Halloween 2016 Countdown: 31 Years of Horror — 1990

Halloween Countdown 2016 - Day 6. 1990

31 days. 31 years. 5 movies per year!

That’s the challenge a good friend presented me with recently, and I NEVER back down from a challenge! (well, nearly never!)

Every day through October I will be pondering and revealing my 5 favorite horror and monster movies from 1985 right up to 2016. When I was told I get to pick FIVE movies per year I initially thought this would be a fairly comfortable task. I’m one of those people who likes lots of movies but I only truly LOVE a select few. That did NOT make things any easier. This has been incredibly difficult, and there have been so many years where I could have happily selected 10+ films.

Until you attempt something like this you simply don’t realize just how many horror movies you have a passion for in different ways!

I’ll keep my reasons for selecting each movie brief, simply because I have to produce this every day for a month. The challenge starts with 1985, when I was 9 years old, and that’s pretty much exactly when I moved on from cartoons and family movies and began exploring the good stuff! Going back 31 years turned out to be the PERFECT place for me to start a journey into my movie watching past, and that made taking on this challenge a fascinating and rewarding experience.

I WANT feedback, and I would love to read your choices if you feel like getting involved.

Today we tearfully say goodbye to the 80s, and remember what 1990 had to offer …


I’ve always thought Tremors felt like a classic mid 80s monster movie that somehow wandered into the 1990s. The budget was modest, but the end result was SO damn satisfying and enjoyable, which would often be the case when film makers couldn’t rely on CGI back in the day. This was the first movie I ever watched in the theater without my parents, and I’ll always remember just how surprisingly awesome that experience turned out to be. Just writing this has made me want to watch it again!


We all know by now that Tim Curry was creepy perfection as Pennywise The Dancing Clown. A shapeshifting demonic entity from another dimension who liked to relax in storm drains and consumed children from time to time. But what about everything else that was going on around him? Adequate is the first word that springs to mind. I like this far more than some people I’ve spoken to, but it only scratches the surface of King’s bulky book, meaning the new version has a great opportunity to bring us this dark adventure in a bigger and better way. IT is on my list today because of Curry, and the memorable fear he has sent my way over the years.


SO much more than just a sledgehammer to the ankle! Misery is a beautifully structured look at obsession and helplessness, mixed with a little fear, fury and broken bones. Kathy Bates is fucking TERRIFYING as Annie Wilkes, deservedly winning an Oscar for her performance. And James Caan is equally impressive as Paul Sheldon, playing the part with great subtlety to make sure Sheldon appeared as helpless as possible when faced with his unimaginably intimidating “Number one fan”… Misery ALWAYS brings me joy!

Jacob’s Ladder.

Jacob’s traumatic and tragic journey through this movie can be quite an experience to sit through, IF you go into it with zero knowledge of what might be happening. It was a movie that I originally ignored for several years after it was released, but it eventually found its way into my VCR, and now it has a deserved place on this list. Jacob’s Ladder is a nightmarish visual feast, containing multiple freaky ‘moments’ that you never really forget.

The Exorcist 3.

The first time I watched The Exorcist 3 it just SHREDDED my nerves, and left me with a gloomy unsettled feeling that I couldn’t shake for hours. I was going to call it the scariest movie I had ever seen up to that point in my life, but I don’t think scary is quite the right word? It just seems to blanket you with a feeling of dread, which is occasionally interrupted by some health damaging jump scares. It really is a relentlessly dark and brilliant horror movie, and it’s been pleasing to see a slow but steady increase in appreciation for it recently.

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