A Playground for Authors Jason White and Michael Schutz-Ryan

Top Ten 90s Horror Films

I had some trouble creating this list. There are some people out there who think that the nineties was a bad decade for horror. I think that those people are both right and wrong. The top movies that you could categorize as horror are simply brilliant. Even so, where in creating my lists for top 70s and 80s horror I found myself having to take movies off the list to make it fit to ten. But for the 90s I had trouble coming up with ten. I had to comb through a list of movies released by each year of that decade. I swear to you that I now know every movie released in the nineties.

It was a fun task in the end, though. Whenever I found a gem, it was a true gem. And all made it perfectly into my list of favourite 90s horror films.

10 – Fire in the Sky (1993)

Freaky scene from Fire in the Sky

Fire in the Sky is a great story with a freaky premise that still haunts me today whenever it pops up in a story, and you will see this element again within this list. I love it when, in a story, someone or something disappears for a certain amount of time and then reappears no knowing what happened to them or, as in this case, remembers all too well where they went.

Another movie like this element is 2011s Absentia.

9 – Predator 2 (1990)

Predators from Predator 2

This movie got my adrenaline pumping when I first watched it. And while I don’t think it completely stands the test of time, the subway way scene still manages to get me going.

 8 – In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

Sam Neil From In the Mouth of Madness

This one is a John Carpenter film and perhaps one of his best. I just love Lovecraftian stories, especially ones told this well.

7 – The Night Flier (1997)

The Night Flier

This is a seriously underappreciated movie and, in my opinion, one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King story. The mythology to the vampire in this one is interesting in that said vampire flies around in a plane that’s been painted black rather than turning into a bat. This vampire is dirty and evil and ugly as all hell when he shows his vampiric side, which is often. But he’s also a handsome devil who can woo the ladies with his devilish charms. It’s a lot of fun and deserves so much more attention.

6 – Seven (1995)

Brad Pitt from Seven

I don’t think that I can say anything about Seven that hasn’t already been said. The only thing I can add is that when I saw this, and I was lucky enough to have seen it in the theaters, that it touched me and disturbed me very deeply. The murders are not just a reflection of the victims sin, they’re also personal and intimate in their cruelty. It’s such a dark film and put director David Fincher on the map.

5 – Event Horizon (1997)

Sam Neil Raising Hell in E vent Horizon

This one also freaked me out. There’s a part near the end, and I’m sure that most listeners are familiar with what I’m talking about, that is nothing but a gore-fest into hell. Very disturbing shit! Event Horizon also has that element of something having disappeared and reappeared many years later that appeals to me. I loved this movie and still do today.

4 – Ninth Gate (1999)

Johnny Depp in The Ninth Gate

This movie appeals to my love for Satanic cults. This movie reminds me of those types of movies from the 70s, of which I cannot recall their titles, where good vs bad is distorted and what would normally be considered the “bad guy” wins. Johnny Depp plays his role as a rare book hunter down to a tee, as usual for him. A brilliant film by Roman Polanksi, in my opinion

3 – Nightbreed (1990)

How to scalp one's self, brought to you by Midian

I first read the book, Cabal, by Clive Barker, way back in my early teenage years where I didn’t have many friends and thought I had found a home within its pages. I longed for Midian, a place that accepted Boone and so perhaps would also accept me into their fold. The movie version did not disappoint me. I loved seeing all these creatures from Midian come to life. I especially was happy to see that the scalping scene remained fairly intact from the book version.

2 – Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Creepy doctor-like thing from Jacob's Ladder

When I first saw this movie I fell in love with it immediately. It is, really, my introduction into the genre of weird fiction. I find Jacob’s Ladder on many horror lists, and I guess it does belong there. But it is a slow burn, full of hallucinatory nightmares and alternate realities. It is, in my opinion, a beautiful story about death and life and letting go. It’s about war and struggle and the existential need to move on. Pure brilliance.

1 – The Blair Witch project (1999)

I think we might be lost.

I remember the marketing plan for this movie very well. It alone was brilliant. The filmmakers wanted you to believe that their story was real. I was working in a factory at the time, and a guy I talked to often while there came in one night with wide eyes, his complexion slightly pale. “I just saw the creepiest thing,” he said. He went on to tell me of the Blair Witch mythology of what would become the film. He had seen it on the Internet before coming in to work. It was leaked like that and was meant to be taken as something real. Something that actually happened.

The marketing plan worked fully upon my acquaintance. And because he fairly sure that what he had seen online was real, and that they were releasing it as a movie was even more awesome, it nearly convinced me that what he had seen was perhaps real indeed. That night, I remember thinking of haunted forests, an interesting concept vs haunted houses. I was in love with the idea and wanted to write a story about it.

I eventually went and seen the movie. By then it was fairly well known that it was just a movie, but it still sunk it’s witch’s claws deep into my marrow. I remember when the movie ended, nobody moved for about 30 seconds after the credits started flying up the screen. The theatre, although full, was completely silent as everyone tried to digest what they had just witnessed. Was it real, after all? It certainly seemed like it could be.

Well done, all around. We’ve seen nothing like it before or since. This movie also made the found footage film popular.

 

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