10 Best 80s’ Horror Movies on Shudder UK | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Shudder is the go-to streaming service for anybody with an interest in the darker side of cinema. But as there are a lot of horror movies to choose from on this platform, knowing what to watch can sometimes be a little tricky.

Well, fear not! If you’re a horror fan, The ReviewGeek regularly reviews movies that are on Shudder, and we feature monthly previews that highlight the upcoming movies that we think are worth watching.

A short while ago, we compiled a list of our personal picks for the 10 best horror movies on Shudder UK from the 1970s.

In this article, we pick out the 10 best Shudder movies from the 1980s. Do you agree with our picks? Or have you seen another ’80s movie on Shudder that you think is worthy of a mention? Let us know in the comments below.

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

John Landis’ movie is arguably one of the scariest werewolf movies of all time. It’s also one of the funniest! It tells the story of an American student (David Naughton)  whose best friend Jack (Griffin Dunne) is killed by a marauding wolfman on the Yorkshire Moors. It’s a terrible tragedy but if the two had listened to the less-than-friendly folk at The Slaughtered Lamb (a pub best avoided), they would have avoided the hairy beast that was wandering around the countryside looking for its next prey.

The movie is full of sequences you are unlikely to forget, such as David’s horrific transformation into a werewolf and the dream-within-a-dream moment that could give you your own nightmares. The special effects courtesy of Rick Baker were ahead of their time upon the date of its release and they still look horrifically good today, over 40 years after this classic movie was made.

While you have probably seen An American Werewolf In London before, it’s always deserving of a rewatch, especially as very few werewolf movies since (including the belated sequel An American Werewolf in Parishave surpassed the hair-raising frights of this blackly comic masterpiece.

Hellraiser (1987)

Is there a scarier villain in all of horror cinema than Pinhead? Possibly, but at the time of this movie’s release, he was far scarier than Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, and all of the other horrific figures that loomed large on VHS cassette covers around the country.

Based on Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart, this chilling movie springs terrifyingly into life when a man opens a mystical puzzle box that he bought while abroad and inadvertently opens a gateway to hell. From the box come the Cenobites, a group of sadomasochistic demons, and their leader, Pinhead, who wreak all kinds of terrible havoc when they enter our realm.

Hellraiser is one of the most disturbing movies of the last 30 years due to the gruesome scenes of gore and weird sexual imagery. The sequels failed to capture the menace of this horror masterpiece although the recent remake was a partial success due to the creative talents behind and in front of the camera.

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

If you go down to the woods today, you’ll be in for a big surprise…especially if you enter a desolate cabin and foolishly play an audiotape containing passages from the Book Of The Dead! There is no Teddy Bears picnic in this movie!!

The main protagonists of Evil Dead 2, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler), regret their decision to spend a few days in a solitary cabin after they accidentally unleash a bunch of evil spirits from that ancient tome. All hell is let loose – quite literally – and Ash is left to fend for himself after Linda is possessed by the demons that crawl their way into the real world. It’s a good job he has a chainsaw handy to take these foul beasts down!

Sam Raimi’s movie is a remake of the earlier 1981 movie but this time around, he plays scenes for laughs as well as for scares. Bruce Campbell’s star status rose rapidly after the success of this gruesome classic and he returned to the character of Ash several more times throughout his career, in movies, TV shows, and video games. Groovy!

Children Of The Corn (1984)

This Stephen King adaptation is no classic of the ‘creepy children’ genre but it’s infinitely better than the sequels and remakes that came after it. The movie stars Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton as a young couple on a road trip, who inadvertently get themselves into a lot of trouble when they stop off at the small Nebraskan town of Gatlin to report a murder.

The town seems deserted but it’s not long before they come into contact with a boy preacher named Isaac and the other children of his murderous cult who believe every person over the age of 18 should be killed! This explains why there are no adults around, other than the two unlucky road trippers who are destined to be sacrificed to a diabolical deity known as ‘The One Who Walks Behind The Rows.’

The original short story from King’s anthology Night Shift is superior to this adaptation but there’s still something unnerving about watching a group of children with an appetite for murder. John Franklin, who was actually 23 years of age when he took on the role of cult leader Isaac, is particularly menacing, and he’s partly the reason why this ghoulish movie has gained a bit of a cult following over the years.

Demons (1985)

When you go to watch a horror movie in the movie theatre, you don’t expect to come face-to-face with anything more horrific than an inconsiderate customer sitting next to you with a mouthful of popcorn and no consideration of your need for personal space. But in this movie from Italian horror director Lamberto Bava, the cinemagoers have bigger things to worry about when the demons they see on the big screen come to life around them.

Real life imitates art in this terrifying and gory movie that will please any fan of violent horror due to the throat-ripping, eye-gouging, and copious amounts of blood-letting that takes place within the theatre. We pity the poor staff members who had to clean up afterward!

The special effects in this movie are fantastic and so too is the soundtrack (if you’re a fan of heavy metal). The plot is pretty thin and the acting is sometimes ropey but once the bloody massacre begins and limbs start flying, you won’t have time to think about the weaknesses within this memorably gruesome movie.

Alligator (1980)

It’s an urban myth that there are alligators in the New York sewers so you shouldn’t have to worry about your toes getting bitten off if ever you visit the city. This isn’t the case for the characters in Lewis Teague’s Chicago-set movie, however, as an alligator, that years before was flushed down the loo when it was a baby, threatens to eat them whole after growing to ginormous size after munching on the discarded lab dogs (which had been injected with growth hormones) that had been chucked into the sewers.

After the giant beast escapes its underground confines, it goes on to leave a trail of terror around the Windy City as it wanders through the streets, crashes through garden parties, and gobbles down anybody that dares to get in its way.

Alligator isn’t particularly scary as it is largely played for laughs but it will certainly make you think twice before flushing a goldfish down the loo that may well come back to bite you on the bum when you’re about to do your business!


The Changeling (1980)

Legendary actor George C. Scott stars in this spine-chilling supernatural movie as John Russell, a music professor who moves into a long-vacant Seattle mansion to ‘get away from it all’ after his wife and daughter are killed in a tragic road accident.

Not long after moving in, he realizes he has an unwelcome house guest. Unfortunately, it’s not a cockroach that has been lying in wait beneath the floorboards! Sharing his home is the spirit of a boy who was killed decades before and after making this discovery, Russell is drawn into a mystery involving the child’s murder.

At a time when many directors relied on violence and gore to freak out movie audiences, The Changeling was something of a refreshing surprise. Instead of swamping the screen with endless scenes of bloodletting, director Peter Medak took a more subtle approach and used frightening noises and dark shadows to create a very chilling atmosphere.

The movie is full of moments that will haunt you long after the credits have rolled, including one scene where Russell’s daughter’s red ball inexplicably bounces down the mansion’s grand staircase, which is of a big surprise to the startled professor as he had thrown it off the edge of a bridge just a short while before.

Scanners (1981)

In David Cronenberg’s head-popping movie, a man with an advanced telepathic ability known as ‘scanning’ is tasked with tracking down a renegade Scanner who is waging war on the human race. As you’ll already know if you’re familiar with this movie, this dangerous Scanner (played by Michael Ironside) disposes of his victims in increasingly horrible ways, with one scene featuring a conference leader whose head violently explodes in graphic fashion. Magneto was never this cruel in the X-Men movies!

Scanners made more money than Cronenberg’s other movies did at the box office as it had more mainstream appeal than his previous titles which were geared more towards the midnight movie crowd than general movie audiences. Lead actor Stephen Lack is miscast in the role of the ‘good’ Scanner who goes up against Ironside’s human detonator! But it’s not really the performances that matter in this smarter-than-usual splatterfest as it’s the stunning special effects that make this mindblowing movie a must-see.


Creepshow 2 (1987)

Joining the list of other Stephen King adaptations of the 1980s – including The Dead Zone, Cujo, and the aforementioned Children Of The Corn – is this anthology movie that features three segments based on the author’s works and one wraparound story involving a bullied kid who stumbles across the latest issue of the Creepshow comic which is a trigger for the stories that follow.

In ‘Old Chief Wood’nhead, an Indian statue comes to life and carries out bloody revenge on a group of thugs. In ‘The Raft,’ four college students take a raft out onto the lake and discover something nasty beneath the water. And in the third story, ‘The Hitch-hiker,’ a woman is haunted by a man that she left for dead after hitting him with her car.

Creepshow 2 isn’t as good as the original Creepshow, which isn’t currently available on Shudder in the UK. But the stories within the anthology provide enough gruesome moments to please any fan of King’s original works of fiction.

In Search Of Darkness (2019-2022)

In Search of Darkness isn’t an 80s movie so apologies if you were expecting a 10th and final movie title on our ‘best of’ list. But if you are a fan of 80s Horror cinema, the three documentaries that make up the In Search Of Darkness series are well worth a watch. Each doc is over 4 hours long but so good are they, that you will probably wish they could have been longer.

Hundreds of movies are discussed within the 12-hour + total runtime, some of which you will be familiar with – The Fog, Friday the 13th, The Shining  – and many of which you probably won’t. Have you heard of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers? Or Cellar Dweller? Or Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker? I certainly hadn’t but after watching these docs, I was inspired to watch a few that I had missed, including that latter movie which tells the tale of a teenage boy whose life is dominated by his very possessive aunt. I highly recommend it.

With movie clips, interviews with actors and directors, and discussions with modern-day filmmakers inspired by the 80s horror movies that are showcased, there is much to enjoy for any genre fan.

So, there we have it. Our list of the top 10 best 80s horror movies on Shudder (or top 9 and 3 amazing docs) that The Review Geek recommends. Do you agree with our picks? Let us know in the comments below. 

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