There are a few surprises in this second editions, considering how in the last one I said I don’t like horror movies made past the 70’s. Well, there are exceptions to every rule.
11) CANDYMAN: Based on a short story by Clive Barker, this was easily within the top five best horror movies of the 90s. It certainly was the greatest villain entrance ever. When you finally get to see the deep-voiced Tony Todd in person, it will send chills down your spine.
12) 28 DAYS LATER: I have always loved post-apocalyptic zombie films, but I hated the fact that humans usually prove to be a bigger threat than the gut-munchers. Not so here! This film was partial inspiration for my own upcoming zombie comic.
13) THE HILLS HAVE EYES: As always, you cannot beat the original. A family gets stuck in the desert and finds themselves at the mercy of a cannibal mutant clan. You don’t get any more insane than the scene where the cannibals raid the trailer and kidnap the family’s baby…for food. The only way these civilized folks can save her is to reach deep down inside and become every bit as savage as their enemies.
14) SCREAM: Is it too much to have two Wes Craven movies in a row on this list? Not when you consider which ones I picked. This is the one, the only, the original…such a powerful spoof/celebration of the genre that it still holds up after years and years of watching the market get flooded by its imitators.
15) FRANKENSTEIN: I had to throw at least one old-school classic in there. Boris Karloff stars as the Monster. (THAT is the character with the square head and bolts in his neck; Frankenstein is the mad scientist.) Out of all the classic Universal monster movies, this one stands high above the rest.
16) HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER: Still as uncompromising and brutal as the day it was released, this ain’t your grandma’s slasher film. Unlike guys with hockey masks or bladed fingers, Henry is an illiterate redneck whose ability to escape capture has more to do with inept law enforcement than any cleverness on his part. Director John McNaughton films in an almost documentary style, with his camera simply following Henry and his partner Otis around as they go about their daily business of working menial jobs, drinking beer, getting high, and of course killing people at random.
17) SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: It isn’t every day that a horror film wins Academy awards, and this one broke that rule. Based on the best-selling Thomas Harris novel (which was the second appearance of Hannibal Lecter), we follow Clarice Starling as she hunts for a serial killer named Buffalo Bill, with the help of a brilliant cannibal.
18) SEVEN: Another brilliant killer movie. Here we have a madman killing people according to the seven deadly sins. This one has an ending you won’t forget.
19) THE OMEN: Again, the original. We all know the story of the adopted child who may or may not be Satan incarnate. The one thing I love the most about this movie is it gave us some of the most inventive deaths ever to be filmed.
20) THE WICKER MAN: For those of you who happened to see the remake with Nicholas Cage, I BEG you to get that piece of crap erased from your mind like Jim Carey in ETERNAL SUNSHINE and see the original. Police Sergeant Neil Howie visits the island of Summerisle to investigate a missing girl, but the locals claim she never existed. In the meantime Howie is appalled by the pagan rituals that the natives practice, but the ritual he encounters at the end of the film is more shocking than all the others combined. Touted as the CITIZEN KANE of horror films, this one is definitely worth hunting down.