10 Most Rewatchable ’90s Horror Movies, Ranked

Movies


Let’s face it: the 1990s produced some of the best horror movies in cinematic history. After the thrilling 1980s, which saw new critical and commercial heights for the horror genre, the ’90s were ready to entertain and frighten a new generation of moviegoers. With a new century on the horizon and the rise of new horror fans who weren’t scared so easily anymore, the genre had to change. It was the dawn of the internet, and fans were quickly becoming aware of the same tiring tropes and scares done from before.



The 90s were a game-changing decade that saw unique and creative cinematic horror achievements that are still loved, recognized, and talked about well today. The options are many, from Academy Award-winning successes like The Silence of the Lambs and Misery to genre-defining features like Scream and The Blair Witch Project. However, a few ’90s horror movies have higher rewatch value, whether because of their memorable premises or the overall impact they had on the genre.



10 ‘Tremors’ (1990)

Director: Ron Underwood

Image via Universal Pictures

What happens when a monster attacks its victims from under the ground? That’s the unique and frightening idea expertly brought to life by director Ron Underwood‘s 1990 cult classic horror comedy Tremors starring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward. Set in an isolated desert valley, the colorful residents of a small town band together to survive an attack when giant carnivorous subterranean worms start picking off the locals one by one.

Praised by fans as one of the funniest giant monster movies ever made, Tremors entertains its audiences with a likable cast and jaw-dropping practical effects. Though a box office flop, barely making more than its $10 million budget, the film was a massive hit on home video, eventually earning its status as a wildly popular cult movie over the years. Today, Tremors has spawned multiple sequels and continues to be a recognizable addition to pop culture, showing no signs of being forgotten any time soon.


Tremors Movie Poster

Tremors

Release Date
January 19, 1990

Cast
Kevin Bacon , Fred Ward , Finn Carter , Michael Gross , Reba McEntire , Robert Jayne

Runtime
96

Writers
S.S. Wilson , Brent Maddock , Ron Underwood

9 ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ (1997)

Director: Jim Gillespie

 Ray and Julie looking up with scared expressions in I Know What You Did Last Summer
Image via Columbia Pictures

After Wes Craven rejuvenated the slasher subgenre in the late 90s with his smash hit Scream, countless imitators flooded the horror market, hoping to capitalize on its success. Arguably, one of the most remarkable is I Know What You Did Last Summer, written by Scream writer Kevin Williamson. It follows four high school friends finding themselves the targets of a mysterious hook-wielding serial killer stalking them one year to the anniversary of when they covered up an unspeakable crime.


Unlike Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer treats is premise with more seriousness, operating by rather than subverting slasher rules. While it’s far from being as masterful as Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer is still a guilty pleasure and an enjoyable slasher flick from beginning to end. It’s the perfect knockoff for any Scream fan to rewatch over and over again, featuring great performances from bonafide scream queens Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

8 ‘The Craft’ (1996)

Director: Andrew Fleming

Four witches raising their arms while at the beach at night in The-Craft
Image via Columbia Pictures


Andrew Flemming‘s wonderfully dark coming-of-age fantasy horror flick The Craft is the go-to for fans of witches and the supernatural. Starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True, it follows a shy young teenager as she moves to a Los Angeles Catholic prep school, home to a secret trio of aspiring witches. However, as she joins the trio in their dark practices, they all develop new, terrifying powers that slowly go to their heads.

The Craft is an ultimate 90s cult classic, a film with a unique blend of camp, comedy, and horror to please the average moviegoer. Much like how The Lost Boys made vampires cool and alluring in the ’80s, The Craft draws viewers in with a likable cast and unique style that perfectly encapsulates the decade. It’s all backed by incredible performances by the four lead actresses, especially by Fairuza Balk, who dominates every scene with her unique and darkly memorable charm. The Craft is hard not to enjoy, and it easily becomes more fun to watch no matter how many times fans see it.


the-craft-poster

The Craft

Release Date
May 3, 1996

Runtime
101 minutes

Writers
Peter Filardi , Andrew Fleming

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7 ‘Halloween H20’ (1998)

Director: Steve Miner

Laurie Strode and Michael Myers face to face in Halloween: H20
Image Via Miramax Films 

Coming out during a thriving time for slasher movies, 1998’s Halloween H20 sees the legendary return of actress Jamie Lee Curtis in a thrilling horror rematch of the century. Co-starring Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, and LL Cool J, it follows Laurie Strode as she finally moves on with her life with her son in California twenty years after narrowly escaping the deadly clutches of her murderous older brother, Michael Myers. However, as the anniversary of the Haddonfield massacre looms, Laurie suspects Michael may return to finish the job.


After a string of lackluster sequels when the slasher subgenre was starting to lose its box office potential, it almost seemed the Halloween franchise was done. Thankfully, the post-Scream boom rescued Halloween from movie hell. Today, Halloween H20 is a fan favorite among fans of the revered franchise. It’s a crowd-pleasing spectacle with a few impressive kills and a wonderful ending fight between Laurie and Michael that still makes viewers cheer. While it never comes close to John Carpenter‘s 1978 original, nor may it be the most significant slasher movie of the decade, Halloween H20 is still a memorable and fun installment to this beloved franchise that deserves a rewatch during your next slasher movie marathon.

Halloween H20 20 Years Later poster

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Release Date
August 5, 1998

Runtime
83


6 ‘Misery’ (1990)

Director: Rob Riner

Close up of Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) holding a sledgehammer in Misery
Image via Columbia Pictures

Sighted as one of the best film adaptations by acclaimed horror author Stephen King, 1990’s Misery is a masterpiece of tension and suspense that’ll make viewers think twice about becoming famous. Starring the remarkable late James Caan and Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates in her most iconic role, it tells the story of talented novelist Paul Sheldon who, after surviving a near-fatal car crash, finds himself held against his will by his overly-obsessed fan, Annie Wilkes.

Misery doesn’t need monsters, slashers, aliens, or the supernatural to tell a compelling and terrifying story. Instead, it draws audiences in with its gripping suspense and incredible performances. Kathy Bates shines as the disturbed Annie Wilkes, delivering a creepy, unpredictable, and highly memorable performance that won her a Best Actress Oscar, a rare recognition for a horror movie. Today, Misery can be seen multiple times and still leaves an ever-lasting and unsettling impression on viewers. For any King fan, this classic must be seen more than once.


Misery Movie Poster

Misery

Release Date
November 30, 1990

Cast
James Caan , Kathy Bates , Richard Farnsworth , Frances Sternhagen , Lauren Bacall , Graham Jarvis

Runtime
107

5 ‘Candyman’ (1992)

Director: Bernard Rose

Candyman looking intently ahead in Candyman
Image via TriStar Pictures

As far as slasher movies go, Bernard Rose‘s 1992 classic Candyman certainly ranks as one of the best. Starring Virginia Madsen and the always enjoyable Tony Todd in the titular role, it tells the story of Chicago grad student Helen Lyle as she investigates the urban myth of the fearsome supernatural boogeyman, The Candyman. However, when her actions begin discrediting the legend, Helen horrifyingly realizes the Candyman is far too real as he makes her his next target.


Candyman is different from the typical run-of-the-mill slasher. With its complex themes about racism and the harms of gentrification, not to mention featuring a sympathetic antagonist with a tragic backstory, the film is a lot more thought-provoking and unique than some initial viewers might think. It’s all made perfect by Madsen’s and Todd’s amazing chemistry on screen, adding an interesting and darkly romantic spin on the slasher genre that has cemented Candyman‘s legacy for years to come.

Candyman

Release Date
October 16, 1992

Runtime
99

Writers
Clive Barker , Bernard Rose

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4 ‘The Blair Witch Project’ (1999)

Director: Eduardo Sánchez, Daniel Myrick

Heather Donahue recording herself crying in The Blair Witch Project (1999).
Image via Artisan Entertainment


When it comes to found-footage horror movies, nothing tops the success and influence of The Blair Witch Project. Starring Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, and Joshua Leonard, this mockumentary-style supernatural horror flick leaves viewers with a sinking feeling of impending doom as it follows three naive film students hiking out alone in the woods of Maryland to investigate the mysterious legend of the Blair Witch. However, as they venture deeper into the dense forest, they terrifyingly realize they’re not alone.

The Blair Witch Project has become well-known in the horror community for its revolutionary and unusual marketing campaign that tricked audiences into making them believe the film was real. A made-up legend and fake missing posters made many audiences in 1999 question whether its three leads actually fell victim to the titular being. It was a controversial but effective ploy that undoubtedly led to the film’s stellar $248 million box office. Its gimmick has long since lost its potency, but The Blair Witch Project is still seen as a remarkable addition to the horror genre that paved the way for more successful found-footage films down the line. It’s the perfect scary movie that only gets more unsettling the more fans watch it.


The Blair Witch Project Film Poster

The Blair Witch Project

Release Date
July 30, 1999

Cast
Heather Donahue , Michael C. Williams , Joshua Leonard

Runtime
81 minutes

Writers
Daniel Myrick , Eduardo Sánchez , Heather Donahue

3 ‘The Sixth Sense’ (1999)

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Malcolm (Bruce Willis) and Cole (Haley Joel Osment) looking in the same direction while standing in a room in The Sixth Sense.
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Few horror movies in the ’90s are as iconic as M. Night Shyamalan‘s eerie supernatural mystery thriller The Sixth Sense. Starring the iconic Bruce Willis, a young Haley Joel Osment in his screen debut, and Toni Collette, it follows the story of struggling child psychologist Malcolm Crowe as he takes on the case of a troubled young boy named Cole Sear, who has the unique ability to see and communicate with the dead.


With emotional performances, fantastic suspense, a few thrilling jump scares, and one of the most iconic twist endings in film history, The Sixth Sense is not just one of the best horror films of the ’90s; it’s one of the greatest movies, period. It’s a complex, gripping story that’s more than a straightforward horror film, featuring some of the greatest acting of both Willis’s and Osment’s careers. The Sixth Sense deserves to be rewatched, and while the famous twist ending only works the first time, the film remains worthy of another viewing.

The Sixth Sense

Release Date
August 6, 1999

Runtime
115

Writers
M. Night Shyamalan

2 ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991)

Director: Jonathan Demme

Clarice looking intently with Hannibal Lecter's reflection beside her in The Silence of the Lambs
Image via Orion Pictures


No ’90s horror movie marathon is complete without Jonathan Demme‘s acclaimed and iconic psychological horror thriller, The Silence of the Lambs. Starring Academy Award winners Jodie Foster and Sir Anthony Hopkins, it follows a young FBI trainee named Clarice Starling. In her first solo mission, she enlists the assistance of the infamous and vastly intelligent convicted murderer Dr. Hannibal Lecter to help find an elusive serial killer before he can strike again.

The Silence of the Lambs is the only horror film to win Best Picture and one of only three (the others being It Happened One Night and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) to sweep the five major categories at the Oscars. It undoubtedly was a massive critical and commercial success that few films have ever come close to. The Silence of the Lambs’ story and iconic characters have become staples of the horror genre and are constantly referenced in pop culture. It’s a smart, brilliantly acted, and highly quotable horror movie that never gets old and is as refreshing and effective today as it was in 1991.


The Silence of the Lambs - 1991 - poster

The Silence of the Lambs

Release Date
February 14, 1991

Runtime
118 min.

1 ‘Scream’ (1996)

Director: Wes Craven

Ghostface looking down at someone off-camera in Scream.
Image via Dimension Films

“What’s your favorite scary movie?” Well, for many horror movie buffs growing up in the ’90s, it might be Wes Craven’s iconic slasher Scream. Widely considered one of the most influential horror movies ever, Scream came out at a perfect time to rejuvenate the horror genre and blow audiences away with its unique blend of laughs and scares. Starring Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, and Skeet Ulrich, it follows a grieving teenager and her friends as they find themselves the targets of a ghost mask-wearing murderer trying to imitate a real-life horror film.


To say Scream significantly impacted the horror genre is an understatement. Coming out during a time when the popularity of slashers was steadily declining after a string of commercial and critical flops, here came a delightful mix of horror and comedy that proved there was still a lot of potential. It was funny, brilliantly self-aware, and poked fun at these types of movies while giving new life to them. Scream deserves its top spot as the most rewatchable horror film of the 1990s. It may just be one of the most rewatchable of all time.

Scream 1996 Film Poster

Scream

Release Date
December 20, 1996

Runtime
111 minutes

Writers
Kevin Williamson

NEXT: The 10 Most Rewatchable ’80s Horror Movies, Ranked



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