Disclaimer: I do not particularly enjoy the recent plague of politically correct demographically representative excuses for info-mercial teen flicks of horror. This list was compiled by looking through my DVD collection and picking the ones that came out in 1990 or later in no particular order. Very few recent horror films obey my 10 commandments of horror, much to my dismay and much to their detriment.
My Top 10 Horror Films of the Nineties and Beyond
- The Skeleton Key
- The Exorcism of Emily Rose
- Bram Stoker's Dracula
- The Ninth Gate
- The Addiction
Unfairly grouped with the vacuous Eli Roth-style gorno films, Saw actually offers much by means of existential crisis. The first film in the series had a great story in the tradition of the master, Alfred Hitchcock. The actors were all unknowns (or near unknowns) and that helped to prevent the film from becoming a vehicle for big names, like the Hannibal Lecter series inevitably became. Gives new meaning to the term 'cancer of our society'.
It's a giallo film. More than that, it's one of Dario Argento's giallo films. I don't need much more convincing, plus I'm having an Argento come hell or Dark Water.
The Skeleton Key
It's been a while since zombie movies involved a bit of voodoo. This tradition gets a tribute in this stellar film, which never quite becomes a zombie film, but wanders in the time frame before one becomes a zombie.
By mixing zombie-like voodoo practices into a psychological thriller and adding a little bit of horror with the delectable Kate Hudson, this film is a rare treat in an era where horror films just aren't what they used to be.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
What a pleasant surprise! At first, I was apprehensive about this film because no exorcism film could possibly be on par with The Exorcist - ever. Fortunately, The Exorcism of Emily Rose does not try to compete with The Exorcist.
Where The Exorcist has the shape of a psychological thriller, which focuses on the faith of the exorcist, this film takes the shape of a courtroom drama and leaves the supernatural elements largely open ended and unattended. It also features the brilliant music of Christopher Young, who somehow manages to fuse modern sounds with the tradition of Bernard Herrmann.
Lovecraft like only Brian Yuzna could produce it. If you are a horror aficionado, you owe it to yourself to check out this low budget gorefest. Lots of ominous weather patterns, buckets of blood and even an evil cult much like Scientology.
A film about someone who gets stigmata, only the church doesn't want that person to get stigmata. A fancy, flashy editing job that perhaps highlights how much the church has lost touch with the average man on the street it is meant to serve. Features Patricia Arquette, who is no stranger to horror having started off in Nightmare on Elm Street 3.
Dude, it's a film about religion and the church. Of course it is a horror! Not quite as horrific (or as horrible) as Faith Like Potatoes, but also more entertaining.
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Stylish, suave and nearly unbeatable as far as the story of Dracula is concerned. It features the whores of Satan. I'm sold.
The Ninth Gate
Stylish, suave and nearly unbeatable as far as the story of Faust is concerned. It features Satan as a whore. I'm sold.
Simply superb. Not even the rap music on the soundtrack can ruin Abel Ferrara's magnum opus (thus far).
One of the handful of Stephen King films that does his literary excellence justice. It does run the danger of turning into a John Cusack vehicle, but then John Cusack is not Tom Cruize. Cusack manages to convince you that he is someone other than John Cusack, which is exactly the point of acting. Great story, executed on screen very adequately.