Gen Z is beyond obsessed with Y2K, but for many ’90s nostalgia reigns supreme. The decade that brought us cheesy classics like Titanic and Forrest Gump wasn’t only about sentimentalism — we also had plenty of scares.
Although 90’s horror is often remembered as mindless dreck, the 90’s actually birthed some of the most critically acclaimed horror films ever made. It’s true that plenty of movies followed the most obvious formulas, but others were deconstructing the genre itself: smartly playing with the cliches of horror to make something starkly new. Meanwhile, while J-Horror was only of interest to the United States in the early ’00s, Japan was laying the blueprint for what would come in the genre long before Western cinephiles would take note in the new millennium.
In celebration of long-forgotten classics, critical triumphs, schlocky remakes, and under-appreciated gems, we’re counting down our favorite 1990’s horror films in this unranked list: ranging from Oscar-winning thrillers to low-budget legends.