With 2019 officially in the rear-view (check out my best-of list), it’s time to start focusing on the new year. Below, I’ve included a list of some horror films I’m looking forward to, and as you can see, the trend of remakes and “smart horror” that dominated the first two decades of the 2000s doesn’t appear to be slowing down as we start the 2020s.
1. The Grudge January 3/Directed by Nicolas Pesce
I’ve made it known before that I’m not a big fan of remakes, and there’s been an onslaught of them over the last 10-15 years. I’m including this one on this list, however, because Pesce’s other movies, Piercing and The Eyes of My Mother are interesting, so I’m cautiously optimistic about this.
2. Underwater January 10/Directed by William Eubank
I don’t know much about this one, other than the fact that it’s a deep-sea horror flick about a research crew who struggles to get to safety after an earthquake destroys their underwater station. Something monstrous lurks on the ocean floor. I’m intrigued.
3. Color Out of Space January 24/Directed by Richard Stanley
This is an adaptation of one of H.P. Lovecraft’s most popular stories, and it stars Nicolas Cage, fresh off his performance in Mandy. Need I say more about this one?
4. Gretel & Hansel January 31/Directed by Oz Perkins
I have to confess that when I first saw the trailer for this, I wasn’t that interested. However, when I learned that Oz Perkins was behind the camera on this one, my interest was peaked. If I made a list of my favorite horror films of the last decade, Perkins’ The Blackcoat’s Daughter would be on it. Now, I’m curious as to what he’ll do with this classic tale.
5. The Lodge February 7/Directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala
This is one of the film’s I’m most excited to see, especially after it generated buzz on the festival circuit and earned the cover of the most recent issue of Rue Morgue. It also seems like the perfect mid-winter horror film, based on the synopsis: during a family retreat to a remote winter cabin over the holidays, the father is forced to abruptly depart for work, leaving his two children in the care of his new girlfriend, Grace. Isolated and alone, a blizzard traps them inside the lodge as terrifying events summon specters from Grace’s dark past.
6. The Invisible Man February 28/Directed by Leigh Whannell
This is Universal’s attempt to yet again reboot/revamp their classic monsters. Based on the trailer, however, this looks like an interesting take on the classic H.G. Wells’ story, one that focuses on abuse and trauma. It appears that Elisabeth Moss may give one barn-burning performance in this.
7. A Quiet Place II March 20/ Directed by John Krasinski
A Quiet Place was one of the biggest surprises of 2018 and a box office hit, so, of course there had to be a sequel. Based on the trailer, which dropped on New Years Day, it looks like the second chapter expands upon the world established in the first film.
8. Antlers April 17/Directed by Scott Cooper
I don’t know much about this one, but ever since I saw the trailer, and after I found out this one is being produced by Guillermo del Toro, I’ve been intrigued.
9. Candyman June 12/ directed by Nia Dacosta
There is no trailer for this one yet, and yes, it’s another reboot/remake, but it was written by Jordan Peele, who also produced it. It will also be interesting to have a woman behind the camera for this one. Additionally, this one, like the original, was filmed at Chicago’s Cabrini-Heights neighborhood, which has since been gentrified. Oh, and Tony Todd is returning! Whether or not he’ll play Candyman, that has yet to be seen. This should be a big one.
10. Halloween Kills October 16/Directed by David Gordon Green
You can’t kill the Boogeyman, and you can’t kill Laurie Strode, either! Get ready for more and more Michael, with another sequel set to be released in 2021.
I will note that most of these films are pretty mainstream, and in past years, my favorite movies of the year slipped under the radar until they streamed on places like Hulu or Shudder or were lucky enough to find larger distribution after building buzz. Expect some sleeper hits as we head into the new year. How many people were talking about Hereditary at this point in 2018 or The Witch months before its release? That said, 2020 looks to be a good year for horror with some well-known entities making a return to the big screen alongside some innovative stories that are lucky enough to get wider distribution.
Are there any films you’re most looking forward to this year? Feel free to comment below.