The most anticipated new horror movies of 2019 and beyond

Doctor Sleep 

Release date: November 8, 2019 

If anyone can make a sequel to The Shining in 2019, it’s director Mike Flanagan. As if Hushand Gerald’s Game weren't enough, Flanagan cemented himself as a true horror maestro last year with Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. Doctor Sleep is based on the book by Stephen King and, as you can see above, Ewan MGregor is filling the shoes of a grown up Danny Torrance, who is still clearly dealing with his hotel-based childhood trauma. If you want some carpet and blood corridor-induced chills, might I direct you immediately to the Doctor Sleep trailer which thankfully doesn't show too much of what's to come but does feature shots like the above, crossing the almost 40 years between movies.  

As is very clear from the Kubrick references in the trailer, Flanagan definitely isn’t ignoring the fact that he’s making the follow-up to one of the most beloved horror movies of all time. “I think you do have to acknowledge that,” he told Bloody Disgusting last year. “There is no version of the world where I am trying not to acknowledge one of the greatest films ever made. There’s no upside in shying away from that reality. At the same time, this is not The Shining. It’s its own story and in a very specific way. If you’ve read the book, you know exactly why it’s so different but it’s quite a tightrope that we’re walking I think.”

Brahms: The Boy 2 

An image from new horror movie Brahms: The Boy 2

Release date: December 6, 2019 

Just when you thought you were done with scary dolls, it’s time for Brahms: The Boy 2 and even more porcelain faced nightmares. I’ll try and keep this spoiler free for the original movie but the idea of a sequel is definitely interesting given how the first one ends. Rather than The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohen being haunted by Brahms, this time Katie Holmes arrives at the same ultra creepy mansion with her family. In the trailer shown exclusively at CinemaCon, son Jude finds the buried doll in the garden - as seen in the image from Bloody Disgusting above - and decides to be ‘friends.’ Cue some seriously strange goings on.

“I love dolls, so I had a conflict because I had so many growing up,” Holmes said at the reveal, reported by EW. “I never thought of a doll being creepy, and now I have to rethink everything. This was pretty terrifying to make when we were working with the doll, it was a lot. I was scared.” Holmes clearly doesn’t watch nearly enough horror films. We’ve been having an (Anna)bell of a time over here...

The Lighthouse

Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse

(Image credit: A24)

Release date: TBC 2019

How do you follow the delicious The Witch? With Batman to-be Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe going mad in a lighthouse in black and white, of course. Director Robert Eggers has moved from evil goats to monochromatic grizzled men in hats with apparent ease. With Total Film deeming it “the best thing to come out of Cannes 2019” and saying it “does for lighthouses what The Shining did for 5 star hotels”  in its Lighthouse review, this is clearly a ghost story like no other. 

It’s probably best not to dissect the plot for spoiler purposes, but the film constantly revolves around just the two men, alone at their post, drinking and talking, while a potential otherworldy threat lurks just out of sight. Just like The Witch, Eggers has focussed on a period script, forcing you to sit up and listen to every single word as the madness unfolds. It doesn’t have a general release date just yet but miss The Lighthouse at your peril. How illuminating

Darlin'

Release date: TBC 2019 

Everybody who has seen The Woman raise your hand. There’s no need to look so guilty about it. Yes, I see you at the back. As horror movies go, 2011’s The Woman was a brilliantly challenging slice of violence and misogyny that made you want to go for a shower afterwards and perhaps bury your face in some kittens. Well the good news is that Pollyanna McIntosh, the actress who played the feral woman kept captive by a dysfunctional family, has decided that you’ve had enough feline time and written and directed a sequel. The sequel will see us catching up to the Woman herself and the titular Darlin’ 10 years after the original. As you can see in the above chunk of poster (courtesy of EW), it's not exactly going to be a feel good flick. 

If you’re a The Walking Dead fan you’ll recognise McIntosh as Heapsters' leader Jadis and she’s brought a few of the cast on board for Darlin’. Sabrina Gennarino who plays Tamiel is here, as well as Thomas Francis Murphy.

McIntosh explained to Entertainment Weekly: "In Darlin’, Sabrina is wholly human as a sex worker who had her child taken into care when she was young and is now finding comfort in her friendships amongst the homeless community. Thomas Francis Murphy plays a brilliant cameo as a regal cardinal covering up the secrets of his church — it was a joy to realize I’d cast my right and left on TWD as that British party favourite ‘tarts and vicars’!” Prepare for serious darkness.

Girl on the Third Floor

An image from new horror movie Girl on the Third Floor

Release date: TBC 2019

Are you even aware that you need 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 hints 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.” She worries about her husband’s drinking too, which echoes Kubrick’s isolation tale. It will be interesting to see a fresh new descent into madness. Going by the official teaser image above (courtesy of EW), there’s something in the walls that I don’t know if we’re going to want to see.

In the Tall Grass

An image from new horror movie 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, as you would expect, 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

 Grudge 

Release date: Jan 3, 2020 

Moved from a mid 2019 release date, it's time for some good old J-horror. 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. However, Director Nicolas Pesce, known for The Eyes of my Mother, will be 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. 

The New Mutants

 Release date: April 3, 2020

As of May 2019, X-Men's darker side has been moved around like a super-powered chess piece. We thought August 2019 was finally going to be our chance to see Dark Mutants, but nope. With only a few months to go, April 3rd 2020 was suddenly the new dangling horror carrot. I'm not sure I have the emotional capacity to watch it travel further into the future so let's just pretend it might never come out to save any more heartache. If it does, though, here are the details to be aware of. The New Mutants stars a whole new - yes, hence the title - set of teenagers, each with their own mysterious powers, and 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. 

Candyman

An image from new horror movie Candyman

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

The Conjuring 3

An image from new horror movie The Conjuring 3

Release date: September, 2020

OK, so it’s a while off but it’s important to prepare yourself for these things. The Conjuring 3 will be released in cinemas in September 2020. As confirmed by Bloody Disgusting, the next outing for Ed and Lorraine Warren - well, after this year’s Annabelle Comes Home - will revolve around a man on trial for murder who says he is innocent as he was possessed by a demon at the time. Yeah, that’s what happened when all of the chocolate bars mysteriously disappeared from the fridge. Honestly...

The previous two Conjuring movies have been based on actual cases from the notes of the paranormal hunting couple, but it’s not clear if any of this has any grounding in actual fact. Whether it’s as realistic as The Nun or not though, it’s still exciting to see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return for the official third entry in the series. While James Wan is on producer duties, Michael Chaves is taking the helm this time around. Chaves is thankfully no stranger to horror either. He’s responsible for the creepy The Curse of La Llorona about a folklore monster who wants to steal your children. Let’s hope Chaves is just getting warmed up. 

Saw 9

(Image credit: Instagram)

Release date: October 23, 2020

If you were going to make a list of the actors you’d imagine starring in the *counts on bloodied fingers* ninth Saw movie, Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson wouldn’t exactly be the first to spring to mind. And yet here we are. It turns out that the multi-talented Rock loves the gory series and he’s the driving force behind a new 2020 reboot. “Chris conceived this idea and it will be completely reverential to the legacy of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his wit, creative vision and passion for this classic horror franchise,” Lionsgate’s chairman, Joe Drake, announced earlier this year. Yep, Saw is classic horror now. Do you feel old yet?

As reported by Bloody Disgusting, Saw 9 (not the official title) will star Rock as a police detective investigating yet another series of horrifically gory crimes. The operation is clearly going to be a family affair as Samuel L. Jackson is in the role of Rock’s father. Director of Saws 2, 3, and 4 Darren Lynn Bousman is returning to the franchise to steer us through this fresh sea of gore and shared the above image on Instagram to celebrate the start of production. Yes, it’s OK to feel tentatively excited. This is a safe horror space where no one judges your intimate knowledge of who was dismembered by each trap over 8 movies.