I have to go late 70s into the 80s. Back when horror was R rated, had goofy hair and even worse clothing fashions. A lot of great directors- Raimi, Carpenter, Craven, Cronengurg, Fulci, Gordon/Yuzna, etc. Movies could be over-the-top and still be fun.
There was a thread were people picked their favorite years. Of course I can't find it, but I found a snippet from the Is 1960 the best year in horror thread:
For example, 1981:
An American Werewolf in London, The Beyond, The Black Cat, Cannibal Ferox, Don't Go in the Woods, Don't Go Near the Park, The Entity, Evil Dead (!), Fridays the 13th Part 2, The Funhouse, Halloween II, Happy Birthday to Me, Hell Night, The House by the Cemetery, The Howling, My Bloody Valentine, Piranha 2 ( ), Wolfen.