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eighties horror you might have missed

1st Annual Horror Rental Guide

Whether you're wandering the aisles of your favorite video store or scrolling through Netflix's endless thumbnail grid, our rental guide can help you pick out great horror films this Halloween (and beyond). Since our blog is focused on 80s and late-70s horror, many of the films listed are from that period, but I've thrown in a couple recent titles as well. You can print out the handy 1-page PDF below and take it with you to the video store or just continue reading...



Most of the films I talk about on the Man Is the Warmest Place to Hide blog are lesser known, a little harder to find or requiring a little extra patience with budget and pacing - sometimes all of the above. That may not be the best place to start if you're new to the horror genre. Let's start off with some of the classics and essentials, covering the mid-70s to late 80s period. These are ones that you MUST see:

The Exorcist (1973)
Don't Look Now (1973)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Black Christmas (1974)
Jaws (1975)
Carrie (1976)
Suspiria (1977)
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Halloween (1978)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Alien (1979)
The Shining (1980)
Friday the 13th (1980)
Evil Dead (1981)
Scanners (1981)
The Howling (1981)
Halloween II (1981)
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
The Thing (1982)
Poltergeist (1982)
Creepshow (1982)
Videodrome (1983)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The Company of Wolves (1984)
Re-Animator (1985)
The Fly (1986)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986)
Henry: Portrait of  Serial Killer (1986)
Evil Dead II (1987)
Hellraiser (1987)
Near Dark (1987)

And  a few recent titles:
Grindhouse: Planet Terror (2007)
Let the Right One In (2008)
Orphan (2009)
House of the Devil (2009)
The Innkeepers (2011)

80s Horror You Might Have Missed

After watching enough horror, you start to dig for other things to watch; you get a little more adventurous (and permissive). The conventions, cliches and formulas of the genre are now familiar and slight deviations from the standard model become interesting. Call these B-movies or low-budget, but what we have here are some overlooked gems. Many of these have already been discussed on the blog, so click the title links if you need more convincing...

Maniac (1980)
Silent Scream (1980)
The Boogeyman (1980)
Piranha II: The Spawning (1981)
Final Exam (1981)
Just Before Dawn (1981)
Night School (1981)
The Entity (1982)
The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1982)
Girls Nite Out (1982)
The Sender (1982)
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Psycho II (1983)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
The Hitcher (1986)
From Beyond (1986)
Killer Party (1986)
Deadly Friend (1986)
Street Trash (1987)
The Kindred (1987; VHS only)
The Stepfather (1987)
Anguish (1987)
Maniac Cop (1988)
The Stepfather 2 (1989)

Available on Netflix Streaming
Carrie (1976)
The Fog (1980)
Friday the 13th (I-IX; 1980-1989)
Wolfen (1981)
The Burning (1981)
Deadly Blessing (1981)
Creepshow (1982)
C.H.U.D. (1984)
The Stuff (1985)
Hellraiser (1987)
Sleepaway Camp II (1988)
Leviathan (1989)


1. Ignore the cover art. It's incredible how much amazing VHS box art has been replaced with boring "updated" Photoshop montages and horrible digital typography.

2. Time of day matters when watching horror. This is a pretty subjective thing, but if you're watching a few horror movies in a row, chances are that some are going to work better during the daylight hours than others. My personal preference is to watch supernatural horror during the day and slashers at night.

3. Watch trailers between films. Did you know that there are DVDs containing nothing but horror and exploitation trailers? Some of the best examples are the 42nd Street Forever series from Synapse (now on Blu Ray) and the recently-released Trailer Wars from Drafthouse Films.

Thanks to Tanner Volz for helping put this year's list together!

Download the PDF


Where the hell are:

Fright Night (1985)?
Return of the Living Dead (1985)?
The Gate (1987)?
They Live (1988)?
Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)?
Child's Play (1988)?
Pet Sematary (1989)?

At least The Burning, C.H.U.D., and Leviathan snuck in at the end there...

Please cancel my subscription immediately :)

I knew you were going to give me a hard time about some of those, but totally forgot Serpent & The Rainbow. Might have to amend the list now!