2019 was another great year for horror! We got a ton of new releases, especially on digital through Netflix and Hulu. Some of my favorites this year were Midsommar, Us, The Lighthouse, IT: Chapter 2, and Ready or Not.
With so many solid and surprisingly original horror films this year, I’m really looking forward to 2020; however with upcoming shows like The Stand, The Haunting of Bly Manor, The Outsider, Lovecraft Country, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and Locke & Key, it seems horror television might be better than movies 2020. We’ll see!
As a side note I just want to say that unfortunately since we just recently had a new movie from Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar), one of my new favorite horror directors, right now it doesn’t look like we’ll get one in 2020. But I’m at least hoping we’ll get some news or trailers about his upcoming projects soon!
Anyway, here’s my list of highly anticipated horror films of 2020! Of course, these dates could change, especially the last few, since they’re so far out.
1. The Grudge (January 3)
The Grudge franchise continues with the 4th movie in the series, a reboot, and stars a whole new cast. The original group of producers from the first movie — Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Taka Ichise — are back for this reboot and they brought on Nicolas Pesce as director.
The trailer looks pretty good and I really liked The Grudge 1 & 2. So I’m excited, although I have really low expectations after 2 of my other favorite horror franchises, The Ring and Saw, attempted reboots recently that were pretty awful. However, both John Cho and Lin Shaye are in this movie, so that gives me some hope.
2. Underwater (January 10)
Underwater, starring Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, & Jessica Henwick, is about a group of researches who struggle to get to safety after an earthquake in their underwater lab leads them to discover that they’re not alone. This plot sounds very similar to Deep Blue Sea (1999), which I really enjoyed.
3. The Turning (January 24)
The Turning stars Mackenzie Davis and Finn Wolfhard, and follows a young woman who is hired by a man to watch over his niece and nephew after the death of their parents. But of course, these aren’t normal children, they’re twisted.
With a PG-13 rating, I’m really not sure about this one. But Finn is definitely the draw for me. Since he’s building up quite an impressive resume of movies and shows (Stranger Things, IT) I find myself interested to see what he’ll do next.
4. Gretel & Hansel (January 31)
You’ve probably guessed that this movie is based on the Grimm fairytale, Hansel and Gretel. That’s really all there is to say about it. It stars Sophia Lillis and is directed by Oz Perkins, who also directed I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House and The Blackcoat’s Daughter.
5. The Lodge (February 7)
The Lodge is about a family — a soon-to-be stepmom, a father, and his two kids — who get snowed in at a remote village, as things start to take a frightening and crazy turn. This idea reminds me a lot of The Shining.
6. Fantasy Island (February 14)
Fantasy Island is a horror adaptation of the popular ’70s TV show about a magical island resort that makes your wildest dreams and secret fantasies a reality. (Literally?) It stars Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Michael Peña, and Portia Doubleday.
7. The Invisible Man (February 28)
The Invisible Man is about a woman whose abusive ex-husband is somehow still messing with her, even after his death. It stars Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Aldis Hodge, and was co-written and directed by Leigh Whannell, who in the past also co-wrote Saw, Insidious, and Upgrade (all of which I loved so much).
I’m really interested in seeing what they’ll do with this story that seems to be pretty straightforward and predictable. I really hope this one surprises me! The last time I saw a movie like this was Hollow Man in 2000, which I actually enjoyed.
8. A Quiet Place: Part II (March 20)
It’s no surprise that a sequel to this 2018 breakout hit was made, after the way the first movie ended on a cliffhanger. This second installment was again directed and co-written by John Krasinski, and stars his wife Emily Blunt. However this time, Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou also join the cast.
9. The New Mutants (April 3)
If you haven’t heard of it, The New Mutants is supposed to be an X-Men franchise spinoff with a horror twist. I guess you can call it superhero horror? (Speaking of superhero horror, Brightburn was fun to watch and I’m so excited for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness coming in 2021.)
I find it so interesting that the release of this movie has been delayed for like 2 years for reshoots and scheduling. And I’m wondering why Marvel Studios didn’t immediately release on digital or something it as soon as they acquired it from Fox, since it doesn’t seem like they’ll try to work it into the MCU at all. But since Marvel now has the rights to the X-Men characters, I don’t really know what they’ll do.
It has a pretty solid cast (Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, and Alice Braga) but with all the reshoots and delays I’ve lost some faith. I still hope it turns out pretty good though.
10. Antlers (April 17)
Antlers is a kindof bizarre concept about a small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, who become entwined with a young student harboring a dangerous secret. I don’t really know what else to say about it, other than it’s rated R and stars Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, so I’m ready for some twisted visuals and some damn good acting.
11. Antebellum (April 24)
Janelle Monáe stars as a successful author who finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality – which from the teaser trailer appears to be slavery on an American plantation. I don’t know much of anything else about this movie but the visuals and concept alone are very disturbing.
12. The Organ Donor (May 15)
The Organ Donor is the name of yet another installment in the Saw franchise. I know, we’ve had enough right? But this time, it’s being described as a “re-imagining” rather than another sequel. So that gives me a little hope I guess? It stars Samuel L. Jackson, Marisol Nichols, Max Minghella, and I even see Chris Rock on the cast AND writers list. Pretty interesting.
13. Fear Street (June 5)
R.L. Stine was my favorite author as a child, so I’m very excited to see his Fear Street series come to life! This story is about a murder mystery in the town of Shadyside, Ohio.
14. Candyman (June 12)
Everyone’s hyped for Jordan Peele’s next horror film, Candyman. It’s a sequel to the 1992 movie of the same name. Directed by Nia DaCosta and stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tony Todd, Teyonah Parris, and Colman Domingo. To be honest I’ve never seen the original movie, but I’ll definitely see it before this one comes out!
15. The Empty Man (August 7)
The Empty Man is the film adaptation of a supernatural horror graphic novel of the same name. It’s about an ex-cop who, while searching for a missing girl, comes across a secretive group attempting to summon a terrifying supernatural entity.
16. Escape Room 2 (August 14)
Escape Room was one of the biggest horror films of 2019, and with the way it ended, it’s no surprise that they’re doing another one. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’d do another one even if the first one had more of a closed ending. I thought the first movie was just okay — the first half was way better than the second half. But I absolutely love Escape Rooms and I like the casting here (Taylor Russell, Indya Moore, Isabelle Fuhrman, and Holland Roden) so of course I’ll be there to watch this one in theaters when it comes out.
17. Malignant (August 14)
Malignant is a new project from one of my favorite directors, James Wan. It’s based on the graphic novel, also by James Wan, called Malignant Man. The story centers on a man who discovers the tumor causing his terminal illness is actually a parasite. Not much else has been said about this movie and I haven’t read the graphic novel myself, but I’m interested to see how it’ll turn out.
18. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (September 11)
Although there have been plenty of other movies in The Conjuring universe, this is the 3rd installment specifically in The Conjuring series. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson will reprise their roles as Lorraine and Ed Warren. I do enjoy The Conjuring movies, as they’re some of the best modern horror films, although honestly I tend to get them mixed up. I definitely need a rewatch before this one comes out.
19. Last Night in SoHo (September 25)
Last Night in SoHo is about a girl who is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she meets her idol, however everything is not what it seems and crazy things start to happen. This seems to be one of the only movies on this list with an original concept. Throw in the fact that it’s directed by Edgar Wright who also directed Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver, The World’s End, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and I’m very excited about this one!
20. Halloween Kills (October 16)
Last but not least, we have Halloween Kills — the next movie in the Halloween franchise, taking place directly after Halloween (2017) and starring Jamie Lee Curtis. I think I’m one of very few horror fans who actually liked the 2017 sequel, so I’m pretty psyched for this. Also, I don’t know about you, but I wish more horror movies would come out around Halloween!
Are you excited about any of these? Which ones are you the most excited about?