Before we kick 2018 to the curb, we should take a moment to be thankful for a year that was rich in horror goodness. We got a Halloween sequel that revitalized the franchise, an Academy Awards caliber performance from Toni Collette in Hereditary, and the best zombie musical of all time with Anna and the Apocalypse. Looking ahead to 2019, horror isn’t resting on its laurels at all. If anything, we are getting a better year of horror than we have ever had before. As fanatics of the genre, we can’t help but speculate on what the best will be in 2019.
With so many great horror films on the horizon, it’s tough to shave it down to just a top 10 list. We have a Happy Death Day sequel that looks more fun than the original, a film from the Conjuring universe, a (fingers crossed) continuation of Ridley Scott’s Alien prequels, and so many more that have yet to be announced. But with all that in mind, here is a list of the ten we are looking forward to most:
10. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Release Date: May 31 2019
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. The Godzilla franchise is getting a third opportunity to fool all of us, but this one looks very promising- which we all said for the one that had Bryan Cranston promises. Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) leads an all-star cast including Kyle Chandler (Super 8), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), and Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water). Hopefully, the superstar cast doesn’t make for a bloated movie, but Michael Dougherty at the helm gives this Godzilla incarnation a different feel and a new kind of hope. With Trick r’ Treat, Dougherty wove a perfect tale with a huge cast of characters and followed that up with Krampus, another seasonal hit. From the trailer, this looks like the monster battle we’ve been waiting for our whole lives.
9. St. Agatha
Release Date: February 8, 2019
St. Agatha has one of those seat-gripping trailers that leaves the audience begging to know what happens next. There have been several films about Nuns and convents that have come out lately, and this one looks like it’s the most purely terrifying. Darren Lynn Bousman took the Saw franchise in creative new directions with parts 2-4, the second film coming from an original screenplay from him personally. Our very own Jonathan Dehaan said St. Agatha contained “a few scenes that made me (and an theatre full of hardened horror fans) squirm, not to mention a finale that was just pure primal rage”. You can read his full review here.
8. 3 From Hell
Release Date: Mid-Late 2019
The last time we saw the Firefly Clan, they were being cut down by a hail of bullets to the tune of Free Bird. It’s not clear how Captain Spaulding, Baby, and Otis survived what looked like their clear demise, but Rob Zombie has resurrected them for another round of mayhem. No matter how he justifies their survival, this film should be appointment viewing for its opening weekend.
Release Date: February 1, 2019
A man kisses his wife and baby goodbye and seemingly heads away on business, with a plan to check into a hotel, call an escort service, and kill an unsuspecting prostitute. Hopefully, Mia Wasikowska can interrupt Christopher Abbot’s plans. The buzz from festivals makes it clear that Piercing is going to be a divisive film, and the trailer makes it look like the type of perverse Hitchcockian that makes for an enticing film. Since her early work in Alice in Wonderland, Wasikowska has taken on ambitious roles in films like Maps to the Stars, Crimson Peak, and this past year’s Damsel– which was an amazing western that more people should get their eyes on. Piercing appears to be another compelling choice for the actress, and one that we can’t wait for in 2019. Nightmare on Film Street’s Stephanie Cole was quick to point out that the “strength of Piercing lies in its stunning aesthetic style and in Mia Wasikowska’s performance“. Read her full review here.
Release Date: Early 2019
The inclusion of Luz on this list is based solely on our favorite podcast host Jon DeHaan’s glowing recommendation on the end of year podcast episode. Cold Hell was one of the best horror films of last year and was about a German cab driver. Luz is another film about a German cab driver, and this one involves demonic possession. I’m no mathematician, but the addition of demons to a German cab driver story seems like it should equal out to an even better movie. The plot-line sounds exciting even if the trailer shows nothing of it- which isn’t a bad thing. The film has only announced a first-quarter release for 2019, but whenever this hits VOD or a streaming service, it is going to create a buzz.
5. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Release Date: August 9, 2019
Show of hands, who grew up reading the book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark at sleepovers? Let’s see, that looks like everyone’s hand is up in the air. Tackling such an iconic title as Scary Stories is an arduous task, but with Guillermo Del Toro listed as a producer and screenwriter for the film adaptation, it lands smack in the middle of our anticipated films. Without much information about what is contained in the new movie, it’s fun to speculate which stories will be included? Will they all be from the first book, including that entire book, or come from the entire series? They will probably have The Hook, and High Beams contained within the movie, but they better include The Big Toe. Which one of the iconic stories is a must-see for you?
4. It: Chapter 2
Release Date: September 6, 2019
The first chapter if It surpassed any expectations anyone has ever had for a horror film by grossing more than $300 million at the U.S. box office. When it was released in 2017, it seemed the film might have been the peak of this current golden age of horror. While nothing grossed that alone in 2018, horror broke the internet repeatedly regarding how much it was talked about by film audiences, and even literally by Joe Bob Briggs. Audiences in 2019 might have an appetite for horror so big that It: Chapter 2 blows away any preconceived notion of how big a horror film can be. The film certainly added the correct star power for the task by adding Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, James Ransone, and Isaiah Mustafa to the cast as the elder versions of The Losers Club.
3. Pet Sematary
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Generally, remakes come to the table with many strikes against them, especially when the source material is beloved. Even though Mary Lambert’s original adaptation of the Stephen King text will always hold a special place amongst the best of 80’s horror, the remake looks too good to get in a twist over. Another actor filling the shoes of Fred Gwynne’s Jud Crandall could be a bridge too far for some purists, the trailer shows that John Lithgow (Dexter, Blow Out) is going to put his spin on the iconic character. Sometimes dead may be better, but we can’t wait for the resurrection of Pet Sematary.
Release Date: August 9, 2019
Hereditary was a collective gut punch for the horror community this past year. Rarely do first-time filmmakers come blazing out of the gates the way Ari Aster did, which makes anticipating his second film a little worrisome. How does someone follow up one of the best horror films in decades? Ari Aster is ensuring his success by putting another great cast together that is. Anchored by Will Poulter and Florence Pugh, the details of this film aren’t readily available yet. A one-line synopsis on IMDB states “A young woman reluctantly joins her boyfriend on a summer trip where things quickly go awry.” However vague that synopsis for Midsommar might be, we will be in line opening night for Ari Aster’s new film.
Release Date: March 15, 2019
It started with bloggers, critics, and social media influencers receiving an ominous pair of golden scissors in the mail. Jordan Peele was inviting us to the beginning of one of the greatest horror marketing campaigns of all time. It’s not often that a trailer dropping creates an event, and even rarer that the trailer lives up to any sort of hype. Before a screening of Vice on Christmas Eve, I was able to see the trailer premiere, and it was the best part of the evening. Jordan Peele’s follow-up to Get Out not only looks like it will improve on his Oscar-winning effort, but it also looks like it has the potential to be the best film of 2019 and is our most anticipated going into the new year.
Three untitled announcements also have our heads buzzing with anticipation. Blumhouse has a placeholder for May 31st, October 18th (possible Halloween follow-up?), and FRIDAY DECEMBER 13th! You’re probably thinking that there is no way Blumhouse is releasing a Friday the 13th movie this year, but Halloween movie was a late announcement and the rights have recently been settled in court. Wouldn’t a new Friday the 13th film be the most awesome surprise for 2019?