The 1990s Horror genre was chock full of some of the most iconic films that graced horror fan's screens. The Sixth Sense wowed with its innovative twist ending that wouldn’t be surpassed for years. While the big-budget and well-known films were getting their love, the indie horror genre was also growing.
With over 600 horror films released in the 90s, some were left behind while others thrived in their stead. While some films deserved the praise they got, some didn’t get enough recognition for their take on the genre. Here are five that didn’t get as big as they should have and five that, while great films, are talked about a bit too much.
10 Overrated: Army of Darkness (1992)
This sequel to the Evil Dead follows Ash Williams through time as he faces off against the Deadites, armies, and himself. Along the way, Ash gets the girl and saves the day multiple times. While the camp factor of this movie was necessary, it may have been too well received.
One of the biggest factors of Evil Dead and Army of Darkness is its B-movie charms, however, that can get lost over time with new fans entering the series, assuming it was writing as if it were trying it’s best. It is a good movie, but it didn’t necessarily deserve the hype it received.
9 Underrated: Dead Alive (1993)
It is interesting that Army of Darkness got such a wide audience reaction, but Dead Alive did not. This movie is a fairly typical zombie film that follows a man, Lionel, as he goes on some dates and his mother gets bitten by a rat-monkey hybrid and turns everyone into zombies.
You probably have seen a single scene from this movie where Lionel carries a lawnmower and just pushes it into people for a while on a staircase. It is iconic, but most people couldn’t tell where that scene was from. That single scene should have brought Dead Alive as a horror household name.
8 Overrated: Leprechaun (1993)
To be clear, this movie is not overrated in the sense that it was well-received and liked by many. The first movie of the series, which starred Jennifer Aniston and Warwick Davis, was actually a solid b-horror film, but when the gimmick was stretched into da hood and space, people knew it by name much more.
It’s overrated because, after six sequels and a very bad prequel, the movie has been a mainstay in the cultural zeitgeist. Anyone dabbling in horror has heard about the Leprechaun movies in some way. Since horror seems to be a this or that genre, the focus on these films means less focus on other series that deserve a bit of love.
7 Underrated: Cube (1997)
Not only underrated but a high recommendation for anyone who likes the idea of the Saw franchise more than the actual movies themselves. Cube focuses on a group of people who are trapped in a prison made of shifting rooms. These rooms are filled with safe rooms and trap rooms that the characters have to make their way through.
This movie not only focuses on surviving and escaping death traps, but the psychological terror of being trapped as well. The movies is not extremely well known, but some people swear that Cube and Cube 2: Hypercube are some of the best sci-fi horrors out there.
6 Overrated: Scream (1996)
While it may not seem like it, Scream is an indie film even though it was widely distributed. The entire Scream series (save for 3) is solid and deserves the recognition it got. However, the constant statements of “Scream is the best horror movie because it changed the genre as a whole” make the success of the movie feel tainted.
It did a lot for the genre, there is no denying that, but it wasn’t the only movie of the 90s that changed how the genre was addressed. Sydney Prescott is an icon of horror cinema and Ghostface is a well-deserved face of horror, but the belief that these films are the best films ever made is what makes them overrated.
5 Underrated: Idle Hands (1999)
This film was a box office flop and critically panned, yet it still has a lot of charm in it that needs to be seen. Idle Hands is not a typical horror film as it leans toward horror-comedy in a larger sense than most. The movie follows a teen, played by a pre-Final Destination Devon Sawa, as his hand becomes possessed and begins killing people.
The comedy is fair, and the horror elements are mixed in nicely, creating a good film to watch with friends and discuss with horror buffs. This movie isn’t talked about often in horror conversations, but that should change.
4 Overrated: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)
Much like Scream, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare was seen as a change to the form of horror, though it helps that the same man created both. This film kicked off a meta-narrative craze that has been seen in most television shows and some movies due to how easy it is to pull off.
Focused on a fictionalized version of the real-life cast and crew of Nightmare on Elm Street, this movie received a lot of praise as a non-canonical addition to the series. While it is a good movie with a well-written script and enjoyable plot, other movies like Funny Games does it without all of the deserved praise.
3 Underrated: Candyman (1992)
Tony Todd slays as a truly American urban legend in this adaption of a short story by Clive Barker. Candyman follows a similar structure to Silence of the Lambs, but in a more slasher-based story. It is about a young woman who goes out to find information about the Candyman, only to become a part of his game.
The movie is a biting commentary on several aspects of American life, including race relations, gang violence, and mass hysteria. With all of that under its belt, Candyman is not as discussed as the Halloween series or even Scream which is a shame for such a solid movie.
2 Overrated: Blair Witch Project (1999)
The movie we have to thank for the dozens of bad “found-footage” films of the last few decades, the Blair Witch Project was truly a change to form for what horror could do. Following three friends who go out to the woods to find out if an urban legend is real or not, they end up disappearing from the screen for long periods of time while facing the horrors of an unseen foe.
While it was great and the backstory behind the film was a great marketing move, being pitched as true found footage, the movie itself doesn’t need to be set on a pedestal as if it reinvented the wheel and more.
1 Underrated: Nadja (1994)
This vampire film from 1994 follows Dracula’s daughter as she travels to America after the death of her father at the hands of Van Helsing. While the two big names of horror are featured, the story is more of a focus on the children of these warring figures.
There is plenty of content to dive into with Nadja, including the causal queerness it exposes and the black-and-white styling of the film. It is hard to believe that people aren’t talking about this film, even in a genre such as horror, where this type of story should be a focal point.