If anything good came out of the 1980’s, it was classic 80s movies. No other decade can compare to the sheer volume of creativity and still-persisting talent introduced to the world during those ten years. Movies of the 80s paved the way for a large amount of blockbusters currently being made, and horror 80s movies are still being mimicked in style and scares to much positive reception. The 1980â²s introduced the world to the “high-concept” art of film, where plots were simple and easily approachable by audiences. A few examples of these emerged in the late 70s, but the practice was put to full use in movies in the 80s.
However, these were hardly the best 80s movies. With so many classics made during this time, pinpointing the best is no easy task, but correlations can be made between many of the top films that showcases why they were so popular. At the top of any list is E.T., Steven Spielbergâs tear-jerking masterpiece about a lost alien befriended by a, somewhat similarly lost group of kids. This film is one of the first movies made for kids that also appealed to adults, even though throughout the film, the adults were made the enemies. The fear of being lost and the desire to be home is a subject that anybody in the world could identify with, and the childlike endearment of the alien itself made it less a science fiction film and more a portrait of the American family.
Another example of the best 80s movies was Batman, one of the first films adapted from a comic that was a blockbuster. The success of Tim Burtonâs adaption has created confidence in movie studios to produce more films based off comic book characters, many of them grossing well into the millions of dollars. The start of the Batman franchise gave Christopher Nolan the chance to create The Dark Night, what many consider the pinnacle of comic-book to film adaptions.
No list of movies of the 80s would be complete without acknowledging the horror 80s movies. One of the scariest films ever created, Poltergeist, was a product of this decade. Growing off of the popularity of Ghostbusters, also made in the 80s, Tobe Hooper took the humor and fun out of the afterlife and threw it, quite literally, into the publicâs television sets.
The 80â²s also introduced the world to the magic of computer generated effects with The Abyss, James Cameronâs epic spin on the age-old monster story, sinking it deep into the Pacific ocean and mixing extraterrestrial elements in as well. The Abyss was the first film to render a human face using computer graphics, and has launched thousands of copy-cats. Cameron even developed the technology for that specific film, which would later be used to create Terminator 2 and Titanic.
These are all just a small selection of what the 80s provided for the film industry, but from these films came many of the classics that represent their decades. These are the classic 80s movies for just that reason; they pioneered the movement for âhigh conceptâ films that studios churn out by the dozen, and helped reassure a public leaning away from celluloid that the movie-making business was not only going to stick around for a long time, but was going to be one of the greatest sources of income of all time.