The 90s decade was an exciting time for media. Those years gave us some of the most memorable sitcoms, action movies, video games, and TV commercials of all time. Oh, and don't forget horror movies!
Indeed, many of the horror movies that came out in the 90s ended up being highly influential, either reviving stagnant genres (like monster movies) or pioneering new ones (like found footage horror films).
Here are the best horror movies from the 90s era that are iconic, terrifying, and still worth watching today.
10. Arachnophobia (1990)
Directed by Frank Marshall
Starring Jeff Daniels, Julian Sands, John Goodman
Comedy, Horror, Thriller (1h 49m)
For me, this the scariest movie on the list because I have a terrible fear of spiders. The shower scene haunted me for years. I can't even tell you how many times I got soap in my eyes from opening them too quickly to see if a spider was crawling around.
Not only is this film terrifying, but it's also quite good! Even if spiders don't scare you, they might by the time you finish Arachnophobia.
9. Tremors (1990)
Directed by Ron Underwood
Starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter
Comedy, Horror (1h 36m)
Tremors just barely makes the cut because it came out in 1990, and I'm so thankful it did. This iconic film features giant worms that come up from the group and eat people.
Imagine walking along minding your own business and suddenly a Graboid (the name for the worms) pops out and attacks. It's a terrifying thought that leads to an awesome horror flick.
8. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins
Drama, Fantasy, Horror (2h 8m)
The tale of Dracula is one that's been told over and over again, but in Bram Stroker's Dracula, Francis Ford Coppola finds a way to spin the tale to make it fresh, interesting, and downright scary. In fact, it might be one of the greatest versions of Dracula.
If you're a horror fan with fond memories of the 90s, this is a movie you absolutely need to see.
7. New Nightmare (1994)
Directed by Wes Craven
Starring Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Miko Hughes
Fantasy, Horror, Mystery (1h 52m)
When it comes to the best Freddy Krueger movies, this may not be the best, but it's pretty damn close.
It exists outside of the traditional Nightmare on Elm Street timeline, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best movies to feature the wise-cracking serial killer.
6. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
Directed by Jim Gillespie
Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anne Heche
Horror, Mystery (1h 41m)
This is my underrated pick of the bunch. I Know What You Did Last Summer gets lost in the shadow of Scream far too often.
Don't get me wrong, Scream is a better movie, but that doesn't mean I Know What You Did Last Summer should be forgotten. It's a back-to-basics slasher, and it hits all the right notes for the horror subgenre.
5. Dead Alive (1992)
Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror (1h 44m)
Did you know that Peter Jackson (yes, the very same Peter Jackson who gave us the wholesomely wonderful The Lord of the Rings films) is also responsible for one of the goriest horror flicks ever released?
Dead Alive (also called Braindead) is actually so gratuitously gory that it was banned in South Korea, Singapore, and Finland. It's a zombie movie that's part horror and part comedy, but it's all blood and guts!
4. The Sixth Sense (1999)
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Drama, Mystery, Thriller (1h 47m)
The Sixth Sense is a classic horror movie that won't just be remembered as one of the best of the decade, but as one of the best horror movies ever made. Who hasn't quoted the famous line "I see dead people" at least a few times throughout their life?
This movie is packed with tension, fantastic acting, and an iconic plot twist that'll knock your socks off—if it somehow hasn't been spoiled for you in the last 20 years. But even if you know the twist, it doesn't ruin the movie. In fact, it's even better on a rewatch!
3. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez
Starring Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard
Horror, Mystery (1h 21m)
The Blair Witch Project is responsible for the rise of the found footage horror movie. As such, you either want to thank it or curse it, depending on your feelings about those sorts of movies.
Either way, The Blair Witch Project was one of the most talked-about films of its time. It brings tension and an overwhelming sense of dread in a way that few other films have managed, even to this day.
2. Scream (1996)
Directed by Wes Craven
Starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
Horror, Mystery (1h 51m)
Scream is the film that lets everyone know that slashers were back for a new generation. Scream has some awesome kills, fantastic writing, and just the right amount of gore.
The thing that made Scream scary was that it felt like it could really happen in your life. There was no supernatural being involved—it was just a real person going around killing people. It's a timeless movie that's just as good now as it was when it came out.
1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney
Crime, Drama, Thriller (1h 58m)
Putting together this list was tough when it came to ranking numbers two through ten, but it wasn't tough to pick number one. From the start, I knew The Silence of the Lambs would run away with it.
If you were to make a list of top horror movies of all time, The Silence of the Lambs would have to sit near the top. This psychological horror is an absolute masterpiece in every way, and it's a must-see for anyone who fancies themselves a fan of horror.