2018 was a fantastic year for horror movies. Major studio releases A Quiet Place, Hereditary, The Nun, and Halloween were all sizable box office hits. Indie films like Ghost Stories, The Devil's Doorway, and Welcome to Mercy found success by opening in select theaters and being available to rent on-demand simultaneously, storming the VOD charts. These and other films proved once again what all fans of the genre know -- that horror is a format through which intelligent, artistic, and provocative stories can be told.
Because 2018 was such a strong year, 2019 will have its work cut out, if it wants to match the level of quality we've seen over the past twelve months. Based on the horror titles that are already slated for release, there's absolutely a chance that we're looking at another remarkable run of cinematic horror. What follows is a list of fifteen horror movies that are set to come out in 2019. Some are sequels or reboots of established properties, but a few are total originals. Some very recognizable stars appear in these projects.
On the flip side, we've also got ten horror flicks that may or may not see the light of day in 2019. A couple are completed but don't have release dates that are set in stone, while others have merely been rumored to be emerging soon. One of them is a "maybe" because of a lawsuit. Again, they all sound promising, so hopefully we won't have to wait long to get a look.
Here are 16 Horror Movies Coming in 2019 (and 9 Possibilities).
25 2019: Annabelle 3
Spun off from The Conjuring, Annabelle and its sequel Annabelle: Creation were both very successful at the nation's theaters. Domestically, they made $84 million and $102 million respectively. We'll find out if lightning can strike again with the release of the third installment in July of 2019.
Annabelle 3 has what may be the scariest premise of the franchise thus far. The titular possessed doll targets Ed and Lorraine Warren's young daughter. Spookier yet, it brings all the other haunted items in the Warren's artifact room to life. Sounds like the perfect recipe for scares.
24 Possibility: The Boy 2
Released in 2016, The Boy is the story of a young woman hired to be a nanny, only to realize she's tending to a life-sized doll with creepy capabilities. It was by no means a gargantuan hit, although it did earn $64 million worldwide, on a budget of $10 million. That was enough to warrant a sequel.
Katie Holmes has signed on to star. She and her family will encounter the mysterious doll, presumably facing terror in the process. Filming is scheduled to start in early January so, if post-production can be finished quickly enough, we might see The Boy 2 later in the year.
23 2019: The Curse of La Llorona
You probably don't know the name Michael Chaves yet, but there's every indication that you soon will. James Wan personally hired him to direct The Conjuring 3 after being impressed by his short film The Maiden. Before that sequel is released, audiences will get to see Chaves' work with his feature debut, April's The Curse of La Llorona.
Linda Cardellini stars in the movie, which is about a social worker whose family becomes ensnared in the supernatural after an encounter with a troubled mother. Apparently, Wan thinks that Chaves has the goods as a horror director, so it will be fun to see what he's capable of.
22 Possibility: 3 From Hell
Not a whole lot is known about Rob Zombie's 3 From Hell, but what we do know should be enough to raise the excitement level of horror fans. This is an official sequel to his 2005 hit The Devil's Rejects. That movie ends somewhat ambiguously, with the audience not entirely sure whether the three main characters have survived.
Stars Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, and Sheri Moon Zombie are all back, so we can probably assume that they did. Also, Clint Howard plays a character named "Mr. Baggy Britches," which is a selling point all by itself. There's no firm release date yet, just a promise that it's coming in 2019.
21 2019: Pet Sematary
Stephen King's Pet Sematary was previously made into a movie in 1989. It was a modest hit, although many of the reviews were outright pans. The upcoming remake, due in April, will attempt to be a little more faithful to the book's tone.
Jason Clarke plays Louis Creed, the man who buries his family's cat on a mysterious plot of land, only to be surprised when the feline somehow regains its life in a more aggressive form. Pet Sematary is directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, whose Starry Eyes rocked critics and audiences four years ago. Their take on the material should be compelling.
20 Possibility: The Gallows Act II
Produced for a mere $100,000, The Gallows went on to make $42 million worldwide. That kind of profit ratio is something any filmmaker would love to have. It's therefore no shock that a sequel is on the way.
The Gallows Act II was filmed in secret, so the announcement of its existence in 2017 was a surprise. All we know about the plot is that it revolves around a young woman who is stalked by an evil spirit at the prestigious acting school where she's studying. There's no confirmed release date yet, but since the movie is completed, a 2019 debut is entirely plausible.
19 2019: The Demonologist
The Demonologist has a plot that sounds delightfully bonkers. Brian Krause plays a detective investigating a series of slayings. In the process, he discovers that a cult is planning to summon four King Demons to destroy the world as we know it. Only he can prevent this from happening.
Stills released from the film feature some intense-looking creatures, which should prove to be a major draw for fans of such things. The Demonologist will be one of 2019's first entries. It debuts on all major VOD platforms on January 1.
18 2019: It: Chapter Two
At 1,100 pages, Stephen King's It is such a massive novel that there was no way the story could be told in just one movie. The first half of the book was adapted into a 2017 blockbuster that grossed $700 million worldwide. It focused on the characters as children. The sequel, It: Chapter Two, will focus on them as adults.
Pennywise the clown is set to terrify a stellar cast this time. Jessica Chastain plays the grown-up Beverly, James McAvoy is Bill, James Ransone is Eddie, and Bill Hader is Richie. Bill Skarsgard, meanwhile, will reprise his star-making role as the evil clown. The film opens in September.
17 2019: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Right after winning the Oscar for The Shape of Water, director Guillermo Del Toro signed on to co-write and produce Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, an adaptation of Alvin Schwartz' book series. It follows a group of teens trying to solve the mystery of why so many people in their small town are unexpectedly passing away.
Several up-and-coming young actors signed on for roles, including Michael Garza from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay and Moonrise Kingdom's Gabriel Rush. Production on the film began in August, and CBS films will release it on August 9, 2019.
16 2019: The Prodigy
Orange Is the New Black star Taylor Schilling returns to the big screen on February 8 with The Prodigy. This paranormal chiller casts her as the mother of a young boy who has behavioral issues. She comes to believe that his actions might actually have a supernatural cause.
The really exciting thing here is that The Prodigy is the newest effort from director Nicholas McCarthy. His previous films, The Pact and At the Devil's Door, are considered by many to be among the eeriest and most stylish indie horror flicks of the last decade.
15 Possibility: Polaroid
Will 2019 be the year audiences finally catch a glimpse of Polaroid? The film, about an old Polaroid camera with fatal abilities, was originally scheduled for release on November 22, 2017. Less than a month before that date, the studio abruptly pulled it from its release slate, with no explanation.
Of course, that studio was the Weinstein Company. Its head honcho, Harvey Weinstein, was in the midst of multiple accusations of harassment and assault, and the studio was floundering as a result. Recent reports say Netflix has acquired the rights, and may stream Polaroid in the months ahead.
14 2019: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
47 Meters Down was a sleeper hit in the summer of 2017. If you saw that shark-attack thriller, you know that at least one of the main characters couldn't return for the sequel. The other one doesn't either, as the follow-up, subtitled Uncaged, goes in a different direction.
This time, five young divers discover an underwater city. Obviously, it's infested with sharks who are eager to snack on them. Nia Long, John Corbett, and Corinne Foxx -- daughter of Jamie Foxx -- star. Johannes Roberts once again takes on directing duties. The movie will be surfacing on June 28.
13 Possibility: Ma
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is not the first person you'd expect to star in a horror movie, yet that's precisely what she's doing. The actress has the lead role in Ma, a Blumhouse production directed by her longtime friend Tate Taylor, who also made The Help.
Spencer will play a woman who acts as a den mother to a group of teenagers, only to reveal some potentially troubling ulterior motives. It's unclear when the film will hit cinemas, but Blumhouse has already staked out several 2019 weekends for unspecified releases. One of them is probably intended for Ma.
12 2019: Escape Room
Escape rooms have become something of a phenomenon over the past few years. You pay money to get locked in a room, then have an hour to follow clues hidden within that room to get out. The aptly-titled Escape Room puts a horror spin on the idea, having six strangers try to find their way out of one filled with dangerous booby traps. If you've seen the trailer, you already know how freaky it looks.
True Blood's Deborah Ann Woll and Tucker and Dale vs Evil's Tyler Labine star in the film, which will make its way to theaters on January 4.
11 Possibility: Grudge
Grudge is a remake of 2004's The Grudge, which was itself a remake of a 2002 Japanese film called Ju-On: The Grudge. Director Nicolas Pesce had every intention of releasing the movie, which stars John Cho, Lin Shaye, and Andrea Riseborough, in 2019. However, a lawsuit might prevent that from happening.
Japanese producer/writer Taka Ichise filed a breach of contract suit against the production company back in July, saying he was denied a contractually-obligated producer's credit. Depending on how long it takes for the courts to resolve this matter, Grudge could debut in time or be delayed indefinitely.
10 2019: Jacob's Ladder
Released in 1990, Jacob's Ladder starred Tim Robbins as a Vietnam War veteran enduring the psychological process of "dissociation" -- a separation from one's physical and emotional reality. Although not a big hit, the power of the movie shook those who saw it, turning it into an eventual cult favorite. A new version of the story is set for release in February.
The 2019 Jacob's Ladder, starring Michael Ealy, is supposedly not a straight remake, but rather an updated take that will maintain the themes, as well as the surreal vibe. We'll see if it can top the original in February.
9 2019: In the Tall Grass
Vincenzo Natali is an inventive horror director whose films include Cube and Splice. Having him tackle a story written by author Joe Hill and his famous father Stephen King sounds like a dream come true for genre fans. In the Tall Grass is about a brother and sister who wander into a large, disorienting field after believing they hear a child's cry for help coming from within. Patrick Wilson is one of the leads.
In the Tall Grass will be a Netflix original production. The company has issued a press release saying they will debut the movie on their streaming service late in 2019.
8 2019: New Mutants
In a perfect world, audiences would have seen New Mutants already. This horror-themed X-Men spinoff was originally supposed to come out in April 2018. The trailer was playing in theaters, and posters were hanging in lobbies. Then, a month before the scheduled release, 20th Century Fox announced it was bumping the movie back a full year-and-a-half for reshoots to make it scarier. A new character was also reportedly added to the story.
Only time will tell if those reshoots did the trick. We'll find out when New Mutants finally opens on August 2.
7 Possibility: Crawl
Most horror movies try to scare the heck out of you. Others embrace outlandish premises that have a hint of self-aware humor. Crawl sounds like it's going to fall into the latter category. Produced by Sam Raimi, the film will star The Maze Runner's Kaya Scodelario as a young woman trying to save her father during a category 5 hurricane, only to find herself trapped in a flooding house filled with alligators.
Work on Crawl began last spring, so we don't know for sure whether it will be ready to go in 2019 or not. Based on that central concept, it should be a wild ride whenever it turns up.
6 2019: Brightburn
Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn has a knack for offbeat storytelling. His script for the upcoming Brightburn continues this trait by putting a dark spin on the Superman myth. Elizabeth Banks and David Denman play a couple living in a rural area. They adopt an alien infant that falls from the sky. Rather than being a hero with superpowers, though, the child has evil tendencies.
Sony obviously has a lot of confidence that Brightburn's twist will appeal to the masses. The studio will release it on the lucrative Memorial Day weekend.
5 Possibility: The Turning
There are three reasons to be excited about The Turning. First, it's from Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. Second, it's a modern take on the classic Henry James novella The Turning of the Screw. Last but not least, it has a seriously cool cast, including Blade Runner 2049's Mackenzie Davis and Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard.
The Turning was originally supposed to be released on February 22, but Universal pulled it off the schedule a few months ago, giving its spot to How to Train Your Dragon 3. As of now, they have not announced a new date, so it's anybody's guess when the film will turn up.
4 2019: Happy Death Day 2U
Happy Death Day came out of nowhere in 2017. Despite having no big name stars, it grossed a whopping $122 million worldwide, against a budget of less than $5 million. Audiences were intrigued by the Groundhog Day-inspired story about a young woman whose life ends over and over again.
The sequel, Happy Death Day 2U, finds the masked killer once again forcing heroine Tree (Jessica Rothe) to repeat her final day, but also targeting everyone around her. If this follow-up can recapture the mix of horror and dark comedy that made the original so much fun, it too should be a financial success when it opens on Valentine's Day.
3 Possibility: Midsommar
Writer/director Ari Aster made a huge splash in 2018 with Hereditary, which earned rave reviews and strong box office returns. His follow-up will be called Midsommar, and has the potential to be another winner.
A lot about the movie is being kept under wraps, but we do know the story is about a young woman (Florence Pugh) going on a trip with her boyfriend, only to encounter something frightening in a small Swedish town. A24 will release Midsommar, just as it did with Hereditary. It's not officially on the schedule yet, but since the film is in post-production, a 2019 opening is a real possibility.
2 2019: Child's Play
Child's Play is a 1988 horror movie about a little boy whose new "Good Guy" doll is inhabited with the soul of a violent psychopath. It turned that doll, Chucky, into an all-time horror icon and spawned six sequels.
In 2019, Child's Play will receive the reboot treatment. The Chucky doll is rumored to be a little more high-tech in this new version, to reflect toy-making advances since the late '80s. Aubrey Plaza and Atlanta's Bryan Tyree Henry will star in the movie, which is scheduled for a June release.
1 2019: Us
Comedian Jordan Peele made one of the most incisive and acclaimed horror movies of recent times with Get Out. His follow-up, entitled Us, comes out March 15.
Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke portray a couple who visit a beach house with their children and their good friend (Elisabeth Moss). The relaxing vacation comes to an abrupt halt with the arrival of some unwanted visitors. Beyond that, plot details are being kept tightly under lock and key. If it contains as many surprises as Get Out did, the less we know beforehand, the better. This will easily be one of the most-anticipated films of 2019.
Which of these upcoming horror movies are you most excited to see? Tell us in the comments.