no end. These scenes have stood the test of time, becoming iconic in their own right through their striking imagery and well-timed scares. Even today, they are able to chill the audience's blood.
We don't need Hollywood's latest, when we've got these frightening gems to watch again.
10. The Transformation - An American Werewolf In London
With An American Werewolf in London, director John Landis successfully blends horror and comedy, a task that many have failed to do. After all, lean too hard in one direction, and the whole movie falls apart.
While the humor here is great in this entry, it's the horror that lands it on this list. In particular, the innovative body horror.
The transformation scene, in which David violently metamorphoses into a werewolf, is gross in all the best ways. Achieved entirely through practical effects, it is impressive just how convincing each body contortion is. It all feels so real.
The practical effects aren't the only the reason the transformation is so horrifying, the striking use of sound is also wince-inducing. The sounds of David screaming and his bones cracking and morphing into shape are haunting. They effectively sell the pain that a transformation such as this would cause.
It's an impressive scene, but one that is extremely difficult to watch.