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Ranking the best 1990s horror movies, best to worst - from JNCO Jeans to murdered teens

Sure, there were some real bad horror movies in the 90s. But none of them are on this list.

Image credit: TriStar, Spyglass, New Line Cinema

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The scariest thing about 90s horror movies is that, at this point, they're all around 30 years old. But still, there are quite a few of them that deserve to terrify even outside their reminder that we must, all of us, grow old. Popverse has assembled the cream of this particular creepy crop, and published it as our best 90s horror movies, ranked list for you to enjoy. Make sure you're sitting comfortably (back pain is no joke at our age) and read on.

12. Event Horizon (1997)

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

The new Alien: Romulus trailer has us horror fans giddy for space horror, and you don't need to look further than Event Horizon to scratch that itch. Admittedly, the horror of Event Horizon is a bit more amorphous than the xenomorph, but it is no less terrifying. Plus, Sam Neill and cosmic horror just go together very well, as we'll see again in this list.

Stream Event Horizon on Pluto TV.

11. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (1995)

Image credit: HBO

Of all the cult classics to come out of HBO's EC Comics-inspired Tales from the Crypt, Demon Knight is the cult classiest. Starring Billy Zane, Jada Pinkett, and Thomas Hayden Church, this film is delightfully campy and plenty spooky, especially if you like your horror with a side of fantasy.

Demon Knight is unavaible to stream, but you can rent it on Apple TV.

10. Ravenous (1999)

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

The title of "Best Cannibal Horror from the 90s" usually goes to a certain movie about quiet sheep, but I'm of the opinion that that film is a thriller, not horror, so I'm selecting historical terrifier Ravenous instead, and not just because Guy Pearce is A.) one of the leads and B.) an absolute treasure.

Ravenous is unavailable to stream, but you can rent it on Apple TV.

9. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

Image credit: New Line Cinema

Remember I said Sam Neill and cosmic horror go well together? Well that's especially true when the guy pairing them is none other than John Carpenter. The best H.P. Lovecraft adaptation that technically isn't one, In the Mouth of Madness is a spectacular mix of suspense and practical effects, with an ending that'll stick with you for... well, it still sticks with me, and I saw it a decade ago.

In the Mouth of Madness is unavailable to stream, but you can rent it on Apple TV.

8. Candyman (1992)

Image credit: Polygram Filmed Entertainment

90s kids got to witness spooky folklore go from analog (in the form of urban legends) to digital (in the form of creepypasta), and few capture the former better than Candyman. And not only does it do folklore, it subverts it - setting the tale in the streets of Chicago rather than the wooded setting of a campfire story.

Candyman is unavailable to stream, but you can rent it on Apple TV.

7. Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

Image credit: New Line Cinema

Before he solidified the genre with a different entry on this list, meta-horror pioneer Wes Craven brought new life into the Nightmare on elm Street franchise by bringing Freddy Krueger into our world. This film features one of the best monster redesigns in spooky cinema, and succeeded in doing what so many other Elm Streets forgot to: bringing Heather Langenkamp back.

Stream Wes Craven's New Nightmare on Netflix.

6. Perfect Blue (1997)

Image credit: Rex Entertainment

I bet you didn't expect to see anime on this list, did you? Recommended to me by pal Greg Silber (who wrote Popverse's best horror movie list), Perfect Blue shifting reality to explores the terrors of celebrity.

Stream Perfect Blue on Shudder.

5. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Image credit: Spyglass Entertainment

Yes, we all know what happens at the end of the movie that put M. Night Shyamalan on the map (and if you don't, stop what you're doing and watch this movie right now). Still, it holds up as a tense and heartfelt chiller to this day, spoilers be damned.

Stream The Sixth Sense on AMC+.

4. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Image credit: Haxan Films

Arguably the film that invented found footage (and that's a strong argument), the genius of The Blair Witch Project stays evident 25 years after its release, especially when it comes to that "refuse to explain" ending. I'm just saying, these are some big footsteps that the upcoming reboot is trying to fill.

Stream The Blair Witch Project on the Roku Channel.

3. Scream (1996)

Image credit: Dimension Films

For so many horror fans, there are two eras of the film genre - before Scream, and after it. This is Wes Craven's meta-horror masterpiece, the movie that gave birth to perhaps the most consistently great horror franchise in history. I'll be 100% honest - I personally like Scream 2 better, but this is where it started, and on a "bests" lists, it's the one that deserves to be represented.

Stream Scream on Max.

2. Misery (1990)

Image credit: Castle Rock Entertainment

Stephen King's name was bound to come up somewhere on this list, bt the casual fan might be surprised to see that it's for one of his "real-world" offerings - no ghosts, demons, or Its required. Kathy Bates makes for a plenty terrifying villain in this captivity horror film - you'll never see a bob haircut the same way again.

Stream Misery on AMC+.

1. Ring (1998)

Image credit: Toho

The film that brought J-Horror to the American consumer, Ring (or Ringu) deserves this top spot for so many reasons. It is an iconic piece of the genre - even your friend who's never seen a horror or Japanese movie can identify this film just with one shot of a dead girl crawling out of a TV. Ring isn't just one of the best horror movies of the 90s... it's one of the best movies to come out of the 90s.

Stream Ring on Tubi (for free!)


In the immortal words of Danny Elfman, "Life's no fun without a good scare." We couldn't agree more, which is why we think you should check out horror aficionado Greg Silber's list of the best horror movies of all time. Or, if you've already seen those classics, check out our list of the most underrated horror movies from the past couple years. And if you've already seen all of those, Let us tell you what to look forward to (or dread) in Popverse's list of upcoming horror movies.

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