I was thinking about 90’s horror and how it was “so much better” which it kind of isn’t. Still, there is some sort of nostalgic value to it. Many of the movies I liked in the 90’s (or even loved) I still love now for various reasons. Either they were actually scary or they have some sort of good memory attached. Here are my top ten picks for 90’s horror movies (in no particular order of favorite) and probably will not be too spoiler-free considering these are 90’s movies. Why didn’t you see them yet? I’ll do my best not to ruin them, though.
- House On Haunted Hill (1999): Yes, I am aware that this was a remake of a movie from I think, the 50’s? Something like that. It was still good and still properly creeped me out. Maybe it has to do with the whole concept of a haunted insane asylum, which is always a good premise even when it’s done horribly. Basically there’s this haunted house and this master of horror (Price) invites people to spend the night. If they survive then they get to have a million dollars in the morning. As it turns out, the people that show up aren’t the people he tried to invite. Instead it seems the house possessed his computer and invited other people. People that were related to the murderous doctors that inhabited the hospital and mistreated the patients back when it was an asylum. There are great effects and visuals, the acting is really good, and I love Famke Jansen so maybe I’m also a bit biased. I would definitely recommend this one because I think it’s creep factor still holds up today.
- The Faculty (1998): This is more sci-fi than horror? I guess it’s a bit of both. I really liked it. Kind of weird that Famke Jansen is in this one too right? Don’t worry, I’m not only picking movies with her she just happens to also be in this one. It’s a movie about an alien invasion at some hick school in the middle of Ohio because no one would really think that aliens would strike there first. It’s kind of a combination of Invader Of The Body Snatchers and other generic sci-fi tropes that you can find lots of places. Elijah Wood is the star along with several other “known” actors for the time. Which is weird cause I can’t recall their names right off of the top of my head but if you showed me pictures of them I’d totally know who they were. I really should look this stuff up instead of doing it from memory but I’m lazy. The twist was well done, and the first time I saw the movie I honestly didn’t see it coming. If you like sci-fi and horror (as well as suspense and angsty for no reason teen drama) then this is the movie for you.
- Stigmata (1999): Despite my distaste for Patricia Arquette as a person I really like this movie. It’s one of the better made possession movies out there. To be honest, I haven’t see it in a long time and am due for a rewatch but I remember being so entranced by it. It was one of the very first possession movies I’d ever seen (other than The Exorcism). There was a very long gap in this concept back in the 90’s. Most of the horror seemed to be about paranormal stuff or straight up serial killers. I can’t recall a big budget movie that was about demonic possession other than this but I could be wrong. I was also young and don’t remember nearly as much about movies as I used to. The acting was amazing and though I don’t remember everything in it’s entirety I do remember the priest in the movie being super hot. Maybe that’s where I got my priest fetish from. Anyway, if you like possession movies, this is a definite must see.
- The Craft (1996): I’ve seen this movie multiple times, it is a favorite. I really only like it because of Nancy (played by the massively talented Fairuza Balk). The main character that the movie is actually about kind of bores me. Nancy is what holds it all together with the best and most crazy scenes. The movie is about some girls at a catholic school who are also witches in this little coven they created. They also have powers. The powers just aren’t as strong without a fourth for the group. In comes, Sarah, and suddenly they have a lot of powers. They basically take over the school with these powers but of course it all starts to backfire on them. That is until Sarah, who is the most powerful takes control back and stops Nancy from being a maniac. Neve Campbell is there too and worth watching. I’m fairly sure the majority of people who were teens in the 90’s have seen this but if you haven’t, go fucking see it. It’s great.
- Seven (1995): WHAT’S IN THE BOXXXXXX?!?!?!!? Okay I assume most people know this movie? If not…I also don’t think that’s a spoiler considering you have to know what leads up to that. In any case, the movie is about people dying via the 7 deadly sins. For example: First guy is a mega huge fat ass so he’s force fed food until his stomach basically ruptures. There’s others, like a guy is forced to fuck a prostitute with a knife dildo. You get the point. It’s a great movie. It stars Brad Pitt too, like back when he was actually hot Brad Pitt and not aging hippy douche bag Brad Pitt. I really liked this movie and I’ve seen it several times. I guess the great thing about it, is that it’s some what plausible. As in, there really could be a real killer who killed based on this premise. The kind of gritty film style is also something that makes it feel far more real than most horror movies of the era. Definitely recommend this one.
- IT (1990): YAY this one barely makes the cut. I already talked about the book version of this in my recommended books list but I think the movie is ultimately what makes it infamous. The basic premise is that kids are dying in the small town of Derry Maine. As it turns out, 40 years earlier (or 3o?) something like that, there were 7 kids (lucky seven) who fought off the monster doing this the first time. The monster being, Pennywise The Dancing Clown (played by the amazing Tim Curry). The movie was made for TV so it’s not as jam packed with horror and gore and whatever but the life that Tim Curry gave to the character of Pennywise is creepy as balls. It’s a two part movie and I originally saw it on VHS when I was like 9 years old (not when it originally aired). It quickly became one of my favorite movies. Still is. As of now it’s super dated and they are going to do a remake (which I’m TRYING to have faith in) but nothing will ever beat the nostalgic value of this campy 90’s horror film. Oh, and I once met Annette O’Toole who plays Beverly Marsh in the movie. She’s a super nice lady and because that’s the case you should watch it. That and, Tim Curry. He never does anything bad.
- Child’s Play 2 (1990): Why would I mention this one and not the first? Clearly because this one happened in 1990 the first one didn’t happen in the 90’s, so it wouldn’t qualify. That and, I don’t really like the first one. It did make it onto my “So bad it’s good” list but I don’t LIKE it. This one, I actually like. I mean, it’s still “so bad it’s good” but it’s a little better than that. If you aren’t familiar with these movies, basically it’s about a doll that is possessed with the soul of a serial killer and he’s after this one kid to possess him before he turns into a “full doll”. There are brutal killings all while no one believes this kid that this doll is fucking possessed. There is a lot of dark humor too and I love dark humor. By the end of the movie I believe Chucky (the doll) is full on human cause he can’t transfer his soul. From this point it just becomes a bunch of messy and pointless sequels that are only semi-entertaining. This one seems to be the best out of all the ones that exist (if you ask me).
- The Blair Witch Project (1999): Yes I know people hated this one, because “nothing happened”. Yet, I loved it. I believe I mentioned before that going into this movie I had a completely different idea of what was going to happen in it. This was early stages of the internet so it wasn’t super easy to get spoilers (and I didn’t want any). I was told that it was actual footage of people actually being lost in the woods while filming a documentary. I was not told there would be a witch, I was not told people would die. The premise of people really getting lost and filming it is scary enough (if you ask me) and that’s why I liked it so much. The other major complaints were the motion sickness from the camera (which never happened to me but it did happen to me when I saw Cloverfield so I do know it CAN happen). The point is that if people actually watched this from the stand point of people REALLY get lost in the woods, they REALLY freak out, and bad shit happens as an event of that, I think they’d find an appreciation for this movie. Also, have some fucking empathy and imagination, that kind of helps too.
- Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare (1994): This is a ten year anniversary movie/sequel to A Nightmare On Elmstreet which is one of my all time favorite movies. The reason I really love this (even though on most occasions I hate sequels) is because of how it’s done. First of all, the movie is kind of like a movie about a movie? The actress that played Nancy in the first movie is a character in this one, as in she plays herself. The actress being named Heather Langenkamp. She has a son and he’s having weird ass Freddie Dreams. Robert Englund is in it as himself and also as Freddie. Wes Craven is in it as well. Wes says something about how Freddie hasn’t been around for a while (like there hasn’t been any sequels) and he’s growing more powerful and needs to return. There’s even a point where Heather reads the script from the movie that they are in while she’s in the movie. So it breaks the fourth wall and does it somewhat well. I’m not sure how great this movie would be if you aren’t a fan of the entire original franchise (and how campy that was) but I think it was a cute and somewhat horrifying way to do a sequel to a long running franchise of popular horror movies.
- Scream (1996): I was somewhat reluctant to put this one on the list, that’s why it’s number 10. However it was iconic to the 90’s in way of horror movies and I do have to somewhat admit that it was kind of inventive given what we’ve seen before from Wes Craven. I do love Craven but as time went on he started to lose more and more of his touch. At the time, hen I saw it, the movie was really good. The more I went back to watch and reflect on it, it’s really not. Mostly because all of the actors even though young and popular look painfully in their 30’s despite being in high school. Like Gail Weather whatever the hell looks exactly the same age as Sydney but Gail is supposed to be an established reporter/journalist and Sydney is supposed to be 16/17? Though I really like just about any damn movie with Matthew Lillard because he’s AWESOME he also looks like he’s older, maybe even in his 40’s. If you can suspend disbelief that much then I guess it’s good. It’s definitely something that was fresh and new and blew away people with a good twist ending. It also starts with killing Drew Barrymore which is somewhat unprecedented as a concept seeing as how she’s A-List. Or was…was she still A-list back then? I can’t remember. Anyway you really can’t mention 90’s horror without putting this on a list but personally it’s not one of my all time favorites and I’d never rave about it.
There you have it, my list of recommended 90’s horror movies. Some which I’m clearly in love with and some that I’m lukewarm on. If you are ever having some kind of 90’s theme halloween party or horror movie night these are definite must haves to marathon. Play a few drinking games, or just have a good time making fun of how bad some of them are. Hope you enjoy.