Watchworthy

The Best Horror Movies of the 1990s 

Ranker Horror
Originally by
Updated November 15, 2019 79.3k votes 4.8k voters 116.6k views 142 items

List Rules Top horror films released between 1990 and 1999

What are the best '90s horror movies ever made? While some could argue that the '80s horror movies were far superior, that's not necessarily true. This list of the top scary films of the 1990s includes some modern classics, so vote for the movies you liked the most, vote down any that you don't think deserve a top spot and rerank this list in any order you choose.

Some of the best 1990s horror films are actually more along the lines of outstanding psychological thrillers. What the 80s were to slasher films, the 90s were to great spooky suspense films, such as 1991's Silence of the Lambs, 1995's Seven, and 1999's The Sixth Sense. Not only are these movies among the greatest horror films ever made, they're also excellent thrillers that'll keep you on the edge of your seat.

That's not to say that the best 90s horror movies weren't also straight-up horror. No no, the 1990s saw the birth of the very popular Scream series (1996), certainly one of the better teen movie franchises in recent years. Some might also argue that 1997's I Know What You Did Last Summer is also one of the best!

Enjoy this list of great horror movies from the '90s, and feel free to add any of your favorites that might be missing. If you're a huge horror buff, you might be interested in these lists of the best slasher movies, movies with the scariest clowns, and the best B-movie movies ever made.
Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

Released: 1991

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

More The Silence of the Lambs 

You've Been Watching Silence Of The Lambs Wrong For Years: It's A Comedy #2 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Ranker Video
davidst added Tim Curry, Jonathan Brandis, Emily Perkins

Released: November 18 1990

Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace

It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more

More It 

How The Makers Of The '90s 'It' Miniseries Managed To Scare An Entire Generation #275 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books #14 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

3
Ranker Video
Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Vanessa A. Williams

Released: 1992

Directed by: Bernard Rose

Candyman is a 1992 American horror film written and directed by Bernard Rose, based on the short story "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker, though the film's scenario is switched from ...more

More Candyman 

The Increasingly Odd And Convoluted ‘Candyman’ Sequels Never Held A Candle To Their Predecessor #39 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #501 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

4
Ranker Video
Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

Released: 1990

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

More Misery 

Behind The Scenes Of Annie Wilkes Hobbling Paul Sheldon In 'Misery' #6 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Ranker Video
Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

Released: 1996

Directed by: Wes Craven

Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more

More Scream 

According To This Theory, Dewey Is The Serial Killer Mastermind In 'Scream' #31 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #238 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
Ranker Video
Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

Released: 1995

Directed by: David Fincher

Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

More Seven 

#1 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #93 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #27 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

7
Ranker Video
Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

Released: 1999

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, isolated boy who ...more

More The Sixth Sense 

#4 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #27 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Timelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

8
Ranker Video
Bridget Fonda, Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi

Released: 1992

Directed by: Sam Raimi

Army of Darkness is a 1992 American dark fantasy action comedy film directed by Sam Raimi. It is the third installment of The Evil Dead franchise. The film was written by Sam Raimi and his ...more

More Army of Darkness 

#73 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #184 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #984 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

9
Ranker Video
Salma Hayek, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino

Released: 1996

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Sarah Kelly

From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American horror-crime thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. It stars George Clooney, Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Juliette ...more

More From Dusk till Dawn 

#52 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #975 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #350 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

10
Ranker Video
CassiopeeLeduc added Hiroyuki Sanada, Miki Nakatani, Yūko Takeuchi

Released: 1998

Directed by: Hideo Nakata

Ring is a 1998 Japanese mystery thriller film directed by Hideo Nakata, adapted from the novel Ring by Kôji Suzuki, which in turn draws on the Japanese folk tale Banchō Sarayashiki. The ...more

More Ring 

#6 of 22 Horror Movies You Can't Even Finish Watching #63 of 144 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time #2 of 65 The Most Terrifying Japanese Horror Movies of All Time

11
Ranker Video
Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken

Released: 1999

Directed by: Tim Burton

Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American fantasy horror adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It is a film adaptation loosely inspired by the 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington ...more

More Sleepy Hollow 

#71 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #163 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
Ranker Video
ChangesDownClub added Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, Christine Taylor

Released: 1996

Directed by: Andrew Fleming

The Craft is a 1996 American supernatural thriller film directed by Andrew Fleming. A group of four teenage girls (Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell, Rachel True) pursue witchcraft and ...more

More The Craft 

Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'The Craft' #147 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #95 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

13
Ranker Video
Wes Craven, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

Released: 1994

Directed by: Wes Craven

Wes Craven's New Nightmare is a 1994 American slasher metafilm written and directed by original Nightmare on Elm Street creator Wes Craven. Although it is the seventh film in the franchise, it ...more

More Wes Craven's New Nightmare 

Wes Craven's 'New Nightmare' Is The Best Freddy Sequel In The Franchise, But It's Often Overlooked #169 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #12 of 109 The Best Horror Movie Sequels

14
Ranker Video
Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder

Released: 1992

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1897 Gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker. Count Dracula (Gary Oldman), a ...more

More Bram Stoker's Dracula 

16 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ #45 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Ranker Video
Kevin Bacon, Reba McEntire, Fred Ward

Released: 1990

Directed by: Ron Underwood

Tremors is a 1990 American western monster film directed by Ron Underwood, written by Brent Maddock, S. S. Wilson and Underwood, and starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, ...more

More Tremors 

#87 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #408 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #81 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

16
Ranker Video
wiabux added Ving Rhames, A. J. Langer, Bill Cobbs

Released: 1991

Directed by: Wes Craven

The People Under the Stairs is a 1991 American horror film written and directed by Wes Craven and starring Brandon Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A. J. Langer, Ving Rhames and Sean Whalen.

More The People Under the Stairs 

'The People Under The Stairs' Is A Brilliant '90s Horror Film That Deserves More Attention #105 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #545 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

17
Ranker Video
Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange

Released: 1991

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Cape Fear is a 1991 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and a remake of the 1962 film of the same name. It stars Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and ...more

More Cape Fear 

Behind The Scenes Of 'Cape Fear,' Robert De Niro's Most Unsettling Role #23 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #124 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books

18
Ranker Video
charity138 added Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst

Released: 1994

Directed by: Neil Jordan

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles is a 1994 American romantic horror film directed by Neil Jordan, based on the 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, and starring ...more

More Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles 

#69 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #78 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remade #66 of 90 List of Movies Like Inception

19
Ranker Video
ChangesDownClub added Salma Hayek, Usher, Famke Janssen

Released: 1998

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez

The Faculty is a 1998 science fiction horror film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Robert Rodriguez. The film stars Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Shawn Hatosy, Jordana Brewster, Clea ...more

More The Faculty 

#109 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #1,081 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #7 of 45 The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made

20
Ranker Video
Charlize Theron, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves

Released: 1997

Directed by: Taylor Hackford

The Devil's Advocate is a 1997 American mystery thriller film based on Andrew Neiderman's novel of the same name. It is directed by Taylor Hackford and stars Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, and ...more

More The Devil's Advocate 

#62 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #156 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #298 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

21
Ranker Video
Jennifer Morrison, Kevin Bacon, Illeana Douglas

Released: 1999

Directed by: David Koepp

Stir of Echoes is a supernatural horror-thriller released in the US in 1999, starring Kevin Bacon and directed by David Koepp. The film is loosely based on the novel A Stir of Echoes by Richard ...more

More Stir of Echoes 

#40 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #97 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #263 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

22
Ranker Video
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Courteney Cox, Heather Graham

Released: 1997

Directed by: Wes Craven

Scream 2 is a 1997 American slasher film created and written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven, starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie ...more

More Scream 2 

#120 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #76 of 158 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made #7 of 70 The Best Teen Slasher Movies

23
Ranker Video
Jared Leto, Tara Reid, Alicia Witt

Released: 1998

Directed by: Jamie Blanks

Urban Legend is a 1998 slasher film starring Jared Leto and Alicia Witt. The film is based on the premise that a mad man is using the methods of described in certain urban legends as a means to ...more

More Urban Legend 

Disquieting Truths About Lilith, The Night Hag #159 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #10 of 70 The Best Teen Slasher Movies

24
Ranker Video
maria-tereza added Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anne Heche

Released: 1997

Directed by: Jim Gillespie

I Know What You Did Last Summer is a 1997 American slasher film based on the 1973 novel of the same name by Lois Duncan. The film changes many aspects of the book, which was not a slasher novel. ...more

More I Know What You Did Last Summer 

#96 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #218 of 299 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #6 of 70 The Best Teen Slasher Movies

25
Ranker Video
ChangesDownClub added Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams

Released: 1999

Directed by: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American found footage horror film written, directed and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. The film was produced by the Haxan Films production ...more

More The Blair Witch Project 

Horrifying True Stories That Are Just Like The Blair Witch Mythology #144 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #66 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time