2017 was a stellar year for horror cinema. For the first time in 15 years, a horror movie, It, was one of the top 10 highest-grossing films of the year (in 2002, Signs came in at #6). Not only that, but another horror movie, Get Out, is in contention to earn a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. There were plenty of other well-received and successful horror movies as well, including Happy Death Day, Annabelle: Creation, Raw, and It Comes at Night.
So will any 2018 films be able to recapture the It or Get Out phenomenon? It’s certainly possible, as some of next year’s releases have that sort of potential. Here’s a look at the most-anticipated horror movies scheduled for release in 2018.
Winchester — Feb. 2
According to legends, when Sarah Winchester of the Winchester gun manufacturer lost both her husband and her daughter to illness, a medium told her that she was being cursed by the spirits of those killed by her company’s guns. She would now have to build a mansion to house all of the spirits, but if construction of the mansion ever stopped, she would die.
The result was the labyrinthine Winchester Mystery House, a bafflingly-designed mansion full of staircases that lead to nowhere. It has become a tourist attraction and is rumored to be haunted. In 2018, CBS Films is releasing a new horror flick based on this story called Winchester.
The role of Sarah will be played by Helen Mirren, with Jason Clarke also starring. The Spierig Brothers serve as writers and directors, but hopefully, Winchester is closer in quality to their sci-fi thriller Predestination than to their abysmal Saw reboot, Jigsaw.
Next: This is the highly anticipated sequel to a popular 2008 horror film.
The Strangers: Prey at Night — March 9
After years of a sequel to 2008’s The Strangers being discussed, it’s finally happening in 2018. But although Liv Tyler’s character survived the original Strangers, she’s not back for the follow-up. Instead, in Prey at Night, the same three masked psychopaths terrorize a different group of characters. This time, the victims are a family staying at a mobile home park. The biggest name in the cast is Christina Hendricks, who stars alongside Bailee Madison and Martin Henderson.
Next: The star of a popular NBC sitcom will direct and star in this horror film.
A Quiet Place — April 6
One of Paramount Pictures’ first major releases of 2018, A Quiet Place is about a family living on a farm who must remain quiet at all times in hopes of surviving against a mysterious supernatural force. Based on the trailer, it appears that whole sequences will take place in complete silence.
Starring as the two lead characters are real-life husband and wife John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. Interestingly, Krasinski himself directed the film. It’s not his directorial debut, but it’s the first major film that he’s gotten behind the camera for.
A Quiet Place has potential to be a huge hit in the same way that Don’t Breathe and Lights Out were in 2016.
Next: This film from Fox will combine the superhero and horror genres.
The New Mutants — April 13
20th Century Fox reached a point a few years ago when they decided to start making comic book movies that are completely different from what Disney is doing. The result was the studio branching out beyond just PG-13 X-Men films to an R-rated raunchy comedy in Deadpool, a violent character study in Logan, and a mind-trip TV show in Legion.
Their next unique idea is The New Mutants, the first superhero horror film. It’s about five young girls and boys who discover they have supernatural abilities while locked up in a facility. On the surface, that sort of just sounds like a generic X-Men spinoff. But the eerie trailer makes clear it’s nothing of the sort, even evoking A Nightmare on Elm Street. For better or worse, The New Mutants will certainly be one of the most interesting comic book films of 2018.
Next: This mysterious horror project is the latest from J.J. Abrams.
God Particle — April 20
In 2016, a movie called The Cellar was retroactively turned into a Cloverfield sequel called 10 Cloverfield Lane. It didn’t connect much to the original, but producer J.J. Abrams compared the franchise to The Twilight Zone, and so Paramount established that future Cloverfield movies would be standalone stories that fit thematically.
Now, the third in that series is coming out in 2018. It’s called God Particle, or at least that’s the current title; Bad Robot will likely change the name to something with Cloverfield in it at some point before its release.
The story revolves around a group of astronauts who become stranded in space after the Earth vanishes due to a scientific experiment. It stars Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, John Ortiz, and David Oyelowo. Though the project is still shrouded in mystery, the previous two entries were excellent enough to make this one an instant must-see.
Next: One of the most successful modern horror studios is coming out with this supernatural slasher flick.
Truth or Dare — April 27
Blumhouse Productions has quickly taken the industry by storm. The studio is now one of the most profitable in Hollywood thanks to a string of very low-budget horror flicks that have become massive hits, including The Purge and Insidious. Even when one of their movies isn’t a box office smash, it still usually turns a profit and is relatively crowd-pleasing; they’ve only had a handful of downright awful movies in recent years, including The Gallows and Ouija.
In 2018, they’ll be releasing Truth or Dare, in which a group of teenagers is compelled to participate in an ongoing, supernatural version of the titular game, with the dares becoming increasingly darker and more violent. If they refuse to play, they will be picked off one by one. It looks like it’s effectively a slasher film, a genre that Blumhouse put a fun twist on with 2017’s Happy Death Day.
The premise is goofy and hilarious, and Blumhouse has produced enough modern horror classics that at this point, almost anything with their name on it is worth getting at least a little excited about.
Next: This film will adapt a popular internet urban legend.
Slender Man — May 18
A fictional monster character that originated as an internet meme and quickly grew into a staple of creepypastas and video games, Slender Man has already inspired a few films, including The Tall Man. But 2018 will see the release of the first movie that will directly tackle the popular myth and be released by a major studio, in this case, Sony Pictures.
Based on the trailer for the film, Slender Man will revolve around a girl who goes missing, only to encounter Slender Man and return home under his influence. The film will be lifting from the original myth the idea that Slender Man manipulates young people to kill for him; in real life, two young girls in Waukesha, Wisconsin really did stab their classmate 19 times because they believed Slender Man wanted them to.
It might be a little late for this, considering the popularity of the Slender Man myth reached its peak years ago. Still, fans of the legend might want to keep an eye out for this, the first feature film adaptation that could actually be good.
Next: This is the fourth installment in a popular horror franchise that released its most recent sequel in 2016.
The Purge: The Island — July 4
Audiences can’t seem to get enough of the Purge movies, which have been doing better and better at the box office. Just in time for Independence Day weekend, The Purge: The Island will be hitting theaters in 2018.
This fourth installment is actually a prequel that tells the story of the very first Purge night. It takes place on Staten Island, the only location where this first experimental Purge happens. If you’re wondering why everyone doesn’t just leave Staten Island on that night, James DeMonaco says that the idea is that people are given monetary rewards for sticking around and participating.
DeMonaco promises that this will be the most “crowd-pleasing” of the Purge films so far, even though this is the first one that he’s not directing. Unfortunately, the movie won’t have Frank Grillo in it.
Next: This is the latest entry into a growing expanded universe of horror films.
The Nun — July 13
Warner Bros. has sneakily set up the perfect horror cinematic universe with The Conjuring, a series that has spawned two spinoffs, Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation. That next film is The Nun, a spinoff to The Conjuring 2.
That 2016 film introduced audiences to an incredibly creepy nun, who was actually just a form that the main demon, Valek, took. Annabelle: Creation revealed that this nun has been around for a while, as she showed up in an old photo of a group of nuns from the early 1900s. Now, The Nun is a spinoff that will make full use of this creepy design, telling the story of an investigation into a nun’s mysterious death.
The only problem with this movie is that while Annabelle was a small part of The Conjuring, the nun was a large part of The Conjuring 2, so a spinoff seems a bit unnecessary. Still, releasing at the height of summer, The Nun could make bank the same way Annabelle: Creation did, assuming it’s a worthy addition to the series.
Next: This giant monster movie cost the studio $150 million.
The Meg — Aug. 10
The Meg looks like it will probably be a financial catastrophe. After all, it’s got the premise of a SyFy original movie — it’s a film about a giant 70-foot shark attacking people — but Warner Bros. made it for a massive blockbuster budget of $150 million. But even though the studio might not make their money back, horror and monster movie fans can’t wait to see this adaptation of the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror.
Starring in the lead role of a former Naval captain trying to save people from the giant shark is Jason Statham. It’s been a long time since we saw a genuinely great shark movie with a huge budget; recent ones like The Shallows and 47 Meters Down did not cost more than $20 million. So for fans of monster movies like this, it should be a real treat.
Next: This film will bring horror to the Marvel comics.
Venom — Oct. 5
The New Mutants won’t be the only horror comic book movie of 2018. There’s also Sony’s Venom, a film based on the popular Spider-Man character. This won’t have Spider-Man in it, though. It will instead tell the story of Eddie Brock, one of the alien symbiote’s many hosts in the comics.
Though one would assume this would be another typical superhero movie, Variety has reported that Sony sees it as “a spin on a horror film.” Fitting with that vision, they’re releasing it in theaters right at the beginning of October.
The idea of a Spider-Man movie without Spider-Man certainly sounds strange. But the talent behind it is intriguing; Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer will direct Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams. At the very least, Venom should offer something totally different after Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War.
Next: This might just be one of the most enjoyable horror flicks of the Halloween season.
Hellfest — Oct. 12
Hellfest takes place on Halloween night at a theme park, where a costumed maniac begins murdering people left and right. But park guests don’t realize that the murders are real and not just a part of the experience.
Gregory Plotkin, director of Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, will helm the CBS Films production. The Ghost Dimension was fairly disappointing, and we don’t know quite enough about Hellfest yet to know whether it will be an improvement. But the premise sounds deliciously fun, and it’s one that could make for fun Halloween season viewing.
Next: One of the most iconic horror franchises of all time returns in this reboot starring the original lead.
Halloween — Oct. 19
Here’s the big one. In 2018, Jamie Lee Curtis will return to Halloween, one of the most popular horror franchises ever, in this reboot. It will not follow in the chronology of the two recent Rob Zombie films. Instead, it’s going to ignore the existence of every single Halloween movie except for the first one.
Curtis returning should make Halloween into much more of a draw than the past few movies have been. And it has potential to be the Star Wars: The Force Awakens of horror, revitalizing a dying franchise by having the original star come back and pass the torch to a new generation, although it remains to be seen whether this will set up future movies or simply serve as a one-off story.
Next: Another horror flick from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, this one with a killer premise.
Overlord — Oct. 26
The 2018 Halloween season is packed, as there’s yet another major release which could be great. From Paramount Pictures, Overlord is a World War II story in which two paratroopers are shot down over Normandy, and upon reaching the ground, they discover that the Nazis are making use of supernatural forces in the war.
The film is being produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Overlord‘s director, Julius Avery, has only directed one movie before, the Brenton Thwaites crime-drama Son of a Gun. But the last time Bad Robot gave a horror project to a relatively inexperienced director, the result was the magnificent 10 Cloverfield Lane. Overlord could be a lot of fun, although it may have a hard time competing with Halloween.
Next: This slasher-comedy comes from one of the best horror film studios around today.
Slice – TBA 2018
A24 has become one of the most consistent and profitable modern film studios. In 2017 alone, their releases included Lady Bird, The Disaster Artist, Good Time, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and The Florida Project. They’ve also released a string of popular low-budget horror films over the past few years, including It Comes at Night, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, Green Room, and The Witch. So when A24 is putting out a horror movie, fans of the genre are going to want to pay attention.
In 2018, they’re releasing a new film called Slice. In this slasher comedy, a pizza delivery driver is murdered, leading to a city-wide hunt for the killer. We don’t know much else. But it’s got a great cast, consisting of Chance the Rapper, Zazie Beetz, Joe Keery and Paul Scheer.
A24 plans to release the movie in 2018; they haven’t announced a date yet. However, they have previously announced intentions to release horror movies on March 16 and April 27. So hopefully, the studio will give Slice one of those spots.
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