My Favorite Horror Films of the 1990s

Welcome to the second Feature outlining the Decades of Horror. Each entry I’ll be picking my favorite film from each year, and then some runner-ups. The 1990s aren’t in the running for the all time greatest decades, but it certainly deserves a spot at the secondary table. Let’s talk with the year of…

1990:

Misery

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With Stephen King film adaptations all the rage right now, it’s easy to forget about some of the classics. Misery is one of my personal favorites. It’s a nail-biting thriller anchored by Kathy Bates’ unhinged performance. She’s just so wacka-do crazy. Poor Paul Sheldon. How are your legs?

1991:

The Silence of the Lambs

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Thank heavens for The Silence of the Lambs, because this year sucks. Not even any cheesy classics. Just trash from wall to wall. And thank heavens again for The Silence of the Lambs because this is one of the few movies that I see as perfect. Some of the best performances in modern cinema, coupled with a genius script and unstoppable direction from Jonathan Demme. Seriously, SO GOOD.

1992:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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Big bad Vlad… Gary Oldman does the character some serious justice here. Every frame of Francis Ford Coppola’s horror film is pure Gothic gold. Deep shadows and brilliant crimsons are splashed across every minute. While it does feel a little overlong, it was the best horror film that ’92 had to offer.

1993:

The Dark Half

or Cronos

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And now for the year I was born! A semi-grand year… Cronos very nearly stole the top spot (because it’s very good). But no! Stephen King’s The Dark Half was a childhood favorite of mine. A little pulpy, super violent and kind of gross. Timothy Hutton kills it as both the nebbish author and violent psychopath. Watch this one!

1994:

In the Mouth of Madness

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I love me some John Carpenter… So 1994 was an easy year for me. In the Mouth of Madness is a little cheesy, but it’s a blast of Lovecraftian (cold) air. Sam Neill is excellent, and we get some fantastic creatures along the way.

1995:

Se7en

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Trees worth of paper have been written up about David Fincher’s nihilist serial killer film Se7en. So I won’t waste too much of your time. This film is grim and brilliant, a stark, nasty little masterpiece.

1996:

Scream

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Scream helped make me the writer that I am today. When I was 10 or 11, I watched this movie endlessly. Kevin Williamson’s script and Wes Craven’s able direction helped create what I still view as the perfect slasher film. This earns a spot in my 10 Favorite Movie list. Easy.

1997:

Event Horizon

or Scream 2

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What is it with Sam Neill making cheesetastic horror movies that I love anyway? He makes them, and I watch them. Event Horizon is not a smart movie. It’s a mess from nearly top to bottom. But… this film does have it’s charms. It’s Hellraiser splatter. Haunting set and sound design. Visually, this film is grand.

1998:

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

or Blade or Urban Legend

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A good year! Finally! Though Blade and Urban Legend are better movies, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer holds a special place in my heart. Dumb, funny, but with a setting and premise that makes me smile. (And Ben-SON is the dumbest twist ever. Fight me).

1999:

The Sixth Sense

or House on Haunted Hill

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The end of the decade! And what a way to end it. The Sixth Sense is remembered for it’s twist. But I’m here to tell you that this film is SO much more. Number one: this film is terrifying. The Mother ghost, the girl beneath the blanket, the closet scene. And it’s emotional and sorrowful. Bruce Willis was rarely better than he was here. I love this movie through and through.


That’s the My Favorite Horror Films of the 1990’s! A weaker list overall, but there is a couple of true gems mixed in with the absolute cheese. What’s your favorite 1990s horror flick?

Want more Decades of Horror?

My Favorite Horror Movies of the 2010s 

My Favorite Horror Films of the 2010s

I fell in love with a  Film Twitter trend back in November. As you’ve seen in the past, I have a certain affinity for these kind of trends.

This particular trend was focused on ‘your favorite films of the 2010s’. I made my list. It took me like 15 minutes, and I had loads of fun. What are your favorite horror films of the 2010s? Think of this piece as a sequel to my tweet. Favorite Films of the 2010s: Electric Boogaloo.

2010:

Insidious

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This movie made James Wan and Blumhouse the household names that they are today. Insidious is still a fantastic horror film, crammed full of brilliant jump scares and some truly chilling settings. The mystery of The Further is still intact. The sequels (each worse than the last) hadn’t sullied it quite yet.

2011:

You’re Next

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or The Cabin in the Woods or Grave Encounters

What a fantastic year! I had to really mull my pick here over. The Cabin in the Woods is meta-brilliance. Grave Encounters is the best found-footage film ever, and it’s not even close. But You’re Next is the 2011 release I find myself re-watching the most. The violence, the music and the premise make a dark comedy sundae with a sprinkle of  some well-executed fight sequences on top. This film was a pleasant surprise in 2011, and it still remains a treasure.

2012:

Sinister

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Hello again, Blumhouse! Welcome back! And… wait… Is that Ethan Hawke there behind you!? If you’re here on my blog reading this article, chances are you like horror. And that means you know exactly what happens to characters that just have to solve mysteries in this genre. Bad things. Bad things involving a vengeful demon, evil children, and some of the most jaw-dropping fictional snuff films this side of the Mississippi. These grainy pieces are the vertebrae that forms the backbone of this film.

2013:

Oculus

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Or The Conjuring or Evil Dead

Last year, we all loved Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. If you loved that show, you’ll love Mike Flanagan’s film Oculus. The seamless transitions between memories and the present day conjure a nightmare logic that is unmatched. Great performances, great ghost design, and my favorite scene involving a lightbulb of all time.

2014:

The Babadook

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I saw this in an Alamo Drafthouse when I lived in New Mexico. Not only was it one of the nicest theaters I’ve ever been in, but this is one of the greatest horror movies I’d ever seen. Full stop. The horrors of motherhood is a horror film staple, and rarely is it as gripping and harrowing as it is in The Babadook.

2015:

The Invitation

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The worst dinner party ever? That’s a fact. Here’s another fact: this movie is a masterpiece. Well shot, well acted, with just enough visual flair and suspense to last you for it’s entire run time. The Invitation is worth it for the ending alone. Karyn Kasuma struck a cord with this film. And that’s what good horror does. It uses our fears and, more importantly, our expectations to unnerve us. The thing is, we know something is wrong with this dinner party. But it’s all about the journey.

2016:

The Void

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Practical effects with a killer Lovecraftian edge. This is an indie horror darling. While it’s not perfect (the performances are a little shaky), it is certainly a rip-roaring tentacled good time. It feels like a John Carpenter film that time-traveled to the great year of 2016.

2017:

Happy Death Day

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Fun fact: I don’t like horror comedies (save for a select few). The tonal balance usually doesn’t work for me. But Blumhouse has done it again! Happy Death Day is an utter delight. It introduces a fun new slasher villain and treats us to another stellar entry in the Groundhog Day genre.

2018:

Hereditary

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Some horror movies are fun. Hereditary is not that. But it is powerful. My mouth hung open for a majority of this thing’s run time. Toni Collette’s performance is hard to watch, but in a very good way. I think Hereditary will go down as a landmark in this genre in the years to come.

That’s the 2010s! I would like to potentially do some other decades. I think the 1980s would serve as a real challenge. I’m not sure if I could kill my horror darlings so easily…