2018 absolutely slayed the horror genre with amazing directorial debuts and surprising indie wonders, but it appears 2019 may give the previous year a run for its money. I scoured the Internet to find that 2019 will bring us many big budget curiosities, subversive A24 arthouse horrors, and…quite a few remakes of things we didn’t necessarily ask for. Here are over 40 genre films (including horror-thrillers, crime mysteries, and dark biopics) that will be coming our way in 2019.
Glass (Blumhouse, January 18) M. Night Shyamalan will bring together his previous films Unbreakable and Split in this trilogy of sorts (?) that appears to be his own version of a superhero (or those who believe that they are superheroes, at least) horror-thriller. Split was decent for what it was, but I prefer my horror-thrillers without the dosage of superhero stories within. Not necessarily a must-see for me, but I’m sure it will bring satisfaction to those who care about this cinematic universe Shyamalan has created with these films.
The Final Wish (January 24) Horror icons Lin Shaye and Tony Todd will appear in this story about a son who returns home to be with his mother, after his father passes away, and discovers something peculiar within his belongings.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (January 26 at Sundance Film Festival, Theatrical: TBD) My first love is horror, but a very close second love of mine is true crime. I’ve read, podcasted, and researched so much information about serial killers and forensic files, that I probably know more about the lives of John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer than I do my own family members. I am dying to check out this biopic starring Zac Efron as Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer who murdered dozens of women, after he manipulated them with his dazzling looks and false charms. No official trailer or theatrical release date has been announced as of yet.
The Lodge (January 25 at Sundance Film Festival, Theatrical: TBD) Directors Severin Fiala and Veronica Franz return, after their unsettling 2014 effort, Goodnight Mommy. According to its Sundance synopsis, The Lodge tells the tale of a future stepmom (Riley Keough) getting stuck inside after a snowstorm, with her two resentful, future stepsons– who remain loyal to their heartbroken mother. After the stylistic chills they delivered from their previous effort, The Lodge will likely be equally unnerving and memorable. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for this one.
The Hole in the Ground (A24 release, January 31 on DirecTV. Theatrical: March 1) A24 is off to a fantastic start this new year with The Hole in the Ground, which is also slated for its world premiere at Sundance. The premise, which has been compared to the likes of The Babadook is the following: A mother brings her young son to a new Irish town, near a forest that contains a huge sinkhole. When the young boy vanishes and reappears, his behavior becomes increasingly disturbing, which his mother grows suspicious of. On the surface, the premise is nothing we haven’t seen before, but with A24 involved, it’s almost guaranteed to put a fresh spin on the “Is this really my son, or another entity?” trope. DirecTV users will have the gift of checking it out on January 31st, while everyone else can catch it in limited theaters on March 1st.
Little Monsters (Sundance Film Festival, Theatrical/VOD: TBD) Lupita Nyong’o will star in her first film of the year with this horror/comedy about…zombies. *Yawns*.
Velvet Buzzsaw (Sundance Film Festival, Netflix: February 1) Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy is back with a collaboration with Jake Gyllenhaal in Velvet Buzzsaw, a supernatural horror-thriller that takes place inside the competitive art world. Toni Collette and John Malkovich also star.
Piercing (February 1) After lots of praise that it attracted during last year’s Sundance FF, Piercing will finally be released in theaters in early February. Director Nicholas Pesce brings us a narrative about a lackluster husband and father who leaves his family behind to commit his ultimate fantasy, (murder) which leads him to meeting what he thinks will be his victim, a call girl, who is way more of a threat to him, than he is to her.
Prodigy (February 8) Another trope-y/creepy kid/jump scare-filled movie, according to its trailer. Probably terrible, but maybe in a campy, fun sort of way? The young actor who played Georgie in 2017’s It: Chapter One will star. If you give a damn.
St. Agatha (February 8) “Nunsploitation” (ha!) film St. Agatha will follow a young pregnant woman who seeks refuge within a convent, in a conservative 1950s, Southern setting. However, instead of peaceful security, she discovers that the convent is hiding questionable secrets, and she attempts to escape before her and her unborn child are…punished. Seems like a fun little psychological film that may surprise us all.
Happy Death Day 2U (Blumhouse, February 14) I laughed in the face of trailers for Blumhouse’s 2017 surprise hit Happy Death Day, but it inevitably turned out to be a fun, little genre spin on Groundhog’s Day. Its box office sales demanded a sequel– if you care enough to see what happens to Tree and her friends in what (seems) to be a repeat of the exact same premise of its predecessor.
The Turning (February 22) A modern retelling of 1961’s The Innocents, as well as the book in which it is based off of, “The Turn of the Screw,” The Turning will once again tell a story about a “young governess (who) is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the deaths of their parents” (IMDb). Finn Wolfhard will play the young nephew, and he has proven himself to play convincingly as either sweet and charming (Stranger Things), or, as a little shithead (It: Chapter One). Thinking that its release date will be pushed back, since not even a glimpse of a trailer has been released, as of this time.
Climax (A24 release, March 1) If you are familiar with director Gaspar Noe, you’re already aware that he does NOT create movies that will appeal to everyone. Much like fellow controversial director Lars von Trier, Noe’s films are tough to swallow, and Climax will likely be no different. When a group of dancers unknowingly drink LSD-laced sangria…hell breaks loose. Rotten Tomatoes describes it as “challenging and rewarding,” from critics who caught it at various film festivals in 2018. I’m up for the challenge.
Us (Blumhouse, March 15) After the revolution that was 2017’s Get Out, Jordan Peele will return this March with his follow-up, Us, a hybrid of monster movie and home invasion thriller, that will hopefully utilize its title Us= US(A)?? for his unique brand of American social commentary. A family is terrorized by a group of doppelgängers called “The Tethered,” which may or may not be clones of the family members themselves. I can’t say I cared for the humor and the corny “It’s vodka o’clock” jokes within the film’s trailer, but the horror elements look fantastic. Peele apparently had star Lupita Nyong’o watch classics like The Babadook, Martyrs, A Tale of Two Sisters, and It Follows in preparation for her role. The man knows his shit.
Wounds (March 29) This Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson psychological horror film will follow a couple whose lives begin to unravel when a bartender (Hammer) picks up a phone that was left behind at his bar in New Orleans. It is based on the novella The Visible Filth, by Nathan Ballingrud, and, like many others, will actually have its exclusive premiere at Sundance later this month as well.
Pet Sematary (April 5) I am in the group of fans who actually really digs the original 1989 Stephen King adaption. Sure, it’s campy and straight up silly at times, but (most) of it destroys me emotionally, as well as the fact that it scared the crap out of me when I was 5 years old, when I (shouldn’t have been watching) caught the image of a dead Pascow in the bedroom of the Creed house– so I think the original is unfairly mistreated by naysayers. However, I am quite curious about this upcoming remake of the gut-wrenching Stephen King novel, which appears to take a more aesthetic and less campy approach to the source material.
The Curse of La Llorona (April 19) It appears to be yet another, tired, ghost story for the moviegoing masses at its core, but with James Wan in the producer’s chair, it may be something more intriguing. The plot follows the infamous legend of the “La Llorona” ghost, aka the “Weeping Woman,” (a supernatural force within Mexican folklore) who lost her children, and steals others until she finds her own. I mean, sure. Why not.
Child’s Play (June 21) If you haven’t heard already, we are indeed getting a modern-day Child’s Play remake this summer– for better or for worse. There has not been confirmation if the killer doll will be named “Chucky” after the original, but we know for sure that we’ll be introduced to a brand of “Buddi” toys– a high-tech toy that will mimic a too-smart-for-its-own-good robot with ill intentions– which will serve as a foil to a new version of the original protagonist, young Andy. Even though Child’s Play and Chucky creator Don Mancini had nothing to do with this upcoming remake (and has explicitly stated his hurt feelings towards this, poor guy!) I can’t help but be curious about what they’ll come up with.
Grudge (June 21) So, yeah…we’re getting a remake to The Grudge, which was already an American remake to the Japanese horror film, Ju-On. But if you remember that terrible 2004 remake, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, you can understand why they would want to give this missed opportunity another chance. This upcoming (second) remake has a great cast lined up, including Insidious‘s Lin Shaye, Searching‘s John Cho, and Mandy‘s Andrea Risenborough. Maybe there’s hope that they’ll make something worthwhile this time around.
47 Meters Down: Uncaged (June 28) I’ve never seen 47 Meters Down, but I know its plot has something to do with a massive shark within the depths of the sea- the typical shark movie premise. I’m assuming its sequel will bring nothing different to the table. But hey, people sure do love their summer shark movies…
Annabelle 3 (July 3) The possessed porcelain doll from The Conjuring franchise will return…yet again…this summer. This time, she’ll be wreaking havoc from the Warrens’ safe haven room that they keep her locked in, which means a much-needed return from franchise favorites Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. I won’t even lie, the Annabelle doll has always unnerved me and my much-talked-about phobia of dolls, so I’ll probably check it out. I mean, just look at that fucking thing. Terrifying.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (July 26) Quentin Tarantino will FINALLY unleash his thriller/biopic about life and crime within the late 1960s Hollywood setting– meaning he will surely put his own, unique spin upon subject matter such as the Manson Family murders and Sharon Tate’s demise. Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie– among many others– will grace us with their presences this July. I cannot wait.
Midsommar (A24 release, August 9) My personal most highly anticipated film of this year comes from director Ari Aster, who blew my mind and many others’ with his blood curdling debut, Hereditary. In his second feature with distributor A24, Aster has written and directed a tale about “a couple who travels to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown for its fabled mid summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat, quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult” (IMDb). There is a ton of secrecy involving Midsommar, but anticipators– myself included– suspect that it draws influence from ’70s masterpiece The Wicker Man. Aster really seems to enjoy torturing us with pagan-sacrificing in his films, and I will happily follow Aster into any dark path he wants to lead me into. Maybe more heads will roll…
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (August 9) Guillermo del Toro will produce this adaptation of the beloved ’90s teen books of the same name. According to its IMDb page, “A group of kids face their fears in order to save their town.” With del Toro at the helm, Scary Stories is guaranteed to be more far superior than the typical teen horror fare.
It: Chapter Two (September 6) Pennywise will return to terrorize the grownup versions of the Losers Club 27 years later, in this highly anticipated sequel. I personally had mixed feelings on the (somewhat) watered-down, R-rated, mainstream horror smash hit that was Chapter One, but Warner Bros. Studios promises to bring a much darker and (hopefully less cheesy!) screenplay to Chapter Two. Here’s hoping.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (October 11) Yes, yet another beloved adaption of the ’90s teen horror subgenre, Are You Afraid of the Dark? will come to theaters right in the midst of the Halloween season– however, not much is known about the project at this time.
Knives Out (November 27) Coming to us Thanksgiving weekend, Knives Out sounds like a blast. With a stellar ensemble cast including Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, and Lakeith Stanfield, this murder mystery– directed by Rian Johnson– appears to be in the same vein as cult classic movie Clue, as described as a “modern take on the whodunnit murder mystery” (IMDb) and I am 100% here for it. ‘Nuff said.
Yet-To-Be-Dated Releases Scheduled for 2019:
Luz (TBD) From those who caught it at its various film festival premieres, the critically acclaimed Luz has been described as “surreal” and “beautiful but terrifying,” and promises to be more than just another cheap demonic possession film. According to Variety, Luz revolves around a young cabdriver who brings herself into a police station after being chased by a woman who is possessed by a demonic entity. Not much else is known at this time, and according to the festival circuits buzz, the less you know going into it, the better. It currently sits highly at 100% on its early Rotten Tomatoes score.
The Lighthouse (A24, TBD) Revolutionary The Witch director Robert Eggers will finally return with another period piece/arthouse horror surrounding a lighthouse keeper, that takes place in an 1890s Nova Scotia setting. In typical elusive A24 fashion, not too much is known about the premise. According to reports, stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson had a tumultuous shooting experience with Eggers, creating tension and frustrations that will likely translate into the scenes. The Lighthouse was shot on 35 mm black and white stock– guaranteed to look stunning on the big screen.
In Fabric (A24 release, TBD) Peter Strickland earned rave reviews within the indie festival circuit last year for his unique tale of a demonic dress that haunts those who come into contact with it. Described as a horror/dark comedy, In Fabric will thematically deal with consumerism and vanity that will be sure to please the indie crowd. Count me in– you offbeat, little arthouse movie.
Jacob’s Ladder (TBD) An unnecessary, modern retelling of the 1990 mindfuck film that definitely leaves a lasting impression will be coming our way. It originally was slated to be released this February, but was pushed back for the time being. Never a good sign…
In the Tall Grass (TBD) Patrick Wilson will star in this Stephen King adaption about a brother and sister who hear cries of help within a field of tall grass– only to realize that, they too, may need help with escaping this field. Netflix will release this onto their streaming service sometime in the fall.
Nightmare Cinema (TBD) This horror anthology will feature Mickey Rourke (how interesting of casting news is that?) as a character known as “The Projectionist” who invites five strangers into his haunted movie theater, and shows them short films that revolve around their deepest fears and secrets.
Come, Said the Night (TBD) Halloween franchise star Danielle Harris and The Walking Dead‘s Lew Temple will appear in this interesting-sounding indie, about a 13-year-old girl who is in the middle of the woes of teenage doom, while “on vacation with her family to their secluded retreat in the forest to mark the anniversary of her sister’s death, (as she) grows convinced that a monster is haunting the nearby woods…she uncovers horrifying secrets that rock the core of everything she thought she knew” (Millerdatripictures.com).
Depraved (TBD) According to IMDb, “A disillusioned field surgeon suffering from PTSD makes a man out of body parts and brings him to life in a Brooklyn loft.” So, basically this will be a modern-day Frankenstein retelling. Got it.
Rabid (TBD) The Soska sisters will direct this upcoming remake of David Cronenberg’s 1977 body horror film of the same name.
3 From Hell (TBD) In an upcoming third movie to an exploitative trilogy that nobody really needed, Rob Zombie will follow up his surprisingly (half way) decent The Devil’s Rejects, even though (spoiler alert) most of the despicable family of characters die. If I had to guess, Rob Zombie is milking yet another movie about this redneck family of murderers, because his other original films typically fail miserably. Unless you’re one of those Rob Zombie completists, this one will probably feature the same ol’ Rob Zombie schtick.
You Should Have Left (TBD) Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried will star in this Blumhouse psychological film, based on Daniel Kehlmann’s novel of the same name– suspiciously sounding a lot like the premise of Sinister (kinda): “A screenwriter travels to a remote house in the Alps with his family, so that he can write the sequel to his big hit film, but he begins to regret his decision after suffering from a severe case of writer’s block” (IMDb).
Knife + Heart (TBD) French film Knife + Heart follows a porn producer whose cast and crew are picked off one by one by a masked killer. With the description as “destined to be a cult classic” by Philadelphia Film Society, its ’70s backdrop gives the film a thrilling pulse that will surely be unique. I missed this at the Philadelphia Film Festival last year, and I cannot find when its theatrical release date will be for the life of me. Guess we’ll have to keep an eye out for it.
Eli (TBD) Netflix bought the rights to this tale about a young boy who undergoes treatment at a clinic and finds himself trapped within its haunted halls.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle (TBD) Yet another Shirley Jackson novel will have its moment to shine, as this adaption is said to be coming to theaters at some point in 2019. American Horror Story’s Taissa Farmiga is involved.
Ma (TBD) Blumhouse is behind this psychological thriller about a group of teens who get invited to a party at a lonely woman’s house, who then start to question her motives for her invites. (What teenagers go to a party at a strange, lonely woman’s house?)
Crawl (TBD) Director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, High Tension) is directing this low budget horror release about a woman who gets trapped inside a flooded house after a hurricane, and attempts to fight off an alligator (this HAS to take place in Florida). Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) will produce.
Firestarter (TBD) Apparently Blumhouse has the rights to a remake of this Stephen King adaption that we should expect to see sometime this year. Is anyone else tired of Blumhouse movies popping out of everywhere?
Charlie Says (TBD) So, aside from Tarantino’s aforementioned Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, we are also supposed to receive yet another horror/thriller about the crimes of Charles Manson and his followers, with American Psycho director Mary Harron at the helm. Since I can never get enough Charles Manson stories, I’m actually down for this.
The Changeling (TBD) Another UNNECESSARY remake of a near-masterpiece. The 1980 film is one of the best haunted house movies of all time, and we really don’t need this. Maybe it’ll get scratched.
Bride of Frankenstein (TBD) I’m sorry…what?! Who would want to touch the perfection that is the original Bride of Frankenstein? Go away, 2019 remakes. Upside: Javier Bardem is set to star as Frankenstein’s monster, so that may be cool. MAYBE I’ll give it a chance.
I Saw the Devil (TBD) The director of slasher/home invasion gem You’re Next will direct this remake of the classic South Korean film of the same name. Yep, another remake. I feel like I’m on repeat…
A Head Full of Ghosts (TBD) The director of the highly underrated A24 film The Blackcoat’s Daughter will give us a film adaption of the 2015 novel, A Head Full of Ghosts, which revolves around a family torn apart when their teenage daughter begins to display signs of schizophrenia.
Don’t Breathe 2 (TBD) 2016’s surprise horror hit Don’t Breathe– about a trio of young criminals who plan to rob a violent blind man– is well shot and crafted, and contains scenes full of suspense and tension. Looks like we should expect a follow-up coming shortly.
Jekyll (TBD) Chris Evans will be starring in this modern day tale of a descendant of Dr. Jekyll, who– just like the original Jekyll– will begin to show signs of split personality disorder.
Little Shop of Horrors (TBD) Guys, I’m sick of using the word “remake,” but apparently we should expect yet another re**** in 2019– this time, involving the plot of the 1960 cult classic. This one apparently will follow the musical format of the 1986 version.
There you have it. Believe it or not, I actually found even more god-forsaken remakes that are slated for release in 2019, but I couldn’t even bring myself to place them on this list. Like any other year, 2019 looks to have its fair share of garbage, but we have so many solid films to look forward to– especially sophomore releases from up-and-coming filmmakers, as well as festival surprises, and fun, big-budget mainstream fare.
What are you most looking forward to? ~