The Most Underrated 90s Horror Movies That Will Re-Examine Your Beliefs About the Era

Horror fans are always on the lookout for their next terrifying fix, but when it comes to choosing what to watch, opinions are divided. In my circle of horror enthusiasts, some prefer the slasher films from the 1970s and 1980s, while others lean towards the elevated horror of the 2010s. However, one decade seems to be overlooked: the 1990s. Many horror fans don’t associate this era with quality horror films. But they couldn’t be more wrong. The 1990s had its fair share of underrated gems that deserve a second look.

One notable film from the 1990s horror movement is Tom Savini’s 1990 remake of “Night of the Living Dead.” Unlike many unofficial remakes, Savini’s version stands as the only official remake of George A. Romero’s groundbreaking 1968 film. It delves into issues of racial and political strife, much like its predecessor, but also presents a strong and resilient female protagonist.

Another underrated horror film from the 1990s is “Hardware,” Richard Stanley’s directorial debut. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the film follows an ex-soldier who discovers a self-repairing robot programmed to kill. The film explores themes of artificial intelligence and the consequences of unchecked power. Despite facing legal issues due to plagiarized content, “Hardware” remains a unique and haunting sci-fi thriller.

Wes Craven’s “The People Under the Stairs,” released in 1991, is a postmodern classic that tackles social issues surrounding racism and capitalism. Inspired by a real news story from the 1970s, the film tells the story of a young boy who discovers a group of trapped children while exploring a house. It serves as a critique of societal structures, using horror elements to highlight the true villains.

Not all underrated ’90s horror films are pure horror. “Cannibal! The Musical,” released in 1993, is a black comedy musical loosely based on the true story of Alfred Packer, the “Colorado Cannibal.” Directed by Trey Parker, one of the masterminds behind “South Park,” the film showcases his unique brand of humor and storytelling.

Peter Jackson’s “The Frighteners,” released in 1996, brings a mixture of horror and comedy to the table. Starring Michael J. Fox as a man who can communicate with ghosts, the film explores themes of death and redemption. With its quirky humor and excellent performances, “The Frighteners” is an underrated gem.

Stephen King’s novels have graced the big screen multiple times, and one of the standout adaptations from the 1990s is “Dolores Claiborne.” Starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the film tells the story of a woman accused of murder. It delves into themes of domestic abuse and the power of truth.

The 1990s also saw the release of “Ice Cream Man,” a horror film that pays homage to classic horror tropes. Clint Howard, known for his eccentric performances, stars as an ice cream man with a dark secret. The film combines elements of slasher horror with a tongue-in-cheek tone.

Lastly, “Disturbing Behavior,” released in 1998, explores the dark side of high school cliques. In a town where mind-control experiments are being conducted on teenagers, a group of outcasts must uncover the sinister truth. The film delves into themes of conformity and teenage rebellion.

These underrated ’90s horror films offer unique perspectives and thought-provoking narratives that are worth revisiting. Whether exploring sociopolitical issues or delivering a thrill, these films deserve recognition for their contributions to the horror genre. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a good scare, don’t overlook the chilling offerings of the 1990s.

(Note: The images in this article are from the original piece and are not included here.)