90’s Nostalgia

10 Great Horror Movies from the 1990’s

The 1990’s gave us Grunge, Bill Clinton, the first Tech Bubble, and real ecstasy.  As far as Horror movies go, however, films produced in the 90’s were pretty piss-poor—for the most part. The 10 films featured in this article are obviously exceptions to that sentiment.

Event Horizon (1997)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: Philip Eisner

Stars: Laurence FishburneSam NeillKathleen Quinlan |

event 2

The fact that Event Horizon is still considered a “cult” film amazes me.  Truth is, this film is one of the very best examples of Horror/Sci-Fi, perhaps second only to the first 2 Alien movies.  EH also sets itself apart from typical sci-fi by employing a supernatural element.  The result is a film that delivers the claustrophobic intensity of space travel along with all the terrors of Hell.  I’ve heard that 30 minutes had to be trimmed before the theatrical release, so if the folks at Paramount Pictures had half a brain, they’d release a Director’s Cut and make millions of dollars.  Seriously, if you’re a fan of Horror and Sci-Fi and haven’t seen Event Horizon, well, that’s just sad.


Mimic (1997)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writers: Donald A. Wollheim (short story “Mimic”),Matthew Robbins

Stars: Mira SorvinoJeremy NorthamAlexander Goodwin



Another often-overlooked 90’s gem is Mimic, a mix of Horror and sci-fi that also employs some traditional slasher elements.   This was Guillermo del Toro’s first American film and his promise was clearly apparent.  A Director’s Cut became available in 2011, which I highly recommend.  Mimic is, without question, the best “giant bug” movie ever made.  Mira Sorvino is smokin’ hot delicious!  Ignore the sequels.


Bride of Chucky (1998)

Director: Ronny Yu

Writers: Don Mancini

Stars: Jennifer TillyBrad DourifKatherine Heigl |


To those unwilling to accept that Bride of Chucky is one of the best Horror comedies ever made, all I can say is: YOUR LOSS. Jennifer Tilly is perfect as Chucky’s murderous counterpart, and the havoc the wreck together is gleeful.  BoC also features the wackiest Arquette sibling: transgender Alexis.  Forget how serious the first 3 Child’s Play films were.  Grab some friends, smoke a bowl, throw Bride of Chucky on the DVD—and let the good times roll.


Ravenous (1999)

Director: Antonia Bird

Writer: Ted Griffin

Stars: Guy PearceRobert CarlyleDavid Arquette |


The fact that Ravenous has never been hailed as one of the greatest Horror offerings of the 90’s (or any other decade) is a damn shame. Antonia Bird’s film elevates the cannibalism subgenre to the level of high art.  Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle both give epic performances.  The soundtrack is bizarre and fascinating.  Ravenous is a stunning period piece that deftly mixes Horror and history.  If you consider yourself a Horror fan but haven’t seen Ravenous, then I’m revoking your membership card.  Hand it over!


Scream (1996)

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson

Stars: Neve CampbellCourteney CoxDavid Arquette |


Ghostface: “What’s your favorite scary movie?”  Scream was a game-changer from the get-go; a film that pointed out “the rules” while simultaneously bashing them all to pieces.  From this point forward, Horror fans expected more from a film than simply tits and gore, we expected our movies to show intelligence and employ creative “twists”.  Despite the fact that the sequels were horrid and the “Rebooted” Scream 4 was an abomination, the first Scream is still a Horror heavyweight.  And did you know that Scream is based on the true story of the Gainesville Ripper?  Look it up if you don’t believe me.


Misery (1990)

Director: Rob Reiner

Writers: Stephen King (novel), William Goldman(screenplay)


While nowhere near as good as the book, Misery was an incredible success and made Kathy Bates Horror movie Royalty.  Her unnerving portrayal of Annie Wilkes even won her a Best Actress Oscar and, along with Silence of the Lambs, went a long way towards legitimizing the Horror genre.  The “hobbling” scene is still extremely cringe-worthy.

Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Director: Adrian Lyne

Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin

Stars: Tim RobbinsElizabeth PeñaDanny Aiello |


Enter a hallucinatory nightmare world of war, sex, and death.  Jacob’s Ladder was the first successful mainstream departure from formulaic 80’s Horror offerings.  Jacob’s Ladder had the power to terrify you—even if you didn’t exactly understand the story (cut me some slack, I was 16 the first time I saw it).  This film has remarkable staying power and still sports some of the creepiest hospital scenes ever committed to film.


Nightbreed (1990)

Director: Clive Barker

Writers: Clive Barker (novel), Clive Barker (screenplay)

Stars: Craig ShefferDavid CronenbergAnne Bobby |


Clive Barker may have lost his claim to the HellraiserFranchise to the Weinstein Brothers in the 90’s, but that didn’t keep him out of the game.  In fact, I think Nightbreed is even better than all the Hellraiserfilms—except of course for the first.  Still, with Nightbreed, Barker created a world that was just as terrifying, yet somehow more inviting.  David Cronenberg, the famous director, is awesome as Decker, a dastardly villain who can go toe-to-toe with the best of them.  Barker flips the idea of “monsters” on its head, presenting a misunderstood race as diverse and multi-faceted as our own. Last October, Shout! Factory distributed the vastly superior “Director’s Cut” on Blu-ray and DVD; get your hands on one ASAP!


People Under the Stairs (1991)

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven

Stars: Brandon Quintin AdamsEverett McGillWendy Robie |


Sure it’s dated and even a little bit offensive in its portrayal of poor African Americans, but still, The People Under the Stairs is an unsung 90’s Horror gem.  Proof that, even beforeScreamWes Craven was breaking free from the overused slasher-formula.


Army of Darkness (1992)

Director: Sam Raimi

Writers: Sam RaimiIvan Raimi

Stars: Bruce CampbellEmbeth DavidtzMarcus Gilbert |


With Army of DarknessSam Raimi brought his Evil Dead franchise to a whole new level and reached a brand new audience.  Bruce Campbell’s Ash is now a fully transformed action hero, sent back to Medieval times to battle the dreaded Deadites.  The effects, the acting, and the cinematography are all awesome, as is the humor which is leaps and bounds beyond its predecessors.  I’d even go so far as to say Army of Darkness is one of the best Horror sequels ever produced.

What are some of your favorite horror movies from the 1990’s?  Let me know in the comments!

And stay up to date with all the latest horror news, reviews, interviews, and more by liking us on Facebook HERE!

23 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply



  • Evan Baker
    7 November 2014 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    I think it says something about the rich depth of this genre that, even in what is regarded as one of its lesser decades, there are enough titles that one could easily imagine a top ten list that was completely different from this one. I mean, not to disparage any of your choices (except maybe Event Horizon; that movie did nothing for me), but my list probably wouldn’t even share half of the titles you listed.

    A few more for consideration: Tales from the Darkside (1990), Candyman (1992), Alien 3 (1992, and, yes, I’ll stand by this movie to my grave), Dead A;ive (1992), Cronos (1993)Cemetery Man (1994), The Frighteners (1996), Cube (1997), Blade (1998), and Ring (1998).

  • Josh Millican
    7 November 2014 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Very true. I actually whittled this list down from over 20, so there are even more good ones in addition to this list and the ones you mentioned including Pet Sematary and Idel Hands…

    • Evan Baker
      7 November 2014 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      You know, I thought about mentioning Idle Hands, but I really don’t have any idea how well it’s regarded by other horror fans.

  • Josh Millican
    7 November 2014 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    I don’t care what other horror fans think, I think IH is fucking brilliant. Epic stoner horror comedy! But hey, how could you possibly not like Event Horizon? To me, it’s Alien meets Hellraiser. I heard that the first cut of the film was almost 3 hours long, so I’ve been dreaming of a Director’s Cut for years!

    • Evan Baker
      7 November 2014 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      Y’know, it’s been so long since I saw Event Horizon (about 15 years), I don’t remember that clearly what my problems with it were. My wife also hasn’t seen it in about that long, and she remembers liking it at the time, so we’ve been talking about giving it another look/re-evaluation (we probably agree on movies about 99% of the time, so it’s always interesting to see when/why we don’t). I vaguely remember finding the characters and concepts under-developed, I guess.

  • Josh Millican
    7 November 2014 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Well, I will admit that it’s not as good as Alien or Hellraiser, but I think you’ll see its assets if you give it another viewing. Plus, in the context of the dreary 1990’s, Event Horizon is a stand out–if problematic.

  • Melissa B.
    9 November 2014 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Great picks! I also would have included Stir of Echoes, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Candyman, Blair Witch Project & The Faculty.
    I love Even Horizon by the way.. fantastically creepy.

    • Evan Baker
      9 November 2014 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      Oh, yeah, Stir of Echoes is a darned good flick! Haven’t watched that one in a long time, but it does pop into my head from time to time!

      Another one that just popped into my head is The Stendhal Syndrome.

  • Carey
    9 November 2014 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I’d put In The Mouth of Madness and Candyman at the top of the list of 90’s Horror. Otherwise great list.

    Also to the guy that can’t remember – Event Horizon is fantastic. My favorite one out of everything in this top ten list.

    • Evan Baker
      9 November 2014 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      Oh, In the Mouth of Madness is fantastic!

      I think what we’re really learning here is that, no, the 90s actually wasn’t a bad decade for horror at all. 🙂

      Whenever I do get around to re-watching Event Horizon (which may be soon, as it’s on instant streaming), I’ll write an article about my thoughts. Hopefully I’ll re-evaluate it more favorably. We shall see.

  • Melanie Rose
    9 November 2014 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    I’m bookmarking this so I can have a nostalgia horror marathon soon. Thanks for all the reminders (in the comments too)!

  • Josh Millican
    9 November 2014 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    So many awesome suggestions and love for the 90’s! I’ll definitely be revisiting this topic again!

  • Alexander
    9 November 2014 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Great list – i’m gonna rattle through these over the Christmas holidays! Been years since i’ve seen many of them on the list. Nice one. For me though gotta have Seven and Silence of the Lambs on a 90’s list.

  • Carey
    9 November 2014 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    I forgot about The Prophecy. I loved the hell out of that movie. Angels as movie monsters is such a novel concept. I don’t think it’s ever been done before that.

  • Steve
    10 November 2014 at 8:29 am - Reply

    These are some great picks. Would love to see you do an 80’s list as well.

  • Bruce Hannan
    10 November 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Possibly one of the best horror lists I’ve seen, maybe a couple I would take out and a couple I would add (but thats all down to taste) but still all the movies in list are dam good. Am a huge fan of Ravenous and not many people has seen it even on some of the horror sites I visit, the sound track is also amazing written by Damon Albarn from Blur and Michael Nyman the composer from such movies as The Piano and Gattaca. Nightbreed I love, is like the X-men of horror movies. Event Horizon and Jacob’s Ladder are genuinely scary, they put the fear inside me big time, the first time I watched Jacob’s Ladder I wish I hadnt watched it on my own. Misery is one of these movies that makes you thank god that’s not me in Paul the victim shoes. Scream revitalised the teen slasher movies, actually like all 4 of them but 1 and 2 are the best by far, of course they used old concepts but they felt new and fresh at the time. And the other movies on list are all great. As a vampire movie fan I would have possibly have added Bram Stokers Dracula, Interview with a Vampire, Blade and debating wither it is a movie or a 2 part mini series I would have Stephen King’s IT in there, I think most people nowadays consider it as a movie as it viewed as whole on either dvd, blu-ray or whatever. Still good list though.

  • Event Horizon Revisited
    10 November 2014 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    […] 90’s Nostalgia Posted 3 days ago […]

  • Evan Baker
    10 November 2014 at 3:19 pm - Reply
  • Jeremy “The Kid”
    10 November 2014 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    People Under The Stairs was a sack of poo.

    • Evan Baker
      10 November 2014 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      I’ve never gotten the measure of esteem some people afford to it, but that’s an awfully harsh assessment! Care to expand on just what about the movie didn’t work for you?

    • Carey
      10 November 2014 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      I disagree. It may have been a little ludicrous, but that was the charm of the movie. Sort of like “Botched” where you’re smiling and saying to yourself woah what the hell are they going to throw at us next.

  • More 90’s Nostalgia
    30 November 2014 at 3:05 am - Reply

    […] my first article about 90’s Nostalgia I stated that the decade didn’t have a lot to be proud of when it comes to horror movies—and I […]

  • 10 Great Horror Movies of the 1950s – Redemption for an Unloved Era
    15 December 2014 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    […] own Josh Millican has, in recent months, done a couple of articles listing good/great horror movies from the 1990s, an era generally regarded as a horror […]