Tons of ’80s Horror Movies Coming to Criterion Channel in October

Horror was having a new renaissance in the 1980s. That’s right, a new rebirth. (It’s not redundant if it’s true.) Embarking on a neo-capitalist hellscape in real life, turns out, led to some excellent and scary movies. While punks gave way to yuppies, movie gore effects became grosser than ever before. All of which mixed together to make one of the most interesting, and terrifying, decades for horror ever. A decade which the Criterion Channel will highlight in the month of October with 30 classic ’80s horror films from that all-important decade of cinematic scares.

This grouping of movies offers something for everyone. Slashers, weird psychosexual thrillers, creature features. Whatever Ken Russell’s The Lair of the White Worm purports to be. Some of these will be familiar to you, others will be discoveries. The best thing about them? They’re gruesome and great. If I had to recommend three to you I’d say: Richard Franklin’s Australian set game of vehicular cat and mouse Road Games; Amy Holden-Jones’ subversively sleazy slasher The Slumber Party Massacre; and Chuck Russell’s deliciously drippy remake of The Blob. All great. Criterion has, expectedly, done great work curating this roster.

The punk western vampires of Near Dark crest a hill and stand in backlit silhouette. '80s horror glory.
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

Here’s the whole list of ’80s horror movies coming to Criterion:

Inferno, Dario Argento, 1980
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne, Walerian Borowczyk, 1981
Dead & Buried, Gary Sherman, 1981
The House by the Cemetery, Lucio Fulci, 1981
The Funhouse, Tobe Hooper, 1981
Strange Behavior, Michael Laughlin, 1981
Wolfen, Michael Wadleigh, 1981
Scanners, David Cronenberg, 1981
Road Games, Richard Franklin, 1981
The Fan, Ed Bianchi, 1981
Basket Case, Frank Henenlotter, 1982
Next of Kin, Tony Williams, 1982
Cat People, Paul Schrader, 1982
Q: The Winged Serpent, Larry Cohen, 1982
The Slumber Party Massacre, Amy Holden Jones, 1982
The Keep, Michael Mann, 1983
The Hunger, Tony Scott, 1983 (not coming until November 1)
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, John McNaughton, 1986
The Hidden, Jack Sholder, 1987
Prince of Darkness, John Carpenter, 1987
White of the Eye, Donald Cammell, 1987
Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow, 1987
The Vanishing, George Sluizer, 1988
Brain Damage, Frank Henenlotter, 1988
Dream Demon, Harley Cokeliss, 1988
The Blob, Chuck Russell, 1988
Lair of the White Worm, Ken Russell, 1988
Vampire’s Kiss, Robert Bierman, 1988
Society, Brian Yuzna, 1989
Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Instagram and Letterboxd.

Top Stories
Trending Topics