It almost goes without saying that the 1996 horror movie Scream aged well and that horror fans are still enjoying watching this film several decades after it first hit theaters. The movie has teens, the perfect location of Woodsboro, and Neve Campbell's groundbreaking role as Sidney Prescott.
While some '90s horror movies feel incredibly awkward and dated to watch, as some plotlines fall flat, characters seem boring, and filmmaking style can be corny, there are a few scary films from this time period that are still excellent.
Based on the 1988 book by Thomas Harris, the 1991 movie The Silence of the Lambs will always be a frightening movie watching experience. The characters are a study in contrasts, as Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and the iconic cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins) play a game with each other throughout the entire movie.
The Silence of the Lambs still holds up today as Clarice interviews Hannibal to see if he can help her understand a serial killer named "Buffalo Bill." Hannibal is a downright chilling and incredibly creepy character. The movie's ending holds up better than almost any horror movie's as Hannibal shares that he invited a friend over for dinner. Of course, fans know what that means...
The 1992 film Candyman is a woke horror movie about Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) who comes across the story of Candyman. The movie is as unsettling today as it was back then, and it holds up well. The 2021 direct sequel is also worth sitting down to watch.
It can be tricky to balance a story that needs backstory and explanations along with scary scenes and good characters, but this is something that Candyman excels at. As Helen gets deeper into the mystery, audiences are unable to look away. After a Black man who was born in the 1800s was tragically killed, his spirit became called the Candyman.
Scream 2 holds up as a horror sequel and also as a movie in its own right. There are several parts of this second film in the popular slasher franchise that still work: Sidney's new life at college, her relationships with her peers, and her desire to escape the horrible things that occurred in Woodsboro while realizing that it might not be so simple.
From Cici Cooper's (Sarah Michelle Geller) death scene to seeing Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) again, there's a lot to enjoy about Scream 2. While it's inevitable that some '90s horror movies will feel a bit dated, this one still works, with as many scares and jokes as the rest of the franchise. It might not be the best movie in the whole franchise, but it's one of the more entertaining scary films from this decade.
Amazon's I Know What You Did Last Summer TV series feels lackluster when compared to the original 1998 movie, which is one of the best and most enjoyable '90s horror movies. It has it all: a close friend group who drift apart, a love story, and an examination of what happens after a horrifying incident.
Jennifer Love Hewitt's career-making role as Julie James saw her and her pals killing someone by accident after partying on the night of their high school graduation. The movie has tropes that horror fans like seeing: unexpected deaths, main characters with secrets, and the feeling that someone is watching, stalking, and waiting to kill. Julie also becomes depressed after being haunted by what she and her friends did, and the movie touches on how a "final girl" can get through the rest of her life. Ben Willis feels like a horror villain who can't be killed as he shows up in the sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, which was released in 1998.
The Faculty is a great teen science-fiction/horror movie and it's also a film from this time period that holds up well.
When a group of teenagers discover that aliens have taken over the teachers at their school, audiences can't help but laugh at this perfect concept. It seems amazing that a movie like this hadn't been made before, as high schoolers are always complaining about their strict, rigid and tough teachers and wondering how they can get the time to pass faster so they can graduate. When people watch this movie today, they can see common themes that still make sense: teenagers struggling to seem cool and wondering what authority figures they should listen to and who they should ignore so they can be who they want and create the future that they're looking for.
NEXT: 5 Nostalgic '90s Kids Horror TV Shows