Yes, there’s a lot of sequels and reboots on the horizon for 2019 horror movies. But for once, they’re sequels and reboots we’re happy to see in development. The second half of IT, a film version of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, another entry into The Devil’s Rejects universe … all alongside a new film from Jordan Peele and Hereditary’s Ari Aster. We’re steeling ourselves for another year of terror–just don’t mention the fact that we’ll be watching through our fingers. These 13 films are the horror movies we’re most excited for in 2019.
Happy Death Day 2U
2017’s Happy Death Day was a pleasantly scary surprise. The “Groundhog Day, but make it horror” style film managed to effortlessly meld satire and scares, thanks in no small part to star Jessica Rothe’s performance. If its sequel has half the charisma, we’ll gladly join for another day stuck on repeat. Heads up: If you still haven't watched the first movie, the killer is spoiled in this trailer.
As soon as Get Out left theaters, speculation about Jordan Peele’s next project began. Nearly a year ago, Us was announced. Finally, for Christmas, we got a trailer. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke (Black Panther), and Elisabeth Moss, the March film will feature a family’s own doppelgangers terrifying them during a beach vacation.
Not that he needed it, but Stephen King is experiencing an adaptation renaissance. First up this year is the new take on Pet Sematary, which will star John Lithgow and Jason Clarke. The eerie trailer has our fingers crossed. And if this King adaptation doesn’t work out, there’s still the IT sequel to look forward to in September, and 2020’s Doctor Sleep, helmed by Mike Flanagan.
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Hellboy is back. And this time, the adaptation will lean far more into the horror side of the comic series. Along with a new Hellboy (Stranger Things’s David Harbour) and an R-rating, early discussion of the film has promised a “darker, more gruesome version” of the cult favorite films created by Guillermo del Toro.
James Gunn’s latest movie marries superhero tropes with horror. When a child crash lands in the yard of a couple struggling to conceive for years, he seems like the answer to their prayers. Soon, his powers become clear–and terrifying. With Gunn’s superhero abilities well-proven by the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, we’re very curious to see how the producer fares with horror.
One American reboot of Ju-On just wasn’t enough. We haven’t heard much about the newest reboot, but based on the casting alone, this new Grudge seems worth the watch. Starring Andrea Riseborough, whose turn in Mandy made her a horror star on the rise, John Cho, and GLOW’s Betty Gilpin, and directed by Nicholas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother), we’re expecting a psychological horror show.
Untitled Annabelle Sequel
Although it remains without an official title, Annabelle’s return has been promised for this summer. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga will return as the Warrens in a film co-written and produced once more by James Wan. Screenwriter Gary Dauberman has promised a return to a Warren-centric story, as the film will follow Annabelle and the Warrens immediately after they bring the doll home. With Annabelle: Creation far exceeding the merits of its predecessor, we’re ready for another look at the truly terrifying doll.
The New Mutants
The X-Men continue to venture outside of typical superhero genres with The New Mutants. Star Anya-Taylor Joy has proven her horror chops with Split, The Witch, and even Game of Throne’s Maisie Williams and Stranger Things’s Charlie Heaton will also be starring. Despite a rescheduled release date and reported reshoots, we remain optimistic about The New Mutants–if it can do for horror movies what Logan did for westerns, we’ll be quaking in our seats.
Few details about this summer horror film have been made available, but there’s only one that truly matters: Midsommar is Ari Aster’s second film after Hereditary. Since Hereditary was the rare film that managed to appeal both to general critics and horror fans alike, we can’t wait to see what Aster has up his sleeve. And with Florence Pugh—who first terrified us with her steely-eyed ambition in Lady Macbeth—signed up to star, you really can’t go wrong.
It: Chapter 2
The first IT film surpassed our expectations. And the second half of the film, which will focus on the grownup Losers Club members, has a stacked cast, which will hopefully mean another great, terrifying addition to the Stephen King cinematic universe. With the likes of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader taking on roles, this sequel to the highest grossing horror movie is sure to leave us whimpering.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
We’ve been waiting for the movie adaptation of Are You Afraid of the Dark? for what feels like eons. But late last year, we finally got confirmation that the movie was really happening. Gary Dauberman, who has written all three Annabelle films and the first installment of IT, will be taking on the beloved Nickelodeon show. No further information is available at this time, but we’re waiting with bated breath.
3 From Hell
Thirteen years after The Devil’s Rejects, Rob Zombie is returning once again to Captain Spaulding with 3 From Hell. Baby and Otis Driftwood round out the titular three, and Zombie has promised that the film, despite being very different from its counterparts, will be filled once more with gratuitous violence. Zombie fans rejoice!
Although originally scheduled to premiere in February, The Turning’s release date is now in question. Regardless, we can’t wait to be terrified by the modern take on Henry James’s classic spooky story, The Turn of the Screw. With Mackenzie Davis (Tully, Halt and Catch Fire) taking the role of the nanny who becomes convinced that her charges’ home is haunted.
Featured still from "Happy Death Day 2U" via Blumhouse Productions