Superhero movies may be dominating the big screen right now, but the horror genre has been having its own mighty resurgence as of late, with studios churning out modern horror films that are entertaining, thoughtful, culturally relevant, and—most importantly—scary. And this coming year, 2019, promises to deliver much more of the same.
Some of the biggest movies of the past several years are getting sequels—It, another installment to the The Conjuring Universe—while original content is being crafted by some of the most exciting up-and-coming filmmakers in the industry, like Jordan Peele with his second film, Us.
Not every movie will be good, or even successful, but some of these stories will be worth telling. Whether it’s the big blockbuster movie that has everyone’s attention before its release or the little indie that sneaks in under your radar, 2019 promises to provide something for everyone looking for a scare.
Of course, as with every year, all dates are subject to change. Some movies might pop up later on, like that Are You Afraid of the Dark film that’s reportedly in production, and others with scheduled dates will surely be pushed back. But based on what we know of the current lineup, here are some of my most anticipated movies of the coming year.
It: Chapter Two | September 6
After the huge success of the first chapter of Stephen King’s It, we will get the second half of the story featuring the adults. The first film did the heavy lifting, creating well-drawn characters brought to life by the child actors, and now it’s up to the new cast (including Bill Hader, Jessica Chastain, and James McAvoy) to carry the torch.
While I still stand by Amy Adams as the perfect choice for adult Bev, seeing Bill Skarsgård return as the evil clown is enough to generate excitement. No movie is destined to be a sure hit, but, especially with the success of the first installment, It: Chapter Two is as close as you can get.
Happy Death Day 2U | February 14
The sequel to the original 2017 horror film Happy Death Day looks just as promising as the original. Happy Death Day 2U looks like it will repeat what worked from the original and still do it’s own thing. Is a sequel needed? Not at all. Is a sequel welcomed? With open arms. The extremely likeable cast and an original idea is enough to generate my interest.
Pet Sematary | April 5
Following in the footsteps of It, we have another King adaptation. We already have an excellent adaptation and, arguably, one of the finest film adaptations of King’s work with 1989’s Pet Sematary, so the case for a remake seems questionable. Based on the original story, a 2019 adaptation promises to be darker. Also, any time we get to see John Lithgow is a plus.
Us | March 15
Get Out, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut and first horror script, exploded in popularity upon its release—even earning him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. So to say that his next horror movie, Us, is highly anticipated would be an understatement.
Promising to be just as engaging as Get Out, Us follows a family visited by some uninvited guests while vacationing at their beach house. One of the few original, non-sequel horror movies coming out, the excitement for Us is high.
The Curse of La Llorona | April 19
The Curse of La Llorona is the story about a mother and her children experiencing the supernatural and, as you can see, has a fantastically promising trailer. Hopefully, it won’t be a case of the trailer being more exciting than the movie.
I find it reminiscent of 2013’s Mama, which was a film that was fun and enjoyable but ultimately slipped away with time—though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Curse of La Llorona might live up and surpass expectations. Either way, it looks to be a fun scary ride.
3 From Hell | TBA
3 From Hell is a sequel to Rob Zombie’s best films, House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. A lot of fans have been asking for a sequel, and Zombie is delivering. Not too much is known of the plot yet, except that it will follow the three antagonists from Devil’s Rejects.
With the filming having reportedly wrapped in early 2018, it’s only a matter of time before we begin seeing trailers and plot details. Zombie does promise that it will be different from the previous films, and considering his skill with this specific story, I’m sure 3 From Hell will satisfactorily deliver his twisted vision.
Brightburn | May 24
Brightburn takes the Superman archetype of a superbeing from another world coming to Earth and gives it a horror twist. The trailer stars Elizabeth Banks turned heads—mine, at least—when it was released.
Capitalizing on the Superhero craze, Brightburn certainly has a great chance of being a huge success…but it has an even greater chance of crashing and brightburning (I needed to say that before someone else does, and for that, I’m truly sorry). From the footage we have seen, it looks like we’re in for a unique treat
Annabelle 3 | July 3
With varying degrees of success and quality, The Conjuring Universe is set to release the third and still untitled Annabelle movie. As part of a small camp of fans that has enjoyed all of the Annabelle movies released so far, I am greatly looking forward to the next installment.
The next installment is expected to feel more like a Conjuring movie, with the timeline moving into the Warren’s home. The greatest gift we have with Annabelle 3 is the return of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. That should be enough to carry the movie in the event of a bad script.
In the Tall Grass | TBA
In the Tall Grass—directed by Vincenzo Natal (who directed 1997’s Cube)—will be based on a novella written by accomplished author Joe Hill and his father Stephen King and will star Patrick Wilson. That’s about as exciting of a lineup as one can hope for.
The plot is simple: While traveling, a brother and sister hear children crying for help from the tall grass. After they go in to investigate, they get lost. Seeing this talent involved, In the Tall Grass has become one of my most anticipated movies of 2019.
Child’s Play | June 21
Not every movie is anticipated because of how good it’s projected to be. When it was announced that MGM would be remaking the original Child’s Play—the film that kicked of a franchise that’s continuing to thrive still 30 years later—fans were thrown into chaos. As one of those fans, I can’t fathom why MGM would disgrace the original classic with a remake… other than to make a dollar. Unfortunately, nothing was learned when Friday the 13th, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street received disgraceful remakes.
This Child’s Play will bear little resemblance to the original story. This time around, we get a Small Soldiers story, where a technological toy goes screwy and starts hurting those around it. No Brad Dourif, no Don Mancini—no Child’s Play. I’m not expecting anything good, but I’ll still give this remake a watch… just maybe not in the theater.