Rayzor’s Top 10 Horror Films: 1988 Edition

It is so close to the end I can taste it! But will this end in time for Thanksgiving? I hope so.  Well, no I didn’t, but here it is.

1988 is arguably the biggest year for horror in the 1980s and widely considered the year of the sequel. Many big franchises we know and love today got sequels. We’re talking Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Phantasm, Critters, Poltergeist, The Howling, Fright Night and Hellraiser. 1988 also brought new faces to the genre, Child’s Play, Pumpkinhead, a Blob remake and more. Yes, this was a huge year for the 1980s and horror.

For most of these, you can toss them in a hat and pull out the number 1 of 1988. I bet everyone’s favorite of 1988 is different. I feel like anyone who knows me, knows it is obvious what my #1 for 1988 is. Well, stick around and find out.

10. Killer Klowns from Outerspace (1988)

Who doesn’t love Killer Klowns?  It is really such a goofy film with really good effects.  But it is such a fun movie and yeah it is totally a party movie to gather some friend and watch a silly horror comedy.  I really do wish sometime after this was released we could have gotten a sequel from the Chiodo brothers.  I don’t know how popular Killer Klowns was upon its release, I did not see it until cable, but I know now it is a cult favorite.

9. Critters 2: The Main Course (1988)

I swear the 1980s had some really fun movies.  Critters 2 is a sequel that I think outshines the original film.  It levels up the comedy, even with the bounty hunters.  It is one of the movies that is a much watch for an Easter horror film.  We get a really get, death of an Easter Bunny scene.  But when the Critter take over a fast food joint, hilarious.  But the best part has to be the end, the Critters fuse together and make a giant Critter ball, it is so unexpected and awesome!

8. Night of the Demons (1988)

Night of the Demons is one of the very best Halloween movies for the Halloween season.  Late 80s teens partying where they don’t belong, a “haunted house”.  Angela gets possessed by a demon and all hell breaks loose.  Boobs, beasts and blood!  Linnea Quigley gives one of her most memorable performances.  Overall it is a ton of fun with an amazing opening animation and a great ending.

7. Phantasm II (1988)

Some make a strong argument this is the superior Phantasm film, even to the original.  But I say, it is an excellent second chapter in a 5 chapter film.  Reggie is so damn awesome in this movie and he really steps up more than ever.  My chief complaint is rather small, but I hate the studio recasting of Mike, I can not see the pervert from one episode of Friends when I see the guy.  But other than that Phantasm is a top notch sequel.

6. Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood (1988)

Well, I think every list has had a Friday the 13th movie, well if there was one released in the year of the list.  I think The New Blood is underrated a little.  It is fun, Jason looks great and even though most of the kills are cut down thanks to the MPAA, it still has some great kills, Melissa being my highlight.  Tina is an ok character and I get why they made a Jason vs Carrie type of movie, he finally gets a worthy opponent with powers.  I still say Tommy Jarvis is worthy, stopped Jason twice and Roy once.

5. Child’s Play (1988)

There has been a bit of debate around which is better, Child’s Play or Child’s Play 2?  It doesn’t matter, both movies are pretty great.  But, I am gonna tell you Child’s Play is better.  There are so many iconic scenes in the first movie, “Aunt Maggie’s a bitch”, the battery discovery and a burnt up doll coming for everyone.  Child’s Play made the killer dolls more scary than ever.

4. The Blob (1988)

Wow, the Blob from 1988 is so much better than the original film.  The story is pretty simple, but the effects are so damned good.  I remember seeing this when I was about 8 or 9 and it actually freaked me out.  When the blob is running through the town, it was kind of terrifying.  Once the blob gets on you, you’re screwed and that is pretty damned scary.  I cannot speak too high on these effects, so great.

3. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

If not for the next two movies, Halloween 4 would lead the way for 1988 sequels.  The film begins with the perfect opening credits setting up the feeling of fall.  Sure there are some issues with the movie, Michael Myers looks odd, but Ellie Cornell carries this movie along with Donald Pleasence.  Halloween 4 may be the second best sequel of all Halloween films, some may argue the 2018 is better, not for me.  I saw Halloween 4 in 1988 and I was obsessed.

2. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

As I said about Child’s Play, Hellbound could arguably be better than Hellraiser.  But, I can’t do that, I love both and they work perfectly together.  Hellraiser II has some of the great scenes in the series.  It is a hard job topping the resurrection scene of Frank from the original film, but this one is a close second.  Doctor Channard is a great villain and while Julia seems to be the main antagonist, Channard is wicked and obsessive.  Great movie and a great follow-up.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Ah, comfort.  Dream Master gets kicked in the dick by horror fans constantly.  It is better than most give it credit and I don’t understand why.  Dream Warriors is great and honestly, I think that is why Dream Master gets harsh reviews, but it is good and fun and the most MTV and well, that is why people treat it like shit.  I love it, I have so many fond memories of watching the commercials and the Vinnie Vincent invasion leading up to the release.  I think this was the first movie I came up with fan theories, I was 8.  Dream Master is 100% my favorite sequel of the Elm Street films and my favorite of 1988.

We have one more year to go and were done wit the 1980s…finally.  But you know we want to know your favorites of 1988.  Drop a comment on our Facebook page to let us know.

About Ray Marek III 641 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)