From Antebellum to Black Christmas and Grudge, these are the horror movies that will haunt you for the rest of the year.
It’s clear: 2019 is 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 have been dominating both the multiplexes and our Netflix accounts. And the year is still young – we still have a few months left for horror films to sweep into cinemas and terrify us before 2020 commences and a new set of scary movies stake their claim on our nightmares.
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These are the movies we’re looking forward to the most.
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 in the US.
Are you ready for another Lupita Nyong’o horror movie? Because, in Little Monsters, you’re getting one, albeit one with a comedic flavour. In the Australian film Nyong’o plays a kindergarten teachers whose school trip to a farm takes a terrifying turn, courtesy of an impending zombie apocalypse. There’s also a musical element to this film – so if you ever wanted to see Nyong’o fight zombies with the power of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, this is the movie for you.
Release date: Out now in the US and the UK.
Trust Netflix to know that the perfect time to debut a brand new horror movie is two weeks before Halloween. Eli, the streaming platform’s latest scary thriller, tells the story of a young boy battling a mysterious disease that flummoxes doctors at every turn. Horror aficionados Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) and Sadie Sink (Stranger Things) both star in this movie, which judging by the first trailer has some of the same unsettling energy as other creepy kid movies like The Omen and Hereditary. Are you brave enough to watch this new Netflix movie?
Release date: Out now in the US and the UK on Netflix.
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: Out now in the US and on 31 January 2020 in the UK.
What if there was an app that could tell you exactly, down to the millisecond, when you would die. Would you want to know the answer? What would you do if you found out you only have three days to live? That’s the plot of this schlocky, B-grade thriller starring Elizabeth Lail, last seen fighting for her life as Beck on Netflix’s You. The film has some plot holes, sure, but it looks like a fun way to spend Halloween this year. Just make sure to turn your phone to airplane mode before you go into the cinema.
Release date: Out now in the US and the UK.
A sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining was always going to be a terrifying task, but if anyone can do it it’s Ewan McGregor. As Danny Torrance – all grown up and dealing with the demons of his childhood – McGregor has some of Jack Nicholson’s manic energy but brings his own twisted interpretation to the character, too. An all-star cast, including Rebecca Ferguson and Jacob Tremblay, complete the ensemble.
Release date: Out now in the US and the UK.
From Blumhouse – the iconic horror film company behind Get Out and Ma – comes Black Christmas, the perfect scary movie and silly season mash-up. The plot is simple: a young woman goes missing just before college breaks up for the Christmas break and her sorority sisters (played by Imogen Poots and Aleyse Shannon) band together to solve the mystery, find their pal, and enact justice on the creepy forces who have conspired for her demise. Get your girlfriends together for the release of this one – it’s the perfect antidote for anyone sick of saccharine Christmas movies. This one has bite.
Release date: 13 December in the US and the UK.
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. This month, it screens at the BFI London Film Festival, for anyone in London looking for a scary movie to catch in time for Halloween.
Release date: TBC in 2019.
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: 3 January 2020 in the US and the UK.
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 in the US and the UK.
A Quiet Place 2
Though John Krasinski himself won’t be starring in this sequel to his smash-hit horror movie – spoiler alert, but he dies in the first film – the rest of the cast will be returning. That includes his real-life wife Emily Blunt as well as Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, who played the couple’s onscreen children in the film. The plot of the movie is being kept tightly under wraps, but we know that the alien creatures who prey on sound are still roaming the world, and that Blunt’s character Evelyn is hell-bent on avenging the death of her husband. Sign us up.
Release date: 20 March 2020 in the US and the UK.
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 in the US and the UK.
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 in the US and the UK.
As of right now there are at least two more Halloween movies in the works. Are you surprised? The reboot starring Jamie Lee Curtis and released in 2018 became the highest-grossing horror movie of all time. Curtis is back to star in this sequel with Halloween Ends – reportedly the last in the series – to screen in 2021. Take it all with a grain of salt, though. In our reboot culture a movie is never really over. (Just ask Chris Rock.)
Release date: 16 October in the US and the UK.
OK, so this one is a little way off, given that it has only just started filming. But we wanted to flag that James Wan – the Australian director behind the original Saw movie and is behind the 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: TBC in 2020.
Images: Universal, Hulu, Blumhouse, Lionsgate, Getty, Paramount
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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