Let's face it, 2019's list of upcoming horror movies puts the last few years of scares to shame. Never before have horror fans had it so good. While we've not exactly been starved for terror over the last decade, it seems that the combination of streaming services getting brave and Hollywood's acceptance that horror makes money means an absolute treat of a year for those who want to be afraid (very afraid). Whether you've been away from the genre for a while and just dipping a toe in the bloodied pool once again, or have been swimming in it for years, 2019 has the perfect horror for you.
So, what’s on the way? That’s kind of the point of the list but yes, you can have a gory tease here. Jordan Peele's Us is looming on the horizon as a family are stalked by murdery versions of themselves, Chucky himself is returning to cinemas, and there's more Stephen King adaptations than we probably deserve on the way in the shape of Pet Sematary and the return of Pennywise in It: Chapter 2. In release date order then, here are the most exciting upcoming horror movies of 2019 and beyond.
- The most anticipated upcoming movies (no matter what the genre) of 2019 and beyond
- The best horror movies to haunt your nightmares
- The best Netflix horror movies to watch right now
Happy Death Day 2U
Release date: February 14, 2019
What could be a better Valentine’s Day present than a trip to see the sequel to the hilariously comic horror Happy Death Day? Find yourself the right horror partner and perhaps nothing. In brilliant news, Jessica Rothe is returning for the follow up to the murderous Groundhog Day. If you missed the original, the concept is simple. A sorority girl gets stuck in a time loop where she’s murdered and repeats the day over and over again with the same memories. It’s a gory, dark delight with a hilarious central performance from Rothe as she relives the same violent day on campus.
Thankfully, as fun as it would be, we won’t be treading old bloodied ground for the follow up. “Chris has done this incredible thing where the sequel, the way he described it to me, elevates the movie from being a horror movie – and I wouldn’t even say it’s just a horror movie because it’s a horror, comedy, rom-com drama – into a Back to the Future type of genre film where the sequel joins us right from where we left off,” Rothe told Collider earlier this year. “It explains a lot of things in the first one that didn’t get explained, and it elevates everything.” Depending on how excited you are, you can just reread that quote over and over. How do you break the loop, you ask? By going onto the next entry…
The Hole in the Ground
Release date: March 1, 2019
Sinkholes are scary. Terrifying even. Random holes in the ground that just appear, eating everything that we tiny, insignificant humans think we can just leave lying out? Sinkholes are a reminder of just how little control we actually have of the world around us. Well, combine that base fear with a dollop of creepy child-itis and Irish horror The Hole in the Ground already has a lot going for it. As we can see in the brilliantly unnerving trailer, Sarah O’Neill, played by Seana Kerslake, has moved to a rural town with her young son Chris. However, when he heads into the woods where an enormous sinkhole has opened up, he returns as a very different child.
The possession of children isn’t a new idea but The Hole in the Ground looks like its ticking a series of disturbing boxes. Mad old woman who can see ‘the imposter’? Check. Creepy strings soundtrack. Also check. Slow motion child eating bugs and/or spaghetti montage? Oh, that’s three out of three. There are definite hints of the Babadook here as Sarah becomes obsessed with the idea of a supernatural imposter in her home. Horror trailers can so often be misleading but Lee Cronin’s slice of parent trauma looks like one to watch. Just, watch your feet, eh?
Release date: March 22, 2019
It was only a matter of time before director Jordan Peele’s Get Out follow up revealed the terrifying secrets within. Well the good news is that Peele finally raised the curtain on Christmas Day last year and unveiled the darkness inside with a full trailer. Prior to the trailer drop, all we knew was that a mother and father, played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, would be taking their kids to a beach house and that there would be some unwelcome guests. What we didn’t know was the guests would literally be twisted, murderous versions of the family themselves, complete with creepy head tilts and horrible smiles.
While Jordan Peele has said it was important to cast a black family in the central roles, this social horror isn’t specifically focussing on racial tensions like Get Out. As reported by Collider, when Peele introduced the trailer he explained that Us is “about something I feel has become an undeniable truth, and that is the simple fact that we are our own worst enemies.” Peele called the movie a labour of love and said he has “dedicated a lot of myself to creating a new horror mythology, and a new monster.” The movie has had its released date moved slightly to allow it to premiere at South by Southwest but only by a week. Good things come to those who wait after all. I suppose that includes evil stabby versions of your own family.
Release date: April 5, 2019
We must have prayed to all the right gods to get two Stephen King adaptations in one year. The grim Pet Sematary is one of the horror maestro's seminal texts and given that the 1989 movie is still ingrained in the minds of a certain generation - oooh, that bit with the Achilles tendon - this new version has big scary shoes to fill. From the directors of Starry Eyes and the Scream TV series, Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmeyer, this will once again tell the story of a family leaving the big city behind and moving to the country to start a new life. They just happen to have started that new life within walking distance of a burial ground that resurrects the dead. It is a King book, remember?
Official images mean that we’ve already caught a glimpse of the family cat, Church, after he’s been to meet his maker and still decided to come back for more Dreamies. There’s something distinctly unnerving about just this one undead cat picture and you know so much worse is waiting in the wings. The Crown (and everything else’s) John Lithgow has been cast as the family neighbour Jud Crandall, while Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz star as Louis and Rachel Creed. Hopefully this can follow in It’s footsteps and deliver another terrifying King story. The source material is still painfully relevant. After all, how far would any of us be willing to go to see someone we love again? Maybe don’t answer that…
Read more: The 20 best Stephen King movies you need to see (but can't unsee)
The Curse of La Llorona
Release date: April 19, 2019
Ready for a bedtime story? Well, once upon a time, a ghost of a woman who lost her children caused misery wherever she went because she kept trying to steal other people’s offspring. The end. I’ll turn the light out, shall I? A particularly creepy slice of Mexican folklore is the inspiration for this James Wan-produced slice of horror. From director Michael Chaves, clearly warming up his horror muscles before starting work on the Conjuring 3, The Curse of La Llorona follows a young social worker as she and her children are hunted by the so-called Weeping Woman.
An extended sequence of prolonged child terror in the trailer hints at exactly the horrors to come here and while there’s some staple Wan-style jump scares, what lurks behind them is certainly creepy enough to haunt your nightmares. Dislocated gaping jaw anyone? A chunk of the movie was shown at San Diego Comic Con 2018 and played well to the horror crowd so, you never know, we might even be crying out for a sequel.
Release date: May 24, 2019
What if Superman wasn’t Superman? What if little Clark Kent landed on earth not to use his powers for good but for a darker purpose, and whatever his adopted parents did to stop him, he was naturally drawn to much more grim pursuits? Well, say hello to Brightburn. Dubbed a ‘superhero horror’, which can be bundled in nicely with 2019’s The New Mutants, Brightburn is produced by Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn and looks deliciously dark. Elizabeth Banks and The Office’s David Denman star as the problem child’s new parents and clearly can’t do anything to control the evidently more violent pursuits of their ultra-powerful murderous offspring. This is when Supernanny just won’t quite cut it.
The Brightburn trailer absolutely revels in this upside down Superman concept with the young teenager seen scrawling endless repeated shapes before a glimpse of him in full flight and murdering a waitress after breaking through a metal door with his laser eyes. We’ve spent so long with superheroes just overflowing with morals and faraway looks in their eyes as they wrestle do-gooding demons so it’s about time things got really nasty. Not even waiting until super pipsqueak is fully grown makes this even better. One to watch out for.
Read more: The 25 best superhero movies worthy of a true believer
Release date: June 21, 2019
Fancy an alternative to Toy Story 4? Yep, ironically, the doll-packed reboot of the infamous Child’s Play franchise is out on the same day as Pixar’s sequel. Just don’t expect any sentient sporks or fuzzy feelings here. Controversially, despite original Child’s Play writer Don Mancini directing the recent Cult of Chucky and Curse of Chucky movies, he has had nothing to do with this new entry from MGM. Instead, Norwegian director Lars Klevberg is in control as a new modernised version of Chucky hits shelves.
Rumour has it that while the lead characters will remain the same - with Parks and Rec’s Aubrey Plaza as Karen Barclay, mother of Andy - Chucky’s origins story will be different. Instead of a serial killer popping himself into a Good Guy doll to save himself from death, this ‘Buddi’ doll (as revealed on the poster) is apparently reprogrammed by a factory worker to have no limitations. It definitely makes sense 30 years on to have a more modern toy, and hopefully this new origins story can take Chucky firmly back into horror territory after some seriously questionable sequels. And don’t worry, Don Mancini is still heading up a Chucky TV series so it’s not all bad news.
Release date: June 21, 2019
And if neither Toy Story 4 or Child’s Play is floating your paper boat then perhaps you feel like watching another Ju-On: The Grudge. Also released on June 21, this will be the, wait for it, twelfth Grudge movie since the release of the Japanese original back in 2002. Hey, maybe it’ll be nice to hear that awful inward groaning noise again. The brilliant news here is that Insidious legend Lin Shaye is on board as well as Glow’s Betty Gilpin and The Exorcist’s John Cho.
Rather than a reboot of any of the original movies from Takashi Shimizu this new version will tell a slightly different tale. Director Nicolas Pesce, known for The Eyes of my Mother, will be telling a fresh story but still holding onto some of the mythology of the originals. “We’re not approaching this as a remake of the Sarah Michelle Gellar film or a remake of the Ju-On film,” new writer Jeff Buhler told Bloody Disgusting. “This is pushing the mythology forward while keeping the concepts and spirit of those movies, yet finding a new way to tell a story within that world, which is exciting.” All joking aside, if this new house is anything like the old one, you can absolutely go first. No, I insist.
47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter
Release date: June 28, 2019
I know, chums, I can hear you screaming that it should be 48 Meters Down all the way from the safety of this underwater cage. The original title to this sharky follow up was in fact going to be just that but something has clearly changed along the way as director Johannes Roberts takes us back down where it’s wetter with a whole new set of Happy Meals on legs. Starring Mandy Moore and Claire Holt, the original made waves of cash but now that they’re lunch, it’s time for some more very pretty people to get eaten by Jaws wannabes.
While it’s not quite as much fun as The Shallows, 47 Meters Down is still a suitably tense underwater horrorfest as enormous teeth meet perilously soft human flesh. More of the same for The Next Chapter will be absolutely ideal and Roberts has proven he can crank up tension to unbearable levels with the recent Strangers: Prey at Night. This time the fin-filled action moves to Brazil as five backpackers who are diving down to a ruined underwater city ‘quickly learn they are not alone in the submerged caves.’ Hello, sharp teeth, limited oxygen, and a hefty dollop of claustrophobia. Yay?
The New Mutants
Release date: August 2, 2019
It’s been moved around the release calendar like an X-Men themed chess piece but The New Mutants is finally slated for an August 2019 release date. It’s been disappointing to watch it further and further delayed as this blend of superheroics and horror looks far too intriguing to have to wait for. Starring a whole new - yes, hence the title - set of teenagers, each with their own mysterious powers, the trailers we’ve seen so far have promised a far darker twist than any X-Men movie that’s come before.
It turns out that it’s definitely not all sweetness and light having abilities that people want to harness you for like a AA Battery, and there’s a clear horror heart beating here. Starring Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, The Witch’s Anya Taylor Joy, and Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton, the original trailers look like an escape movie as the mutants attempt to flee a secret testing facility but it’s unknown how much will change before release. Adamantium claws crossed that the horror hasn’t been dialled down.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Release date: August 9, 2019
It’s always very exciting when Guillermo del Toro actually gets to finally make something he really wants to instead of yet another potentially magnificent screenplay sitting in a layer of tentacled development hell. Well, not only is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark based on a series of '80s books of the same name from Alvin Schwartz that fuelled the nightmares of multiple generations of children, it’s also already started filming. Praise the Lovecraftian gods for camera men on Twitter. While del Toro has written the script here, directing duties are in the safely terrifying hands of Andre Ovredal, the man responsible for the enjoyably creepy The Autopsy of Jane Doe, and Norwegian found-footage delight Trollhunter.
The books themselves are almost mythically terrifying and were accompanied by horrific illustrations that have now been replaced with slightly less disturbing imagery to try and prevent mental scarring. Following a group of teenagers in the 1960s, as they try and solve a series of macabre murders taking place in their small town, this will weave a number of the terrifying stories together. Whether it's the body horror of the Red Spot of the Pale Lady, that still haunts your nightmares, this is the perfect* way to get as many of the grim tales in there as possible.
It: Chapter 2
Release date: September 6, 2019
Despite seemingly sending the many-faced monster back into the abyss, The Losers Club, like Thanos, will, of course, return. If you’re aware of King’s horror tome, you’ll know that half of the book is dedicated to Beverley, Bill, and co. 27 years on as they return to Derry to vanquish Pennywise once and for all. Director Andres Muschietti didn’t want to to muddy the first movie with flashbacks and instead focussed on telling a coming of age story but with more monsters. It: Chapter 2 though will introduce the very grown up losers.
Here’s where things get really exciting. The full It 2 cast has been revealed and if you think there’s anyone more perfect for Beverley than Jessica Chastain, we point blank refuse to even hand you a flashlight before we kick you into Derry’s sewers. Other exciting casting decisions include James McAvoy as Bill, and Bill Hader as Richie. Don’t worry though, unlike the first movie, we will be flashing back to the ‘80s occasionally as the kids are still an important part of the story. Given the necessary humour that lurked among the disembodied arms, that’s probably a very good idea.
Read more: 6 questions It: Chapter 2 has to answer
Release date: October 11, 2019
Yep, a whole decade after its original Twinkie-hunting release, Zombieland is getting a sequel. And of course it counts as horror movie. There are brains to eat, after all. Thankfully this isn’t just a quick cash grab as the full original writing and directing team are back for Zombieland 2. Ruben Fleischer, also responsible for next year’s Venom, is back at the helm with Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese on script duties. Wernick and Reese have worked on both Deadpool and Deadpool 2 since the original so expect a seriously sharp script after the pair have honed their craft with Wade Wilson’s sharp tongue. Well, that doesn’t sound right at all.
Anyway…. the full cast is returning too. Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin are all back for the zombie apocalypse. Plotwise, according to the official announcement, Zombieland 2 will "once again put the focus on comic mayhem, taking the quartet from the White House to the American heartland as they face off against new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as some new human survivors.” We’ll have to wait and see if this includes a rumoured love interest for the dough-hungry Tallahassee, and a return for Bill Murray. They didn’t Double Tap him after all...
Read more: The 25 best zombie movies that will turn you veggie
Girl on the Third Floor
Release date: TBC 2019
Were you even aware that you needed a haunted house movie starring CM Punk? Nope, didn’t think so but here we are. Girl on the Third Floor stars ex-wrestler and MMA fighter Philip Jack Brooks as a man who arrives with his family to renovate a mansion with a not so pleasant past. We’ve only had a teaser so far but what with the spouting of blood from the sink and all, it’s clear that it’s really not going to go well. There are definite hint of the Shining here as his wife is told that the house “has a habit of testing men” and that other families “never make it home.” Worries about her husband’s drinking too has serious echoes of Kubrick’s isolation tale so it will be interesting to see a fresh new descent into madness. Going by the official teaser image above, there’s something in the walls that I don’t know if we’re going to want to see.
In the Tall Grass
Release date: TBC late 2019
Here’s one for your Netflix diary. Adapted from a short story by Stephen King and his son Joe Hill, In the Tall Grass follows college-age brother and sister, Cal and Becky, as they head into the, well, tall grass when they hear calls for help coming from deep within a field. It’s a joyously simple premise as the pair hear a mother and son shouting for one another and try and help. When Cal goes inside and disappears, Becky must follow, and of course there’s absolutely no mobile phone reception and only the plants looming overhead…
Director Vincenzo Natali is known for escape room dismemberment fest Cube, as well as odd sci-fi horror Splice, and is a massive fan of the short story. “Who would think that grass could be frightening?,” he said back when the film was announced all the way back in 2015. “Trust Stephen King and Joe Hill to find a way. They have transformed an otherwise innocuous Kansas field into a stage for some of the most disturbing horror fiction I have ever read.” More glorious Stephen King in 2019? Get ready to soil your plants.
Upcoming horror movies 2020
Release date: June 12, 2020
You know the rules. Say the name five times in a mirror and a Jordan Peele produced version of the almost mythical horror Candyman will appear in front of you. Woohoo! It’s not even started shooting yet but this ‘spiritual successor’ - horror loves that word right now - to the 1982 original tour de force of a slasher will be directed by Nia DaCosta and out in 2020. This is another perfect horror project for Get Out director Jordan Peele. “The original was a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre,” he says in a statement revealing the news. “Alongside Night of the Living Dead, Candyman was a major inspiration for me as filmmaker — and to have a bold new talent like Nia at the helm of this project is truly exciting. We are honored to bring the next chapter in the Candyman canon to life and eager to provide new audiences with an entry point to Clive Barker’s legend.” We don’t know much more as yet but we should probably beeware.