The horrors of 2018 have taken us to Helen Mirren’s bizarre mansion, alongside Natalie Portman to Area X, into space to unleash the Cloverfield Monster, and deep into an unsettlingly quiet place. Hopefully you packed another barf bag because there are still many terrifying miles left to go this year. From expanding franchises to midnight festival favorites to the Cornetto trilogy duo back in action, there’s a lot of potential lurking in the darkness of the cinema.
So prepare to mark some calendar pages red (or ask Siri to do it) and make plans to be scared out of your wits with these upcoming horror films.
Truth or Dare (April 13)
The high school sleepover game is in enough horror films that it might as well be the basis for an entire movie. The latest from Blumhouse haunts the stars of Pretty Little Liars and Teen Wolf with a deadly game they can’t refuse to play. The Snapchat filter faces might be the creepiest thing in the whole trailer.
Ghost Stories (April 20)
Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s stage play has been running for nearly a decade, and now there’s a way to see it without traveling to London. Its twists and turns are probably the best kept theatrical secret since people refused to spoil Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” and the writer/directors have pulled a strong cast for the cinematic version, including Martin Freeman, Black Mirror victim Alex Lawther, and Doctor Strange‘s Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
Slender Man (August 24)
Judging by the trailer it looks like they made an extended cut of the videotape from The Ring. This creepypasta tale already lives in the gray margins between fiction and reality, a story that became urban legend that has been attached to real-life tragedy. Now director Sylvain White is trying to give us all nightmares and introduce a next generation boogeyman to a bigger audience.
The Nun (September 7)
The satanic nun from The Conjuring 2 was too good not to get its own spin-off. In a pleasant bit of motherly serendipity, Taissa Farmiga will be menaced by the same habit-wearing demon that stalked her mother, taking us back to the creature’s origins at a Romanian monastery in 1952. As a bonus, we’ll get to see what director Corin Hardy can do in the studio system ahead of his making The Crow after its resurrection from development hell.
And if you’re still on the franchise train, The First Purge and Insidious: The Last Key are also coming soon.
Slaughterhouse Rulez (September 7 UK)
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back to battling supernatural baddies together in a boarding school-set horror comedy from the writer of A Fantastic Fear of Everything. Asa Butterfield and Michael Sheen are also along for the ride when a fracking site develops a sink hole that unleashes some sort of monstrous thing on the students and teachers at the school. It’ll see theaters in the UK this fall and hopefully the US won’t be too far behind.
Halloween (October 19)
Blumhouse is all over the scene this year, and that includes another shot at an iconic classic that’s been brutalized and dragged through the dirt (and Manhattan (really a cruise boat on its way to Manhattan, but they spend a few minutes in New York City, too). Leaving behind the grunge era reboots, David Gordon Green and Danny “Crocodile” McBride are also erasing erasing the other sequels to create a sequel set 40 years later. It’ll be a nail biter to see if they pulled off a slasher delight or a disappointment. Let the dangertainment begin!
Overlord (October 26)
While another Cloverfield entry has already disappointed this year, a fourth in the secretive series is set to lead us into Halloween with J.J. Abrams’ producing and mystery box obsession in tow. There’s little known about the plot except its logline: “Set on the eve of D-Day, a group of American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation.”
Things get supernatural, and presumably scary. We know the cast, and Julius Avery is directing from a Billy Ray script, but I’m not holding my breath for any more details until it lands in October (or months earlier as a surprise).
A24. Chance the Rapper. Pizza deliverers in peril. And, for whatever reason, a Free Rider-inspired teaser trailer. Faith in this bonkers project stems from faith in the personnel. A24 is a studio willing to take risks and capable of making magic, and Chance the Rapper is a brilliant creative mind. He’s working here on…something…with frequent music video collaborator Austin Vesely, and Atlanta and Deadpool 2‘s Zazie Beetz, Stranger Things‘ Joe Keery, and comedian Paul Scheer are also on the menu.
Tigers Are Not Afraid (TBD)
Called Vuelven (Come Back) in its native Mexico, Issa López’s dark fantasy premiered there late last year, has toured festivals (including Fantastic Fest), and will hopefully find its way into theaters in the US this year. The story follows a ten-year-old girl named Estrella (Paola Lara) who joins a child gang trying to weather the storm and haunting aftereffects of drug cartel violence.
The House That Jack Built (TBD)
What do you do when a filmmaker who lives to provoke promises a movie that will challenge even his staunchest fans? This one may be for Lars von Trier completists or all-out masochists (I’m saying this as someone who watched the 6-hour director’s cut of Nymphomaniac). Von Trier claims the serial killer spree movie starring Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman was inspired by Donald Trump and “celebrates the idea that life is evil and soulless.” Maybe be prepared to double feature it with videos of puppies and kittens being best friends.
Suspiria (Fall 2018)
Another reboot gamble, the director of Call Me By Your Name being involved is enough to raise an eyebrow. Luca Guadagnino will be tackling the remake of Dario Argento’s second greatest film with Dakota Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, and a host of other talents. Johnson will play the role of the American ballerina accepted to the elite dance school run by Swinton where a bloody secret rumbles beneath the barre.
Which horror films are you looking forward to the most this year?
Images: Screen Gems, Warner Bros., Rogue Pictures, Paramount, IFC Films