Horror movies 2020: the most terrifying films coming to cinemas this year

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From Antebellum to A Quiet Place II and Gretel & Hansel, these are the horror movies that will haunt you for the rest of the year.     

It’s clear: 2019 was a good year to be a horror fan.

From Jordan Peele’s Us, starring not one but two Lupita Nyong’os, to the bleak and unsettling Midsommar, horror films dominated both the multiplexes and our Netflix accounts. And let’s not forget the bonkers cat-and-mouse horror Ready Or Not and Stephen King’s freaky offering, In The Tall Grass. Yep, much of the year was spent hiding behind a trusty pillow. 

It looks like the terrifying genre is here to stay for 2020. Here are the horror movies we’re looking forward to the most this year. 

Antebellum

It seems like everything Janelle Monáe does is iconic, from her live performances to her videos to her red carpet appearances. So we have high hopes for her forthcoming film Antebellum, and if the teaser trailer if anything to go by, we won’t be disappointed. Monáe plays successful author Veronica Henley, who finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late. Expect plenty of scares of the clever and unsettling kind; Antebellum is from the producer of Get Out and Us.

Release date: 24 April 2020.

Gretel & Hansel

Gretel and Hansel
The Gretel & Hansel movie 2020 looks scary as hell.

Sophia Lillis (It, Sharp Objects) and Alice Krige (Silent Hill, A Christmas Prince) star in this retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale classic. Gretel & Hansel follows the well-known story of siblings Hansel (Sam Leakey) and Gretel (Lillis) who are abandoned by their family in a woodland. They are soon lured into a house made from gingerbread, where a child-eating witch called Holda (Krige) greets them. In the original tale, Gretel manages to kill the witch, but will the ending take a different turn this time? One thing’s for sure: the moment when Holda pulls a little girl’s pigtail out of her mouth is too creepy. 

Release date: 30 January 2020.

A Quiet Place II

Actor John Krasinski has been very tight-lipped about what exactly is going to happen in the sequel to A Quiet Place. We’re not clear on the plot of the new film, and whether or not they’ll be facing off against the same terrifying sound-seeking monsters or a new set of foes we are yet to meet. In the recently released trailer, we see Evelyn (Emily Blunt) silently roaming the wilderness with her children in search of safety. They are rescued by a masked man (played by Cillian Murphy) who fatalistically tells her “there’s nothing left”. Evelyn suggests that there are people worth saving in the world, but the man bitterly tells her that they are “not the kind of people worth saving”. The rest of the trailer  is a terrifying cat-and-mouse montage of the family attempting to stave off alien attacks, as well as an intense shot of Evelyn cocking a shotgun and readying herself to protect her family. It’s going to be just as gripping as the first film.

Release date: 20 March 2020.

The Lighthouse

What do you get when you put Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in an isolated, desolate lighthouse? You get to watch them slowly go mad, of course. The Lighthouse, directed by Robert Eggers – who broke out with horror film The Witch – was a hit at the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals and is finally hitting cinemas in the US this month. It has been compared to The Shining in the way that it manufactures terror out of a single location, which is always a good sign.

Release date: 31 January 2020. 

Saint Maud

Jennifer Ehle.

Fans of ecclesiastical horror – The Nun, anyone? – will enjoy this psychological thriller about a young nurse haunted by symbols of eternal damnation surrounding her dying employer. The movie stars Morfydd Clark and Jennifer Ehle (Lizzie Bennett from the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice) and was a hit at its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. 

Release date: 1 May 2020.

Grudge 

There have been 11 movies in the Grudge universe and this will be lucky number 12. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Because this franchise, about a house quite literally infested with the pestilence of the occult, is definitely not broken. This iteration, starring John Cho and GLOW star Betty Gilpin, will be more of a departure from the originals, according to producers. Other than that, very little is known about the film. Best to go into it with as little information as possible. All the better to be spooked by.

Release date: 24 January 2020. 

The Invisible Man

Horror fans are going to love the sound of The Invisible Man, a new adaptation of HG Wells’ iconic novel of the same name. When her abusive ex-boyfriend Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) dies by suicide, Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) believes that she is finally free. Soon, though, a series of horrific events make her believe that her boyfriend might not be dead after all. Produced by Jason Blum, the master of horror behind Get Out and Ma, this movie is going to be a true nail-biter.

Release date: 28 February 2020.

Saw Reboot

Are you ready for a Saw movie written by… Chris Rock? Yes, Chris Rock the star of Madagascar, Chris Rock the star of Grown Ups? Because in May 2020, that’s exactly what you’re going to get. The Saw franchise, which numbered eight at the last count, were a huge staple of 00s horror before fizzling out into oblivion. If you told us that Chris Rock would be bringing it back in 2020, we wouldn’t have believed you. But if anyone can do it, we suppose he can.

Release date: 15 May 2020.

Candyman

allison
Jordan Peele (right) with Get Out stars Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams.

Everything (horror) that Jordan Peele touches turns to gold, so you can expect this sequel to the beloved 1992 scary movie to go the same way. Peele is producing and writing the script, with female director Nia DaCosta behind the lens. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will star alongside an all-black cast including Nadia Simms, Teyonah Parris and Colman Domingo.

Release date: 12 June 2020.

Malignant

James Wan – the Australian director behind the original Saw, and horror franchises Insidious and The Conjuring – has a new, original horror film coming and it’s almost definitely going to be epic. Based on a graphic novel by Wan himself, it stars Annabelle Wallis and is about a patient who discovers that their cancer diagnosis is, in fact, a parasite taking over their body. We absolutely love to see it.

Release date: 14 August 2020. 

Images: Universal, Hulu, Blumhouse, Lionsgate, Getty, Paramount 

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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