10 Essential Horror Movies: The 1990s

The best in horror from 1990-1999

When I was in the fifth grade, I watched my very first horror movie: “The Sixth Sense.” Although it terrified me at the time, from there on out I’ve had an affinity with horror movies from the 90s. It’s something that every generation does, because even though I was still in elementary school when 2000 rolled around, I feel a connection to the 1990s.

The 1990s was a great decade for horror, particularly in the subgenre of psychological horror. These films didn’t rely on cheap jump scares or gore, but left you shaken up because of crafty dialogue, characterization and plots. Many of these films even won Academy Awards, proving that horror can do more than make B-list blockbusters.

If you have plans to have a movie marathon this weekend, but aren’t sure what to watch, why not go for a horror film from the 1990s? Take a look at 10 of our favorite horror movies from this decade in the gallery below, then let us know your top pick in the comments section on social media.

“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

Based on the book by Thomas Harris, this film introduced two of horrors most infamous killer—Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibal, as well as Buffalo Bill, who killed female victims in order to build a suit made of skin.

“The Blair Witch Project” (1999)

This film kicked off the found footage sensation but the promotion of this film, letting audiences believe it really happened by listing the actors as missing and presumed dead, was totally genius.

“Cronos” (1993)

Before directing “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Torro released “Cronos,” which follows an antique dealer who discovers a device that gives him an insatiable craving for human blood.

“Braindead” (1992)

Before directing “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Peter Jackson released “Braindead,” which follows a man whose mother is bitten by a monkey-rat hybrid. She’s then turned into a zombie and soon creates a mob of hungry undead killers.

“Candyman” (1992)

In this film, a Chicago graduate student investigates the urban legend of Candyman, who’s summoned when someone says his name five times in a mirror and the summoner is then murdered. Director Jordan Peele has created a direct sequel to the original film, which will come to theaters in October 2020.

“Misery” (1990)

Based on the 1987 novel by Stephen King, this film follows a novelist who’s held captive by his biggest fan, played by Kathy Bates. Bates won Best Actress at that year’s Academy Awards for her performance and celebrities have been scared of super fans ever since.

“The Sixth Sense” (1999)

In “The Sixth Sense,” Bruce Willis plays a child psychologist who encounters a young boy who is able to see and talk to the dead. And if you haven’t seen this film, let me tell you, the ending is absolute insanity.

“Ringu” (1998)

Before the United States made “The Ring,” there was Hideo Nakata’s “Ringu.” This Japanese horror classic follows an investigative reporter following a cursed videotape, which kills the viewer seven days after watching it.

“Scream” (1996)

Horror icon creator Wes Craven, who also created “A Nightmare on Elm Street, released horror comedy “Scream” in 1996, which played on celebrated horror cliches and tropes in a brilliant way.

“Audition” (1999)

In “Audition,” a widower holds in audition to find his new wife and meet beautiful Asami, a charming black widow whose deadly past soon rears it’s ugly head.