Fear of the Dark: A Brief History of 90s TV Horror | Entertainment

In the early 90s, television became terrifying. In the previous decade, tales of sci-fi horror and monster encounters were a success, as evidenced by the success of anthologies such as Twilight Zone (1985-89) Ray Bradbury Theater (1985-92) and Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985-89). Slashers were also making their way, with the help of people like Robert Englund, who brought the dreamy Freddy Krueger to life both in theaters and on the small screen. And, of course, one cannot rule out the massive commercial success of franchises such as Ghostbusters.

So, naturally, by the time the 90s rolled around, horror TV had exploded. The number of night air strikes has doubled from the previous 10 years as witches, aliens and vampires have taken over. The shift towards more horror stories also included an increase in episodes with monster of the week formats such as Secret materials, Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as Charmedequipped with heroes unmasking new villains every hour, often in a Scooby-Doo style.

At the center of the cultural zeitgeist was Secret materials (1993-2002), which urged viewers to “Trust No One” while FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), a conspiracy theorist, and skeptic Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigated the paranormal. He didn’t always lean towards fear, but when he did, he was wild. Season 4’s “House,” about an inbred Pennsylvanian family resembling a chainsaw massacre, was so disturbingly violent that it was the only episode of the series to receive a TV-MA warning for graphic content. And lest we forget, horror writer extraordinaire Stephen King co-wrote “Chinga” for season 5 about a shudder-worthy killer doll.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003) follows the life of teenage Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the Chosen One destined to fight demons. She and her buddies were even dubbed the “Scooby Gang”. Sometimes supernatural, sometimes cute, Buffy had a chilling side to her as well. Highlights include last season’s tense “Conversations with Dead People” that explores the barrier between the living and the dead, and the fan-favorite Emmy-nominated episode “Hush” featuring the silent but deadly skeleton ghouls, The Gentlemen. The series was so popular that it received a spin-off. Angel (1999-2004), starring redemption-seeking vampire David Boreanaz.

bewitching Charmed Followed by (1998-2006). Although the drama in which the three witch sisters warded off evil in San Francisco was not as scary as buffy gold secret materialssome of the horror greats have come to a halt, such as Englund as the woman-shrinking demon Gammill in Season 4’s “Size Matters” and Tobin Bell, who played the creepy gypsy hunter in Season 5’s “The Eyes Have It” before than to switch to the role of Saw Saw.

Besides the monster show of the week, the 90s were also known for campy horror. cult hit Twin Peaks (1990-91) plays out like a dark provincial detective story, but filled with supernatural elements, surrealism and original humor. In addition, the indescribable Red Room, first seen in the dreams of Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), served as a real nightmare.

Tales from the Crypt (1989-96) was another campy masterpiece of the decade. The comic book-based HBO anthology reveals the horrific sagas presented by the decrepit and cheesy Cryptkeeper. At his best, McLachlan played a runaway convict in Season 3 of Dead Man’s Death and Tim Curry (who had previously terrified viewers with his role as Pennywise in ABC’s 1990s adaptation of King’s novel). it) played a terrible trio in the fifth season of “Death of a Salesman”.

Many of these series have experienced or are experiencing their own renaissance. FOX Secret materials revival in 2016, 2017 Twin Peaks on Showtime, current CW Charmed reincarnation, and even recent films about it, prove that horror—especially the ones that stormed the 90s—are not going anywhere anytime soon.


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