As a ‘90s kid and my first horror movie, Candyman, being a ‘90s cult classic, it was a pleasure to read a book dedicated to ‘90s horror films. HORROR FILMS OF THE 1990s by John Kenneth Muir was also a pleasure reading because I think we tend to forget about other films that aren’t just Scream or Blair Witch Project.
The book doesn’t go by alphabetic order but instead goes by year. What’s interesting is before the films are discussed, Muir gives a timeline of what happened during that year. For each film, Muir provides a cast and crew list, star ratings, a synopsis, and his own commentary. Sometimes he even adds past critical reception and the legacy of the films (like sequels, tv shows, etc).
The book kicks off with the film Ambulance (1990) which was directed by Larry Cohen and starred James Earl Jones, Eric Roberts, and Megan Gallager. The last film is Witchhouse (1999) and it was directed by Jack Reed. The cast included Matt Raftery, Ashley McKinney, and Brooke Mueller. Like Ambulance, I haven’t seen this one either. Mind you this book is over 700 pages long, so there are plenty of films even the most hardcore horror fan probably has missed.
Another thing to point out is in the back of the book there are themes with films listed below them. So if you are specifically looking for films where cars won’t start, druids, or Stephen King, Muir has them listed. Now that’s just Appendix A, like with Appendix E (which is probably my favorite idea), Muir lists ‘90s horror films and The X-Files episodes that have the same concept. For example, with Child’s Play II, it would be the episode Chinga, because of a killer doll. He also explains all the horror film references in Scream from title references to situational references.
I can’t really say anything negative about HORROR FILMS OF THE 1990s. It’s just so detailed and so covered that you literally can spend days looking it over. I mean I thought I’ve seen all the vampire films out there, but I’ve never heard of Die Hard Dracula (1998) until I reviewed this book. Speaking of vampires, I was pretty happy with his review of Blade.
So, is HORROR FILMS OF THE 1990s worth buying even with the internet? I say yes because film guides like Muir’s are indispensable and better than IMDb or Wikipedia. For those who are interested in buying it’s available for purchase on Amazon.