Looking back, 2016 was a pretty solid year for horror movies (here are my top 10 plus honorable mentions). I'm hoping 2017 brings us more of the same high-quality, inventive scary stories, even though this year's release slate is crowded with remakes and sequels (some of which I'm actually interested to check out).
I've listed some of my most anticipated movies below in order of release date (though dates will likely change), plus a few I'm cautiously looking forward to as well as sharing ones that are of no interest to me. A few of these were also on my list of most anticipated movies last year, so I'm even more excited to finally be able to see those!
Finally, this is a personal list and just my opinion, feel free to comment with what horror films you are most looking forward to in 2017 and of course let me know of any films I've overlooked!
My Most Anticipated Horror Films of 2017:
Split - After three girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 distinct personalities they must find some of the different personalities that can help them while running away and staying alive from the others. This one actually looks really solid and creepy! I can't wait to see another performance by Anya Taylor-Joy (she previously gave a stellar breakout performance in The Witch) and after having so much fun with The Visit, I think I'm ready to believe in M. Night Shyamalan again. This was released in theaters on January 20th, 2017. UPDATE: Unfortunately I didn't like this one very much - I thought the acting was incredible, but the climax of the film was just meh for me and the little extra at the end just made me groan.
The Lure - In Warsaw, a pair of mermaid sisters are adopted into a cabaret. While one seeks love with humans the other hungers to dine on the human population of the city. Mermaids, violence, music, crazy fashion! This Polish film looks like a crazy good time and I cannot wait to revel in its weirdness! It will be released February 1st, 2017.
A Cure for Wellness - A young man faces supernatural horror at a European wellness spa in Gore Verbinski's return to horror (his last horror film was The Ring in 2002). I am looking forward to this one because I really like what Verbinski did with The Ring and the trailer looks beautifully nightmarish! Releasing theatrically February 17th, 2017.
XX - An anthology of female-driven horror-movie with segments written and directed by Annie Clark (otherwise known as musical act St. Vincent), Karyn Kusama (The Invitation), Roxanne Benjamin (V/H/S trilogy, Southbound), and Jovanka Vuckovic (The Captured Bird, former editor of Rue Morgue mag). This is a film I've been waiting for FOREVER, as it was originally slated to be released in 2014 (and has appeared numerous years in a row on my most anticipated lists). It went through a few lineup changes (it doesn't look like Mary Harron or Jennifer Lynch are attached to the project any longer), but I am so excited to finally see it February 17th, 2017, when it will be releasing on VOD as well as select theaters! UPDATE: This was a fun anthology but kinda forgettable. None of the segments really stood out to me, though my favorite was "The Box" by Jovanka Vuckovic. I really loved the wrap-around stop-motion segments, though! They were beautifully eerie.
Get Out - Written and directed by Jordan Peele, this horror film is about a young African-American man that visits his white girlfriend’s family home for the weekend, but becomes unwittingly ensnared in the family's sinister scheme. This one looks sooooo good, and it looks like it will touch on very relevant issues of white privilege, racism, classism, and more. This will get a theatrical release February 24th, 2017. UPDATE: The hype is real! So far my favorite movie of 2017. Don't read about it, don't watch trailers, just go see it!
The Girl With All The Gifts - In the future, a strange fungus has changed nearly everyone into a thoughtless, flesh-eating monster. When a scientist and a teacher find a girl who seems to be immune to the fungus, they all begin a journey to save humanity. The zombie genre has kinda stumbled these past few years, so it is exciting to see what looks like a smart, new take on the genre, plus it promises lots of moral dilemmas and social commentary. This is coming to theaters February 24th, 2017. UPDATE: Surprisingly great zombie film - I thought it was just different enough to distance itself from stereotypical zombie movies. Now I just need to go read the book!
I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore - When a depressed woman is burglarized, she finds a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves alongside her obnoxious neighbor. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals. Premiering on Netflix, this is a dark thriller looks to be peppered with lots of comedy and relevance, plus it is Blue Ruin star Macon Blair's directorial debut and stars Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood. Catch it on Netflix February 24th, 2017. UPDATE: This was a fantastically fun film with such heartfelt performances! Check out my thoughts on it HERE!
Raw - After brilliant student Justine eats meat for the first time during a college hazing ritual, her true self begins to emerge, with unexpected and devastating consequences. This gory French film from director Julia Ducournau reportedly caused a few people to pass out or leave the theater at festival screenings, so I'm intrigued. Plus, I'm interested to know if the film has a anti- or pro-veggie stance. Coming to theaters March 10th, 2017. UPDATE: After Get Out, this has been one of my fave horror films of 2017. Brave, daring, and with plenty of cringe-worthy moments!
The Belko Experiment - In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company's intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed. I'm stoked that James Gunn wrote this film and the trailer looks killer, with lots of familiar faces in the cast! A theatrical release is currently set for March 17th, 2017. UPDATE: Exactly what is was advertised as - Office Space meets Battle Royale! I had a great time watching this, and you never knew who was going to die next! A gory film that really makes you question if you really know who you're working for.
The Love Witch - A modern-day witch uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her, in a tribute to 1960s pulp novels and Technicolor melodramas. This film written/directed by Anna Biller is a bit of a cheat since it technically was released at the end of 2016, but I'm sneaking it in here since I missed it! I'm looking forward to its wider release when it hits DVD on March 17th, 2017. UPDATE: This was such a gorgeously filmed movie! I was swooning the whole time over the costumes, the sets, the locations (shout-out to my old home base of Humboldt County where some scenes were filmed!) and the actors! The story was neat and I didn't want it to end!
Colossal - A woman discovers that severe catastrophic events are somehow connected to the mental breakdown from which she's suffering. While perhaps this isn't a "horror" film per se, it still looks like a funny, genre-bending monster movie, plus it is from the director of the amazing Timecrimes, Nacho Vigalondo! It will be out April 7th, 2017.
Sleight - In over his head after turning to illegal activities, a young orphan must now use his skills as a magician to save his kidnapped sister. Again, this isn't quite a horror film, but I can't resist the dark sci-fi, Chronicle-like vibes of this film! Hitting theaters April 7th, 2017.
Alien: Covenant - The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape. Yes, please! I liked Prometheus, so I am really looking forward to Ridley Scott's new Alien movie! This releases in theaters on May 19th, 2017.
The Dark Tower - Jake, who is still reeling over the death of his hero dad, a first responder on 9/11 who succumbed to toxic exposure, has a series of terrifying and apocalyptic visions that have made him doubt his own sanity. But when Jake narrowly avoids being abducted by terrifying creatures in human form, he escapes into another world. In this strange new reality, Jake teams with weary and disillusioned hero, Roland Deschain, a knight-like warrior bent solely on avenging himself against his age-old nemesis. I'm intrigued to see how this turns out, especially since it is based on the Stephen King books (which I really need to read). It looks to be an exciting mash-up of horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and maybe a little Western thrown in PLUS the inevitable showdown between Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey is tantalizing! This is hitting theaters July 28th, 2017.
Cult of Chucky - Confined to an asylum for the criminally insane for the past four years, Nica Pierce is erroneously convinced that she, not Chucky, murdered her entire family. But when her psychiatrist introduces a new therapeutic "tool" to facilitate his patients' group sessions - an all-too-familiar "Good Guy" doll with an innocently smiling face - a string of grisly deaths begins to plague the asylum, and Nica starts to wonder if maybe she isn't crazy after all. The last Chucky movie exceeded all my expectations, so I'm totally stoked for the seventh film in the franchise! The film will be written and directed by Don Mancini and will see the return many familiar faces (and voices), including Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky and Jennifer Tilly as Chucky's bride Tiffany! No release date set, but Universal is promising a release on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD by Halloween 2017!
God Particle/Cloverfield 3 - A team of astronauts aboard a space station find themselves alone after a scientific experiment causes Earth to disappear. When a space shuttle appears, the space station crew must fight for survival following their horrible discovery. I have really dug how the whole Cloverfield universe has been handled (and loved 10 Cloverfield Drive), so I am excited to see another perspective from the Cloverfield world! This has a release date scheduled for October 27th, 2017.
The Void - In the middle of a routine patrol, officer Daniel Carter happens upon a blood-soaked figure limping down a deserted stretch of road. He rushes the young man to a nearby rural hospital staffed by a skeleton crew, only to discover that patients and personnel are transforming into something inhuman. As the horror intensifies, Carter leads the other survivors on a hellish voyage into the subterranean depths of the hospital in a desperate bid to end the nightmare before it's too late. This indie film gained massive support with its Indiegogo campaign last year, and for good reason - the proof of concept trailer looks absolutely nuts! A 2017 release isn't verified yet, but I hear that is what the filmmakers are shooting for. Here's hoping we get to see this one this year! UPDATE: Sadly, I thought this film had some stunning shots, but overall was a let-down. I liked the creatures and cult members, too, but the story felt incomplete and I didn't care much about the characters. It was a disappointment for me, especially considering its potential and what could have been!
The Bad Batch - A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals. Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, who gave us the spectacular A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, I'm expecting another wonderfully varied and unique film. Plus, it has an interesting cast that includes Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Giovanni Ribisi, and Yolonda Ross, with cameos from Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, and Diego Luna. No release date set yet.
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! No solid release date yet, so I'm hoping we get it by the end of 2017.
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 (I love historical horror)! There isn't really any release info on this one yet, so here's hoping we see it in 2017!
Creep 2 - Part two of the Creep trilogy. I LOVED Creep, so I am very excited for the part two in what is now a trilogy! No release date yet, but it is expected in 2017.
Gerald's Game - While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame. This is another Stephen King adaptation (after It) that is supposed to come out this year. I'm excited to see what they do with this psychological thriller, especially with director Mike Flanagan at the helm and Carla Gugino in the lead. No release date set, but supposedly will be sometime in 2017.
Thoroughbred - Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems. Is there such a category as sophisticated horror? I think that's where this film will fit, as it sounds like it has more dramatic elements rather than straight-up horror. The 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 this past week but so far doesn't have a set release date, which should be sometime in 2017.
A Dark Song - A determined young woman and a damaged occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a dangerous ritual that will grant them what they want. This one looks eerie and atmospheric. I'm hoping it gets a release this year as it received good buzz at last year's Fantastic Fest. No release info yet.
Safe Neighborhood - Set in a quiet American suburb on a snowy evening around Christmas, the babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old from strangers breaking into the house – only to discover that this is far from a normal home invasion. I LOVE holiday horror films, and I'm really looking forward to checking this one out! It looks like it will be slightly more oddball rather than a serious home invasion movie, and I'm alright with that! No release date, but hopefully we will see it before or around the holidays in 2017.
The Babysitter - The events of one evening take an unexpected turn for the worst for a young boy trying to spy on his babysitter. This horror-comedy directed by McG sounds like it could be a lot of fun! No release date has been set, but Netflix acquired this title so expect to see it hit that platform later this year.
We Have Always Lived In The Castle - Based on Shirley Jackson's novel of the same name, the film is about the Blackwood family, who live in isolation on their New England estate after the murder of several family members. Their somewhat peaceful existence is interrupted by the arrival of cousin Charles, who plans to steal the family fortune. Of course I love the Jackson novel, and I'm interested to see what director Stacie Passon and actors Taissa Farmiga and Crispin Glover does with the source material. I'm guessing we will see this one late 2017.
Winchester - Eccentric firearm heiress believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle. A horror movie starring Helen Mirrin?! Do I need any more reason to be looking forward to this?! Oh yeah, it's based on the real story of the Winchester heiress and the creepy Winchester Mansion she kept building onto for the spirits haunting her. I've been to the Winchester Mansion, can confirm it is spooky AF! Fingers crossed we get to see this in 2017!
We're Wolves - A horror comedy pin-off of What We Do In The Shadows and featuring our favorite werewolves (not swear-wolves)! I simply adore WWDITS, so I can't wait for this one! Here's hoping for a 2017 release.
Nosferatu remake - This will be more of a re-imagining rather than a remake, but I'm very excited for this film since the writer/director behind it will be Robert Eggers, who gave us the spellbinding The Witch last year. However, it is doubtful that it will see a 2017 release as I don't believe it has begun filming yet (including it on this list is simply wishful thinking on my part!). Still, I had to include it as I am SO EXCITED for it!
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. Any film set around All Hallow's Eve is something to look forward to, and I'm excited to see what director Josh Hasty (Honeyspider) does with the story, based on a short story by Butch Von Dreaux of Butchovision.
Trick 'r Treat 2 - Another wishful thinking selection, as I doubt we will see this as soon as 2017, but Halloween 2017 has such a nice ring to it, don't you think? Fingers crossed Michael Dougherty can knock this Trick 'r Treat sequel out this year and bring us a worthy successor by Halloween!
2017 Horror Releases I'm Cautiously Optimistic For:
Rings - A young woman finds herself on the receiving end of a terrifying curse that threatens to take her life in 7 days. When I first heard they were adding a third installment to the Ring series, I didn't really care that much; however, the trailer looks sorta ok (though it's pretty much the same ol' Samara shenanigans) and it could be good in director F. Javier Gutiérrez's hands. Releasing February 3rd, 2017 in theaters.
Don't Knock Twice - A mother desperate to reconnect with her troubled daughter becomes embroiled in the urban legend of a demonic witch. I love witch movies, and this one looks like it could either be solid or totally fall apart and be lame. I'm hoping it's a good watch, but haven't heard much about it. It will be released in the U.S. on February 3rd, 2017. UPDATE: It was ok, but not very memorable.
Keep Watching - When two deranged serial killers break into their home, a family has to stick together to make it out alive. Unbeknownst to the killers, there are hidden cameras throughout the home documenting their every move. Home invasion movies can be hit or miss, and with no trailer this one is hard to call. However, it does have a cast including Bella Thorne and Chandler Riggs, so that's a plus. Still, no further info or trailers have been released (which is concerning) even though this one is due to hit March 24th, 2017.
It remake - In a small town in Maine, seven children known as The Losers Club come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise. I loved the book and film as a kid (I had the two-tape VHS set of the mini-series/movie that I watched often!). I guess we will have to wait and see how it turns out. The first part will be released in September 2017.
Flatliners remake - Medical students experiment on "near death" experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives. I fondly remember the '90s movie with Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland (who is returning for this remake/sequel), so I'm interested to an updated version of the story (there are conflicting reports on whether this will be a sequel or a remake). I just hope it doesn't end up like the lame Lazarus Effect. A September 2017 release is expected.
Death House - During an exclusive tour, a power breakdown inside a secret prison known as the Death House sends two agents fighting through a labyrinth of horrors while being pursued by a ruthless army of roaming inmates. As they fight to escape, the agents push toward the lowest depths of the facility where they learn a supernatural group of evil beings are their only chance for survival. Even though the trailer makes it look pretty bad, I am still holding out hope for this movie since it stars so many genre favorites like Adrienne Barbeau, Dee Wallace, Tony Todd, Michael Berryman, Sid Haig, Barbara Crampton, Kand Hodder, Bill Moseley, and so many more! Please, please, please don't suck! No release date set, but expect it sometime in 2017.
It Comes At Night - A father will stop at nothing to protect his wife and son from a malevolent, mysterious presence terrorizing them right outside their doorstep. A24 has been producing some killer horror movies lately (Green Room, Swiss Army Man, etc.), so this one sounds promising. No solid release date yet, but it should be out this year.
Suspiria remake - A young ballet dancer travels to a prestigious dance academy in Berlin in 1977, only to discover it is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of increasingly grisly murders. Egads, another remake, this time of one of my favorite movies of all time. At first, I was vehemently against this remake (cuz if it ain't broke don't fix it), but since Tilda Swinton is involved and it appears that it will still be set in the '70s, I am very interested. No release date is currently set, but it is expected in 2017.
Leatherface prequel - Prequel about teenage Leatherface who escapes from a mental hospital with three other inmates, kidnaps a young nurse and takes her on a road trip from hell. Along the way, they are pursued by an equally deranged lawman out for revenge. This used to be on my "not interested" list (the original TCM is my favorite horror film, but I found a story about a teen Leatherface uninteresting). However, Inside directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury will be directing, so that gives me a small glimmer of hope. Also, the teen treatment worked for Norman Bates in Bates Motel, so maybe this film will actually be worth watching. No release date set.
2017 Horror Movies I Have No Interest In:
Amityville: The Awakening - For some reason, the Amityville movies never really did anything for me, so I'm feeling rather uninterested in this one. This release has been pushed back (for the second time, not a good sign) to June 30th, 2017.
Annabelle 2 - The first Annabelle was forgettable, so I don't have much hope for the sequel. It will hit theaters on August 11th, 2017.
Saw: Legacy - I like the Saw films, I do, it just seems like their time is up and this is an unnecessary cash-grab. This will be released October 27th, 2017.
Friday the 13th remake/sequel/prequel/whatever it ends up being - Hard pass until I see/hear more, especially since I absolutely hate the reboot. No release date set.
What horror movies are you looking forward to the most? What movies are you NOT looking forward to?
Until next time, stay spooky!