15 Underrated Movie Gems from the 1990s


Underrated movies from the 1990s

15. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

This is a really fun little film, ideal to watch on a lazy Sunday. Loosely based on The Taming of the Shrew, it’s a pleasurable teen rom com with some great actors, a good soundtrack and most importantly, likeable characters. Joseph Gordon Levitt is adorable in it but then again this was made before he became ever-so-slightly smug. Or really smug? Yes, really smug.

14. Stir of Echoes (1999)

Scary things are happening  - Stir of EchoesOne of the main reasons this film isn’t more talked about is because The Sixth Sense came out at the same time and was the big creepy blockbuster. And yes The Sixth Sense is great. But Stir of Echoes is still a really decent, genuinely spooky and well written film with genuine ‘gasp’ moments. And it’s certainly better than many recent efforts.

13. Cube (1997)

Cube is a low budget, sci-fi / horror flick that spawned a few sequels of cult status – all worth a watch if you enjoy this one. It’s the classic ‘strangers waking up in a room’ formula, no idea how or why they are there but trapped inside a giant, inter-movable cube – helpfully filled with booby traps. The acting is a bit dodgy at times, but it’ll give you a giggle and it’s an interesting film that never gets boring.

12. The Craft (1996)

This film is so 1990s it’s great. The clothes, the hair, the jewellery, the fascination with witchcraft. We follow new girl at school (Robin Tunney) as she befriends a scary group of girls led by big mouth Nancy (big mouth Fairuza Bulk). The Craft is just a fun film combining the best elements from the 90s with spooky stuff, girly stuff and the angst of being a teenager.

11. Arachnophobia (1990)

Relaxing shower - ArachnophobiaNow before you start moaning about this crap entry just think about it. Thought about it? YES IT’S GREAT! Creepy, thrilling, silly and genuinely comical, I’ve always had a place in my heart for this film. Let’s face it spiders are internationally feared by most of us and when you add hundreds of the killer bastards to a small American town, throw in a phobia-filled Jeff Daniels and include comedy bug-exterminator John Goodman, then don’t you have a winning formula of thrills and giggles? Plus it’ll leave your skin crawling, whether you expect it to or not.

10. Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

This is a clever mockumentary masked as a girlie film. The premise is simple – a documentary crew are following the lives of young girls as they compete in the Miss America beauty pageant. It would be interesting anyway, but just to heat things up someone is so intent on winning – there are dead bodies mounting up. This is a funny and well written film with some fantastic actresses and comical lines.

9. Let Him Have It (1991)

Have your tissues handy because this biographical film is very sad indeed. Telling the story of Derek Bentley, a young man who was hanged for murder in England during the 1950s. It is a controversial case even to this day, due to a lack of evidence and no concern for Bentley, who suffered learning difficulties and never even pulled the trigger of the murder gun. Christopher Eccleston is amazing as childlike Bentley and the story itself is one that we should all consider for ourselves.

8. Small Soldiers (1998) Small Soldiers

Ah man I love this film! It’s not really for kids, trust me. It’s so funny and has lots of cool things to look out for, like the actors from the Dirty Dozen (along with Tommy Lee Jones) voicing the bad toys, and the guys from This is Spinal Tap voicing the good toys. It’s pure entertainment, actually quite violent in places (which was controversial at the time of release) and genuinely hilarious. The effects are brilliant as well, so the film doesn’t appear that dated, even after sixteen years.

7. Fear (1996)

Another film that is just so 90’s. This typical but extra fun thriller stars Mark Wahlberg as the gorgeous new boyfriend of sweet Nicole (Reese Witherspoon) – who is unaware of his tendency to act like a complete and utter psychopath. Fear isn’t a masterpiece movie and it can be a little cliché at times, but it’s exciting, thrilling and extremely enjoyable. You know how some films just have that ‘edge’ to keep you interested? Well this one of them. Plus Mark Wahlberg looks incredible.

6. Falling Down (1993)

fdI think we can all relate to angry main character Bill Foster (Michael Douglas). Bill is a tired man who’s only intention is getting to his daughter’s birthday party. Being thwarted, threatened and stuck in traffic starts sending him over the edge and we get to watch in glee as he goes around town Charlie Bronson style (Death Wish obvs). A great role for Douglas and possibly Joel Schumacher’s finest ever film.

5. Event Horizon (1997) 

Ah, the madness of Event Horizon. Half science fiction, half hellish horror there is nothing particularly new in this film but it’s so menacing and gross that it’s a personal favourite of mine. Plus you don’t see Sean Pertwee in much and I like him. So they’re stuck out in space (where no-one can hear them scream) in the not-so-distance future aboard Event Horizon – a dark and brooding spacecraft that is just waiting to kill everyone. Scientist Dr Weir (Sam Neill) proceeds to lose every last marble and the gates to hell are opened. Enjoy!

4. The Faculty (1998)

The Faculty is one of those films that when I watch it, I wish there were more around like it. It’s obviously based on The Body Snatchers but what makes it cool is the dark humour and mis-match of teenage clichés (nerd, burnout, queen bee, jock, lesbian, new kid) who have no option but to join forces to fight the aliens who are taking over their teachers and their home town. It’s just got a bit more edge than your normal teen horror and is over-the-top in that way that it’s supposed to be. And the cast is fantastic, I guarantee you’ll recognise everyone.

3. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

momThis is one of John Carpenter’s lesser known films but to fans, also one of his best. There is a slight Stephen King feel to the story and it’s pretty scary in that “they don’t make them like this anymore” way. Sam Neill stars as an insurance broker trying to track down awol horror writer Sutter Cane. We can sense from the off the sinister terror that awaits him and it just gets better and better (or worse and worse). It can be a bit ambiguous, but I suggest you enjoy it for what it is – a bloody good, nightmarish horror.

2. Final Cut (1998)

Have you ever wondered what your mates say about you when you’re not around? Well so did the creators of this English film, Dominic Anciano and Ray Burdis. The film begins at the funeral of Jude (Jude Law) as his widow (Sadie Frost) explains to everyone he’s been secretly filming them all for years and they’re going to watch the footage now. Final Cut is VERY funny and also shocking.  It’s not very well known though some of you may be familiar with Love, Honour & Obey which was made two years later by the same duo and stars pretty much the same people.

1. Kalifornia (1993)

kYou know who Brad Pitt is great at playing? A trailer trash, murderous scumbag called Early Grayce. In this movie Early and his nice-but-dim wife (Juliette Lewis) car share with a more hip and trendy couple (David Duchovny and Michelle Forbes) who are traveling to California and writing a book about famous murderers, stopping at the landmarks on the way. The twist in this tale is that they are already traveling with a real-life murderer – the psychopathic Early. The entertaining, violent story builds up to a tense climax and is hugely enjoyable throughout. This psychological thriller is certainly one of the most underrated films from the 90s – it barely received any recognition when it was released in 1993, yet for me, it’s a wonderful film, and the performances, particularly by Pitt and Lewis are just dazzling.

Advertisements

About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
This entry was posted in Miscellaneous, Reviews, Top 10s and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to 15 Underrated Movie Gems from the 1990s

  1. gregl85 says:

    I love Event Horizon! Watching Sam Neill go absolutely bat-shit mental never gets old.

    • emmakwall says:

      I love Event Horizon too! One of my faves 🙂 If you like seeing Sam Neill go bat-shit you must be a fan of In the Mouth of Madness as well?! Cheers Greg! Like your new avatar pic by the way!

      • gregl85 says:

        Of course I’m a fan of In the Mouth of Madness, though it’s been an unacceptable amount of time since I last saw it.

        In fact, I’m a huge fan of John Carpenter films in general, hence the avatar pic. 😉

        • emmakwall says:

          Watch it again!! I actually have it on DVD now (thank the lord!!!!!) I waited years and finally they released it on Region 2. It’s all in Korean but luckily they have the original American sound option too.

          Yes I like a lot of John Carpenter movies! Great guy 🙂

  2. beetleypete says:

    Great to see Final Cut getting a mention somewhere. Also The Craft. I really like Fairuza Balk, one of the most underrated American actresses. Damn good list Emma!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • emmakwall says:

      Wait…..stop the press…….someone’s actually heard of Final Cut!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Pete!!! I have never mentioned this film online and had someone actually know the film I mean. I take it you’re a fan? I love this movie! And Love, Honour & Obey 🙂

      I like Fairuza Bulk too, I remember her in American History X and Return to Oz (as a little kid) but she hasn’t done an awful lot has she. I bet she’s weird in real life too! In a good way.

      Thanks so much Pete!!!!!!! So nice to hear this list being appreciated x

      • beetleypete says:

        I have Final Cut on DVD, (as soon as it came out) and Love Honour and Obey on DVD too. Loving the ‘Karaoke’ in that. British films never get the credit they deserve.
        The other American actress I have a lot of time for is Thora Birch. The film Ghost World (not about ghosts…) is wonderful. If you have never seen it, read this, and watch it immediately! x
        http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/ghost-world-2001

        • emmakwall says:

          Fantastic!!!! You are my new best friend haha 🙂 so nice to hear some appreciation for some seriously under appreciated films. Loooove the karaoke too! Sean Pertwee’s Fireball XL 5 is my fave! The soundtrack is very cheap on amazon and worth buying.

          Thora Birch is great!! I’ve not seen Ghost World but I really, really should! Scarlett Johannson too? Thanks Pete! X

  3. GaryGreg828 says:

    I think I will try to find “Final Cut” and give it a go soon.

    I thought “10 Things I Hate About You” was pretty popular. I didn’t think of it as being underrated. So, why do you think Joseph Gordon Levitt is smug? I didn’t think of him that way – but now I’m wondering if maybe you know something about him that I don’t…

    • emmakwall says:

      I love Final Cut!!! You’ll either love it or hate it 🙂

      His face just annoys me. I’m afraid that’s all! I don’t really know he’s smug…. he just looks it.

  4. Great list. I loved Cube and Falling Down. Falling down was like my fav movie for about year where I watched it over and over. Still my fav Michael Douglas flick. Great post.

  5. sweet Cheke says:

    AAAAHHHHH the nineties is such a treasure trove decade of artistry. I am revisiting it again at the moment and will probably post something sooner or later. I tend to not go back there too often though as I am trying to expand horizons and have almost seen it all already. Nice one, brings back memories.

    • emmakwall says:

      I totally agree!!!! It does bring back memories and there is a ‘feel’ with the 90s films that you can’t get nowadays!

      I hope you do post something soon, I’d love to read it!!!

      Thanks for your comment really made me smile 🙂

  6. vinnieh says:

    High fives for putting The Craft on here.

  7. Well put Emma! We like a little magic 🙂 Tom likes more realistic shows also. Thankfully we have OnDemand so I can catch up with my shows when he’s off doing something. Malfoy has left the building 🙂 🙂 🙂 Lacey loves getting your greetings! I’m not sure about my accent though. I think it sounds like Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire.

  8. Really? How can he not like it?! I think I need to speak to him about his viewing tastes! Kevin is one of those actors that can play any role whether it’s villain, tortured hero, or comedic. I think he’s brilliant 🙂 And you should sneakily watch The Following when Scott’s not home! Sleepy Hollow and Grimm also!

    • emmakwall says:

      You can have a word with him!! He’s a Breaking Bad kind of guy 🙂 which is also brilliant, but sometimes I like a little….magic!

      Hope you’re feeling well today 🙂 hello Lacey (in a British accent!)

      🙂

  9. Zoë says:

    Great films here Emma. I wish more people had seen Stir of Echoes, I thought it was great. As for 10 Things I Hate About You, I am a huge fan of it. Heath Ledger was amazing there. I shamelessly watched this over and over as a kid. In The Mouth of Madness is another film I adore!

    • emmakwall says:

      Thank you!!! I think a lot of people won’t give 10 Things I Hate About You a chance as it seems too corny and teenage. But it’s a really lovely, fun movie. Nothing to dislike!

      In the Mouth of Madness still scares me 🙂

      Stir of Echoes is great! When you think of many recent ghost films it beats many of them hands down.

      I do have a soft spot for Kevin as well!

      • Zoë says:

        It’s just way too much fun!

        I am actually watching In The Mouth Of Madness for my Halloween week movie, but shhhhhhhh, you got a special preview!

        Puh-lease… we get so few decent ones anymore! I like him a lot, he’s cool.

        • emmakwall says:

          He’s been married to his wife for something like 30 years, I can’t help but find that so sweet!

          Excellent!! That is such a great idea, I can’t wait to read the Halloween post 🙂

      • Stir of Echoes is one of my all time favorite scary movies! I always think it’s a good sign when a movie gives me nightmares. I know how totally twisted that sounds! Kevin Bacon was wonderful. Have any of you watched him in The Following?

        • emmakwall says:

          I watched a bit of The Following Kim but guess what? Scott doesn’t like it, so we kind of bailed out of it.

          I love Mr Bacon, I just think he’s a good guy! Even though he plays many horrible people!

  10. theipc says:

    Event Horizon!! YES!

Any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s