From undisputed classics like The Silence of the Lambs and Scream to creature features such as Anaconda and Deep Blue Sea, the 1990s was a diverse decade for horror. It also contained a slew of outright bizarre films, including big sequels like Bride of Chucky.
But some ’90s horror films really pushed the weird factor. The way Redditors see it, that was often to the movies’ benefit. Users of the platform are also quick to provide examples of personal favorite ’90s fright flicks that they find particularly outlandish.
The People Under The Stairs (1991)
The late Wes Craven’s 90s output was overall stellar and easily as important as his work in the 70s and 80s. He successfully expanded his A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise with Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), then had the one-two punch of Scream (1996) and Scream 2 (1997). Before those ahead-of-the-time meta films, though, there was his politically prescient and well-aged The People Under the Stairs (1991). It tells the story of Fool, a little boy who breaks into the home of two murderous kidnappers.
Elnateo wrote of Craven’s film: “Maybe not best, but The People Under the Stairs was fun.” Along with political relevance and entertainment value, monsterm1dget adds another description to the film’s list with “Dude, that movie is so weird lol.”
The Resurrected (1991)
Deadandmessedup provided several examples of underseen, fairly bizarre 90s horror movies. One of them was the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation The Resurrected, starring The Nightmare Before Christmas and Child’s Play‘s Chris Sarandon. The plot follows a woman who hires a P.I. to investigate her husband, Charles Dexter Ward (Sarandon). It’s not possible infidelity she intends to discover, however, but rather what her husband’s up to in his lab.
As the Redditor wrote, it’s a “Solid adaptation of Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward from Dan O’Bannon. Not Stuart Gordon tier, but decent and worth it.”
Dr. Giggles (1992)
While it frequently dwelled in generic slasher territory, Dr. Giggles had one major asset in Larry Drake’s titular performance. He plays Evan Rendell Jr. who, along with his father, went on a killing spree when he was a boy. Now he’s out and continuing his father’s objective: to bring back his deceased mother.
Leprechaun Series (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996)
All four Leprechaun films from the 90s are odd, beginning with the Jennifer Aniston-starring original and culminating with the appropriately titled Leprechaun 4: In Space. There’s even a Vegas-set entry in between. What was consistent was Warwick Davis, who gave the title character his all throughout six installments.
Plastic-Pat brought the franchise up, saying, “Don’t forget the Leprechaun series!” NoReference3, the OP, replied with a laugh, then “I feel like e might need an edible for this one.” Apparently, the Redditor is not the only one to enjoy this strange series while in a certain mindset, as Plastic-Pat added “That is an experience I would definitely recommend!”
Cemetery Man (1994)
Cemetery Man featured Rupert Everett as a cemetery custodian who has to keep re-killing the dead. It’s the type of film that goes in some seriously unexpected directions, culminating with an unforgettable image.
Skilledgiallocop recommended the Italian horror-comedy, calling it a “dark comedy about a caretaker who eliminates zombies as they rise from the grave. Gets really weird and doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional zombie film at all. Also, the last great Italian horror movie before everything dried up, IMHO.”
Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)
The first was easily the best of the two Tales from the Crypt movies. Led by excellent performances from Billy Zane and Jada Pinkett Smith, Demon Knight is a successful translation of the HBO series’ balance of blood and humor.
Several Redditors cited the movie and Zane’s performance. KainBodom wrote “Love Demon Knight. Watching it this Halloween. Then, Madrojian wrote, “Totally solidified my love of Billy Zane.” Another Redditor agreed with this before Rackbone came in with a perfect explanation of why Zane’s work in the film is underrated: “He reaaaaaly blended camp and terror well in that movie. DN and Titanic have made me appreciate Billy Zane a bunch. Dude takes his roles seriously and it shows.”
The Dentist (1996)
The second movie from the ’90s that shouldn’t be watched at the dentist’s office also received a Redditor shoutout. The Dentist follows a man who goes on a murderous rampage after catching his wife with the pool boy. The film features a detestable main character, and some Redditors found him as odd as he is repugnant.
As redditryan2011 wrote: “The Dentist and its sequel are really bizarre films. I don’t think anything else even compares to them. Maybe it’s just my fear of dentists/losing teeth that make it stand out for me.”
Event Horizon (1997)
Whynotnever brought up actor Sam Neill’s impact on 1990s horror, stating “Sam Neill was in some great ones: Jurassic Park, In the Mouth of Madness, and Event Horizon.”
Then, princessmisery further endorsed one of the Redditor’s choices: “Event Horizon is THE 90s horror movie for me. I was 15 when it came out. I was both captivated and scared! It lead to quite a bit of internet searching to find more space horror movies. Sadly, I was pretty disappointed because I had already watched all of the good ones. We need more space horror!!” Event Horizon has held up very well, proving to be just as creepy and gloomily atmospheric now as ever.
To its own detriment, David Cronenberg’s sci-fi horror movie Existenz (eXistenZ) was widely compared to The Matrix, which had captured the zeitgeist only a month before. It’s a twisty, spy-type film where a character can make a gun from bones.
Skilledgiallocop recommended the Cronenberg film along with Cemetery Man, saying it’s “kind of like the spiritual successor to Videodrome, swapping television out for video games/virtual reality. Very ahead of its time, as this is a story you’d expect to be told today. Also, lots of weird body horror stuff like only Cronenberg would do.”
If any 90s horror indie received a surprising amount of Redditor love, it was easily 1999’s Ravenous, starring Robert Carlyle, Guy Pearce, and David Arquette. X0mbigrl was profuse with their praise, writing, “Ravenous is my favorite movie of all time. I must have seen it about 20 times by now and I’ve essentially got the script memorized, lol.” Pearce plays a cowardly U.S. Army Captain who is stationed in the remote Fort Spencer. There, a missing persons case transitions to a gruesome tale of cannibalism.
Or, in deadandmessedup’s words, “Get weird, watch Ravenous” to which NoReference3 cheekily replied, “With a side of ribs….”
NEXT: The 10 Best Horror Movies Of The ’90s, According To Letterboxd
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