‘90s: 6 Horror Gems That Probably Slipped Under Your Radar, Ranked

‘90s: 6 Horror Gems That Probably Slipped Under Your Radar, Ranked
Image credit: Tri-Star Pictures, American Cinematheque

Outshined, but not forgotten.

From The Silence of the Lambs to Scream, the '90s brought the genre fans some iconic horror classics. But in the midst of mainstream hits, there are some lesser-known but just as remarkable horror gems that may have slipped under your radar.

Here are the six hidden treasures of the '90s horror that deserve more attention.

6. Cronos (1992)

Guillermo del Toro 's directorial debut Cronos is a Mexican horror film combining vampirism, alchemy, and family drama. The story spans across centuries, beginning in 1536 with an alchemist who creates an insect-shaped device to achieve eternal life.

In the present day, antiquarian Jesús Gris discovers the device and accidentally injects himself. As he starts undergoing strange changes, he becomes a dying businessman’s target.

5. Man Bites Dog (1992)

This Belgian dark comedic horror film directed by Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, and Benoît Poelvoorde, is a found-footage-style film that follows a charismatic but psychopathic serial killer named Ben as he philosophizes and commits shocking acts of violence.

Shot in black-and-white, the film pinpoints the crew, documenting Ben's life, who remains indifferent until his murderous plans touch them personally.

4. Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Adrian Lyne's Jacob's Ladder is an unsettling psychological horror that blurs the line between reality and delusion. Starring Tim Robbins, the film takes viewers on a nightmarish journey through the fractured psyche of a Vietnam War veteran, who comes to terms with bizarre and terrifying visions.

Exploring psychological trauma, the film is known for its extraordinary storytelling and unsettling atmosphere, and it leaves viewers with a lingering unease.

3. The People Under the Stairs (1991)

Master of horror Wes Craven delivers a lesser-known gem in The People Under the Stairs. This horror comedy follows Fool, a boy trying to save his family from getting evicted by helping to rob their cruel landlord.

Things take a dark turn when Fool becomes trapped in the Robinson home, meets a tormented girl named Alice, and discovers a group of kidnapped children living under the stairs.

2. The Nameless (1999)

Directed by Jaume Balagueró, The Nameless is a Spanish horror film that delves into the themes of grief, loss, and existential fear. The story follows a mother down a chilling and disturbing path, as she searches for the truth behind her daughter's disappearance.

The film features eerie scenes and expert cinematography and is an early work from the co-mastermind behind the iconic Rec horror.

1. Audition (1999)

Director Takashi Miike's Audition is a master class in psychological horror. This Japanese film begins as a slow-burn romance and then descends into complete madness.

With the protagonist falling in love with a woman with a dark secret, this classic horror, characterized by its slow build and chilling transformation of its central character, takes an eerie turn that will stay in your nightmares long after the credits roll.