While horror movies have never really gone out of style, their popularity has never been higher than it is right now. 2017 saw the release of the most successful horror movie of all time--the blockbuster Stephen King adaptation It--while the Oscar-winning satire Get Out was the year’s most profitable movie in terms of the budget to box office ratio.
This year has already had one massive horror hit in the shape of A Quiet Place, with a worldwide gross of $214 million to date, and a sequel is already in the works. In all, it’s a great time to be a horror fan, and there are plenty more terrifying treats to follow over the rest of 2018.
So from serial killers and demonics nuns to ghosts, ghouls, and witches, here’s a look at the must-see chillers heading our way over the next eight months...
Rape-revenge movies make for one of horror’s most disreputable sub-genres, but occasionally a film come along that subverts expectations. The French shocker Revenge sounds like it will be exactly that movie; following rave reviews from festivals last year, it hits the streaming service Shudder next month. It’s the debut movie from writer/director Coralie Fargeat, and stars Italian actress Matilda Lutz as a young woman who sets out to avenge being assaulted in spectacularly gory style.
Release date: May 11
There's plenty of buzz about this tale of a family who move into the house of a dead grandmother and find themselves under threat from grandma's ghost. It might sound generic, but early reports suggest that Hereditary is anything but, and uses its familiar set-up to deliver something truly unexpected and terrifying. The cast is led by Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne, and it's directed by first-timer Ari Aster. We'll find out just how scary it is when it arrives in June.
Release date: June 8
3. The First Purge
The Purge series has proved to be one of the most successful horror franchises of recent years, and expectations are high for this fourth entry. The First Purge looks set to continue the mix of scares, action, and biting social commentary. As the title indicates, it's a prequel that looks at the creation of the single night of legalised crime known as The Purge, and the first trailer suggests that it's lost none of its gory, satirical bite. Purge creator James DeMonaco has handed the directorial reins over to Gerard McMurray, but he remains on board as the writer.
Release date: July 4
4. Slender Man
Slender Man is the fictional horror character that first appeared as a viral internet myth in 2009 and has gone on to become a notable part of modern pop culture. It's somewhat surprising that it's taken nearly a decade for an official Slender Man movie to be made, but August finally sees Hollywood's take on this urban legend. The movie's first trailer makes it looks like a pretty traditional teen horror movie, with disappearing kids, freaky long-haired children, spooky woods, and lots of weird, quickly cut imagery. But there are plenty of horror fans who have been waiting a long time to see the character onscreen.
Release date: August 24
5. The Little Stranger
Director Lenny Abrahamson is best known for acclaimed movies such as the absurd musical comedy Frank and the Oscar-winning drama Room, but The Little Stranger sees him step into spookier territory. Based on the 2009 novel by Sarah Waters, this is a ghost story set in the 1940s, about a country doctor who comes to work in an old hospital, where, inevitably, spooky things are afoot. Domhnall Gleeson--best known as Hux in the recent Star Wars movies--stars, and the cast also includes Will Poulter (Detroit) and Ruth Wilson (Luther).
Release date: August 31
6. The Nun
James Wan's The Conjuring was one of the most successful horror movies of recent years, inspiring not only a prequel, but two spin-offs focusing on the spooky doll Annabelle. The latest movie in this horror series is The Nun. It's set before the other four movies in the series so far, and focuses on the investigation into the earlier life (and death) of Valak, the terrifying demon nun from The Conjuring 2. Wan co-wrote the screenplay, and it's directed by Corin Hardy, who previously helmed the acclaimed low-budget shocker The Hallow and is about to start shooting the remake of The Crow.
Release date: September 7
7. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
After a brief diversion into action territory with this year's Death Wish remake, Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) returns to the genre he is best known for with this gothic fantasy. It's an adaptation of the much-loved 1973 novel of the same name about a young orphan boy who helps his uncle and a friendly witch find a magical clock with apocalyptic powers. This is a more family-friendly slice of gothic chills than Roth’s usual brand of gruesome horror and the impressive cast includes Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, and Kyle MacLachlan.
Release date: September 21
The Halloween series might be one of longest-running and most profitable horror franchises in movie history, but most fans would agree that every entry hasn't necessarily been a good one. The last time Michael Myers stalked the screen was in Rob Zombie's hugely divisive remakes a decade ago, but now, on the 40th anniversary of John Carpenter's original movie, the killer also known as The Shape is back. It's directed by acclaimed indie auteur David Gordon Green, with a script co-written by actor/comedian Danny McBride, and original star Jamie Lee Curtis has returned to the role that made her famous. The movie is reportedly a direct sequel to the original movie, and if that wasn’t enough, Carpenter himself is providing another iconic soundtrack. Could this be the Halloween reboot that finally gets it right?
Release date: October 19
9. The House That Jack Built
Lars Von Trier remains one of the most provocative directors in the world, best known for such controversial, divisive films as Dogville, Nymphomaniac, Dancer In The Dark, and The Idiots. Von trier has made one horror movie to date--2009's harrowing Antichrist--and he returns to the genre in 2018 with The House That Jack Built. This is a '70s-set serial killer movie that follows the gory exploits of a man named Jack over the course of a decade. Matt Dillon plays the killer, and his victims include characters played by Uma Thurman and Riley Keough. Von Trier has said that the movie celebrates "the idea that life is evil and soulless," so expect something truly shocking.
Release date: November 29
Halloween isn't the only late-70s horror classic getting a remake from an acclaimed director in 2018. Dario Argento's supernatural masterpiece Suspiria has been updated by Luca Guadagnino, the Italian filmmaker behind last year’s Oscar-nominated Call Me By Your Name. This is a tale of a ballet school run by ancient, evil witches, and it stars Dakota Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz as students who uncover the school's dark secrets. Argento's original movie is noted for its incredible visual style and thunderous soundtrack; we already know that Radiohead's Thom Yorke is providing the score for the remake, and hopefully Guadagnino will deliver something just as stylish. No footage has been publically revealed yet, but a first poster was recently released, and these reports of a scene sound truly harrowing.
Release date: Fall 2018
11. Tigers Are Not Afraid
This Mexican ghost movie has been compared to the work of Guillermo Del Toro in the way it mixes supernatural thrills and real-world horrors. It focuses on a group of orphaned children who are trying to survive amidst a brutal drug war, and who can also see the ghosts of the dead around them. It’s picked up some tremendous reviews at festivals, with critics praising director Issa Lopez’s skill at creating a scary, moving modern fairytale.
Release date: TBC