Day of the Dead is a horror film written and directed by George A. Romero and the third film in Romero's Night of the Living Dead series. Portrait of a Serial Killer is a psychological horror crime film directed and co-written by John McNaughton about the random crime spree of a serial killer who seemingly operates with impunity. Pumpkinhead is a dark fantasy horror film, which is the directorial debut of special effects artist Stan Winston.
The slasher films A Nightmare on Elm Street , Friday the 13th , Halloween and Child's Play all saw sequels in the s, most of which met with varied amounts of success at the box office, but all were panned by critics, with the exception of Wes Craven's New Nightmare and the hugely successful Silence of the Lambs The latter, which stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins , is considered a major horror movie of all times.
New Nightmare , with In the Mouth of Madness , The Dark Half , and Candyman , were part of a mini-movement of self-reflexive or metafictional horror films. Each film touched upon the relationship between fictional horror and real-world horror. Candyman, for example, examined the link between an invented urban legend and the realistic horror of the racism that produced its villain. In the Mouth of Madness took a more literal approach, as its protagonist actually hopped from the real world into a novel created by the madman he was hired to track down.
This reflective style became more overt and ironic with the arrival of Scream In Interview with the Vampire , the "Theatre de Vampires" and the film itself, to some degree invoked the Grand Guignol style, perhaps to further remove the undead performers from humanity, morality and class.
The horror movie soon continued its search for new and effective frights. Two main problems pushed horror backward during this period: Secondly, the adolescent audience which feasted on the blood and morbidity of the previous decade grew up, and the replacement audience for films of an imaginative nature were being captured instead by the explosion of science-fiction and fantasy films, courtesy of the special effects possibilities with advances made in computer-generated imagery.
To re-connect with its audience, horror became more self-mockingly ironic and outright parodic , especially in the latter half of the s. Peter Jackson's Braindead known as Dead Alive in the United States took the splatter film to ridiculous excesses for comic effect. Wes Craven's Scream written by Kevin Williamson movies, starting in , featured teenagers who were fully aware of, and often made reference to, the history of horror movies, and mixed ironic humour with the shocks despite Scream 2 and Scream 3 utilising less use of the humour of the original, until Scream 4 in , and rather more references to horror film conventions.
The Sixth Sense is a supernatural horror film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan , which tells the story of Cole Sear Haley Joel Osment , a troubled, isolated boy who is able to see and talk to the dead, and an equally troubled child psychologist named Malcolm Crowe Bruce Willis who tries to help him. It is a remake of the film of the same title. Monster horror was quite popular in the s. Tremors is the first installment of the Tremors franchise.
Lake Placid is another monster horror film, written by David E. Kelley and directed by Steve Miner. Another successful horror film is Audition , a Japanese film based on the novel of the same name , directed by Takashi Miike.
Around this period, Japanese horror started becoming popular in English speaking countries. The film The Last Broadcast served as inspiration for the highly successful The Blair Witch Project , which popularized the found footage horror subgenre. The theme of witchcraft was also addressed in The Witches , starring Anjelica Huston and The Craft , a supernatural horror film directed by Andrew Fleming.
Wolf is a romantic horror film following the transformation of a man Jack Nicholson into a werewolf. The film received mixed reviews from critics. By contrast, Valentine was a conventional horror film. It had some success at the box office, but was derided by critics for being formulaic and relying on foregone horror film conventions. The Others was hugely successful, winning and being further nominated for many awards.
It is a Spanish-American supernatural gothic horror film with elements of psychological horror. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan.
Franchise films such as Jason X and Freddy vs. Jason also made a stand in theaters. Final Destination marked a successful revival of teen-centered horror and spawned five installments. Jeepers Creepers series was also successful. Films such as Hollow Man , Cabin Fever , House of Corpses the latter an exploitation horror film written, co-scored and directed by Rob Zombie in his directorial debut and the previous mentions helped bring the genre back to Restricted ratings in theaters.
Van Helsing and Underworld series had huge box office success, despite mostly negative reviews by critics. Ginger Snaps is a Canadian film dealing with the tragic transformation of a teenage girl who is bitten by a werewolf. Signs revived the science fiction alien theme. The Descent , a British adventure horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall was also successful.
Another notable film is Drag Me to Hell , a American supernatural horror film co-written and directed by Sam Raimi. The Strangers deals with unprovoked stranger-on-stranger violence. The House of the Devil is inspired by the " satanic panic " of the s. Trick 'r Treat is a anthology horror film written and directed by Michael Dougherty and produced by Bryan Singer. Black Water is a British-Australian natural horror film. Another natural adventure horror film is The Ruins , which is based on the novel of the same name by Scott Smith.
Several horror film adaptations from comic books and video games were produced. The story focuses on an Alaskan town beset by vampires as it enters into a thirty-day long polar night. Comic book adaptations like the Blade series, Constantine , and Hellboy also became box office successes. The Resident Evil video game franchise was adapted into a film released in March , and several sequels followed.
Other video game adaptations like Doom and Silent Hill also had moderate box office success. Some pronounced trends have marked horror films. Films from non-English language countries have become successful. The Devil's Backbone is such an example. A French horror film Brotherhood of the Wolf became the second-highest-grossing French language film in the United States in the last two decades. Martyrs , a French-Canadian horror film, was controversial upon its release, receiving polarizing reviews.
Another notable film is The Orphanage , a Spanish horror film and the debut feature of Spanish filmmaker J. Shutter is a Thai horror film which focuses on mysterious images seen in developed pictures. Another trend is the emergence of psychology to scare audiences, rather than gore.
The Others proved to be a successful example of a psychological horror film. A minimalist approach which was equal parts Val Lewton's theory of "less is more", usually employing the low-budget techniques utilized on The Blair Witch Project , has been evident, particularly in the emergence of Asian horror movies which have been remade into successful Americanized versions, such as The Ring , The Grudge , Dark Water , and Pulse In March , China banned the movies from its market.
What Lies Beneath is a supernatural horror film directed by Robert Zemeckis , starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as a couple who experience a strange haunting of their home. Orphan is a notable psychological horror film. Another psychological horror film is , based on Stephen King's short story of the same name. The films I Am Legend , Quarantine , Zombieland , and 28 Days Later featured an update of the apocalyptic and aggressive zombie genre.
The latter film spawned a sequel: An updated remake of Dawn of the Dead soon appeared as well as the zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead and Spanish -Cuban comedy zombie film Juan of the Dead This resurgence led George A.
The Australian film Wolf Creek written, co-produced, and directed by Greg McLean revolves around three backpackers who find themselves taken captive and after a brief escape, hunted down by Mick Taylor in the Australian outback.
The film was ambiguously marketed as being "based on true events"; the plot bore elements reminiscent of the real-life murders of tourists by Ivan Milat in the s, and Bradley Murdoch in ; and contained more extreme violence. An extension of this trend was the emergence of a type of horror with emphasis on depictions of torture, suffering and violent deaths, variously referred to as "horror porn", "torture porn", "splatterporn" and "gore-nography" with films such as Ghost Ship , The Collector , Saw , Hostel , and their respective sequels, frequently singled out as examples of emergence of this subgenre.
Cloverfield is another found footage horror film. The Mist is a science-fiction horror film based on the novella of the same name by Stephen King. Antichrist is an English-language Danish experimental horror film written and directed by Lars von Trier , and starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a legal drama horror film directed by Scott Derrickson , loosely based on the story of Anneliese Michel. The Children is British horror film focusing on the mayhem created by several children.
Another British horror film is Eden Lake. Remakes of earlier horror movies became routine in the s. In addition to the remake of Dawn of the Dead , as well as the remake of both Herschell Gordon Lewis ' cult classic Maniacs and the remake of Tobe Hooper 's classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , there was also the Rob Zombie -written and -directed remake of John Carpenter's Halloween.
It was critically panned by most,   but was a success in its theatrical run, spurring its own sequel. This film helped to start a "reimagining" riot in horror filmmakers. Among the many remakes or "reimaginings" of other popular horror films and franchises are films such as Thirteen Ghosts , The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , The Hills Have Eyes , Friday the 13th ,  Children of the Corn ,  Halloween ,.