The 1990s saw a revival of the psychological edges of the Horror franchise that had gripped audiences way back in the 1950s and 1960s, with the gory slasher-dominated elements of previous films slowly losing their place in the market. Technological advancements in the way motion pictures could be put out meant that the horror genre was granted something of a new lease of life in the 1990s, taking the fear factor for contemporary audiences to the next notch.
Before the hauntingly brilliant portrayal by Bill Skarsgard, Tim Curry was the sole face of Stephen's King terrifying 'Pennywise, the Dancing Clown'. With his obviously striking make up, wild hair and eerily colourful outfit, 'IT' can take any form that it wishes, feasting on the fears and nightmares from the children of Derry every 27 years or so. The wisecracking and sadistic nature of IT really marks it out as a genuinely powerful predator that is so used to having the odds stacked in its favour, which makes the struggle of the 'Losers Club' against all the more gripping.
Scream was the horror film that really put the horror genre back on the map in the 1990s following the downturn in popularity for traditionally violent works of horror that had been so dominant in the 1980s. Combining elements of the slasher genre with a self-satirising and black comedy aspect that both mocks itself and the horror genre on the whole, the gripping 'whodunit' nature is what makes Scream such a cult classic. 'Ghostface' plays as the film's chief antagonist, terrorising the local town with gruesome murders and constantly pursuing the lead heroine, Sidney.
What makes Dr Hannibal Lecter so malevolent and truly one of the horror classic icons is his nature to come across as a highly educated and, in some respects, something of a charming man. Played so elegantly by Anthony Hopkins, Hannibal is a cannibalistic serial killer that delights in enjoying his prey in some of the most extravagant ways imaginable. 'The Silence of the Lambs' is a film that encapsulates the gravitas of Hannibal, whilst also providing a brilliant motion picture provided by Jodie Foster as the lead protagonist. Gripping and tense throughout, it is a wonderfully original piece of film that never fails to unsettle those watching.
In a world of motion capture, CGI and all manner of technological advancements, the Blair Witch serves as a stark reminder that some of the scariest things in the world are the things that we can't see. The Blair Witch Project gripped audiences everywhere with the looming presence of its chief antagonist who we never actually see within the film. Lost in myths and legends and existing only for half glimpses in a found footage film, the Blair Witch serves as one of the ultimate horror icons.
Portrayed masterfully by Tony Todd, Candyman is the story of the power myths and legends have in inciting fear in those who hear about them. Revolving around the story of a former slave who was savagely murdered, the Candyman is an antagonist who revels in being remembered through his infamous and fear-invoking legacy. Complete with his iconic brown coat and gruesome hook for a hand, Candyman showcases a return to the brutal and disgusting world of true horror.
Annie Wilkes makes up the chief and primary antagonist in Stephen King's 'Misery', the story of an author being held hostage by an adoring yet totally unstable fan. Annie Wilkes demonstrates all the traits of a true psychopath across the entirety of Misery, showcasing a brutal and completely manic persona as she battles to keep Paul Sheldon in his bed and in her hands. What makes Annie so scary is the unsettling reality that she is very personalised; there is no mask or any real evil motivations to cause harm to others, it is only her mental instabilities that really drag her through as someone who can terrify audiences.
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