If one was to list down the things that would make (most) people shiver in fear, it would be a long list indeed. There are many emotions that storytellers try to induce in their audience, and fear is one of the most difficult feelings to fashion. I guess that’s because when you tell people that you are going to scare them, they take it as a challenge unto themselves to not be affected by whatever they are told. So, the stories need to be pretty horrifying if you want to scare someone out of their wits.
Every year, a bunch of filmmakers accept this challenge and try to cash in on the fear of the audience. But, with the increased frequency of such films, it isn’t as easy to scare the viewers as it was five or ten years ago. You don’t want the audience to do the “been there, done that” sort of thing. So, the stakes rise and the experiments continue.
2018 was an impressive year for the horror film industry, with many groundbreaking releases like ‘Hereditary‘ and ‘A Quiet Place‘. 2019 followed in the footsteps, presenting us with ‘Us‘ and ‘Midsommar‘. But what does the future look like? If you are a fan of the horror genre and want to keep an eye on the upcoming films so that you can judge them as soon as they come out, look no further. Here is the list of upcoming scary movies (new releases in 2020) that have already sent chills down our spine. We hope these latest horror movies are as good as some of the recent ones.
24. Grudge (January 3, 2020)
‘The Grudge’ was released in 2004 and is a remake of the Japanese horror film ‘Ju-on: The Grudge’. The film tells the story of a ghost that emerges when someone dies a horrific death and experiences immense hatred or sorrow in their dying moments. The film was a huge success, owing mostly to its fresh setting (in Japan, that is), a new type of ghost, and a non-linear storyline. There were a couple of sequels, but as often happens, they couldn’t live up to the success of the original film. Years later, the story is set to return, trying to liven up the film series that had fallen to dust. The film is being produced by Sam Raimi, the creator of ‘The Evil Dead’ series. With a fresh cast and a renovated storyline, it’ll be interesting to see how this film turns out.
23. Nosferatu (TBA)
It is almost impossible to remake a classic like ‘Nosferatu’ (1922). Even after around a century of its release the film still makes many horror productions pale in comparison. It is a perfect combination of German expressionism and the sophisticated art of filmmaking. Director F.W. Murnau, unofficially, used Dracula’s plot to tell his story which led to legal troubles afterwards. In 1979, Werner Herzog gave a little European art-house twist to the film and called it ‘Nosferatu the Vampyre’. Now it’s time for Robert Eggers to give it a Hollywood treatment. The rumour going around says that the director is reuniting with Anya Taylor-Joy for this film.
22. Gremlins 3 (TBA)
This is the third instalment of the ‘Gremlins saga’ presented by Warners Brothers. Little is known about this sequel at this stage. Although, filmmaker Chris Columbus is reported to have done a ’dark and twisted’ script for the film. If you have seen the original Gremlins, you would know that it is about a boy who inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolent and mischievous monsters on a small town. The plot for the latest version of the story is still under wraps.
21. Mama 2 (TBA)
Remember ‘Mama’? The 2013 supernatural horror film, directed by Andy Muschietti, is based on his 2008 Argentine short film Mamá. The film stars Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse as two young girls abandoned in a forest cabin, fostered by an unknown entity that they fondly call “Mama”, which eventually follows them to their new suburban home led by two adults (Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) after their uncle finds them. Made on a budget of just $15 million the film went on to earn $147 million at the US box office. In January 2016, Universal announced that duo Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch would rewrite and direct the sequel, but Chastain would not return for Mama 2.
20. Run Sweetheart Run (TBA)
There is no guarantee of how a blind date will go. Sometimes, you have a great time, while in others, you just feel like you need to survive this once and you’ll never do it again. No matter what it has been like for you, the protagonist of ‘Run Sweetheart Run’ has it worse. The film follows the night in her life when she tries to run away from the blind date that has gone horribly wrong. Directed by Shana Feste (‘Country Strong’), it stars Ella Balinska (‘Charlie’s Angels’) in the lead role. The supporting cast includes Clark Gregg, Pilou Asbæk and Jess Gabor.
19. Snowblind (TBA)
Don Roff is known for writing horror novels and one of his popular works is ‘Snowblind’. It follows the story of a group of soldiers who are stranded in a snowstorm but find refuge in a cosy looking place. However, nothing is as it seems. They are haunted by their own demons, while something else outside chases them. The film has been adapted for the screen by Hank Woon Jr. It is directed by Marcus Alqueres and stars Karl Urban and Forrest Goodluck in the main roles.
18. Shrine (TBA)
Based on the novel by James Herbert, ‘Shrine’ follows the story of a journalist who has been going through some hard times. He needs a story to get out of this rut. His search leads him to a small town in New England where a series of strange events have been happening. The film is directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos, who has served as a writer for ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’, ‘Hercules’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It stars Jeffery Dean Morgan and Jordana Brewster in the lead roles.
17. The Craft (TBA)
The 1996 film, ‘The Craft’, which follows the story of a group of teenagers who practice witchcraft, was a successful venture, and a surprising one at that. The story is now returning to the big screen with a sequel from Blumhouse. The film is directed by Zoe Lister-Jones (‘Band Aid’, ‘Life in Pieces’), and stars Michelle Monaghan, David Duchovny, Cailee Spaeny (‘On the Basis of Sex’) and Gideon Adlon (‘The Society’). The details regarding the cast are scarce. Though, considering that it would be a follow-up rather than a reboot, we can expect the actresses from the original film to return.
16. Prisoners of the Ghostland (2020)
Director Sion Sono is known for creating films that blend the genres of thriller, horror and slasher in one to deliver the stories that truly horrify you. After his 2019 Netflix film, ‘The Forest of Love’, he has returned with another horror thriller, ‘Prisoners of the Ghostland’. The film follows the story of a criminal who has to face against some dark forces to save a girl who has disappeared. It stars Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, Ed Skrein and Imogen Poots in the main roles.
15. Don’t Breathe 2 (TBA)
2016’s ‘Don’t Breathe’ proved to be one of the sleeper hits of the year. The film follows the story of three people who break into the house of a blind man, but things turn around on them and it becomes their own worst nightmare. With the success of the film, the sequel was announced. Reportedly, the script has been completed. Stephen Lang is expected to return as Blind Man, who is set to be the main focus of the story. Jane Levy, whose character survived the ordeals of the previous film, is also expected to make an appearance.
14. The Night House (October 1, 2020)
David Bruckner, known for directing films like ‘V/H/S’, ‘The Ritual’ and shows like ‘Creepshow’, is the director of this horror-thriller. It follows the story of a widow who comes to know about some shocking secrets of her husband who has died only recently. Starring Rebecca Hall in the lead role, the film is produced by David S. Goyer, known for his work on the likes of ‘The Dark Knight trilogy’. Sarah Goldberg (‘Barry’), Evan Jonigkeit (‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’) and Allie McCulloch (‘The Walking Dead’) star in supporting roles.
13. The Rental (2020)
In his directorial debut, Dave Franco tells the story of a couple who rent a home for vacation but suspect that they are being spied on. Franco has written the film with Joe Swanberg (‘Easy’, ‘Drinking Buddies’), and has also produced it with Swanberg, Ben Stillman and Teddy Schwarzman. ‘The Rental’ stars Alison Brie (‘Mad Men’, ‘GLOW’), Dan Stevens (‘Legion’, ‘Downton Abbey’), Sheila Vand (‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’, ‘Triple Frontier’) and Jeremy Allen White (‘Shameless’).
12. The Purge 5 (July 10, 2020)
Another popular franchise set to release its next instalment in 2020 is ‘The Purge’. The fifth film is also the last in the series. Written by James De Monaco, who has directed the first three parts and has written all the films in the series, it is directed by Everardo Gout, known for his work in ‘Days of Grace’ and ‘Mars’. Though the plot details are being kept under wraps, we expect the basic premise of the film to remain the same. The series is set in a dystopian society where murder and mayhem are legal for a period of 12-hours. Some rules have to be followed, but for the most part, it is all about blood and gore.
11. The Turning (January 24, 2020)
The Turn of the Screw is a classic horror novella by Henry James. It has already been adapted three times before, and in 2020, it has not one, but two adaptations in store. The first one is the second season of the hit Netflix series, ‘The Haunting of Hill House’. The other one is Floria Sigismondi’s ‘The Turning’. The film stars Brooklynn Prince (‘The Florida Project’), Mackenzie Davis (‘Tully’, ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’) and Finn Wolfhard (‘Stranger Things’, ‘IT’). The film follows the story of a young woman who is assigned as the governess of two children after the recent death of their parents.
10. Antlers (April 17, 2020)
Scott Powers, known for making films like ‘Black Mass’ and ‘Crazy Heart’, has adapted the short story, The Quiet Boy, by Nick Antosca. Guillermo del Toro serves as the producer while the screenplay is written by Antosca himself, along with Henry Chaisson and Scott Cooper. The film stars Keri Russell (‘The Americans’) and Jesse Plemons (‘Fargo’, ‘Black Mirror’) in the lead roles. It follows the story of a high-school teacher who gets entangled with a new student. In an effort to help the child, she and her brother are thrown into a tussle with dark forces.
9. Last Night in Soho (September 25, 2020)
Edgar Wright is best-known for making the Cornetto trilogy, which blends horror with comedy. With ‘Last Night in Soho’, he is taking a break from comedy and focusing entirely on horror. In the lead role, we have Anya Taylor-Joy, who is no stranger to the horror genre, having worked in films like ‘The Witch’ and ‘Split’. It follows the story of a young fashion designer who is transported to the 1960s. She expects to meet her idols but has to face something else entirely. The film also stars Matt Smith (‘The Crown’, ‘Doctor Who’), Thomasin McKenzie (‘Leave No Trace’, ‘The King’) and Diana Rigg (‘Game of Thrones’).
8. Wrong Turn: The Foundation (TBA)
The ‘Wrong Turn’ franchise is another classic horror that was spoiled after too many sequels. The original 2003 film, that is directed by Rob Schmidt and written by Alan B. McElroy, is still something that the fans hold dear. It is followed by five more films, each one degrading in content and quality even further. But with the seventh instalment, McElroy has returned to write the script which is directed by Mike P. Nelson, known for his work in ‘The Domestics’ and ‘The Goodbye’. It follows the story of a group of people who get lost in the Appalachian and are haunted by a family of cannibals. It stars Matthew Modine, Charlotte Vega, Emma Dumont and Dylan McTee.
7. Antebellum (April 24, 2020)
Written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, ‘Antebellum’ stars Janelle Monáe in the lead role. It follows the story of a woman who is caught up in a distorted reality. She has to figure out a way to get out of it, otherwise, she might lose her mind and stay stuck there forever. The word “Antebellum” refers to the era before the war, which, in this case, is the American Civil War. It walks in the shoes of films like ‘Get Out’, which have mixed horror with social and racial issues to deliver a great time to the audience.
6. Amityville 1974 (2020)
The case of Ronald DeFeo and the murder of his family, committed by himself, has been a point of interest for the filmmakers as well as the audience. The incident occurred in 1974, a year after which the Lutz family moved into the house. They soon ran away from the place, claiming it was haunted. And this is what further fuelled the dreadful story which has now turned into a franchise of its own. With ‘Amityville 1974’, we go back to the DeFeo story and take a look at what probably happened. The film is written and directed by Casey La Scala, who has produced films like ‘Donnie Darko’ and ‘Amityville: The Awakening’.
5. Conjuring 3 (September 11, 2020)
This may be one of the most awaited horror films on this list. The tremendous success of the Conjuring series means the expectations from the sequel is sky-high now. The first movie in the series is based on the true story of the Perron family that tells the tale of horror in the utmost unimaginable fashions. When they get a house for a cheap price, the Perrons waste no time and move in. The exciting and joyous mood soon turns sombre and frightful when they discover their pet dog murdered and sense the presence of a ghost. They call upon the services of noted supernatural investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who have scars of their own which haven’t been forgotten. We hope that the third film in the series continues their story and give us another horror gem.
4. The Crooked Man (June 30, 2020)
“There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile/ He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile/ He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse/ And they all lived together in a little crooked house.” ‘The Conjuring’ franchise continues to flourish with New Line Cinema, where together they are going to work on Conjuring spin-off based around the character of the Crooked Man. Mike Van Waes has been recruited to pen the script from a story by James Wan, who has been as the chief architect of the Conjuring universe. Wan and Peter Safran produce this project.
3. Candyman (June 12, 2020)
‘Candyman’ is one of the cult classic films in the section of the horror genre. Based on the short story called ‘The Forbidden’ by Clive Barker, this film developed the urban legend for the titular character. It starts with a graduate student who stumbles upon the story of Candyman while researching for her thesis. She discovers that if you stand in front of the mirror and say the name “Candyman” five times, the hook-handed ghost will appear and kill you.
While the film generated a lot of popularity, it was also important because it had underlying themes in its story. In the backstory of Candyman, we discover that a black man had been lynched and then killed by a mob because he had fallen in love with a white woman. So, while scaring people with the ghost, the film also terrified society by opening up some important issues in front of them. In recent times, we have seen Jordan Peele do something similar, and perhaps this is why he has attached himself with the film that reimagines the legend of ‘Candyman’. Nia DaCosta has been hired to direct the film.
Read More: Best Comedy Movies of the 2010s
2. A Quiet Place 2 (2020)
‘A Quiet Place’ was one of the best films of 2018, and its effects echoed in the award ceremonies, even when it was mostly a silent film! John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, the power couple of Hollywood, decided to join forces for this film and the result was just spectacular.
An original story, supported by some stellar performances, made it worthy of all the praise it has received ever since. It was only logical for the audience to expect that the story hadn’t ended there. In fact, it felt more like the beginning of something exciting. This pushed Krasinski to greenlight the sequel for the film. Though we have no idea about what storyline will appear in the next film, we have been warned that it is not going to be like other traditional sequels. This has only amped up the excitement even more and we just can’t wait for it.
Read More: Best Action Movies of the 2010s
1. Train to Busan 2 (TBA
Yeon Sang-ho’s ‘Train to Busan’ became an international blockbuster in 2016. Since its release, the film has received a cult following, with fans waiting for the follow-up story. The film sequel is getting made. Titled ‘Peninsula’, it is set in Korea that is now totally cut off from humanity. The place is infested with zombies, but there are a handful of humans stuck there, waiting for help. They have to stay alive and find a way out of the place. Naturally, the sequel has a new cast which includes names like Kang Dong-Won and Lee Jung Hyun.
Read More: Best Thriller Movies of the 2010s