Top 15 Horror Movies of 1989

Yes, it is list time!  As we enter 2019, why not look back on horror films from 30 years ago?

The decade of the sequels was winding down and it seemed like studios were already seeing the writing on the wall.  1988 was a great year in horror and kind of wrapped up the decade of the 80s nicely with good entries in long running horror franchises.  1989, well that was a different animal and offered some of the worst sequels of these long running franchises, which all make this list.  Overall, if you look back at 1989 is was a great year in film, with plenty of movies, Batman, Ghostbusters II and so many others being released.  You could see as we head into the 1990s, things did not look to promising for horror.


There are some great picks in this bunch overall.  So, check out our list, ranked based off their score.  Placed in order from the lowest score to the highest, which was on 6.6 of 10.  There are a few left off the list, too big the question, “Is it horror?”  So, these without a doubt are horror.  We kick off the list with an award winning film director’s favorite…He knows who he is.

15. C.H.U.D. II Bud the Chud 3.9

May 5, 1989

A couple of teenagers break into a secret government science lab and steal a frozen corpse for a high school prank and accidentally awaken the corpse which turns out to be a CHUD, ironically named Bud, who goes on a killing spree and making his victims also cannibalistic CHUD’s and its up to the teens to stop him.

14. Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan 4.8

July 28, 1989

During the Graduation of a High School Senior Class, The Class takes a Boat to New York City known as the SS Lazarus, One of the Students is a Girl known as Rennie who has visions of Jason Vorhees as a Child. The Ship sets sail but Awakens Jason in the Process. He enters the Ship and begins killing off the Students. The Boat Arrives to New York City and Jason begins to chase Rennie and her love interest Sean. It’s now up to the Teenage Couple to stop Jason before he begins killing the Citizens of The Big Apple.

13. The Fly II 5.0

February 10. 1989

Anton Bartok (Lee Richardson), the CEO of a research laboratory, acts as the self-appointed guardian of orphan Martin Brundle, whose father had been a researcher at the lab. Though Martin is scarcely five, he has the appearance of a 20-year-old (Eric Stoltz) because of mutant insectoid genes in his system. Martin grows up confined to the laboratory, unaware of his true nature, with only pretty scientist Beth Logan (Daphne Zuniga) to call a friend. Soon, the fly within begins to emerge.

12. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child 5.1

August 11, 1989

The fifth installment of the popular franchise focuses on Alice (Lisa Wilcox), a survivor of the fourth, who believes Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has been eliminated for good. She optimistically hopes to start a life with fellow survivor Dan (Danny Hassel). The nightmares begin soon enough, though, and Alice learns she is pregnant. When her friends start dying, Alice suspects that Freddy is using the fetus within her as a weapon. Can she fight the demon while protecting her unborn child?

11. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers 5.2

October 13, 1989

After lying in a coma for a year, Michael Myers (Donald L. Shanks) awakens and stalks his way back to his small hometown in Illinois, intent on killing his niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris), who has been confined to a mental institution since Michael’s last attempt to slay her. Suspecting a psychic link between Michael and Jamie, psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) joins forces with Sheriff Ben Meeker (Beau Starr) and attempts to stop Michael’s latest rampage.

10. Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland 5.3

August 4, 1989

Psychotic Angela (Pamela Springsteen) is itching to do what she does best: slaughter dozens of teenage campers. As luck would have it, the previous site of her murders has been renamed and converted into an experimental summer camp meant to bring together privileged and lower-class teens. On the day the youths are boarding the buses to camp, Angela runs over a potential camper with a garbage truck and assumes her identity. Once she has infiltrated the camp, the real terror begins.

9. Shocker 5.4

October 27, 1989

After being captured for a series of gruesome murders, Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi), a television repairman, faces execution by the electric chair — but a deal with the devil allows him to come back as electricity. Once he changes into his new form, Pinker goes after the detective that brought him down, Lt. Don Parker (Michael Murphy), as well as Parker’s adopted son, Jonathan (Peter Berg). However, Jonathan’s mysterious connection to Pinker through dreams might help track the killer’s moves.

8. Puppet Master 5.7

October 12, 1989

Assailed by nightmarish visions, Alex Whitaker (Paul Le Mat) and his fellow psychics descend on the Bodega Bay Inn. There, they discover that their compatriot Neil (Jimmie F. Scaggs) has apparently committed suicide. But, as the gruesome visions continue, they sense that there’s still something sinister afoot. When they find themselves hunted by a band of homicidal marionettes created by twisted puppeteer Andre Toulon (William Hickey), they discover they’re right.

7. The House of Clocks 5.8


Three lowlife punks are trapped in a posh villa while trying to rob it and become at the mercy of the murderous owners whom have the power to stop and reverse time via their mystical clocks.

6. Warlock 6.2

May 1989 (Cannes)

***Warlock was released wide in January 1991, but released at Cannes film festival and Australia and UK in June 1989.***

In 17th-century New England, witch hunter Giles Redferne (Richard E. Grant) captures an evil warlock (Julian Sands), but the conjurer eludes death with supernatural help. Flung into the future, the warlock winds up in the 1980s and plans to bring about the end of the world. Redferne follows the enchanter into the modern era and continues his mission, but runs into trouble in such unfamiliar surroundings. With the help of a young woman (Lori Singer), can Redferne finally defeat the warlock?

5. The Church 6.2

March 10, 1989

An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.

4. Parents 6.2

January 27, 1989

Ten-year-old Michael Laemle (Bryan Madorsky) senses that something is not quite right with his family. Sure, his mother, Lily (Mary Beth Hurt), is the perfect 1950s housewife, and they have a comfortable life in the suburbs, where his dad, Nick (Randy Quaid), works at a mortuary. But what’s with the enormous cuts of meat that his father brings home every night? What, or whom, do they come from? Michael takes his concerns to a school counselor (Sandy Dennis) who decides to come over for dinner.

3. Intruder 6.3

January 13, 1989

A checkout clerk (Elizabeth Cox) and her night-crew co-workers have a killer in their grocery store.

2. Society 6.5

1989 (London) June 11, 1992 (US)

***Another film released later in the US, it was a success in the UK, but was shelved in the US for 3 years.***

The teenager Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock) feels misfit with his parents and his sister Jenny Whitney (Patrice Jennings). When his sister’s boyfriend David Blanchard (Tim Bartell) bugs his family, he shows the disturbing tapes to Bill showing incest and a weird society. When Blanchard dies in a car accident, Bill decides to investigate his family and find a scary truth.

1.  Pet Sematary 6.6

April 21, 1989

Doctor Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) moves his family to Maine, where he meets a friendly local named Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne). After the Creeds’ cat is accidentally killed, Crandall advises Louis to bury it in the ground near the old pet cemetery. The cat returns to life, its personality changed for the worse. When Louis’ son, Gage (Miko Hughes), dies tragically, Louis decides to bury the boy’s body in the same ground despite the warnings of Crandall and Louis’ visions of a deceased patient.

That is the list, as according to of course with their ratings from, well anyone who wants to sign in a rate a movie.  I know a few of these were not released in the US until the 1990s, but first released in 1989.

What are your favorites from the list?

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About Ray Marek III 699 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)