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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Five Must-Watch 90s Horror Movies in the 2020s

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Paul Tena
Paul Tena is an alumnus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Politixxx Today and he also traverses into fiction writing in his spare time. Sometimes he goes by his pen name JPE Tena. His debut novel, The Lore Kingdom, was named an Honorable Mention in 2021 Lampara Prize. For more information, you may reach him via tenajpe@gmail.com.

The 1990s is an era of nostalgia for many of us. The music, the fashion statements, television series and flicks continue to influence how we live in this time. It’s also a no brainer why many of the pop culture trends of today echo certain hits from the 90s. Moreover, throwbacks help us reminisce the good old days that are locked in time. I must admit that I may have biases but this one’s a popular bias among many kids, teens and event adults that lived their life to the fullest in that era.

Admittedly, however, I will not claim that this list is the best or most horrifying of them all. This is intended to mix nostalgia and terror. We know that recent developments in special effects may put these flicks back to the vault of memories. Nonetheless, the curious ones may have considered a different flavor of horror. Now, let’s dig in some of the most iconic horror movies from the golden era of the 1990s.

Tim Curry plays the personification of “IT” named Pennywise the clown.

It (1990)

The younger viewers of today can recall this monster hit because of its two-part reboot. Those whose generation came a little earlier surely remember the frightening adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same title.

Despite the advanced special effects of the newer version, the classic adaptation proved to crawl under our skin back in the day. Surely, the past generations – especially children at that time – can remember the horrors and sleepless nights brought about by hearing the title of this movie.

The power of storytelling proves to be an effective ingredient in the horror genre. Thus, this film became a classic because of its powerful narration. The personal experiences and realistic scenarios that we, the audience, can relate to, just like the way “It” was made, creates chills that will last for generations.

Kathy Bates and James Caan in their critically-acclaimed portrayal of their characters as Annie Wilkes and Paul Sheldon.

Misery (1990)

Another classic from the King of Horror himself, Stephen King, made it big in the box office back in the day. Technically, this film falls under the thriller genre but it’s creepy enough to be considered as horror. This is the type of scary flick that lives between the gray areas of possibility in the human experience.

Misery is about a deranged nurse named Annie Wilkes played by Academy Award winner Kathy Bates who snatched a win in the prestigious award-winning body because of her performance in this film. Annie accidentally meets her favorite author named Paul Sheldon starred by James Caan due to an accident. The horror begins when Annie’s obsession with the Misery series penned by Paul spiraled out of control. Annie demands the narrative that the story traverses by her own terms. When her demands were ignored, she employs sadistic acts against Paul.

This masterpiece cemented the supremacy of Stephen King in the horror genre. Three decades gone past, Misery can still give you chills without much of an effort. In addition, the film turned out to be both as a critically-acclaimed and well-received by movie goers alike. If you want a horror movie that veers away from the typical gore and ghost themed flicks then Misery likely suits your taste.

Everett McGill as Daddy Robeson and Wendy Robie as Mommy Robeson.

People Under the Stairs (1991)

Some movies arrive ahead of their time. On that note, People Under the Stairs surely fits the mold of a taken for granted movie in its heyday. Written and directed by Horror Genius Wes Craven, this movie tackles racism ahead of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The subtleties in the storytelling will leave you hooked in the plot. A cannibalistic couple called the Robesons prey on the poor African-American community. The powerful theme depicts how inequalities affect a country. From the title itself, the Robesons lock up children in their basement. Thus, they are the ones referred to as the people under the stairs. These degenerated humans turned into modern-day zombies. It’s because, throughout their stay, the victims suffer under their impoverished conditions. This movie is not exactly the most horrifying movie of the 90s era yet it proved to be relevant in the years that came after.  

Billy Zane as The Collector.

Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)

The hit Tales from the Crypt series also ventured into a movie adaptation that is similar with its television counterpart. In case you missed it, this movie is still here to give you chills. It’s never too late to watch a movie that tackles the classic battle between good and evil that dominates the theme of this movie.

As an agent of the devil, the antagonist called The Collector hunts Frank Brayker, a keeper of an important relic that dates back to the time of Jesus Christ. Their battle unfolds in a boarding house that turned out to be an old church. There, we will witness the gruesome transformation of evil creatures that are ready to sacrifice all the humans that will get in the way of their plans. As for the relic, I will leave it to your imagination as to its significance. For sure, you will enjoy the horrific ride that this movie offers.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, Lili Taylor and Liam Neeson star as the protagonists of the movie.

The Haunting (1999)

A film that stars powerhouse actors such as Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson and Lili Taylor will give couch potatoes a reason to be excited. The story revolves around a social experiment for insomniacs. The characters have their own reasons that propelled them to jump into the study.

As the night reached its peak, strange happenings started to startle the participants of the study. It turned out that the house is haunted and the creepy things that happened to them are of no accident. We witness different responses from the actors that become relatable to audiences across ages. This film is a residue of how 90s horror flicks terrorize us as children. As a predecessor of the now zombie-obsessed viewers, The Haunting is a movie to watch that can refresh our cravings for horror movies.

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