We’re living in a great time for horror cinema. For the past couple of years, it’s just been hit after hit. We’ve been treated to It and Hereditary and Get Out and A Quiet Place and It Follows and Don’t Breathe and on, and on, and on. Where other genres like comedy are dying a painful death, horror is thriving.
Maybe it’s because the world is getting scarier, or maybe film schools are just getting better at teaching their students the art of filmmaking. Either way, there’s a new batch of exciting horror movies coming our way this year. So, here are the 10 Most Anticipated Horror Movies Of 2019.
10 DOCTOR SLEEP
Of the many Stephen King adaptations to be fast-tracked in the wake of It’s scary success back in 2017, this one might be the most intriguing. Doctor Sleep is King’s belated sequel to The Shining, and its plot concerns an adult Danny Torrance contending with a cult that’s been targeting children with “the shining.” Ewan McGregor is set to play Danny, while the supporting cast includes Rebecca Ferguson and Jacob Tremblay.
The movie will be directed by Mike Flanagan, who previously adapted King’s novella Gerald’s Game into a surprisingly beautiful cinematic gem for Netflix. King was never a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s movie adaptation of The Shining, but he has enjoyed Flanagan’s movies going back to 2016’s Hush, so maybe this will be a different story. The movie was set for release in 2020, but the studio recently moved it up to November 2019.
9 SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
Produced and written by horror legend Guillermo del Toro among others, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is based on the children’s book of the same name. But don’t let its source material fool you – while this may be a horror movie for kids, the audience won’t be getting off lightly. The filmmakers are going for a target audience made up more of teens than children.
With del Toro behind the wheel and the plot revolving around a group of kids who have to face their fears to conquer the scary forces taking their town by storm, this movie’s shaping up to be a dark fantasy version of The Goonies.
What if Superman was a horror movie? That’s the question James Gunn’s new movie Brightburn asks. It tells the story of an extra-terrestrial boy who crash-lands on Earth and is raised by a pair of wholesome Midwesterners to use his extraordinary alien powers for good, just like the Man of Steel’s origin story.
However, the difference here is that while Clark Kent is good at heart, Brightburn’s Brandon Breyer is evil at heart. It’ll be like Superman meets The Omen. So, if you were wondering what the next stage of superhero cinema would be after shared cinematic universes became the big thing, it’s horrific re-imaginings – and it starts here.
7 CORPORATE ANIMALS
This bats blend of comedy and horror recently had its premiere at Sundance, with a wider release soon to follow. It stars Demi Moore as the CEO of a ridiculous company that makes edible cutlery who embarks on a corporate retreat. The retreat takes a turn for the worse when everyone gets trapped in a cave-in and they resort to eating each other.
The supporting cast includes Ed Helms (who’s also producing), Nasim Pedrad, and even Britney Spears. With Patrick Brice, director of the brilliant Creep and its sequel, behind the cameras on this one and Peep Show’s Sam Bain handling scripting duties, Corporate Animals is shaping up to be an insane mix of hilarity and terror.
6 THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA
The Curse of La Llorona is the latest supernatural chiller produced by Insidious and The Conjuring director James Wan. Due to his commitments to the DCEU, Wan isn’t directing this one – instead, Michael Chaves is making his directorial debut.
The movie stars the delightful Linda Cardellini from Freaks and Geeks as a social worker in the ‘70s who begins to notice eerie similarities between her latest case and an old ghost story. Breaking Bad’s Raymond Cruz will star alongside Cardellini in what promises to be the creepiest paranormal horror movie of the year.
5 PET SEMATARY
The original movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary has become fodder for parody over the years, thanks to the cheesy jump scares and Fred Gwynne’s performance as Jud Crandall.
The premise of an ancient burial ground that can be used to bring back the dead has been spoofed in The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, and even Fairly OddParents, so hopefully this new remake starring Jason Clarke and John Lithgow can make Pet Sematary scary again. If the spooky trailer is anything to go by, this will be a scary affair, indeed. To paraphrase the original novel, sometimes the remake is better.
4 THE NEW MUTANTS
Meet the new generation of X-Men. Not the younger actors playing Professor X and pals – the new, new generation of X-Men. Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton, and The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy lead a cast of young mutants who come to terms with their powers while they’re locked up in a secret facility.
This won’t be any ordinary X-Men movie. While it’s set in that universe, it’ll be completely different – not in a dramatic way like Logan or in a comedic way like Deadpool, but by being a horror movie about mutants. And not just a horror movie by superhero standards – a genuinely unsettling piece of work that will send shivers down your spine. The release date has moved around a lot, from summer 2018 to spring 2019 to fall 2019, but that was only so The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone could get it just right.
Ari Aster’s Hereditary was one of the most intensely scary horror movies in years. You might think that after making a movie that was compared to Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, Aster would be done with scaring people for a while, but no. It appears he’ll be making a habit out of routinely unleashing petrifying horror masterpieces on the world once a year.
In his new film, Midsommar, a couple travels to Sweden to take part in a legendary festival, only to find themselves at the mercy of a violent pagan cult (this guy seems to have a real hang-up about pagan cults). It sounds like this one has shades of The Wicker Man, and maybe even a little of Don’t Look Now. Exciting stuff.
It’s hard to say exactly what Jordan Peele’s new horror movie is about based on its cryptic trailer. We can gather that it’s about a family going up to a beach house for their vacation, only to be terrorized by their own doppelgangers.
But there’s no way to tell if this is a supernatural story, a science fiction story, a social thriller, a cautionary tale, a drug hallucination, a metaphor – all we can know for sure is that, like Peele’s previous chiller Get Out, it’s going to be scary. Can he bag himself another Oscar? Only time will tell.
1 IT: CHAPTER TWO
It’s been two years since Andy Muschietti breathed life into the first half of Stephen King’s giant novel It and unleashed unto the world the highest grossing horror movie ever made. With his wonky eyes, creepy makeup, and erratic movements as Pennywise, Bill Skarsgard provided audiences with plenty of nightmare fuel, and now, he’s back to do it all over again.
Muschietti is back in the director’s chair to adapt the second part of the novel, set 27 years later, the next time It returns to torture the children of Derry. The kids in the Losers Club are all grown up – with actors including James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Hader being cast to play them as adults – and they’re ready to take care of It once and for all.