New horror movies like The Menu and Bones And All have inspired new interest in the genre by blending with other types of films. Horror comedies and horror romances sometimes reach more audiences, though it can also mean they sometimes fall under the radar. This was something quite a few films in the ‘90s experienced when attempting similar genre mashups.
Dark sci-fi horrors and surprising book adaptations stood out to fans of the genre years after release but failed to capture the mainstream attention of movie-goers. There are quite a few underrated hits from the ‘90s that were either overshadowed by other films or didn’t resonate with critics or fans at the time, despite being hidden horror gems.
10/10 Event Horizon Is A Sci-Fi Horror Some Fans Can’t Forget
1997’s Event Horizon from director Paul W. S. Anderson followed a rescue crew investigating the reappearance of a missing ship in space. However, they uncovered a massacre and started experiencing dark paranormal events and hellish visions of an alternate dimension as soon as they set foot on the ship.
Event Horizon featured an amazing cast that included Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne, yet it was a box office flop when it was released. Thankfully, a cult group of fans has continued to share the film with new audiences so others can explore the hellish mystery of Event Horizon.
9/10 Clive Barker’s Nightbreed Developed A Huge Cult Following
Horror legend Clive Barker directed 1990’s Nightbreed, which adapted his own short story “Cabal.” Nightbreed followed a troubled man as he underwent a supernatural transformation and discovered his place among a secret society of monsters who hid from the real terrors of society.
Nightbreed definitely isn’t as well known as some of Clive Barker’s best horror films like Hellraiser. However, the unique world of monsters has continued to attract new fans and viewers over the years. The release of the extended Cabal cut further proved that Nightbreed is an underrated hit that more horror fans need to see.
8/10 Ravenous Is A Surprising Horror Western About Cannibals
1999’s Ravenous took place during the Mexican-American War and followed a traumatized soldier who was reassigned to a new detachment. Once there, he discovered a cannibal hiding in the woods with incredible strength who preyed on the small camp of soldiers.
Guy Pearce and Robert Carlysle starred in Ravenous, which was inspired by real-life tales of cannibalism during the old west. The film also served to criticize the tenets of “Manifest Destiny” and American expansionism. While Ravenous failed to make an impact when it first hit theaters, it has since become a cult film.
7/10 The Faculty Isn’t Just Another Typical High School Movie
Teachers at a football-driven high school started acting strange in 1998’s The Faculty. A group of teenagers discovered that they had been secretly infected with controlling alien parasites planning to launch a subtle invasion of humanity.
While The Faculty might not have been the best horror or sci-fi film of the ’90s, it still should have stood out more in an oversaturated genre. The Faculty featured great performances from a mixed cast of youthful newcomers and established legends. It became a cult hit after appearing in theaters but still doesn’t get enough love from horror and sci-fi fans today.
6/10 The Night Of The Living Dead Remake Is Worth A Watch
George A. Romero’s iconic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead helped launch the successful zombie horror subgenre. The film was remade in 1990 by Tom Savini, who created the special effects for the original film as well as many other horror classics.
A lot of horror fans never even gave the remake a chance, both due to the iconic status of the original and the similarities between the films. However, Savini perfectly updated Night of the Living Dead by enhancing the characters with a few small changes. A pre-Candyman Tony Todd shined in the lead role as he fought against some of the goriest and scariest movie zombies.
5/10 The Original Jacob’s Ladder Is A Dark Frenetic Fever Dream
1990’s Jacob’s Ladder starred Tim Robbins as the titular Jacob, a war veteran with PTSD who started to experience dark visions and events. A traumatic incident from the war that left deep psychological scars on everyone involved further influenced Jacob’s terrifying visions.
Jacob’s Ladder surprised fans and critics, though some didn’t know quite what to make of the intense psychological thriller. It moved at a frenetic pace and featured frighteningly erratic images that left fans feeling uncomfortable and confused. It’s become more appreciated over the years and even inspired an inferior remake, but is still underappreciated by some horror fans.
4/10 George A. Romero Adapted Stephen King’s The Dark Half
While Romero is better known as the grandfather of zombies, he’s left his mark on a few other horror hits over the years as well. The legendary horror director adapted Stephen King’s novel The Dark Half in 1993, though it’s been missed by a few fans.
Stephen King’s The Dark Half followed a writer who tried to distance himself from a problematic pseudonym when he started to find success. Unfortunately, his alter came to life and struck back. Romero’s adaptation wasn’t the scariest of his films, but it featured an unforgettable performance from lead Timothy Hutton in the dual roles of the authors.
3/10 Cube Was A Gruesome Sci-Fi Precursor To The Saw Franchise
1997’s Cube from director Vincenzo Natali was a mind-bending sci-fi horror about a group of strangers trapped in a series of booby-trapped room-sized cubes. Each person awoke in the cubes without any information about why they were there or the danger inside of the cubes.
The trapped survivors worked together to discover more about the cubes and why they were each imprisoned inside them. Cube didn’t shy away from gory death scenes, and created a larger mystery that was further explored in somewhat forgettable sequels. While fans may see some similarities with the successful Saw series, Cube never received the same mainstream attention.
2/10 Man Bites Dog Walked So That Behind The Mask Could Run
Beyond the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon was a unique mockumentary about an overly competent slasher villain that impressed audiences in 2006. However, it owed a lot to a Belgian indie film called Man Bites Dog/C’est arrivé près de chez Vous that wowed audiences in 1992.
Man Bites Dog followed a film crew as they filmed a documentary about the daily life of a real-world serial killer. They soon find themselves drawn into his murders as the line between filmmakers and accomplices blurred. Man Bites Dog won a number of awards and impressed critics but didn’t get the same attention from mainstream audiences due to its use of extreme violence.
1/10 Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive Is Peak Gross Out Zombie Horror
While he’s best known for adapting Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, director Peter Jackson left his mark on the horror genre as well. He directed the 1992 New Zealand black comedy Braindead, which released in North America as Dead Alive.
Braindead followed one of the best cinematic zombie killers as he attempted to battle a growing infestation of undead in his elderly mother’s house. The film featured a few unforgettable scenes of surprising gore that include the use of a lawnmower to tear through a collection of mutating, disgusting zombies. Braindead is a must-see for fans of gross-out horror.
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