Underrated Horror Flicks:
The ’90s were not a good time to be a horror movie fan. With Zombie Flicks, found footage and low budget horror movies with too much blood and gore conquered the horror genre, the actual gems managed to escape the notice of the audience. The Horror Movies of the 1990s have a distinct aura to them. They were the predecessors to modern horror movies that combined good premises and special effects to give us true pieces of art. Some of the horror movies that needed the attention they truly deserved but did not manage to get it are what this list is made for. If you are a millennial, you will love this list for sure.
Cronos is one of Guillermo del Toro’s first and finest works. We do not know how this horror genius’s best work escaped everyone’s eyes. When an antique dealer named Jesus finds out he is in possession of a year old scarab that can supposedly gift immortality to the person it attaches itself to, but also give the host an endless thirst for blood, Jesus is entrenched in a long battle between opposing forces who are hell-bent on getting the Scarab and exploring the power for themselves.
2. Cemetery Man
Cemetery Man is more of a romantic horror movie that of a truly horror genre. But it does the trick nonetheless. Francesco Dellamorte is a grave keeper and the keeper of the local cemetery. The whole town hates him because of his odd profession. But Francesco has a purpose – to protect the oblivious citizens of the town from un-dead zombies that rise every night from the grave looking for flesh and blood to chew. Dellamorte does his job splendidly until he meets an un-dead woman he falls in love with. Cemetery Man is a part of the long lost Zombie Renaissance movement, which was supposed to uplift the Zombie genre and make it more watchable and enjoyable after low budget movies destroyed its brilliance in the 1980s and ’90s. If you like unique horror themed romantic stories, then you will love Cemetery Man.
3. Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue is not a live action piece. It is a Japanese animated production. But it still does not warrant the criminally underrated attention it got when it deserved. Amongst the higher nerd circles, Perfect Blue is a legend. It has managed to combine trippy screen art media with a good horror storyline. The plot involves a J-Pop star named Mima, who has just left her band group called CHAM! She is now pursuing a career as an actress. Mima soon joins a production that casts her in the lead role of a popular crime drama. But her perfect life comes to an end when a stalker who is obsessed with Mima decides to intervene and make life hell for her. Her world begins to collapse in itself as Mima starts losing her sanity.
4. In the Mouth of Madness
In the Mouth of Madness is John Carpenter’s Ode to the legendary H.P Lovecraft. The movie takes the lead character, an insurance investigator, into an eerie and creepy journey to a town while he is investigating the death of a renowned writer named Sutter Cane. Sutter Cane’s horror stories seem to come alive in this town and the movie soon blurs the line between reality and fiction. There are a lot of the fourth walls breaking antics as well. The movie shows just how scary a simple concept can make a movie to be. What is even more frightening is the fact that Carpenter, who has made horror movies like The Thing and Halloween, considers In the Mouth of Madness his ultimate masterpiece.
5. Man Bites Dog
Man Bites Dog is a Belgian production that is as much as a black and white mockumentary as it is a horror movie. The story is of a Belgian Serial Killer who likes to kill people for a change as part of his psychopathic rampage through a small town. A film crew manages to deduce that he is the Serial Killer and happily participate in his endeavors, there the only clause is that they get to film his entire killings. Man Bites Dog is a frightening parody of reality TV in modern television. It was supposed to show us how small screen entertainment was headed in the opposite direction with its changing views and perspectives that will eventually hurt society. It’s sharp and crisp dialogues are deep, humorous and thought-provoking.
6. Dark City
Dark City not only has a good cast but a very intriguing premise. It falls under the techno horror-thriller genre. When a lone man finds himself in a mysterious city with no recollection of his past and how he got there, he tries to seek out the truth. A series of deaths later, he finds himself running through the alleyways being chased by shadowy assassins. It is later revealed that the entire city is a construct created and controlled by a mysterious organization of telekinetic beings called the Collectors, and the protagonist is a threat to their control since he is himself a powerful telekinetic. Dark City gives us the answer to the question of whether we are truly being watched.
Okay, maybe this one is not as underrated as we might tell you to be. But this Canadian science fiction horror flick deserves more than it got. Cube tells the story of a group of people waking up in a cage with innovative traps that could only be deactivated by solving complex mathematical equations or reasoning your way out by working together. The movie describes how human psyche twists and turns as the prospects of making it out alive become more and bleaker. The movie was a low budget production and even though it was confined to just four walls, had more content that most of the Hollywood Horror flicks they feed us nowadays. Cube is pretty much like the Saw movies, but with a better storyline.
Nightbreed is the brainchild of Clive Barker, a horror genius. Some of his other popular works include The Candy Man and The Midnight Meat Train amongst others. Nightbreed is Clive Barker’s strangest creation. The guy knows how to grab attention with his work. The story involves the protagonist Aaron Boone realizing there is a world of benevolent monster people living underneath the Earth, something akin to the nightmares he keeps having. Then a serial killer that kills humans and monsters sets his eyes on Aaron as all hell breaks loose. Nightbreed has a genuinely scary antagonist. If you love psychopathic serial killer stuff, you will like Nightbreed.
9. Apt Pupil
Apt Pupil is the story of a young boy finding out that the neighbour that is living right next to them is actually a Nazi War criminal felling the authorities. Todd realizes that it is best to keep his mouth shut and learn all there is to learn about what the Nazi did along the way. Apt Pupil is an adaptation of one of Stephen King’s works. In the 1990’s, Stephen King was movie gold. Many of his stories were turned into Hollywood Blockbusters. But for some reason, this movie did not take off. We hope the audience comes to realize what they are missing in the future.
Hardware takes us to a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is now Planet earth. After a nuclear war wiped out the whole world, the remnants of humanity are now refugees in their own planet. The story involves a guy scavenging some robot spare parts and selling it to a couple, one amongst which decides to turn those body parts into art. What she fails to realize is that the spare parts also contain the head of a robot hunter-killer designed to kill all humans. Armed with a self-repair mechanism, the robot sets itself loose and absolute terror ensues.
Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… do things