The 1990s was an interesting decade for the horror genre. While some critics will say there were entirely too many sequels and retreads in the slasher subgenre, even the most cynical will admit that some of the all-time classic horror films premiered between 1990 and 1999. There was The Silence of the Lambs (1991), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Ringu (1998), Scream (1996), and The Blair Witch Project (1999) to name just a few. If you’re catching up on 1990s horror must-sees, be sure to put the following lesser-known films on your watch list.
Castle Freak (1995)
A cult classic that was originally released straight to video, this movie is loosely based on an H.P. Lovecraft story about a family who moves to an old Italian castle, only to discover that a dangerous, disfigured freak is living in the basement.
A Japanese horror thriller about a police detective and psychiatrist who team up to investigate a series of strange murders in which all of the victims have an X carved into their necks. While the killers are different people, they all came into contact with a mysterious man named Mamiya.
Body Parts (1991)
A psychologist loses his arm in a car accident and agrees to experimental arm transplant surgery. The good news is that the new arm, though creepy looking, is functional. The bad news is that it once belonged to a convicted serial killer and seems to be taking on a sinister life of its own.
This horror fantasy is about a man named Boone who finds his way to a city under a graveyard called Midian. Midian is populated by all kinds of strange creatures called the Nightbreed, outcasts who seek to avoid humans who fear them and want to kill them.
Guillermo del Toro’s first feature film, Cronos is a Mexican vampire movie about an old man who is injected by a mysterious device and regains his youth, and also develops a taste for blood and an aversion to sunlight.
Man Bites Dog (1992)
This humorous and bloody Belgian cult classic is about a documentary film crew that is following a charismatic serial killer and recording his horrific crimes for a movie. The crew goes from being dispassionate observers to active participants in all the grisly action.
A controversial German film about a lonely, deranged serial killer who also has some pretty dark and disturbing sexual fantasies. He resists the urge to kill the young woman who lives next door, even though he does drug her and do some nasty things while she’s unconscious. We see his life in a series of flashbacks as he lay dying in a pool of blood.
The Addiction (1995)
A stylish black and white vampire film about cool New York vampires who share intellectual and philosophical ideas, in addition to an addiction to blood. One of the vampires is a grad student in philosophy who gains a new insight into human nature after being bitten.
An odd, humorous horror movie about cannibalism in the western U.S. in the 1800s. Inspired by the true stories of the Donner Party and Alfred Packer, Ravenous is the story of a mysterious man who shows up at an isolated Army fort and tells the residents a tale about how his traveling party turned to cannibalism.
A grad student who studies urban myths researches the legendary Candyman, a monster with a hook for a hand that you can summon by saying his name in the mirror 5 times. She tries to test it out by summoning the Candyman herself. Guess what happens…and if anyone at the mental hospital where she’s placed believes her.