Monday, January 7, 2019

My Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2019

2018 was an incredible year for horror movies (see my top 10 horror movies of 2018), and 2019 promises to bring the same level quality to our beloved horror genre. There are already so many horror movies to look forward to this year (over 60 on this list alone!!), and I'm sure there will be so many more that aren't on our radar yet that will crop up this year and blow us all away. From original stories to anthologies to remakes to sequels and more, this year promises a wide array of scary movies, and I think there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Browse through all the horror films that I'm hoping will deliver the scares this year below!

A few notes before we begin:
  • Some films appeared on last year's list - though they may have been released at festivals in 2018, 2019 is where they will have their proper, wide release so I am including a few of those again on this list.
  • The films below are arranged chronologically by release date, but keep in mind the release dates listed may change, while other films are still pending release dates.
  • Note that not all films will come out this year and could get 2020 or beyond release dates.
  • As I start seeing films on this list, I'll be updating this post with my briefs thoughts on if I liked/disliked the movie. 
  • Finally, just a reminder that this is a personal list and in no way comprehensive of all horror films coming in 2019. 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 2019 list later this year. 
If you have other horror films you are looking forward to that aren't mentioned below, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what they are!

Rust Creek (January 4th, 2019) - When an overachieving college senior makes a wrong turn, her road trip becomes a life-changing fight for survival in rural Kentucky. Directed by Jen McGowan, this looks like an edge-of-your-seat survival tale, and I am here for that! I'm excited that it is directed by a woman, and I'm confident enough in the IFC Midnight label to expect a decent film.

Escape Room (January 4th, 2019) - Six adventurous strangers travel to a mysterious building to experience the escape room - a game where players compete to solve a series of puzzles to win $1 million. What starts out as seemingly innocent fun soon turns into a living nightmare as the four men and two women discover each room is an elaborate trap that's part of a sadistic game of life or death. Directed by Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan, Insidious: The Last Key), this is one of the first horror releases of the year. It looks pretty straight-forward and a bit bland, but I'm hoping it has some twists and turns that will keep things interesting. UPDATE: This was actually a fairly fun horror romp!

Pledge (January 11th, 2019) - Freshmen misfits Ethan, David and Justin desperately try to improve their terminally uncool reputations by pledging prestigious Greek houses on their campus. Turned down by every fraternity, they soon receive an unexpected invitation from a shadowy social club that offers them access to an exclusive world of raging parties and beautiful coeds. But first, they must endure a sadistic initiation ritual that goes from depraved to deadly over the course of two blood-soaked days. Ok, I know this looks a little like it's a bit heavy on the bro-horror and may be a bit on the generic side, but I'd give it a shot with the hope that it subverts my expectations and provides some social commentary on hazing. UPDATE: This was a dull, unimaginative film - it had some ok gore sequences, but those couldn't save the film from being a failing.

Glass (January 18th, 2019) - Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities. M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of 2000's Unbreakable and 2016's Split in this thriller. From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from Split are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast. Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men. UPDATE: I didn't enjoy this movie much, it felt like it had no real plot and just turned into an action-y type movie, which bored me.

The Final Wish (January 24th, 2019) - After the death of his father, Aaron returns home to help his grief-stricken mother and to confront his past. Going through his dad's belongings, he comes across a mysterious item that is more than it seems. To be honest, judging from the trailer this doesn't look all that promising, but I do love stories about djinn and the presence of Lin Shaye and Tony Todd will hopefully elevate the film a bit. Making a wish that I'll be pleasantly surprised by this movie.

Braid (February 1st, 2019) - Two wanted women decide to rob their wealthy yet mentally unstable friend who lives in a fantasy world they all created as children. To take her money, the girls must take part in a deadly and perverse game of make believe throughout a sprawling yet decaying estate. As things become increasingly violent and hallucinatory, they realize that obtaining the money may be the least of their concerns. Starring Madeline Brewer, who had a star-making turn in Cam, and directed by Mitzi Peirone, this looks like a dark, frenetic, and surreal tale of violence and psychosis. UPDATE: This is one of the best films I've seen so far in 2019 - it was gorgeously surreal, wicked, violent, and downright mesmerizing! 

Piercing (February 1st, 2019) - A man kisses his wife and baby goodbye and seemingly heads away on business, with a plan to check into a hotel, call an escort service, and kill an unsuspecting prostitute. Based on Ryû Murakami's novel, this film is directed by Nicolas Pesce (Eyes of My Mother, and who is also helming the Grudge reboot expected this year) and looks like it will have lots of twists, turns, and a bit of a surreal feel. UPDATE: I loved this film! It took me on such a stylized, weird trip that I don't know how to describe it. The sound design was impeccable (especially when the lead was mimicking the motions of murder), it felt like a '70's film in style and set design and music, and I loved how it spiraled into madness and made you question what was going on and where it was going. The two leads were brilliant! I had a lot of fun with this one, but it won't be for everyone.

Velvet Buzzsaw (February 1st, 2019) - Big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce. This horror-thriller is set in the LA art scene and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, and is directed by Nightcrawler's Dan Gilroy (Russo and Gyllenhaal were also in Nightcrawler together). I'm excited to see this, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019, followed by a Netflix release February 1st, 2019. UPDATE: Overall I liked the concept of this movie, but it felt incomplete and unfinished in a way, like something got lost in the editing or things weren't developed enough in the story. I did enjoy the performances by the many famous faces that make an appearance, but overall it was unfortunately a bit of a let-down. 

The Prodigy (February 8th, 2019) - A mother concerned about her young son's disturbing behavior thinks something supernatural may be affecting him. I really enjoyed director Nicholas McCarthy's The Pact and his Easter segment in the Holidays anthology, so I'm looking forward to checking this one out. UPDATE: I saw this in the theaters, and while I appreciated that it took a different turn than I expected and was well-made, it was kinda forgettable. It is worth a watch, though!

St. Agatha (February 8th, 2019) - Set in the 1950s in small-town Georgia, a pregnant young woman named Agatha seeks refuge in a convent. What first starts out as the perfect place to have a child turns into a dark layer where silence is forced, ghastly secrets are masked, and every bit of will power Agatha has is tested as she learns the sick and twisted truth of the convent and the odd people that lurk inside its halls. I love me some nunsploitation, and with Darren Lynn Bousman (various Saw films, Repo! The Genetic Opera) directing hopefully we'll be in for a fun flick. UPDATE: Oooof, this was a dull watch. It just felt cliched and was forgettable. 

Lords of Chaos (February 8th, 2019) - A teenager's quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the early 1990s results in a very violent outcome. This tale of the infamous Mayhem black metal band comes to the screen with Rory Culkin starring, which I think will be wild to see! While not exactly horror, I think some of us horror fans are looking forward to finally seeing this dark, violent tale based on true events. UPDATE: Wow, this had some black humor I wasn't expecting and I was into it! It doesn't shy away from the violence and ridiculousness of the true story (with some embellishments, of course), but still managed to be quite an entertaining, fascinating film. 

Happy Death Day 2U (February 14th, 2019) - Stuck in a time loop, college student Tree Gelbman must die over and over again to save her friends from a psychotic masked killer. I really enjoyed 2017's Happy Death Day, and the sequel looks to be just as fun, with some new twists and turns! Honestly can't wait for this one! UPDATE: This sequel is getting a lot of hate, but I personally love the different direction it took!! Like the first film, it was a blast to watch and I really liked how it decided to take things in a new direction, delving more into sci-fi and straying from its slasher roots. 

Nightmare Cinema (February 14th, 2019) - Five strangers converge at a haunted movie theater owned by The Projectionist (Mickey Rourke). Once inside, the audience members witness a series of screenings that shows them their deepest fears and darkest secrets over five tales. I had this on last year's list, and am glad it is finally getting a release. It is an anthology with stories from some pretty big-name directors like Ryûhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train), Joe Dante, Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead), Mick Garris, and David Slade (30 Days of Night), not to mention it is starring Mickey Rourke, so I'm hoping it is good! UPDATE: This anthology finally hit Shudder, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it! The segments are different and the wrap-around story keeps things even more interesting. Definitely give it a watch!

The Hole in the Ground (March 1st, 2019) - Sarah and her young son Chris move to a new home in the Irish countryside, next to a forest that hides an enormous sinkhole. One night, Chris vanishes, and when he reappears he seems unharmed and unchanged. But, as his behavior grows increasingly disturbing, Sarah begins to fear that the boy who has returned may not be her son at all. This movie has already been acquired by A24 and will premier at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019, followed by an exclusive premier on DIRECTV on January 31st, 2019, and finally getting a wider release March 1st, 2019). Eeeek I love anything about sinkholes so I am all in for this one, and with A24 backing it I am VERY excited for this one! UPDATE: I thought this film was very well done, beautiful, and eerie. It is a very slow burn and I loved the story. My only regret is that it didn't go deep enough into the changeling legend - I would have liked to see just a touch of exploration on the subject, especially since it is set in Ireland and I believe that is where the changeling myth originated. 

Climax (March 1st, 2019) - French dancers gather in a remote, empty school building to rehearse on a wintry night. The all-night celebration morphs into a hallucinatory nightmare when they learn their sangria is laced with LSD. This is Gaspar Noé's new film and doesn't it look wild and fun, crazy and violent? I can't wait to join the party and go on this surreal, unhinged trip! UPDATE: This film is a nightmare! And I mean that in the best way possible! It is a ghastly, horrifying film that I at first just hated...but I could not stop thinking about for days, weeks, months after watching it. 

Greta (March 1st, 2019) - A sweet, naïve young woman trying to make it on her own in New York City, Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) doesn’t think twice about returning the handbag she finds on the subway to its rightful owner. That owner is Greta (Isabelle Huppert), an eccentric French piano teacher with a love for classical music and an aching loneliness. Having recently lost her mother, Frances quickly grows closer to widowed Greta. The two become fast friends, but Greta’s maternal charms begin to dissolve and grow increasingly disturbing as Frances discovers that nothing in Greta’s life is what it seems in this suspense thriller director Neil Jordan. Just peep the trailer to see how fast things take a turn for the dark side! UPDATE: This film was okay, but it felt a little predictable and towards the end just kinda started to drag. It was ultimately forgettable and I don't think I'd watch it again.

Us (March 15th, 2019) - A mother and father take their kids to their beach house, expecting to enjoy time with friends, but their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some visitors arrive uninvited. In case you haven't heard, this is Jordan Peele's follow-up to Get Out, and I can't imagine anyone who isn't excited for this! The trailer dropped Christmas day, and it looks wildly unique and phenomenal. UPDATE: Saw it, LOVED it. It was so masterfully done, with so many fun nods to other horror films, a wicked sense of humor, and an original story that blew me away. This will definitely be on my list of favorites of 2019.

Wounds (March 29th, 2019) - Disturbing and mysterious things begin to happen to a bartender in New Orleans after he picks up a phone left behind at his bar. This film is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019 with a wider US release planned for the end of March. I like the mystery that this movie seems to promise. UPDATE: I read the short story before watching the film on Hulu and thought the movie was very well done! It was creepy, intriguing, and had some really unnerving sequences. It may be one of my fave films of 2019.

Captive State (March 29th, 2019) - Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict - the collaborators and dissidents. This alien-invasion film looks wicked cool and boasts a great cast. It looks more sci-fi, action-feature rather than straight-up horror, but I still want to see this one! UPDATE: It was ok, but ultimately really forgettable. 

Pet Sematary (April 5th, 2019) - Louis Creed, his wife Rachel and their two children Gage and Ellie move to a rural home where they are welcomed and enlightened about the eerie 'Pet Sematary' located near their home. After the tragedy of their cat being killed by a truck, Louis resorts to burying it in the mysterious pet cemetery, which is definitely not as it seems, as it proves to the Creeds that sometimes, dead is better. I wasn't really interested in this remake/new adaptation of Stephen King's book until I saw the trailer and realized that it was directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmeyer (who made the stunning Starry Eyes). Now, I'm all in. UPDATE: I liked it, but didn't love it. I wish they had made it more different than the original, though I did like the changes they did make. Zelda was still scary AF, but I was hoping they would delve more into the wendigo myth. Church was by far the star of the film (though the young actress that played Ellie did an amazing job as well!).

Under the Silver Lake (April 19th, 2019) - Sam, intelligent but without purpose, finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment's pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre. I'm looking forward to this neo-noir from David Robert Mitchell (It Follows). UPDATE: Though more of a noir, I really liked this twisty-turn-y tale and loved seeing all the LA locations throughout! It may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it.

The Curse of La Llorona (April 19th, 2019) - Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. I am really glad the folklore of La Llorona is finally getting more attention, and I am hopeful that this film delivers, though the trailer leaves me a bit lukewarm and worried that it won't do the folktale justice.

Brightburn (May 24th, 2019) - What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? I am not really a fan of superhero movies, but this one from producer James Gunn seems more like a horror movie with quite the intriguing premise!

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 31st, 2019) - The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. Besides being excited that we are getting a new Godzilla movie, I'm also stoked that it is being helmed by Michael Dougherty of Trick 'r Treat and Krampus and will star Millie Bobby Brown and Vera Farmiga.

Grudge (June 21st, 2019) - A house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death. This is a remake/reboot of the original film, but not many details are known yet. Normally, I wouldn't be interested in such a remake, but it is being directed by Nicolas Pesce (Eyes of My Mother) and is being produced by Sam Raimi, which definitely made me perk up a bit! I'm looking forward to hearing more about this one, it supposedly won't be a straight remake of the original Japanese Ju-On or the first American remake.

Child's Play (June 21st, 2019) - A mother gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature. This remake will see Chucky's "Good Guy" doll renamed to "Buddi" and the doll will be more high-tech as well as receiving a new origin story. The only bummer is that Don Mancini is not involved (though he is working on a Child's Play television series). Time will tell if this remake will be our next best Buddi. UPDATE: Ok, I didn't hate this remake, but I also didn't like it either. It started off ok, but soon became kind of a mess. Not even Aubrey Plaza could save it. 

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (June 28th, 2019) - Five backpackers, diving in a ruined underwater city, quickly learn they are not alone in the submerged caves. 47 Meters Down was a really solid killer shark flick, so I'm looking forward to this continuation that follows new characters.

Annabelle Chapter 3 (July 3rd, 2019) - Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren keep a possessed doll locked up in an artifacts room in their house. When the doll awakens the room's evil spirits, it soon becomes a night of terror for the couple's young daughter and her friends. I love the Conjuring universe, and while some of their films have been disappointing (ahem, the first Annabelle and The Nun), I am all in for any of their films focused on the Warrens! UPDATE: I really loved this new story in The Conjuring universe! It was just delightful, with lots of creepy bits. I loved how they brought other spirits from the Warren's artifact room, too. And the main kid characters were so fun to watch.

The New Mutants (August 2nd, 2019) - 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. This film was supposed to be released last year, but was moved to a 2019 release, which allowed time for re-shoots to make it scarier. While I'm not one for superhero movies, this one intrigues me because it seems like it will lean more into horror territory. Plus, it's packed with talent, like Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), and Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things). Let's just hope it's finally released and that is was worth the wait.

Midsommar (August 9th, 2019) - A young woman reluctantly joins her boyfriend on a summer trip where things quickly go awry. This is Ari Aster's next film after Hereditary, and after Us this is probably my most anticipated film of the year - I just can't wait to see what Aster does next. UPDATE: Truth be told, I didn't think much of this movie when I first saw it. However, I couldn't get it out of my mind and when I finally saw it a second time I finally saw how terrifying and traumatizing it really was. It deals with the trauma of grief, the trauma of toxic relationships, the cult of family, and so much more. It has some truly horrifying moments and is filled with dread the whole running-time.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (August 9th, 2019) - A group of kids face their fears in order to save their town. One of my favorite books from childhood is coming to life courtesy of producer Guillermo Del Toro and director Andre Ovredal (who did the phenomenal The Autopsy of Jane Doe). UPDATE: I liked the first half of the movie, but I think it fell apart in the second half. Some of the CGI really took me out of the story as well, and I thought one of the scary stories was pretty lame. 

IT: Chapter 2 (September 6th, 2019) - 27 years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. I cannot wait to see the Losers all grown up return to Derry and fight Pennywise again! UPDATE: The second installment of IT was disappointing for me - it felt forced and the ending was so, so bad. I just don't understand the appeal of this sequel, it paled in comparison to the first one.

Zombieland 2 (October 11th, 2019) -Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family. It feels like Zombieland came out ages ago, so it will be fantastic to see the team back together again with new twists and turns!

Are You Afraid of the Dark? (October 11th, 2019) - This feature film is based on the '90s Nickelodeon anthology series of the same name. There is no plot yet, and the film is still in pre-production, with D.J. Caruso of Disturbia to direct. It already has a release date, but I have a feeling it will probably get pushed back. Still, I'm excited to see what they do with this, which is one of my favorite series from childhood!

2019 Films Whose Release Dates are To Be Determined:

3 From Hell - Rob Zombie's sequel to The Devil's Rejects. There aren't too many details on the film yet, but Rob Zombie has given glimpses here and there of filming on his Instagram. It looks like lots of our favorite characters will be back, though! I'm simply looking forward to it to see how the story continues... UPDATE: This was fun, but really nothing too special. 

The Wind - A supernatural thriller set in the Western frontier of the late 1800s, The Wind is about a pioneer woman driven mad by the harshness and isolation of the untamed land. The film is Emma Tammi's directorial debut, is written by Teresa Sutherland, and features a strong female-lead cast. I love historical horror films, and even more so when they have a lot of strong female characters. I'm hoping for an eerie, slow-burn, beautiful film with this one. UPDATE: This was a solid film with a killer, weird concept, but I just felt it didn't go far enough with the creepiness.

In the Tall Grass - Based on Stephen King's short story, this film is about a brother and sister on a road trip. While driving through Kansas, they hear calls for help coming from a field of tall grass. When they stop to investigate, they themselves get lost in the field. This sounds like it will be a tense, disorientating horror tale, to be directed by Vincenzo Natali, director of Cube and Splice. With all the King adaptations lately, I'm hoping this is going to be another stellar one! UPDATE: I loved this adaptation - they nailed the unsettling and claustrophobic atmosphere of the story.

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. This film had a festival run last year with lots of positive buzz, and was acquired by A24 (always a good sign), with plans for a theatrical release later this year. It was directed by Peter Strickland, who made the intriguing Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy. UPDATE: This film wasn't really my cup of tea, I felt it a bit too obtuse for my taste, though it had plenty of weirdness going for it. It also went through several different stories, making it feel like an anthology, and each had a different tone, which chopped up the flow of the film.

The Nightingale - Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past. This historical thriller is Jennifer Kent's follow up to The Babadook, and I cannot wait to see what she does next. This looks like an expansive, thrilling revenge tale. It will hit Sundance Film Festival this month and will hopefully see a wider release this year. UPDATE: This was such a brutal, heartbreaking, and hard film to watch. Though it deals with horrible subject manner, I think it is an important film for everyone to see. 

A Field Guide to Evil - This global anthology of eight narratives explores dark folklore through a series of myths and tales that have captivated, galvanized and frightened communities throughout history. Featuring directors Agnieszka Smoczynska (The Lure), Veronika Franz (Goodnight Mommy), Can Evrenol (Baskin), Peter Strickland (Berbian Sound Studio), and more, this anthology was on my list last year but hasn't seen a proper release yet. I'm hoping we get to see it this year, there seems to be so much international talent attached to it! UPDATE: This was a bit hit or miss, with some segments being better than others. Unfortunately, I found most of the segments pretty forgettable.

A Head Full of Ghosts - Fifteen years after her teenage sister had a mysterious and horrific affliction that was publicly broadcast on reality TV, Merry is approached by a journalist to tell the story through her then eight-year-old eyes. What she reveals is a far more terrifying version of what actually happened in her childhood home. Director of The Blackcoat's Daughter and I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, Osgood Perkins, is directing, which makes me excited to see this adaptation of Paul Tremblay's novel (which is excellent, by the way). I am not sure if we will get to see it this year, as it is still in pre-production, but here's hoping!!

Eli A boy receiving treatment for his auto-immune disorder discovers that the house he's living isn't as safe as he thought. This one sounds interesting and is directed by Ireland's Ciaran Foy, director of Citadel. It was acquired by Netflix and should be available to stream in early 2019. UPDATE: This was a pleasant surprise! It went in a very different direction that kept me guessing. I think this was sadly underrated, and deserves more attention.

Luz - A young cabdriver drags herself into the brightly lit entrance of a run-down police station. A demonic entity follows her, determined to finally be close to the woman it loves. I love the premise of this horror film, and previous reviews have called it "audacious" and "psychotropic" so I'm all in. UPDATE: While intriguing in concept, I didn't really enjoy this film. It seems like something that would be right up my alley,, but I just wasn't invested in the characters and I didn't feel like there was enough story for a full-length feature. In fact, since everything happened in one room, it felt more of like a stage play rather than a movie.

Body at Brighton Rock - A park ranger spends the night guarding a potential crime scene on a remote mountain trail. This is Roxanne Benjamin's feature-length debut, following her segment in the XX anthology. It sounds like an intriguing premise with the potential for lots of spooky stuff to happen. UPDATE: I was hoping this would do something different, and while it started off fun and quirky, it just didn't hold my attention the whole way through.

Crawl - A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a Category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators. What drew my interest in this film is that it is being directed by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes remake, Horns), and hey, I'm down for killer alligators! UPDATE: Loved it! This was one of the highlights of my summer movie-watching experience! 

Ma In this new psychological horror-thriller, a lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn't get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host. Ooooooh this one sounds delightfully dark and maybe a little quirky, and will star Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Missi Pyle, and more. UPDATE: This was campy fun, I really enjoyed it.

SweetheartJenn has washed ashore a small tropical island and it doesn't take her long to realize she's completely alone. She must spend her days not only surviving the elements, but must also fend off the malevolent force that comes out each night. This film is premiering at Sundance Film Festival at the end of this month and sounds like it will be a solid survival horror film. UPDATE: This monster movie was excellent and the lead was fantastic! 

Riot Girls - In an alternate 1995, a mysterious disease has wiped out all of the adults. In this new age, two gangs are pitted against each other in a brutal war for territory, resources and survival. This may be more action-orientated, but I think it is gnere-adjacent, especially since it is being directed by Jovanka Vuckovic (former editor-in-chief of Rue Morgue, one of the directors/creators of the XX anthology) and sounds pretty kick-ass, like a female-centric Warriors!

Girl With No Mouth - This film follows a mouthless Turkish girl through a post-apocalyptic world. Details are sparse, but this adventure-type film is directed by Can Evrenol (Baskin and Housewife), so I'm expecting a wild, surreal ride. 

Guns Akimbo - A guy relies on his newly-acquired gladiator skills to save his ex-girlfriend from kidnappers. This sounds like it might be nuts in the best way possible, especially since it stars Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, and it directed by Deathgasm's Jason Lei Howden.

The Lodge - A soon-to-be-stepmom is snowed in with her fiance's two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations finally begin to thaw between the trio, strange and frightening events threaten to summon psychological demons from her strict religious childhood. Directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz (who gave us Goodnight Mommy), this psychological horror film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival January 2019. I'm hoping for a claustrophobic, taut thriller.

RabidWhat happens when you realize that to achieve your dreams you have to live a nightmare? Rose is a quiet, demure, unassuming woman in her looks and actions. Her dream is to become a famous designer in the fashion world, but a terrible accident leaves Rose scarred beyond recognition. She seeks out a radical untested stem cell treatment. The treatment is nothing short of a miracle and wallflower Rose turns into the belle of the ball. It all seems to good to be true. She is now everything she wanted to be. But everything in life comes at a price and this new found perfect life is no exception. This is the Soska Sisters remake of Cronenberg's 1977 film, and if anyone else but them were directing, I wouldn't be excited. However, since they are behind it and from stills I've seen, I'm actual quite stoked for this one.

The Girl on the Third Floor - Don Koch tries to renovate a rundown mansion with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans. This haunted house film stars CM Punk, and it looks like it will be a fairly serious, spooky horror movie.

The Lighthouse - The story of an aging lighthouse keeper named Old who lives in early 20th-century Maine. This is director Robert Eggers' follow up to his phenomenal film The Witch, and while not much is known about it besides that it will be a fantasy horror film, I am really looking forward to it. UPDATE: What a blast! It was equal parts nightmarish and hilarious. 

Candy Corn On Halloween eve, local outcast, Jacob Atkins, is carelessly murdered. A vagabond carnie named Dr. Death, takes matters into his own hands, bringing Jacob back from the dead to creatively seek brutal revenge on his killers. Like a few of these films, this was on my most-anticipated list last year. I'm hoping 2019 is the year we get to see Josh Hasty's Halloween horror come to life! UPDATE: This felt a bit uneven, but I enjoyed the phenomenal story and character design.

Depraved - A disillusioned field surgeon suffering from PTSD makes a man out of body parts and brings him to life in a Brooklyn loft. This modern re-telling of the Frankenstein story is being directed by Larry Fessenden and that is reason enough to be excited about this film, which we will hopefully see in 2019. UPDATE: A solid update to the Frankenstein story, with really great performances. However, it just didn't pull me in like I hoped.

The Turning - A young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young niece and nephew after the deaths of their parents. Directed by Floria Sigismondi, I am looking forward to this modern take on Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw, which will star Black Mirror's Mackenzie Davis and Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard.

Jacob's Ladder After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Singer rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images. This is a remake of the 1990 thriller starring Tim Robbins, and I'm looking forward to seeing Jesse Williams in the title role. UPDATE: Ooof, this was a pretty bad remake. Not a recommended watch.

ReliveAfter a man's family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a phone call from one of the dead, his niece. He's not sure if she's a ghost or if he's going mad, but as it turns out, he's not. I like the sound of the plot of this one, it's different, feels slightly sci-fi mixed with horror, and I can't wait to see how it plays out.

Little Monsters - A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kids show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies. This horror-comedy from Australia stars Lupita Nyong'o and sounds like a fun, zombie romp! It is premiering at Sundance Film Festival this month, and will hopefully have a wider release later this year. UPDATE: I am pretty sick of zombie movies, but this one was pretty sweet and Lupita Nyong'o was just luminous in her role as a caring school-teacher.

Antlers - A small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, become entwined with a young student harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences. This supernatural horror film will star Keri Russell, but the reason I'm excited for it is that it was written by and based on a short story by Nick Antosca (who brought us the amazing, underrated Channel Zero television series) as well as being produced by Guillermo del Toro.

The Perfection -  A cello prodigy's pursuit for perfection takes a sinister turn. This film shocked audiences during its festival run and was quickly picked up by Netflix. It stars Allison Williams (Get Out) and Logan Browning (Dear White People), and while details are slim, I am intrigued to check out this thriller and its ending which has left audiences speechless. UPDATE: Wow, I was blown away by this movie!! It surprised me, grossed me out, and by the end I was totally rooting for the main characters!

Gretel and HanselA long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil. This one is currently being filmed by Osgood Perkins (who is also set to work on The Head Full of Ghosts adaptation mentioned above) and will star Sophia Lillis (IT) as Gretel. I love a dark fairy tale, and I can't wait to see what visual treat Perkins gives us with this one!

That's over 60 (!!) horror movies to already look forward to this year, and I'm sure there are so many more that aren't even on the radar yet!

It's going to be another stellar year for horror - what are you most excited to see?!

Stay spooky, my fiends!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for compiling this list! I was already excited for "Us", and I'm glad to find out that Jennifer Kent has a new film coming. "The Turning" and "Rabid" also sound interesting.


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