Best Horror film of the 90's

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by Ash28M, Mar 20, 2005.

?

Best of the 90's

  1. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

    13 vote(s)
    11.8%
  2. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

    11 vote(s)
    10.0%
  3. Thesis (1996)

    2 vote(s)
    1.8%
  4. The Sixth Sense (1999)

    1 vote(s)
    0.9%
  5. Dead Alive (1992)

    6 vote(s)
    5.5%
  6. Ringu (1998)

    5 vote(s)
    4.5%
  7. Se7en (1995)

    4 vote(s)
    3.6%
  8. Candyman (1992)

    12 vote(s)
    10.9%
  9. Audition (1999)

    2 vote(s)
    1.8%
  10. The Ugly (1997)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. Army of Darkness (1993)

    5 vote(s)
    4.5%
  12. Cemetery Man (1996)

    12 vote(s)
    10.9%
  13. Funny Games (1997)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. Jacob's Ladder (1990)

    5 vote(s)
    4.5%
  15. Cape Fear (1991)

    2 vote(s)
    1.8%
  16. Scream (1996)

    15 vote(s)
    13.6%
  17. Stir of Echoes (1999)

    1 vote(s)
    0.9%
  18. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

    4 vote(s)
    3.6%
  19. Ravenous (1999)

    1 vote(s)
    0.9%
  20. Other (Specify)

    9 vote(s)
    8.2%
  1. tobaccoman

    tobaccoman White, Proud, and Stupid

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    I haven't seen Audition or Cemetary Man and I don't really remember Cape Fear so I guess I'm in kind of a bad position to vote on this poll. However, I'm gonna retract my Troma votes and say Cronos as I totally forgot about that movie. I absolutely love it, just as I love The Devil's Backbone (which I voted as this decades best so far)!
     
  2. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    10,748
    Likes Received:
    636
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Keene, NH
    No. It says that the 90s were a shitty decade for horror.
     
  3. betterdan

    betterdan Guest

    Well yea that too :p
     
  4. speanroc

    speanroc I WANNA BAN

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    AMERICA
    dead alive
     
  5. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,064
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    I think i want to name my first born The Blair Witch. That's how much i love that film.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2005
  6. de rossi

    de rossi Guest

    Cemetery Man aka Dellamorte Dellamore.
     
  7. KGBRadioMoskow

    KGBRadioMoskow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    239
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Some tough choices. Mainly due to what I'd categorize (or not) as "horror", and yes I know the term is subject to much debate.

    Silence of the Lambs had excellent performances, a clever script, but didn't creep me out anywhere near as much as it did most people. It was also as much a detective thriller as a horror film. Same with Se7en, which I thought was a better film overall and had one of those "you know it can't end any other way, but it still hurts to watch" endings. Highly recommended films, top 5 on the list, but more "thriller" than "horror" in my book.

    The Blair Witch Project was a gimmick. Worked well at the time, but hasn't aged well.

    The Sixth Sense almost made it in my book. Yes, the end was predictable, but it was the journey that made it work. Too bad M. Night Shyamalan has gone downhill since - Unbreakable worked on the basis of its acting (Jackson's brilliantly tragic performance as a man trying so hard to find meaning to his crippled existence that he became the antithesis of what he was searching for), Signs was IMO a joke, and The Village was like an overly long Twilight Zone retread.

    Stir of Echoes wouldn't have made it to the big screen had Sixth Sense not been a hit, even though the former had roots in an older story by the esteemed Richard Matheson. Good movie, best of the decade not by a long shot.

    You could take all the gore scenes in Army of Darkness, condense them to a 20 minute montage, and Dead Alive would make it look like a Disney flick. I can't recommend Dead Alive enough. Having said that, it was basically horror camp, while I can't think of a better time I've had laughing and flinching at the same time. Sitting in the same category along with From Dusk Till Dawn and the excellent Cemetery Man, I just can't see calling them "horror" when the horror is so tempered by humor.

    Scream. Yawn. Once again, Wes Craven proves himself to be an over rated hack. "The Last House on the Left" and "The Hills Have Eyes" are IMO the best he's ever done. And while "A Nightmare on Elm Street" had its moments of quality I've not watched anything by Wes since that has either been scary, intriguing, or even original / interesting enough that I didn't end up taking 2-3 nights to watch because pausing the DVD and changing the channel grabbed my attention better.

    Ravenous was a quirky and original flick with some moments that can only be described as wickedly depraved and demented. Some logic flaws and an ending that straddled the border between brilliant and head scratching firmly removes it from the top list in my book, but a fun film regardless.

    Audition had fewer moments of depravity than Ravenous, but its grim seriousness made those moments even more shocking. As others have stated, it had fewer "payoff" moments than many horror flicks, but oh what a payoff.

    Jacob's Ladder was for me the best picture on the list. A very well made mix of philosophy of Heaven and Hell, alienation, loss, and horror. Has to date some of the most shocking imagery I've seen on screen, mainly in how it shows up for brief moments in some of the most innocuous of settings - those sort of waking during a dream moments of a hallucination that lets you know what a bad acid flashback is like. But again I can't quite qualify this one as horror, its ending made it clear that this was a film to think about rather than be horrified at (much as Sixth Sense ended on a "meditate on this" moral).

    Ringu for me is the best film on the list that fully qualifies as horror. The concept of a haunted video tape, while inventive, was indeed a trite gimmick. But the slow burn tension, with the tried and true "show just enough to hint and let imagination do the rest" build ups paid homage to horror films of old and held my undivided attention. And the double gut punch ending - with the television scene for the visual horror fix, and the "let's drive to grandpa's house" emotional shocker - was a payoff that did not disappoint. If anything, this film' reputation suffered more from over exposure, over hype, and a dog of an American remake than it did from any lack of quality. Yes, Dark Water (2002) was a better film, a few other Japanese films since have rivaled Ringu's quality, and several more that simply missed the mark while still being a far better way to spend an evening than American horror films of late. And a few others on the poll list were IMO overall better films, or better acted. But for pure horror, Ringu tops my list of the 90's.
     
  8. KGBRadioMoskow

    KGBRadioMoskow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    239
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Excellent films all. Misery probably would have gotten a few votes, more than some of those that were listed. There's a good chance I would have voted for it. If this film didn't make you flinch and grimace, you probably need CPR.

    Cronos, along with Devils Backbone, are the shining jewels in Guillermo del Toro's crown. Its a sad thing that he's best known for Blade II, the promising but ultimately derivative Mimic, and the half baked Hellboy. I do have some hope that he will be able to do justice to "At the Mountains of Madness", if he is able to pay heed to his inner voice and not to Hollywood suits.

    In the Mouth of Madness is a must have for anyone who needs their visual Lovecraft fix. While I thoroughly enjoyed Dagon, The Resurrected, Re-Animator, and From Beyond, its odd that the big screen film that IMO was truer to Lovecraft's style was not actually based on any of his stories.

    Count me as someone who thought this was a worthy addition to the series. The first was the best, but this one did a fine job of bringing back the same sense of under siege horror without completely following the same recipe. I've seen this one a couple of times, and consider it time well spent. But you're right, top 20 material it wasn't.
     
  9. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,064
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    To me all the debate over whether or not a film is a true horror film is humorous. If a horror film can't be a horror film if it crosses genre's then I guess we would have to through out The Exorcist or Carrie because they are Horror/Drama's or Alien, The Thing and even Frankenstein because they are Horror/Sci Fi or Jaws, Deliverance and the remake of Dawn of the Dead because they are Horror/Action/Adventure. Until all we are left with is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Gimmie a break if a film has horror or disturbing elements or even a sense of dread and you think it's horror then by God it's horror. There is a reason why every film on this list has been talked about in every horror magazine and horror message boards including this one and that’s because they have enough horror elements in them to be considered a horror movie.
     
  10. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,064
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    Yeah Misery is the one I struggled with removing from the list. At the time I didn't think it would get enough votes. If anything that's the one film I regret dropping most.
     
  11. fceurich39

    fceurich39 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    8,786
    Likes Received:
    481
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Ira's Toys store
    scream revamped new life it to the horror scene certainly i think was clearly the most important horror movies of the 90's
     
  12. bwana the clown

    bwana the clown Supreme Ruler Of Sados

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Farthest Reaches Of The Downunderverse!
    Heh-heh. My vote just put Blair Witch on top. Silence Of The Lambs is easily the best movie on the list, but it ain't horror.
     
  13. KGBRadioMoskow

    KGBRadioMoskow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    239
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Tis why the catagory is a subject of debate, and why some people insist on drawing a distinction between horror and thriller. The "was it horrifying?" is indeed the right final judgement, the problem is much of what "deviates" from strick horror usually lessens the impact of the horror. Se7en had some truly horrific scenes, but the ending was more tragic than horrific - an example of an excellent film that was horrific but was ultimately *less horrifying* for having less focus on horror. Many of the films on the list hit me with the same question - which ones, overall, had more of a horror impact. Not which ones were the best films, but just happened to throw some horror into the mix. In a nutshell, those were generally those that stuck to their focus.

    Then there were those that are catagorized as horror, even though a light bulb explosively burning out has twice the shock value. Army of Darkness wasn't horrifying in my book on any level - thoroughly entertaining, but slapstick and tongue in cheek doesn't suddenly become frightening just because you toss buckets (and barrels) of blood into the mix (I don't care how many magazines or boards talk about this film, if it didn't come close to scaring me, and obviously didn't intend to, it wasn't horror).

    The sci-fi distinction you point out is a straw men arguments. Horror, comedy, and drama have always been catagories that transcend settings, and thus sits as well in 1800 as it does in 2800. Sci-fi is more a setting than catagory - while drama, comedy, and horror all define a style that does not dictate setting, science fiction is a setting that relies on drama, comedy, horror, or at least the term "action" to actually flesh out its style. Its not really a stand-alone description - describe a film as comedy, and you've got a decent idea of its style. Describe a film as sci-fi, and you're left asking "sci-fi what?". Much like gothic, civil war, pulp era, etc evoke a mood and setting but not a direction - its when you say "gothic horror" or "sci-fi comedy" that you've got a complete description.

    As for catagorizing Carrie and Exorcist as dramas. Lets see, they have a build up, tension, conflict, and a climax. The classic definition of drama - and the classic definition of horror. Horror is, essentially, drama - for that matter, so are comedies that are anything above simple visual slapstick. The only difference between the two is the direction they ultimately take, and that has always been the branching point between drama and horror. To state The Exorcist is horror/drama on the basis of the two genre's inherently common traits like saying the book Dracula must be a comedy because both types of books have paragraphs, page numbers, and punctuation.
     
  14. KGBRadioMoskow

    KGBRadioMoskow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    239
    Trophy Points:
    63
    New life in a manner I've since regretted immensely. There's a reason why I've spent much time looking to horror film imports, and Scream and its legacy has a lot to do with it. If you found Scream and its follow-ups entertaining, I honestly say I envy you. My search for quality horror entertainment would have been much simpler if I could have said the same.
     
  15. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,064
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    I think what you fail to see is that a horror movie doesn't have to be scary to be considered a horror movie. Yes I prefer my horror movies to be scary but just because a film wasn’t scary doesn’t mean it’s not a horror.
     
  16. So many of them were good that it was hard to choose but I think Silence of the Lambs and Stir of Echoes are the best. The Blair Witch Project was a good concept and had a phenomenal marketing strategy but the film itself was not that good.
     
  17. moogong

    moogong Arte Suave

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,434
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Army of Darkness. I love a good horror and comedy mix.
     
  18. KGBRadioMoskow

    KGBRadioMoskow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    239
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Well, since Hollywood also seems to think a movie doesn't have to be funny to be called a comedy, you're probably right. My definition is a bit more strict, so it doesn't look like we're going to find common ground on that point.
     
  19. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Messages:
    16,580
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Crashed
    --I think what you fail to see is that a horror movie doesn't have to be scary to be considered a horror movie.--

    Oh, you see, fundamentally, I think it has to be scary. Of course different thing scare different people (monsters, rape, supernatural), but without some horrific elements, it's just not horror. As I said before, Young Frankenstein can, in no way, be considered horror, even though it has a monster in it. If it's doesn't have a scare in it, then it's something else.

    Of course, we'd have to define what "scare" means. :D
     
  20. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,064
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    Well different things do scare different people. So I guess I'll rephrase that into saying just because “I” found a horror movie in no way scary I can still acknowledge that it was a horror movie and even a good one. For example Dawn of the dead, great horror movie that I found in no way scary. But I can still appreciate it as a horror film without it scaring me. Then again someone else may find it scary. Like i am sure there are people out there that find Army of darkness scary. My point really is that there are horror movies that I know are more out to either gross me out i.e. some zombie films or disturb me i.e. rape revenge flicks, But not necessarily scare me. But yet I would still call Dawn of the dead and I spit on your grave horror films. There are also films that are scary that I wouldn’t necessarily consider Horror films i.e The Day After or Threads. Those nuclear war films scare the hell out of me. Yet if someone wanted to call them horror films I wouldn't really have a problem with that. So in short I still think that if you consider it a horror movie then it’s a horror movie if you don’t then it’s not, but for anyone to think they are the final word on the subject is ludicrous.
     

Share This Page