This is a tough year to call. I mean it. 1992 was a down year for Stephen King movies: Pet Sematary II sucked; King sued and won to take his name off of The Lawnmower Man; and while it has some creepy moments and fun cameos, Sleepwalkers might have been the worst movie of the year. But didn't I say the year's best was a tough call? Damn right, I did.
There are two movies I love -- for very different reasons -- that I would like to give this honor to, but I can't. Army of Darkness is a great film and should be viewed as often as possible. Candyman is arguably the most atmospheric and esoteric slasher movie ever made (and the Philip Glass score is top-notch). But can I honestly say that either of those films are better than Bram Stoker's Dracula? No, I can't.
Director Francis Ford Coppola used mostly old school in-camera effects for this movie and pulls it off magnificently. It has the feel of the old Universal monsters but with more experience. This was Coppola's follow-up to The Godfather Part III and he hasn't made a better movie since Dracula (which isn't saying much since he's only directed six movies in the 20 years since).
The costumes (Oscar winner), sets, and score all add to the reality and horror of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Plus, Tom Waites plays the mad solicitor Renfield and that's pretty damn cool.