While many of us might consider the golden age of horror movies to be the '60s, '70s and '80s, there actually were some pretty fantastic entries in the genre in the '90s, as well. For one, Hollywood was slowly but surely turning its attention toward horror-focused cinema featured in Japanese and Korean films, and adaptations of horror novels were also becoming hugely popular. Plus, the Academy was more open to honoring achievements in horror as shown by the Oscars sweep of The Silence of the Lambs , which took home statues for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress. So it may come as no surprise that there are quite a few horror movie scenes from the '90s that are still scary even today.
Even if it's true that found footage has improved a lot since the release of The Blair Witch Project, and even if it's true that the Scream franchise has a high dose of comedy, not just horror, the movies on the list all have at least one majorly scary moment in them. And it's important to honor that, especially so close to Halloween! So check out some of the scariest movie moments of the '90s that still shock and terrify today, and get in the true Halloween spirt. It's so much more than eating candy, people!
1. Scream (1996) — The Opening Scene
Drew Barrymore running from the unknown killer and finding her boyfriend dead outside still ranks as one of the scariest moments of the '90s.
2. The Blair Witch Project (1999) — The End
What on earth is even going on in this film? Who is the witch, and what did the team find? It's all a mystery and that's what makes it scary.
3. Seven (1996) — Sloth
It's better not to explain what's going on in this scene — just watch. And be warned that it is beyond graphic.
4. Audition (1999) — The Bag
Shigeharu has yet to realize just how twisted and horrifying Asami is in this scene, during which she receives a phone call from her new potential love interest and yet is still torturing a man in a bag next to the phone. It's the least gory moment of the film and therefore the creepiest.
5. Misery (1990) — Hobbling
Everything about this film is beyond screwed up, but this scene where Annie shows her true evil persona is truly terrifying and violent.
6. Candyman (1992) — Saying Candyman
Note to every single person: don't say Candyman three times in front of a mirror, even if you don't believe the myth.
7. Silence Of The Lambs (1991) — Hannibal's Escape
Watching Hannibal eat a guard's face off is quite possibly the most disturbing moment of '90s movie history.
8. Silence Of The Lambs (1991) — Darkness Shootout
But of course, the film wouldn't be as amazing as it is without more than one iconically scary moment. This one is much more creepy than it is outright violent and scary, as Clarice attempts to capture/kill Buffalo Bill while wearing night vision goggles.
9. Ring (1998) — The Ending
The original, Japanese version of The Ring did it first and better. The ending of The Ring that we know and love, Samara coming out of the TV, was scarier in Ring... If that's even possible.
10. The Sixth Sense (1999) — The Suicide Ghost
There are plenty of surprising, jump-worthy moments in The Sixth Sense, but perhaps one of the scariest is when Haley Joel Osment's Cole encounters the "suicide ghost" after a routine bathroom break while sleeping.
11. It (1990) — The Shower Scene
To this day, I still can't watch It all the way through. Tim Curry as the evil clown Pennywise is still one of the scariest villains ever, and this shower scene still gets me today. I had never been one to truly be afraid of clowns, until I saw Pennywise come out of the shower drain in It.
No matter how old you are or how long ago you saw some of these scenes, chances are you couldn't make it through this list without getting goosebumps.
Image: Artisan Entertainment