The 70s were known as the era of exploitation and the slasher film dominated the 80s, but the 90s was a mixed decade for the horror genre. It was home to slashers, a boomstick, reanimated corpses and more; some may say that it was the last decade for true horror films before the dawn of the remakes took hold in the 2000s. With so many great horror films born in a decade, more than just a top 10 or even a top 20 is required; here are the top 40 horror films from the 90s.
40. Arachnophobia (1990)
Plot: A species of South American killer spider hitches a lift to the U.S. in a coffin and starts to breed and kill.
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Julian Sands and John Goodman
39. Disturbing Behavior (1998)
Plot: The new kid in town stumbles across something sinister about the town's method of transforming its unruly teens into upstanding citizens.
Stars: James Marsden, Katie Holmes and Nick Stahl
38. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Plot: The vampire comes to England to seduce a visitor's fiancée and inflict havoc in the foreign land.
Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins
37. Stir of Echoes (1999)
Plot: After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around him.
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Zachary David Cope and Kathryn Erbe
36. The Dark Half (1993)
Plot: A writer's fictional alter ego wants to take over his life...at any price.
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan and Michael Rooker
35. The Faculty (1998)
Plot: Students suspect that their teachers are aliens after bizarre occurrences.
Stars: Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall and Josh Hartnett
34. Brainscan (1994)
Plot: A teenager is part of an interactive video game where he kills innocent victims. Later, the murders become real.
Stars: Edward Furlong, Frank Langella and T. Ryder Smith
33. Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later (1998)
Plot: Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time and now the life of her own son hangs in the balance.
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett and Adam Arkin
32. Bride of Chucky (1998)
Plot: Chucky, the doll possessed by a serial killer, discovers the perfect mate to kill and revive into the body of another doll.
Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif and Katherine Heigl
31. Lord of Illusions (1995)
Plot: During a routine case in L.A., NY private investigator Harry D'Amour stumbles over members of a fanatic cult, who are waiting for the resurrection of their leader Nix. 13 years ago, Nix was gunned down by his best trainee Swann. In the meantime Swann is advanced to a popular illusionist like David Copperfield and is married to the charming Dorothea. She hires D'Amour to protect Swann against the evil cult members. A short time later Swann is killed by one of his own tricks and the occurrences are turning over, and it crackles between Dorothea and D'Amour.
Stars: Scott Bakula, Kevin J. O'Connor and Joseph Latimore
30. Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
Plot: A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund and Jeff Davis
29. Tremors (1990)
Plot: Natives of a small isolated town defend themselves against strange underground creatures which are killing them one by one.
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward and Finn Carter
28. Cemetery Man (1994)
Plot: A cemetery man must kill the dead a second time when they become zombies.
Stars: Rupert Everett, François Hadji-Lazaro and Anna Falchi
27. Interview with a Vampire (1994)
Plot: A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.
Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas
26. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Plot: Serial killer Jason Voorhees' supernatural origins are revealed.
Stars: John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan and Kane Hodder
25. John Carpenter's Vampires (1998)
Plot: A vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to endure sunlight.
Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin and Sheryl Lee
24. Urban Legend (1998)
Plot: A college student suspects a series of bizarre deaths are connected to certain urban legends.
Stars: Jared Leto, Alicia Witt and Rebecca Gayheart
23. Idle Hands (1999)
Plot: A teenage slacker's right hand becomes possessed with murderous intent.
Stars: Devon Sawa, Seth Green and Elden Henson
22. Se7en (1995)
Plot: Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey
21. Alien 3 (1992)
Plot: After her last encounter, Ripley crash-lands on Fiorina Fury 161, a maximum security prison. When a series of strange and deadly events occur shortly after her arrival, Ripley realizes that she brought along an unwelcome visitor.
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton and Charles Dance
20. Two Evil Eyes (1990)
Plot: Two horror tales based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe directed by two famous horror directors, George A. Romero and Dario Argento.
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Harvey Keitel and Ramy Zada
19. Cape Fear (1991)
Plot: A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange
18. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
Plot: Freddy Krueger returns once again to haunt both the dreams of Springwood's last surviving teenager and a woman with a deep connection to him.
Stars: Robert Englund, Lisa Zane and Shon Greenblatt
17. Bride of Re-Animator (1990)
Plot: Doctors Herbert West and Dan Cain discover the secret to creating human life and proceed to create a perfect woman from dead tissue.
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott and Claude Earl Jones
16. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
Plot: The Gremlins are back, and this time, they've taken total control over the building of a media mogul.
Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates and John Glover
15. Audition (1999)
Plot: A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina and Tetsu Sawaki
14. Scream 2 (1997)
Plot: Two years after the first series of murders, a new psychopath dons the Ghostface costume and a new string of killings begins.
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette
13. The Craft (1996)
Plot: A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.
Stars: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk and Neve Campbell
12. The Frighteners (1996)
Plot: After a tragic car accident that kills his wife, a man discovers he can communicate with the dead to con people. However, when a demonic spirit appears, he may be the only one who can stop it from killing the living and the dead.
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado and Peter Dobson
11. Strangeland (1998)
Plot: A detective pursues a sadist specializing in body modification rituals who lures teenagers through the internet.
Stars: Kevin Gage, Elizabeth Peña, Dee Snider
10. Candyman (1992)
Plot: The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth.
Stars: Virginia Madsen, Xander Berkeley and Tony Todd
9. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Plot: Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in an establishment populated by vampires, with chaotic results.
Stars: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney and Juliette Lewis
8. Tales From the Darkside (1990)
Plot: A young boy tells three stories of horror to distract a witch who plans to eat him.
Stars: Debbie Harry, Matthew Lawrence and Christian Slater
7. IT (1990)
Plot: In 1960, seven pre-teen outcasts fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for all when it returns to their hometown.
Stars: Richard Thomas, Tim Reid and Annette O'Toole
6. Nightbreed (1990)
Plot: A troubled young man is drawn to a mythical place called Midian where a variety of monsters are hiding from humanity.
Stars: Craig Sheffer, David Cronenberg, Anne Bobby
5. The People Under the Stairs (1991)
Plot: Two adults and a juvenile burglar break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children and become trapped.
Stars: Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill and Sean Whalen
4. Dead Alive (Braindead) (1992)
Plot: A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.
Stars: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver and Elizabeth Moody
3. Scream (1996)
Plot: A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
2. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
Plot: An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.
Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow and Julie Carmen
1. Army of Darkness (1992)
Plot: A man is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home.
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz and Marcus Gilbert
The 90s were a "creative" decade to say the least, so the top horror movie had to be Army of Darkness. It showcased humor, horror and Bruce Campbell as well as breaking free from the rules and formulas that restrict many other horror films and almost becoming a whole new sub-genre in itself.