As you can tell from my top 10 horror films of 2017, this past year was excellent for the genre. I'm confident that 2018 will continue the trend of quality horror films, as there is so much to look forward to! Like past years, I've put together a list of my most anticipated horror movies (that I know about so far), plus others that I'm not so sure about but sincerely hope that they exceed my expectations. Some I've transferred over from last year's list, so I'm definitely hoping those get released this year.
I've tried to arrange the films below chronologically by release date, but keep in mind the release dates listed may change and many others do not have solid release dates yet (and may in fact get pushed back to 2019). I've ordered my list in three sections: one for films with scheduled release dates, another section for horror films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival (since I'm unsure if they will get wider release this year, though I'm hoping they do!), and a final section for horror films that should be released in 2018 but as of this article have no solid release date.
Finally, just a reminder that this is a personal list and in no way comprehensive of all horror films coming in 2018. I'm sure there will be films I am looking forward to which will disappoint me, as well as films I haven't listed below that will surprise me and make my best of 2018 list later this year. If you have other horror films you are looking forward to that aren't mentioned below, leave a comment and let me know what they are!
My Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2018:
Insidious: The Last Key - Parapsychologist Elise Rainier faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet - in her own family home. I really enjoy the Insidious movies and love Lin Shaye, and I'm so looking forward to seeing this film. Another bonus is that it is directed by Adam Robitel, who directed the amazing The Taking of Deborah Logan (one of my favorite films from 2014)! This released theatrically January 5th, 2018. UPDATE: I saw it and liked it! Not one of the best films of the series, but definitely interesting and well-made.
Mom and Dad - A teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids. This horror-comedy looks like a crazy good time, especially since it stars Nicolas Cage and is directed by the guy who did the high-adrenaline Crank films. This will be released January 19th, 2018.
The Open House - A teenager and his mother find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house. I'm digging the trailer for this one, and it looks like it could either be a home invasion story or perhaps something a little bit more supernatural. Either way, I'm excited to check it out when it hits Netflix January 19th, 2018. UPDATE: Don't waste your time with this one, it starts strong but never develops into anything worthwhile.
The Cloverfield Paradox (aka God Particle) - After a scientific experiment aboard the space station involving a particle accelerator has unexpected results, the astronauts find themselves isolated. Following their horrible discovery, the space station crew must fight for survival. This is the third film in the Cloverfield universe and this sci-fi sounding angle has me intrigued. The bad news is that it has been pushed back several times, and there is still no trailer for it. Still keeping my fingers crossed it will be good! UPDATE: It was released on Netflix February 4th, 2018 to mixed reviews - there were things I liked about it and things I didn't, but overall I enjoyed it.
The Ritual - A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that's stalking them. I read the book this movie is based on and really dug it (at least the first half), so I'm interested to see how they translate it to film. This one will be released via Netflix on February 9th, 2018! UPDATE: Go check this film out immediately! It's so creepy and atmospheric - more of my thoughts on it HERE!
Still/Born - When Mary loses one of her twins in childbirth, she spirals into madness thinking her other child is in danger from an evil supernatural entity. Ugh, babies are the worst, right? I'm iffy on this one, but I'm hoping it will be good and perhaps involve some interesting plot twist or monster, which the trailer implies. This will see a VOD and likely a limited theater release February 9th, 2018.
The Lodgers - The story of a sister and brother haunted by a secret curse that forces them to remain in the large estate home left to them by their dead parents. But when a young man who falls in love with the sister tries to free her, his attempt sets off a deadly chain reaction. This looks like a beautiful gothic horror story, which is right up my alley! It is one of the films I am most excited to see, and will be in limited theatrical release February 23rd, 2018.
Annihilation - A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don't apply. This sci-fi film based on a book by Jeff VanderMeer stars Natalie Portman and when I saw the trailer I was intensely intrigued! Sci-fi movies are usually not high on my priority list to see, but the cast of female characters along with an engaging storyline has me excited for this one. It will be released in theaters February 23rd, 2018.
Mohawk - A young Mohawk woman and her two lovers battle a squad of American soldiers hell-bent on revenge. Writer/director Ted Geoghegan follows up his stellar haunted house flick We Are Still Here with this historical action-horror film and I can't wait! This will hit select theaters and VOD March 2nd, 2018.
Compulsion - Described as an homage to the 1970's sexual-thriller, Compulsion tells the story of Sadie, a budding erotic novelist, is enticed by an ex-lover to join him and an enigmatic woman named Francesca at an Italian villa. Once there, Sadie is confronted by the demons of her past as she becomes embroiled in a surreal game of murder and betrayal. This one looks gorgeous and is worth watching for the costumes alone! It will be released in the U.S. on March 6th, 2018.
The Strangers: Prey at Night - A family staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are visited by three masked psychopaths, to test their every limit. I love, love, love The Strangers, so I'm a bit uneasy about a sequel, but I'm keeping my hopes up that this will deliver the same terrifying, creepy atmosphere. I'm pretty stoked, though, especially after the trailer above dropped showing they plan to have some fun with this sequel. This will be in theaters March 9th, 2018.
Thoroughbreds - Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems-no matter what the cost. The dark-yet-quirky storyline itself is intriguing, but I am also looking forward to performances by Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) and Anton Yelchin (this was his last performance before his untimely death). This premiered at Sundance last year and it should be releasing March 9th, 2018.
Unsane - A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear - but is it real or is it a product of her delusion? I'm not falling for the film's gimmick of being shot entirely on an iPhone (doesn't that seem a bit dated?), but I am interested to see how Steven Soderbergh envisions a horror movie. This one is being kept under wraps so there isn't much information on it, but it should be in theaters March 23rd, 2018.
The Endless - Two brothers return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group's beliefs may be more sane than they once thought. I have mixed feelings about the films of filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead - I enjoyed Resolution, but felt Spring had some issues with how it portrayed its female character. Still, their new film (which they also star in) seems interesting and has received positive buzz. Release date is March 23rd, 2018.
Bad Samaritan - A pair of burglars stumble upon a woman being held captive in a home they intended to rob. David Tennant playing an evil killer? I'm in, and the trailer looks like this will be a thrill ride! This will be in theaters March 30th, 2018.
A Quiet Place - A family lives an isolated existence in utter silence, for fear of an unknown threat that follows and attacks at any sound. After seeing the trailers for this one, I was hooked! It has such an interesting concept and hopefully a new kind of monster for horror fans to experience. Plus, John Krasinski's directorial debut is a horror film with his real-life wife Emily Blunt - I gotta say I'm excited about those dynamics in this film, too. Expect this one in theaters April 6th, 2018.
The New Mutants - Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. While this is a Marvel property and I'm not one for superhero movies, this one intrigues me because it seems like it will lean more into horror territory than most action films. Plus, it's packed with talent, like Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), and Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things). Look for this one in theaters on April 13th, 2018.
Marrowbone - Four siblings seek refuge in an old home after the death of their mother, only to discover that the house has another, more sinister, inhabitant, in this haunting directorial debut from Sergio G. Sánchez, screenwriter of The Orphanage. Ooooh the trailer for this one looks great, with a stellar cast, not to mention it is a period piece (swoon). This one will be released April 13th, 2018.
Rampage - Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unshakable bond with George, an extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla that's been in his care since birth. When a rogue genetic experiment goes wrong, it causes George, a wolf and a reptile to grow to a monstrous size. As the mutated beasts embark on a path of destruction, Okoye teams up with a discredited genetic engineer and the military to secure an antidote and prevent a global catastrophe. Another non-horror film, however I think genre fans will enjoy what looks like a fun, action-packed kaiju flick. This is scheduled for release on April 20th, 2018.
Incident in a Ghost Land - The story follows a mother of two who inherits a home from her Aunt. On the first night in the new home she is confronted with murderous intruders and fights for her daughters lives. Sixteen years later when the daughters reunite at the house, and that is when things get strange. I'm intrigued by the concept as well that it is written and directed by Pascal Laugier, who directed the brutal Martyrs. This one is slated for a US release in April 2018.
Hereditary - The Graham family starts to unravel following the death of their reclusive grandmother. Even after she's gone, the matriarch still casts a dark shadow over the family, especially her loner teenage granddaughter, Charlie, whom she always had an unusual fascination with. As an overwhelming terror takes over their household, their peaceful existence is ripped apart, forcing their mother to explore a darker realm in order to escape the unfortunate fate they've inherited. This horror movie starring Toni Collette is garnering some serious buzz, and I can't wait to check it out this June 8th, 2018.
The Purge: The Island - The film will be a prequel that will focus on the events that lead up to the very first Purge event. To me, The Purge films are perfect summer popcorn movies and I liked them all with the exception of the first one. It will be interesting to see how director Gerard McMurray and writer James DeMonaco (who was the writer/director for the last three Purge movies) take this installment back to the very beginning where the Purge all started. It will be in theaters on July 4th, 2018.
The Nun - A priest named Father Burke is sent to Rome to investigate the mysterious death of a nun. I really enjoyed The Conjuring 2, so I am pumped to see a horror film centered around the terrifying nun character! This is high on my list of must-see movies this year and its scheduled release date is July 13th, 2018.
The Predator - A group of men get stranded in a jungle with a beast of whom they do not speak. One by one, they go missing and skinned bodies are found in trees. Then, when the only survivor of a previous beast encounter appears, they realize they are in worse trouble than they thought...This may be a reboot, but with Shane Black and Fred Dekker writing the screenplay (fun fact: they wrote The Monster Squad together!) and Black directing, along with a stellar cast that includes Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, and Olivia Munn, I'm kinda excited about it. This one will release August 3rd, 2018.
The Meg - After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70 foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible. Who can resist a killer prehistoric shark movie, especially one based on a successful book and stars Ruby Rose and Jason Statham?! This should see a near end-of-summer release on August 10th, 2018.
Cadaver - When a cop who is just out of rehab takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue, she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses. I'm liking the synopsis for this one, it sounds like it has some traces of The Autopsy of Jane Doe! This has a US release date of August 24th, 2018.
The Little Stranger - On a hot summer day in 1947, Dr Faraday is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. The Hall is now in decline and its inhabitants are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how terrifyingly, the family's story is about to become entwined with his own. I'm a sucker for period ghost stories, and this post Word War II film based on a novel by Sarah Waters sounds like it will deliver! I'm hoping for a haunting, gothic atmosphere in this film, which is scheduled for US release August 31st, 2018.
The House With a Clock in its Walls – A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world. This is based on a kid's book, set in a creepy gothic house, features warlocks and witches, is directed by Eli Roth, and stars Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, and Kyle MacLachlan. Based on that info alone I'm in! I'm hoping for a quirky gothic tale with this one. The release date is currently scheduled for September 21st, 2018.
The Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space - Two circus performers who are stranded in the mountain town of Kismet, the new Klowns invade when their car breaks down. The two will have to save the world from the returning Killer Klowns while they are being blamed for what is happening. This upcoming sequel to the 1988 film (which I adore, by the way) will be again be directed, produced and written by the Chiodo Brothers. It will be released in 3D with a scheduled release date of September 28th, 2018.
Hellfest - The film is set at a horror theme park during Halloween where a night of fun turns deadly as a costumed killer begins slaying unsuspecting patrons who believe that it’s all part of the festivities. How cool of a concept is this, and something I've wondered myself when going through haunts - things often look so real, what if they actually were real?! I'm hoping this one actually gets released this year, since it sounds like a killer concept and would make for a great Halloween movie! This one should be out October 12th, 2018.
Halloween - Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. This is probably THE most anticipated film for horror fans, especially since Jamie Lee Curtis is back as well as John Carpenter who is producing and doing the music. It will ignore most of the Halloween franchise besides the original, and I'm cautiously optimistic about this one. See it in theaters October 19, 2018.
Overlord - On the eve of D-Day, a group of American paratroopers is dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. I'm intrigued by the premise of this one, and can't wait to see what this film from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production company brings us (there are even rumors this may film be tied to the Cloverfield universe). This one is scheduled for a October 26th, 2018 release.
The House That Jack Built - The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer over the course of 12 years and depicts the murders that truly develop Jack as a serial killer. This is writer/director Lars Von Trier's new film, and I personally can't wait to see it just based on that. I also think that seeing Matt Dillion playing a serial killer will be interesting, as is the fact that it is set in the 1970s. The expected release date is November 29th, 2018.
2018 Films Premiering at Sundance
(I've listed these separately since they may or may not see a wider release in 2018):
(I've listed these separately since they may or may not see a wider release in 2018):
Revenge - Never take your mistress on an annual guys' getaway, especially one devoted to hunting - a violent lesson for three wealthy married men. This rape-revenge thriller from writer/director Coralie Fargeat is supposedly a blood-drenched and brutal tale. This will screen at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19th, 2018, and will hopefully see a wider US release later this year.
Lizzie - A psychological thriller based on the infamous 1892 murders of the Borden family. This probably won't be exactly horror, but I'm excited to see what is done with this twist on the Lizzie Borden story, and I'm excited to see Chloë Sevigny in the lead roll as well as Kristen Stewart in a supporting role as Lizzie's maid! Plus, I am fascinated with the Lizzie Borden story and love historical thrillers, though this may be focused more on a fictionalized romantic story between Lizzie and her maid. Also, Craig William Macneill, who gave us some wonderfully creepy moments in Channel Zero: Candle Cove, directed. It will premiere at Sundance Film Festival January 19th, 2018, and I'm hoping it gets a wider release this year.
Piercing - A man who kisses his wife and baby goodbye, seemingly headed away on business, with a plan to check into a hotel, call an escort service and kill an unsuspecting prostitute. Based on the novel by Ryû Murakami, this dark thriller will star Mia Wasikowska (Crimson Peak, Stoker) and Christopher Abbott (It Comes at Night), and directed by Nicolas Pesce who gave us The Eyes of My Mother. All those reasons right there are enough to get me excited about this movie! It will premiere at Sundance on January 20th, 2018.
Summer of '84 - After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous. This film looks both nostalgic and thrilling and is from the same creators that gave us the fun Turbo Kid. It's another film that will be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival (slated for January 22nd, 2018), but fingers crossed we see it in wider release in 2018.
2018 Films Whose Release Dates are To Be Determined:
Pyewacket - A frustrated, angst-ridden teenage girl awakens something in the woods when she naively performs an occult ritual to evoke a witch to kill her mother. The trailer for this film looks so good, and it received positive reviews at 2017's Toronto International Film Festival, and IFC Midnight snatched up the rights to it, so fingers crossed it gets released in the U.S. this year!
Let the Corpses Tan - During a beautiful Mediterranean summer, Rhino and his gang steal a cache of of gold. They believe they've found the perfect hideout: a remote and abandoned hamlet that has been taken over by a woman who is searching for inspiration. Unfortunately, surprise guests and two cops compromise their plan, and the heavenly place where wild happenings and orgies used to take place turns into a gruesome battlefield. This giallo-by-spaghetti-western sounds like a crazy film, and I can't wait to see it sometime this year.
Hold the Dark - After the deaths of three children suspected to be by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness. I was sold on this thriller when I saw it was directed by Jeremy Saulnier (who did the amazing Blue Ruin and Green Room films) and written by Macon Blair (who directed I Don't Feel At Home in this World Anymore, one of my faves from last year). It is based on a book written by William Giraldi, but I'm sold on Saulnier and Blair themselves. Release date is TBD, but expected in 2018.
Tigers Are Not Afraid - A dark fairy tale about a gang of five children trying to survive the horrific violence of the cartels and the ghosts created every day by the drug war. This stunning-looking film written and directed by Issa López received a lot of praise after doing the festival circuit last year, so I'm hoping it gets a wide US-release this year.
Suspiria - A young American ballerina comes to train at a prestigious German dance academy and uncovers the school's dark and menacing secrets. This is a remake of one of my favorite films ever, so it has a lot to live up to. However, with a stellar cast that includes Chloë Grace Moretz and Tilda Swinton (they are even bringing back the original Susie, Jessica Harper, in another role!) I'm hoping for a fresh perspective on the story. Release date TBD.
Slaughterhouse Rulez - An illustrious British boarding school becomes a bloody battleground when a mysterious sinkhole appears at a nearby fracking site unleashing unspeakable horror. This is Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's new horror comedy and of course I'm excited to check out anything they have a hand in! This one is scheduled for release in the UK September 2018, so here's hoping a US release isn't too far behind.
Housewife - On a snowy eve, Little Holly's sister and father are killed by her frantic mother. Years later, Holly is married, lonely, and her life is soon about take a turn for the ultra weird, when she visits "Umbrella of Love and Mind". This is writer/director Can Evrenol's film after his insane Baskin - excited to see Evrenol's vision for this one!
Bad Times at the El Royale - This thriller is set in the 1960s in a dilapidated hotel in the Lake Tahoe region in California. While there isn't much of a synopsis about this film yet, I'm most excited about this upcoming movie because it's written and directed by Drew Goddard, who also gave us Cabin in the Woods (which I absolutely love). It also has a pretty impressive cast, including Dakota Fanning, Chris Hemsworth, Russell Crowe, Jeff Bridges, and more. Not sure if will actually be released in 2018, but here's hoping!
Down a Dark Hall - Kit Gordy, a new student at the exclusive Blackwood Boarding School, confronts the institution's supernatural occurrences and dark powers of its headmistress. Based on a young adult novel by Lois Duncan, this looks like it will be a gothic ghost story that I hope is good!
Ghost Stories - Arch skeptic Professor Phillip Goodman embarks upon a terror-filled quest when he stumbles across a long-lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable 'hauntings'. Release date for the US is TBD, but is expected in 2018.
Freak Shift - A band of misfits hunt down and kill underground, nocturnal monsters. My interest in this one comes from it being directed by Ben Wheatley and written by Wheatley and Amy Jump, who gave us A Field in England, Sightseers, and the incredible Kill List. This one is slated for a 2018, but I'm not sure if we will see it this year as it is still listed in being in pre-production.
In Fabric - A haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store and follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences. Oooooh a haunted dress story from the director of Berbian Sound Studio?! Count me in. No solid release date yet, but hopefully we'll get to slip into this in 2018.
Slice - When a pizza delivery driver is murdered on the job, the city searches for someone to blame: ghosts? drug dealers? a disgraced werewolf? We only have a teaser to go on so far, but this looks like it could be a fun, gory slasher with a few outlandish surprises! Here's hoping, anyway.
Destroyer - This dark thriller from director Karyn Kusama is about LAPD detective Erin Bell, who worked undercover in a cult in the California desert, only for the leader to reemerge back into her life. Stoked to check this one out after Kusama's excellent The Invitation!
Under the Silver Lake - A man becomes obsessed with the strange circumstances of a billionaire mogul’s murder and the undeniable link to the L.A. "dog murderers" and cult indie music scene. I'm excited to see this since it will be director David Robert Mitchell next film after the incredible It Follows, and who wouldn't be intrigued with that synopsis?! Sounds weird and almost more of a crime story than horror, but I'm sold already.
Heretiks - During the 17th Century a young woman is saved from execution and led to a priory to repent her sins but discovers a greater evil lies within. From the director that gave us the bleak The Seasoning House and Howl, I was pretty much sold on the 17th century setting alone (if it isn't apparent yet, I love historical horror)!
We Have Always Lived In The Castle - Merricat, Constance and their Uncle Julian live in isolation after experiencing a family tragedy six years earlier. When cousin Charles arrives to steal the family fortune, he also threatens a dark secret they've been hiding. Of course I love the Shirley Jackson novel, so I'm interested to see what director Stacie Passon and actors Taissa Farmiga and Crispin Glover do with the source material.
Delirium - A man recently released from a mental institute inherits a mansion after his parents die. After a series of disturbing events, he comes to believe it is haunted. I love supernatural horror, ghost stories, and haunted house stories, so I'm hoping this one is my jam.
Nightmare Cinema - The anthology will center on a series of down-on-their-luck individuals who enter the decrepit and spine-chilling Rialto theater, only to have their deepest and darkest fears brought to life on the silver screen by The Projectionist. Mick Garris, Joe Dante, David Slade, Ryuhei Kitamura and Alejandro Brugues will contribute segments and Mickey Rourke will star as The Projectionist. There is a lot of talent behind this film, which is also in talks to become a TV show, but I do with there were some female directors in the mix.
Monster Party - Three teenage thieves infiltrate a mansion dinner party secretly hosted by a serial killer cult for the social elite. There isn't much info on this yet, but I do like the short synopsis and it sounds like it could be a fun film.
Candy Corn - It’s 1982 in the quaint town of Grove Hill, Ohio, and things are more lively than usual as the annual fall festival comes to town. Local outcast Julien Cummings has finally found his calling as the toothless boy-giant in the carnival’s main event, Dr. Death’s Side Show Spook House Spectacular. Unfortunately for Julien, some of the people of Grove Hill have different plans for him on opening night of the big event. But Dr. Death is not your average freak show ring leader and he doesn’t take kindly to those who hurt one of his own. The following day, Grove Hill, Ohio finds itself under a strange, dark spell. As the small town’s hero, Sheriff Sam Bramford, races against the clock to find the culprits of many disturbingly creative murders, Dr. Death is orchestrating his greatest performance to date, showing everyone the Hell to pay when you pick on the freaks. I was hoping this indie horror film set on Halloween would be out last year, but I'm happy that we should finally get to see it this year!
Corpse Tub - A small-town couple finds the perfect apartment in the big city, except there's one catch: the apartment is home to the ritualistic suicides of a deranged cult. This is listed as a comedy rather than horror, but I'm hoping it will be a hybrid, as it stars Taika Waititi and I can never get enough of him. Also, who could pass this movie up based on the title alone?!
Haunt - On Halloween, a group of friends encounter an "extreme" haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are real. I love when horror movies are set on Halloween, so I cannot wait for this one, though it sounds a bit similar to Hellfest mentioned above. There doesn't seem to be an anticipated release date yet for this one, hopefully we will see it in 2018.
There are bound to be many more movies I haven't even heard about yet that will be incredible this year, and I can't wait to discover them throughout the year!
What horror movies are you looking forward to the most?
Until next time, stay spooky!