It’s Slashback time and 1999 gave us a variety of horror to consume. We saw the sequel to the vamp fest From Dusk til Dawn with From Dusk til Dawn: Texas Blood Money. We had dueling devils vying for souls in Stigmata, End of Days, and The Ninth Gate. But, not to be out done by the devil, ghosts battled it out for scares with The Haunting and House on Haunted Hill. Rounding out the pack where sequel fare in the form of Warlock III: The End of Innocence, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies, Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return, Carrie The Rage, and Ringu 2. Here were a few standouts with some that helped to redefine the genre.
The Blair Witch – Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, The Blair Witch found three friends, Heather (Heather Donahue), Josh (Joshua Leonard) and Mike (Michael Williams) lost in the forest on their search for The Blair Witch. The group was never found, but their videos of their journey and subsequent demise were discovered. The Blair Witch helped to usher in the “found footage” subgenre, where a high abundance of them could never match themselves to their original creator.
Sleepy Hollow – When Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of murder. What he gets is a town full of secrets, encounters with the supernatural and possibly love in the form of Katrina Van Tassel (Christina Ricci). Tim Burton added his own flair to the long standing tale of Ichabod Crane and his meeting with the Headless Horseman to a new set of fans. What really is not to love about Burton, Depp and Christopher Walken with razor sharp teeth.
The Sixth Sense – Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) tries to help Cole (Haley Joel Osment), who claims he sees dead people. Believing this maybe a manifest of something else Malcolm struggles to help Cole, but he soon discovers he might be harboring a secret of his own. Praised as a new take on the horror genre with it’s interesting subject and twist end. M. Knight made it cool to talk to ghosts, sadly that was about the only good thing he did for the genre.
Deep Blue Sea – Fresh off his disastrous Long Kiss Goodnight film, director Renny Harlin tries his hand at battling sharks. Thomas Jane is Carter, a suave shark whisperer with a past that he soon not discuss. When a tropical storm blasts into the isolated research facility, he and other scientists on working on, the sharks break free and the hunter becomes the hunted. Sadly this film isn’t even listed in Harlin’s filmography, which is a shame because it was his most enjoyable work.
Stir of Echos – When Tom (Kevin Bacon) lets his sister in law Lisa (Illeana Douglas) hypnotize him, his inner self is not the only thing he gets in touch with. Haunted by nightmarish visions, Tom believes the answers may lie in his home. I enjoyed this film from my first viewing and it still holds, which says a lot for a movie that’s 18 years old.
Lake Placid – When Kelly (Bridget Fonda) is sent to Maine to investigate a crocodile tooth, she not only battles a monster size crocodile, but also local law enforcement in the form of Jack Wells (Bill Pullman) and Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson). I love this film and watch it every time it’s on television. Sure it didn’t change the landscape of horror, but it’s a fun way to kill time.