• ERIC BUTLER

The horror genre is getting better movies in 1997

After a promising 1996, 1997 continues to build on that solid foundation with some really great additions to the horror film family. We are starting with one of my absolute favorites.

#1 is Event Horizon. I love everything about this movie; the director, the cast, the special effects, and the story. Sam Neill, who popped up a number of times in the 80s and early 90s, kills it as Weir. Whenever I write, I'm staring at this movie poster for inspiration as it is right behind my monitor. If you have a chance, grab the Blu-ray Collector's Edition. It has hours of behind the scenes footage. Or if you want to just watch the movie, you can get it on HBOMax.


Blurb - A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.




So before he wrote Scream, Kevin Williamson had written I know What You Did Last Summer. It was snatched up as soon as Columbia saw how successful Scream was and they followed the blueprint. While it's not as clever as Scream, and it doesn't have a master horror director at the helm, I still find this movie both fun and satisfying as a horror film. Watch it on Netflix.

Blurb - Four young friends bound by a tragic accident are reunited when they find themselves being stalked by a hook-wielding maniac in their small seaside town.




I'm a sucker for a werewolf movie, and An American Werewolf in Paris delivers the goods. It's nowhere near as good or influential as the original London version, but it is fun and Tom Everett Scott is great as the love-struck American. You can stream it on Peacock, tubi, and VUDUfree.


Blurb - An American man unwittingly gets involved with French werewolves who have developed a serum allowing them to transform at will.




Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson return to give us Scream 2. You don't usually see the sequel so soon, but Williamson had so much for the first movie he was able to spread it out for the sequel. They were able to get into the 2nd one six months after the first one was finished. While more of the same as the first movie, I think I'm a bigger fan of this cast. You can stream on Peacock Premium.


Blurb - Two years after the first series of murders, as Sidney acclimates to college life, someone donning the Ghostface costume begins a new string of killings.




Don't be shocked to see Anaconda this high on the list. It's a fun movie, with a great premise. Add in peak Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson not playing a funny man, and Ice Cube being Ice Cube, and you get the ultimate popcorn movie. You can stream it with Showtime.


Blurb - A "National Geographic" film crew is taken hostage by an insane hunter, who forces them along on his quest to capture the world's largest - and deadliest - snake.




I was so excited to see Mimic when it first came out. This is Guillermo del Toro's first big American picture, and it was ruined by the Weinstein brothers and their need to get in the way of a master. They tried to force the director into taking shots, not in the script, and they ended up over editing the film. If you have the choice, get the director's cut. It's much closer to del Toro's original vision of the project. It's on HBOMax(probably the theatrical version).


Blurb - Three years ago, entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically created an insect to kill cockroaches carrying a virulent disease. Now, the insects are out to destroy their only predator, mankind.



I've only seen Alien: Resurrection once and that was on opening night. I don't remember loving or hating it, and I plan on sitting down to watch all 4 Alien movies soon to capture my thoughts now that I'm an older viewer. Weaver returns as Ripley, but she admits it was only because they gave her so much money to come back. We'll see where it ranks in the Alien franchise, but we know it can't get higher than #3. You can stream it on Prime.


Blurb - 200 years after her death, Ellen Ripley is revived as a powerful human/alien hybrid clone. Along with a crew of space pirates, she must again battle the deadly aliens and stop them from reaching Earth.




Listen, The Relic is fine as a movie, but you need to read the book. It's a part of the Pendergast series by Preston & Child, which is up to double digits by now. The books are so good, and the character is so entertaining and interesting to follow. Which is why it's so annoying he's not in the movie. Most of the other characters are in the movie, and if you take it as a separate entity, you will find Relic to be a fun monster film.


Funny thing, the studio thought it was going to bomb and tried to just slide it into a week to be done with it. There's no big-name star and it was going up against the likes of Scream at the box office, but people went and it outperformed the projection by 5x. You will have to rent/buy if you want to stream this one.


Blurb - A homicide detective and an anthropologist try to destroy a South American lizard-like god, who's on a people eating rampage in a Chicago museum.



The writer of Hellraiser 2 - 4, wrote Wishmaster. They slapped Wes Craven's name on the top as a producer to give it a boost and threw it out there in 1997. This is another one I saw the year it came out, and never again. I don't remember hating it so I guess that's something? You can stream it on tubi & VUDUfree. I think I will stream it to refresh my memory.


Blurb - A demonic djinn attempts to grant its owner three wishes, which will allow him to summon his brethren to Earth.




You can't go a year without King popping up somehow, even if it's a remake no one asked for. It's no secret King hates Kubrick's The Shining so he got the network to do a miniseries like It & Tommyknockers to give him a closer version to his book. Enter ABC's The Shining, and exit one Eric Butler. Never seen it, and don't think I ever will. Kubrick's version is perfect, and I don't need another one out there muddying the waters. Add in the fact I have no idea where you can find it, and there you have it. Suck it up and watch the classic version.


Blurb - A recovering alcoholic must wrestle with demons within and without when he and his family move into a haunted hotel as caretakers.


Gonna limit myself to 6 favorite non-horror movies from 1997. All are very good and must-watch movies.



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