The most exciting upcoming horror movies of 2023 and beyond

Art the Clown in Terrifier 2
(Image credit: Cinedigm)

As we recover from the excesses of Halloween and Thanksgiving, and turn our attention to Christmas merriment and New Year's resolutions, there are plenty of upcoming horror movies to add to the excitement. 2024 is already looking strong, promising to deliver another glut of creepy offerings for fans, and that's not even including what remains to look forward to before 2023 is out.

Still to come this year is festive fun with Norwegian comedy-horror There’s Something in the Barn and the much anticipated new film from Yorgos Lanthimos with his horror-adjacent tale of reanimation, Poor Things. 

Into January and beyond, we’ll be treated to new releases from the horror powerhouse Blumhouse with Night Swim and Imaginary, plus a fresh entry into one of the genre’s favourite occult franchises with the The First Omen prequel, a new trilogy of home invasion terror with The Strangers: Chapters 1, 2, and 3, a long-awaited retelling of the Nosferatu story from modern master Robert Eggers, a reboot of the cult classic The Toxic Avenger, and a new installment of the enduring hyper-violent exploits of Art The Clown with Terrifier 3. 

So, whatever it is you look for in your creeps and scares, keep watching this space for all the upcoming horror movies headed our way.

Read more: Best Horror movies | Best Netflix horror movies | Movie release dates | Upcoming movies | New TV shows

There's Something in the Barn

Release date: December 1, 2023

Christmas movies are an enduring annual tradition and two of the genres that consistently bring holiday cheer and fear to the season are comedy and horror, so it’s no surprise to see There’s Something in the Barn coming to cinemas and digital download this December. When an American family fulfil their dreams of moving back after inheriting a remote cabin in Norway, it’s not long before they encounter the legendary Nordic Barn Elf next door and learn the importance of respecting one’s neighbours - the hard way! Helmed by Norwegian director Magnus Martens, and starring Martin Starr and Amrita Acharia, There’s Something in the Barn is being touted as Gremlins meets National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and promises plenty of merry mayhem and laughs to brighten and frighten your festive mood. 

Poor Things

Emma Stone and Ramy Youssef in Poor Things

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Release date: December 8, 2023

It’s probably not pure horror but very few of Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ movies are happy to be pigeonholed in a particular genre. This is the man who brought us The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and his latest stars Emma Stone as the resurrected creation of the Frankenstein-like Doctor Godwin Baxter, played by Willem Dafoe. Add in Mark Ruffalo and some ultra surreal visuals and Poor Things looks like a fascinating coming of age story with a Shelly-esque twist. Given that it’s already been given an R rating, this clearly isn’t going to be as whimsical as some of the trailer imagery above suggests. Expect this to get dark to balance out the light.  

Night Swim

Release date: January 5, 2024

From producers Jason Blum (the Halloween films, The Black Phone, and The Invisible Man) and James Wan (Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring franchises), comes this new supernatural thriller starring Wyatt Russell (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) as a former major league baseball player forced into early retirement by a degenerative illness, who moves into a new home with his family. Hoping to return to pro ball, Ray persuades his wife (played by Oscar nominee Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin) that their beautiful backyard pool will be fun for the kids and provide physical therapy for him, but a dark secret in the home’s past will unleash a malevolent force that will drag the family into the depths of inescapable terror. The trailer promises dark underwater spooks and haunted games of Marco Polo. From such strong horror pedigree, the film should be a wet and wild ride.


Chauncey the bear in Imaginary

(Image credit: Blumhouse/Lionsgate)

Release date: March 8, 2024

Blumhouse continue to roll out original horror narratives and with Imaginary, set to hit theaters in March, they’re taking on the supposed innocence of children’s imaginary friends. Now, as anyone who’s seen 1991’s chaotic comedy Drop Dead Fred knows, these playful entities can be anything but innocent, but Blumhouse’s new offering will go one step further and plunge playtime screaming into real darkness. The story will revolve around a woman who moves back to her childhood home with her family, where her stepdaughter finds a cuddly bear named Chauncey that encourages her to play sinister games. As her behaviour becomes more and more concerning, the family realises Chauncey is much more than the stuffed toy they believed him to be. Jeff Wadlow is back in the director’s chair for Blumhouse after 2020’s Fantasy Island, and DeWanda Wise (Someone Great, Jurassic World Dominion), Tom Payne (The Walking Dead), and Betty Buckley (Carrie, Split) all star. The trailer suggests more of the now-classic Blumhouse-style spooky sequences we’ve come to expect, and with what looks to be an impressive performance from young actress Pyper Braun, this should be a good time in the company of a creepy little bear.

The First Omen

The First Omen

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Release date: April 5, 2024

We’re getting a new entry to the canon of The Omen, 1976’s Richard Donner classic that starred Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, and David Warner, and gave the horror world the quintessential creepy kid, Damien the Antichrist. The franchise already includes two sequels (1978’s Damien: Omen II and 1981’s The Final Conflict) and a 2006 remake, but this new film is set to take us back to the beginning in the form of a prequel. When a young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, she encounters a darkness that causes her to question her own faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy to bring about the birth of evil incarnate. Produced by David S. Goyer (2022’s Hellraiser) and Keith Levine (The Night House), and directed by Arkasha Stevenson in her feature debut, this will hopefully be a welcome return to the occult world of the genre-defining original. Bill Nighy (Underworld, The Limehouse Golem), Ralph Ineson (The Witch,) and Nell Tiger Free (M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant) star.

Terrifier 3

Terrifier 2

(Image credit: Bloody Disgusting)

Release date: October 25, 2024

If you’re a horror fan, you might have had long lost friends get in touch at one point last year just to ask you if you had managed to catch a certain murderous clown movie. Art the Clown, the sadistic villain of Terrifier 2, apparently had cinemagoers requiring (helpfully branded) sick bags. The hype, not to put too fine a point on it, was real. And it’s impossible to argue with the figures. Terrifier 2 - a fun, gory, if overly long throwback slasher movie - cost only $250,0000 to make but grim reaped a cool $15 million at the global box office. Hence Terrifier 3, which will debut exclusively on US horror streaming service Screambox.

As reported by Bloody Disgusting, director Damien Leone is excited to bring even more extremity to the series for this threequel. “Aside from a yearning for new and exciting horror villains like Art the Clown, a large part of Terrifier 2’s success was based on its unprecedented theatrical release and its uncompromising nature. It’s pretty clear that we’re now entering a slasher genre renaissance; perhaps the biggest one since the '90s. Filmmakers like myself are gonna have to keep pushing the envelope so it’s encouraging when a company respects a director’s vision and understands what makes a certain type of film successful.”  

The Strangers trilogy

The Strangers: Chapter 1

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Release date: TBC 2024

Bryan Bertino’s original film, starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, was released in 2008 and has become one of the most notorious and beloved home invasion films to come out of the sub-genre. Ten years later we got a sequel, The Strangers: Prey At Night, which follows the further violent exploits of the psychopathic masked killers Dollface, Pin-Up Girl, and the Man in the Mask as they terrorise a whole new family - including Christina Hendricks - in a trailer park. Now the franchise continues, with three fresh films - The Strangers: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 - all helmed by director Renny Harlin (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Deep Blue Sea). In a continuation of the first two installments, The Strangers: Chapter 1 will have a similar premise to the original, following a couple on a road-trip who spend a night in an isolated Airbnb and unfortunately encounter our three terrifying strangers - the action will carry on from there throughout the new trilogy.  



(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Release date: TBC 2024

We’ve been teased with Robert Eggers’ adaptation of Nosferatu for a while now. First it was happening, then it wasn’t, then it was, and now we’ve finally gotten a first look! Following the 1922 classic directed by F.W. Murnau and the 1979 remake from Werner Herzog, Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse, The Northman) is officially bringing his version of one of the most genuinely chilling vampire tales to the big screen - and it’s gearing up to continue the tradition of Count Orlok being a truly terrifying monster. The chameleonic Bill Skarsgard (IT, Barbarian) will embody Orlok this time around, alongside another impressive Eggers' ensemble including Lily-Rose Depp, Willem Dafoe, Nicholas Hoult, Ralph Ineson, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. We can’t wait to sink our teeth into this one! 

The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger

(Image credit: Legendary Pictures)

Release date: TBC

The reboot of the 1984 Troma Entertainment comedy-horror cult classic got its world premier at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas in September 2023 and although we don’t yet have a confirmed release date, this should be one on the radar for anyone with a penchant for schlocky gore, quirky comedy, and practical effects. Macon Blair, best known as the director of 2017’s indie favourite I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore and his acting turns in a whole host of genre fair including Blue Ruin, Green Room, and The Hunt, feels like a safe pair of hands for this retelling of the tale of The Toxic Avenger - a mutated anti-hero who wields a deadly mop. Peter Dinklage is in the title role, starring alongside Kevin Bacon, Jacob Tremblay, and Elijah Wood, with the teaser trailer seemingly promising that this new version will lose none of the humor and chaos of the original. Here’s hoping we get to revel in all its frenetic, jaw-ripping action sooner rather than later.

Salem’s Lot 

Salem's Lot

(Image credit: New Line )

Release date: TBC

Just when you didn’t think there could be any more Stephen King adaptations, another tome is added to the ‘time for a remake’ shelf. And this time, it’s a heavy hitter. For those of a certain age, one of the most terrifying horror moments lurks in Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot TV series from 1979 as a vampire child arrives at a window asking to be let in…. This means no pressure for Conjuring Universe staple Gary Dauberman on both directing and screenplay duties. The good news is that given that he is also responsible for the screenplay of both parts of IT, Dauberman already has keen King conversion chops. The similar ‘terror in a small town’ theme of Salem’s Lot as a vampire holes up in the old house on the hill could mean very good things. There's been no official reveal of a poster or trailer but the art above was revealed after a tie-in edition of the book was spotted online. The movie was initially meant to release in 2022 but New Line has since added a new 2023 release date and cruelly taken it away again. As it stands, you’ve got a little longer to prep your garlic.   

The LaLaurie Mansion Series 

Release date: TBC

Whether it’s a good thing or not, we now live in a world where entire franchises are announced before even the first movie has been released. The writers of the first two The Conjuring movies, Chad and Carey Hayes, have teamed up again and revealed an entire series of horror movies revolving around the infamous LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans. Once home to none other than Nic Cage, who allegedly only lasted one night of horrific screams and bumps in the night, this grim abode is said to be one of the most haunted locations in the world. The good news is that if you’ve done your horror homework and watched American Horror Story Coven, you’ll already know its most villainous resident. 

Played by Kathy Bates in AHS, Madame LaLaurie was both a New Orleans socialite and horrific 19th century serial killer, responsible for the horrific torture, mutilation and murder of a number of Black slaves. Her secret was only revealed when a fire broke out at her mansion and firefighters discovered some of her barely alive victims in diabolical states. 

Not content with just one movie, the Hayes brothers are going to tell multiple stories of the mansion throughout history, from its horrific beginnings, all the way to modern day. Plus, they’re considering writing some of it from inside the house. “We love writing films in which we get to tell true stories – incorporating moments that people can look up and discover did in fact happen,” they announced in a press release. “With the LaLaurie House we get to do exactly that… there is a wealth of documentation of a very dark and frightening past of true events. Not to mention that after spending some time there, what we personally experienced was truly unnerving. We haven’t been this excited about a project since The Conjuring!”   

Louise Blain

Louise Blain is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in gaming, technology, and entertainment. She is the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s monthly Sound of Gaming show and has a weekly consumer tech slot on BBC Radio Scotland. She can also be found on BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, Netflix UK's YouTube Channel, and on The Evolution of Horror podcast. As well as her work on GamesRadar, Louise writes for NME, T3, and TechRadar. When she’s not working, you can probably find her watching horror movies or playing an Assassin’s Creed game and getting distracted by Photo Mode.