19 '90s Horror Movies That Are Scary Nostalgic
There's something about the horror movies of the '90s that can't help but make you feel nostalgic. Maybe it's the fact that two Party of Five alums — Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt — were the genre's biggest scream queens during that time. Or that every scary movie in the '90s seemed to star someone from Dawson's Creek. But whatever it is about these movies, it's not something that would so much be described as scary, but instead, frighteningly specific to the decade. From killer animals to teen slasher films to people truly believing in the idea of found footage, this period certainly had its own aesthetic that brings you back in time with every rewatch.
Sure, the clothes and the haircuts (oh, the Caesar!) help timestamp these movies for better, but mostly worse. Honestly, watching these films will likely leave you laughing or crying over the less than stellar fashion choices everyone was making back then. But these movies feel so incredibly '90s due to their catchphrases — "I see dead people" comes to mind — and their silliness. These movies seem delightfully tame compared to those that would come after, which is probably what makes them so enjoyable. The idea of a man with a hook coming to kill you just seems kind of campy and hilarious, not so much scary.
That's why it's worth taking a look back at the horror movies that defined a decade so perfectly, and why thy still feel so '90s, even today.
1. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)
If you haven't stood in the middle of the road and screamed, "What are you waiting for?" then you're not a true '90s kid.
2. Scream (1996)
Campbell became everyone's favorite heroine in this iconic horror film that changed the way people looked at the genre, while also poking fun at it. No one is safe, not even big-named stars like Drew Barrymore, whose death is still pretty crazy after all these years.
3. The Sixth Sense (1999)
The only thing more '90s than Haley Joel Osment is Jonathan Lipnicki. Oh, and people saying, "I see dead people."
4. The Faculty (1998)
This was like The Breakfast Club of the '90s, complete with Elijah Wood as the nerd, Josh Harnett as the rebel, and Jordana Brewster as the popular one.
5. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Was this footage really found or what? Seriously, that was a question people were asking themselves when this movie came out.
6. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Hartnett and Michelle Williams teamed up to help the original Halloween scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis, take on Michael Myers. But it's Hartnett's hair that perfectly defines the decade. When else could you get away with a shaggy looking Caesar cut?
7. Seven (1995)
When someone asks, "What's in the box?!" you can't help but think of poor Brad Pitt in this David Fincher thriller that follows a killer who is obsessed with the seven deadly sins.
8. The Craft (1996)
Like I said, Campbell was a horror movie queen during this decade, doing it again with this teen horror film that made witchcraft look like the most badass thing a teenage girl could do. Well, that and play "light as a feather, stiff as a board."
9. Interview With The Vampire (1994)
There are many reasons to be jealous of Kirsten Dunst, but for many, this movie, where she shares a kiss with a longhaired Pitt, was the first on the list.
10. Disturbing Behavior (1998)
Katie Holmes (aka Joey Potter) playing the bad girl is one of many ridiculous things about this horror flick about students, who are taking part in a special program that seems to be turning them into Stepford teens.
11. Urban Legend (1998)
A bleached blonde Dawson's Creek Joshua Jackson and a post-My So-Called Life Jared Leto make this a movie filled with the decade's biggest heartthrobs.
12. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves star in this very '90s take on the Mary Shelley classic.
13. Misery (1990)
Kathy Bates may scare everyone on American Horror Story now, but she first gave us all nightmares as Dolores, a creepy nurse who will do anything to keep you in bed. Poor James Caan's feet.
14. It (1990)
Thanks to this Stephen King thriller, you never thought of clowns the same way again.
15. Idle Hands (1999)
I have two words for you: Devon. Sawa.
16. The Frighteners (1996)
What's probably most frightening about this movie — starring Michael J. Fox as an exorcist, who starts seeing ghosts after a tragic accident — is the special effects.
17. Leprechaun (1993)
A pre-Friends Jennifer Aniston was being terrorized by a leprechaun. Yep, that was supposed to be scary way back in '93.
18. Anaconda (1997)
The '90s was a decade obsessed with killer animals. This time around, it's on the hunt for a pre-"Jenny From The Block" Jennifer Lopez. Yep, Lopez was just a Hollywood ingenue back then.
19. Tremors (1990)
Just look at Kevin Bacon's hair in this one and you'll have no trouble guessing it was made in 1990.
This Halloween, celebrate the '90s with a scary movie marathon that will have you breaking out your oversized bell-bottoms, platform sneakers, and butterfly clips.
Image: Columbia Pictures