For those who haven’t been paying attention to one of our newest columns, rest assured, you can catch up from the point in which we got this monster in motion. Thus far we’ve covered 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 and the amazing 1996, and you can catch up with our lists by clicking on any one of those years. It’s probably worth your time to take a peek!
If you’re already up to speed, get ready for the examination of another wicked good genre year. We told you that 1996 signaled a change in tides, and that production companies, distributors and independent filmmakers were finding new interest in the genre, in large part due to Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn and Wes Craven’s Scream, and we weren’t lying, as evidenced by the string of stellar horror films that hit the market the following year, in 1997.
Here’s a look at the best of the year (we do a little cheating here, as two pics tie for our number 10 spot… but what can I say, they’re both equally awesome for entirely different reasons!
10 Nightwatch/Wishmaster TIE
A law student takes a job as the night-watchman in a morgue, thinking that he will have much time to study, with his biggest problem being his paranoia in this scary setting. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose and the student ends up getting mixed up with one of the murders, becoming a suspect.
In the beginning of the times, God created life into universe: light gave birth to angels, earth to men and fire to djin, creatures condemned to dwell in the void between the worlds. One who wakes a djin shall be given three wishes. Upon granting the third, an unholy legion of djins are freed through a doorway between the worlds upon the Earth. In 1127 A.D., in Persia, a sorcerer lures and traps a powerful Djinn in the stone of secret fire. In the present days, a drunken crane operator drops the valuable statue of Ahura Mazda over the assistant of Raymond Beaumont on the harbor, and one worker finds the huge and priceless opal red stone where Djin is seized. Alexandra Amberson, who works in an auction house, receives the stone for evaluation and accidentally awakes Djin. The evil creature is released later, charges the stone with people souls and feeds with their fears, while chasing Alexandra to force to make three wishes and unleash the demoniac fiends upon Earth.
09 The Relic
A researcher at Chicago’s Natural History Museum returns from South America with some crates containing his findings. When the crates arrive at the museum without the owner there appears to be very little inside. However, police discover gruesome murders on the cargo ship that brought the crates to the US and then another murder in the museum itself. Investigating the murders is Lt. Vincent D’Agosta who enlists the help of Dr. Margo Green at the museum – she has taken an interest in the contents of her colleague’s crates. Unknown to both there is a large creature roaming the museum which is gearing itself up for a benefit reception which the city’s mayor is to attend.
08 Scream 2
Two years after the events of Scream, Sidney Prescott and Randy are attending Windsor college. They are trying to get on with their lives…Until a new Ghostface killing spree begins. With the help of Dewey and Gale, Sidney must find out who’s behind the murders. As the body count goes up, the list of suspects goes down.
07 The Devil’s Advocate
Kevin Lomax, a ruthless young Florida attorney that never lost a case, is recruited by the most powerful law firm in the world. In spite of his mother’s disagreement, which compares New York City to Babylon, he accepts the offer and the money that comes along. But soon, his wife starts feeling homesick as she witnesses devilish apparitions. However, Kevin is sinking in his new cases and pays less and less attention to his wife. His boss and mentor, John Milton, seems to always know how to overcome every problem and that just freaks Kevin right off.
06 Lost Highway
Fred Madison, a saxophonist, is accused under mysterious circumstances of murdering his wife Renee. On death row, he inexplicably morphs into a young man named Pete Dayton, leading a completely different life. When Pete is released, his and Fred’s paths begin to cross in a surreal, suspenseful web of intrigue, orchestrated by a shady gangster boss named Dick Laurent.
05 Funny Games
Night Two seemingly well-educated young men, who call each other Paul and Peter among other names, approach a family on vacation. They are, apparently, friends of the neighbors, and, at the beginning, their true intentions are not known, but soon, the family is imprisoned and tortured in its own house violently, which the viewers are forced mostly to imagine and to share a certain complicity with the criminals. It might be some kind of game with the lives of husband, wife, son, and dog, but why are they doing it?
Six different people, each from a very different walk of life, awaken to find themselves inside a giant cube with thousands of possible rooms. Each has a skill that becomes clear when they must band together to get out: a cop, a math whiz, a building designer, a doctor, an escape master, and a disabled man. Each plays a part in their thrilling quest to find answers as to why they’ve been imprisoned.
03 The Night Flier (Review)
Two investigative reporters for a tabloid magazine track down across country “The Night Flier”, a serial killer who travels by private plane stalking victims in rural airports. One of the reporters, Richard Dees, begins to suspect that “the Night Flier could perhaps be a vampire”.
02 Mimic (Review)
A disease carried by common cockroaches is killing Manhattan children. In an effort to stop the epidemic an entomologist, Susan Tyler, creates a mutant breed of insect that secretes a fluid to kill the roaches. This mutant breed was engineered to die after one generation, but three years later Susan finds out that the species has survived and evolved into a large, gruesome monster that can mimic human form.
01 Event Horizon (Review)
In the year 2047 a group of astronauts are sent to investigate and salvage the long lost starship “Event Horizon”. The ship disappeared mysteriously 7 years before on its maiden voyage and with its return comes even more mystery as the crew of the “Lewis and Clark” discover the real truth behind its disappearance and something even more terrifying.