7. Body Snatchers (1993)
Jack Finney’s “The Body Snatchers” previously adapted twice before Abel Ferrara. It was the basis for the 1956 film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and its 1978 remake, which was equally impressive if not better. Ferrara’s adaptation in 1993 was largely ignored, maybe technically it was not as impressive like 1978 version or featured any element that would make it iconic but that doesn’t mean it was bad or anything.
In fact, Roger Ebert preferred it to previous versions. Not only he said it’s more of an intellectual approach to the subject but that it also worked as a horror film, “Most important, for a horror film, there are scenes of genuine terror. One shot in particular, involving a helicopter, is as scary as anything in “The Exorcist” or “Silence of the Lambs.”
And the fright is generated, not by the tired old slasher trick of having someone jump out of the screen, but by the careful establishing of situations in which we fear, and then our fears are confirmed.” Considering, Ebert often showed a good taste for horror movies, then we’d recommend you to listen what he says for this film.
6. Wolf (1994)
With mixed reviews and underwhelming box office Mike Nichols’ “Wolf” didn’t get the love it deserve and while no masterpiece, “Wolf” is still a fairly entertaining film with decent thrills, interesting metaphors, some fine black humour, very decent make-up and effect work for its time, as well as a hell of a great cast featuring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, Christopher Plummer and Richard Jenkins.
Described as “Beauty and the Beast for grown-ups” or even a “superhero film for middle-aged people”, “Wolf” is definitely not a traditional werewolf film even though its plot structure may it seem like it is. So don’t really expect to get frightened if you haven’t seen it yet but just to get entertained and watch slightly different kind of horror film, “Wolf” would make a great choice.
5. Candyman (1992)
“Have you ever heard of Candyman? Well, his right hand is sawn off, and he has a hook jammed in the bloody stump. And if you look in the mirror… and you say his name five times… he’ll appear behind you, breathing down your neck. You want to try it?”
One of the creepiest, engaging, atmospheric and most overlooked horror movies ever made. It’s probably well known among horror fans as it received some acclaim and some rankings on several horror magazine lists but then again for general audiences, “Candyman” is still relatively unknown.
Fairly, it has its weaknesses – for the sake of being scary, it sacrifices some of its mystery but still as a mystery film, it works well and its mythology is well-written and the ending is perfect, which is even bit open to interpretation. Tony Todd’s performance as Candyman remains iconic and haunting as ever.
4. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Vietnam War veteran’s bizzare hallucinations and visions never stop haunting him in Adrien Lyne’s impressive psychological horror “Jacob’s Ladder” which is one of the better known films on the list but still not enough. Lyne is generally known for his rather erotic and slightly controversial films: “9 ½ Weeks”, “Unfaithful” and “Fatal Attraction” being among them.
Even though some enjoy poking fun at those films, they actually still hold up very well and that’s mainly because of Lyne’s underrated talent. “Jacob’s Ladder” is an ultimate testament to his talent where he gives us a very interesting central character as well as a well-written plot full of mystery which is highly involving. Then of course, that ending…. which makes the whole film even better than we thought it would be.
3. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
As mentioned about “Vampires”, Carpenter’s greatness didn’t end in 80s and “In the Mouth of Madness” is probably his best since 80s. “Memories of an Invisible Man” was bit of a mess, “Village of the Damned” was misguided, “Vampires”, as we already said was cool, “Ghosts of Mars” was… yeah, well, you know but it’s still bit better than its reputation suggests as it has some Carpenter-esque elements which fans dig.
“The Ward” however is almost like have been by average horror director, as it has none of Carpenter’s signature elements. “In the Mouth of Madness” however is great in every way, has so many iconic moments, Sam Neill is terrific in lead part. Shame that it was bit misunderstood in its initial release but through the years its reputation got better and better.
2. Stir of Echoes (1999)
David Koepp was one of the most established screenplay writers in Hollywood and still is. With “Stir of Echoes”, he showed a great deal of premise that he can be a great director as well even his following directorial works failed to live up to expectations. “Stir of Echoes” is about a man who refuses to believe in the power of hypnosis. His sister-in-law tries to hypnotize him just for fun but soon later, he starts to see a haunting vision of a ghost who asks for a help which causes increasing paranoia.
With performances like “Sleepers”, “Murder in the First” and “The Woodsman” to his name, among others, it’s hard to believe that Kevin Bacon was never nominated for an Oscar or many other major prizes. “Stir of Echoes” is one of his best performances. Wrong actor could easily play it over-the-top but Bacon plays it masterfully.
1. The Addiction (1995)
“The entire world’s a graveyard, and we, the birds of prey picking at the bones. That’s all we are. We’re the ones who let the dying know the hour has come.” Abel Ferrara is not the first name when you think of horror movies but he has two in our list and deservedly so. “The Addiction” probably the most poetic horror film of the decade and is probably one of Ferrara’s best films, recently its Special Edition re-released on Bluray.
Featuring a terrific work by Lili Taylor as a philosophy student who got bitten and slowly turned into a vampire, “The Addiction” is not only a film with some intellectual depth but is also a movie that is so gorgeous to look at. One of Ferrara’s most elegantly shot features; it’s in black-and-white and uses the atmosphere of New York in the best way possible. Its references to philosophers are interesting and Christopher Walken cameo is glorious as one would expect it to be.