Some may disagree, but I’ve always viewed 1996 as a very pivotal year for the genre. It was the year that inspired a lot of studios and independent filmmakers to get back to investing in horror, and not just cheap-thrill horror, well-thought out, often intricate and beautifully told horror stories. The 10-years prior had produced a staleness seldom seen in any cinematic genre, with only the occasional picture emerging as something worthy of historical note.
Money, for horror, had nearly dried up.
And then a few films arrived and turned an awful lot of heads. 1996 gave us those films, and 1996 even produced a few icons that aren’t exiting the history books any time soon and closed out the year on a genuinely monumental note.
10 Shadow Zone: The Undead Express
Out of the darkness, the Grim Reaper appears in a graveyard among headstones and gargoyles. Elegantly cloaked, but masked by shadows, his eyes burn yellow as he tells us we all have a little evil inside us. Take Zach Kincaid… A lonely and intense 14-year-old horror movie junkie, Zach is a good kid but a little confused as a result of his parents’ recent break-up. Perhaps for this reason, he often tends to stretch the truth. His friends, J.T. Heffernan, a computer geek, and Gabrielle “Gabe” Lattanzi, a lovely, intelligent athlete, humor Zach, but know just how much to believe. On the way home one weekend, Zach becomes lost on a deserted subway platform. When he stops for directions he is attacked, but rescued in the nick of time by Valentine, a self-styled vegetarian vampire from the turn of the century. Finding cold comfort in Valentine’s assurance of protection, Zach runs for the first available train. Unfortunately, he steps onto the Undead Express, which is full of vampires who…
09 Mary Reilly
We are somewhere in England in the 19th century. A Pretty housemaid works in a nice house, which is Dr. Jekyll’s house. Mary Reilly think she found her best job, because she is poor and the doctor is well-known and rich. The film tells the ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ story as a woman sees the two men, one of them is good and the other is evil. And she loves them…
08 Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood
The old bag of bones ‘Cryptkeeper’ returns for his second full length feature flick about a funeral home that’s a front for a whorehouse run by vampires.
A fat Lawyer finds himself growing “Thinner” when an old gypsy man places a hex on him. Now the lawyer must call upon his friends in organized crime to help him persuade the gypsy to lift the curse. Time is running out for the desperate lawyer as he draws closer to his own death, and grows ever thinner.
06 The Ghost and the Darkness
Sir Robert Beaumont is behind schedule on a railroad in Africa. Enlisting noted engineer John Henry Patterson to right the ship, Beaumont expects results. Everything seems great until the crew discovers the mutilated corpse of the project’s foreman, seemingly killed by a lion. After several more attacks, Patterson calls in famed hunter Charles Remington, who has finally met his match in the bloodthirsty lions.
05 Bad Moon
One man’s struggle to contain the curse he hides within… and his last-ditch attempt to free himself with the love of family. But when it looks as if he is losing his battle, and endangering all he holds most dear, the family dog, Thor, is the last hope for his family’s survival… and the end to his Werewolf curse.
04 The Craft
A new girl moves to a new city with her family to start a new life. She meets up with the girls who are very interested in the occult and together, the four of them have a seemingly unstoppable power. They can do anything, from getting thier dream guys to like them to… the possibilities are limitless.
03 The Frighteners
After a car accident in which his wife, Debra, was killed and he was injured, Frank Bannister develops psychic abilities allowing him to see, hear, and communicate with ghosts. After losing his wife, he then gave up his job as an architect, letting his unfinished “dream house” sit incomplete for years, and put these skills to use by befriending a few ghosts and getting them to haunt houses in the area to drum up work for his ghostbusting business; Then Frank proceeds to “exorcise” the houses for a fee. But when he discovers that an entity resembling the Grim Reaper is killing people, marking numbers on their forehead beforehand, Frank tries to help the people whom the Reaper is after!
02 From Dusk Till Dawn
After a bank heist in Abilene with several casualties, the bank robber Seth Gecko and his psychopath and rapist brother Richard Gecko continue their crime spree in a convenience store in the middle of the desert while heading to Mexico with a hostage. They decide to stop for a while in a low-budget motel. Meanwhile the former minister Jacob Fuller is traveling on vacation with his son Scott and his daughter Kate in a RV. Jacob lost his faith after the death of his beloved wife in a car accident and quit his position of pastor of his community and stops for the night in the same motel Seth and Richard are lodged. When Seth sees the recreational vehicle, he abducts Jacob and his family to help his brother and him to cross the Mexico border, promising to release them on the next morning. They head to the truck drivers and bikers bar Titty Twister where Seth will meet with his partner Carlos in the dawn. When they are watching the dancer Santanico Pandemonium, Seth and Richard fight with …
1 year after her mother’s death, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), and her friends started experiencing some strange phone calls. They later learned the calls were coming from a crazed serial killer, in a white faced mask and a large black robe, looking for revenge. His phone calls usually consist of many questions, the main one being: Whats your favorite scary movie? Along with many scary movie trivia, ending with bloody pieces of innocent lives scattered around the small town of Woodsboro.