Horror Movies in 2018 - Your Home for Social Thrillers and Post-Horror

2016 was a fantastic year for horror and 2017 might have been even better. A24 continues to pump out great indie horror, It made a gorillion dollars, and Get Out is a best picture nominee. What a time to be alive. 2018 looks to carry that momentum, and also it doesn't have a single Resident Evil or Underworld movie on the slate. 

This will be updated throughout the year because amazing five star movies just appear out of nowhere at a festival in Toronto or Austin or pop up on Netfilx without warning. This will consist of mostly theatrical releases and then a smattering of notable Netflix/Hulu/Shudder exclusives as well as direct to DVD. I won't do every single one of those because I only have a finite amount of time left in this world. Summaries in quotes are taken from IMDb.

Before I Wake
January 5
Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Jacob Tremblay 

"A young couple adopt an orphaned child whose dreams - and nightmares - manifest physically as he sleeps."

How else would I begin a list of 2018 horror films than with a horror movie that was supposed to come out in 2015? Mike Flanagan has been a very busy man in the last couple of years, and this movie has been completed and ready to be released for years now. Unfortunately, the company that owned the rights to it (Relativity Media) filed for bankruptcy, and Before I Wake has been in movie purgatory ever since. Between finishing this and it finally being released, Flanagan has made Hush, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Gerald's Game. Netflix has acquired the rights and now the world finally gets to see this haunted child's terrifying dreams and Thomas Jane's beautiful hair. 

Insidious: The Last Key
January 5
Director: Adam Robitel 
Starring: Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Kirk Acevedo, Caitlin Gerard, Spencer Locke

"Parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet - in her own family home."

Welcome friends to the fourth (4) installment of the Insidious franchise. The fourth movie, which takes place after the third but before the first two. Got it? Doesn't matter. Regardless of whether or not it actually ends up being good, because it's a Blumhouse joint it will most likely triple its budget, and at the end of the day the fact that a horror franchise helmed by a 70 year old woman is financially viable is cool as hell. If I'm looking for a reason to get excited for the fourth movie in a horror franchise, I'm looking at the director, and bringing in the guy who did The Taking of Deborah Logan, one of my favorite found footage movies, is a pretty good way to start. 

Day of the Dead: Bloodline
January 5
Director: Hector Hernandez Vicens
Starring: Sophie Skelton, Johnathon Schaech, and more people without Wikipedia pages

"A small group of military personnel and survivalists dwell in an underground bunker as they seek to find a cure in a world overrun by zombies."

This is the second of two remakes of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead. Why? Because when it comes to horror movies, we're all about could, not should. If a movie can be remade or sequelized, it will be, and there's not a god damned thing any of us can do about it. 

Mom and Dad
January 19
Director: Brian Taylor 
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters

"A teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids."

One of the two men behind Crank and Crank 2 wrote and directed a movie in which Nicolas Cage goes insane and tries to murder his children. I'll see y'all there opening night. 

The Open House
January 19
Directors: Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote
Starring: Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton, Sharif Atkins

"A teenager (Dylan Minnette) and his mother (Piercey Dalton) find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house."

In a Netflix exclusive movie, the kid from Don't Breathe and 13 Reasons Why movies into a spooky house with his mom after his dad dies tragically in a car accident. What follows this setup is about 80 minutes of "whodunnit" mystery that ends, spoilers, without ever finding out who actually dunnit. Or why. Or what all of the flashbacks of his dad dying had to do with anything.

February 2
Directors: Michael and Peter Spierig  
Starring: Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, Jason Clarke

"Eccentric firearm heiress believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle."

I really wish they had stuck with the original title, because Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built is incredibly silly but infinitely more fun to say. There are a lot of warning signs that I'm probably not going to enjoy this. A movie dropped unceremoniously into February with every single haunted house trope written and directed by the duo that graced my screen with Jigsaw? Sure it’s a desperate ploy for Lionsgate to create their own Conjuring universe, but I'll end up seeing it, because imagine not seeing a movie where Helen Mirren is a crazy old lady who spends 20 million dollars building a never-ending mansion to escape from ghosts. 

The Cloverfield Paradox
February 4
Director: Julius Onah
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl 

"Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality."

Well, how about that. One minute I'm watching the Super Bowl, the next minute I'm learning that not only is there a new Clovefield movie, but it's going to be available to watch on Netflix as soon as the game ends. 2018 is fuckin wild y'all. 

Victor Crowley
February 6
Director: Adam Green
Starring: Parry Shen, Kane Hodder, Laura Ortiz, Felissa Rose

"Ten years after the events of the original movie, Victor Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and proceeds to kill once more."

Movies like this are one reason horror is so interesting to me. The original Hatchet was a fun, gory splatfest and an over the top callback to slashers of old. It was a good mix of comedy, horror, and practical gore effect, which are the three most important things in my life. The sequels had diminishing returns and the series just kind of faded away. Cut to last year, where Adam Green hosted a Hatchet 10th Anniversary Event, and when it was time for the movie to start he came out and said "oh hey guys we actually made a new one in secret here you go." Horror is cool as hell. 

The Ritual
February 9
Director: David Bruckner
Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier

"A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that's stalking them."

Did someone say Netflix Original horror? David Bruckner wrote and directed the "Amateur Night" segment from V/H/S, aka "one of the good segments," and Southbound, an underrated horror anthology. He's got a good track record and I'm a sucker for "guys go into the woods and find disemboweled animals and strange carvings on a tree," so I'm all in. 

Read a review of it right here

Hellraiser: Judgement
February 13
Director: Gary J. Tunnicliffe
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Paul T. Taylor, Randy Wayne

"Detectives Sean and David Carter are on the case to find a gruesome serial killer terrorizing the city. Joining forces with Detective Christine Egerton, they dig deeper into a spiraling maze of horror that may not be of this world."


February 23
Director: Alex Garland 
Starring: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac

"A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don't apply."

That summary and the little bit we get in the trailer are just vague enough to get my attention without ruining anything. It's based on a well known novel, but I haven't read anything other than Goosebumps in the last 15 years so that means nothing. Natalie Portman is usually good in projects she cares about (i.e. not Marvel or Star Wars) and it's written and directed by the guy who brought us Ex Machina. The fact that it's getting dropped in late February gives me pause, but I'm holding out hope for a bubble world full of nightmare monsters. 

February 23
Director: Duncan Jones
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux 

"A mute bartender goes up against his city's gangsters in an effort to find out what happened to his missing partner."

Yeah, ok, like I'm not going to watch a cybernoir movie made by Duncan Jones with Paul Rudd sporting a big bushy mustache. 

The Strangers: Prey at Night
March 9
Director: Johannes Roberts
Starring: Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson

"A family staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are visited by three masked psychopaths, to test their every limit."

Well then. This sequel exists for some reason. 10 years after the original, Prey at Night appears to be doing more or less the same thing, but it's pretty unfair to assume I know the entire plot from a trailer and one sentence text blurb. Johannes Roberts directed 47 Meters Down, which is fine, and The Other Side of the Door, which is less fine. On one hand it's fair to ask if this movie has any reason to exist, but on the other hand home invasions are the most horrifying concept to me so they could churn out a Strangers movie every year a la Paranormal Activity and it would still scare the piss out of me. 

A Quiet Place
April 6
Director: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe

"A family lives an isolated existence in utter silence, for fear of an unknown threat that follows and attacks at any sound."

I mean this in the nicest way possible: seeing this in a theater is my worst fucking nightmare. Just look at that trailer. There's a monster that comes when you make noise, so you have to be completely silent. I honestly don't think my weak heart or supple butthole can take the stress that would come from seeing this on a big screen with surround sound. I like getting spooked as much as the next guy, but I do not need this panic attack. 

Truth or Dare
April 13
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Starring: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Landon Liboiron

"A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone -- or something -- begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare."

Let me see if I got all of this: a haunted game of Truth or Dare, starring one of the stars of Pretty Little Liars, directed by the guy who made Cry Wolf, Never Back Down, and Kick-Ass 2, and it's opening on Friday the 13th? It looks like the drizzling shits and I'll see you all there at midnight. 

June 8
Director: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff

"When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited."

It's that time of the year, folks. That's right, it an A24 movie that looks like a living nightmare firing out of the gate with a ton of festival hype behind it. Does the trailer compare it to The Exorcist? You better believe it does. I hope you are as excited as I am for six months of articles about how it's not a real horror movie. 

The First Purge
July 4
Director: Gerard McMurray  
Starring: Marisa Tomei, Luna Lauren Velez, Melonie Diaz

"The film will be a prequel that will focus on the events that lead up to the very first Purge event."

Why? Because in the world of horror movies, it's all about "can I make a prequel spinoff," not "should I make a prequel spinoff." The First Purge is here to answer all of those questions nobody has been asking about how The Purge came to be. I'm just hoping its subtext is extremely subtle and not screamed in your face for 90 minutes by dipshits wearing masks. 

The Nun
July 13
Director: Corin Hardy 
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Aarons, Demian Bichir 

"A priest named Father Burke is sent to Rome to investigate the mysterious death of a nun."

The Nun, a third spinoff of The Conjuring, because you deserve it. Interpret that however you wish. The Nun first made his/her/its appearance in The Conjuring 2 as a spooky demon thing. I don't know, it's been a year since I've watched it but there's an 80-20 chance I'm right. It has a pretty good chance of being bad, but I'm here for a spooky movie set in Romania in the 1950's. Normally I'd be rolling my eyes at the idea of this even existing, but it's actually funny that a shared universe that involves a spooky nun and a haunted doll is somehow more thoughtfully put together than the DCEU. 

The Predator
August 3
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Yvonne Strahovski, Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane, Sterling K. Brown

If you're not on board for a Shane Black written and directed sequel to Predator then honestly I don't know what you're even doing here.

The Meg
August 10
Director: Jon Turtletaub
Starring: Jason Statham, Ruby Rose, Rainn Wilson, Bingbing Li

"After escaping an attack by what he claims was by a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible."

So you're telling me a Bojack Horseman character is directing a movie in which Jason Statham fights a shark? God is good, y'all. 

Slender Man 
August 24
Director: Sylvain White
Starring: Joey King, Annalise Basso, Javier Botet

"Slender Man tells the story of a tall, thin, horrifying figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens."

Remember Marble Hornets? Watch that instead. This is such a desperate attempt to create a horror cash cow that you don't even have to look at the trailer to know it's a Sony joint. Sony will take any property they can get their hands on and attempt to grow it into a billion dollar franchise for as long as they can until they are consumed by Disney. It looks generic, it looks boring, it looks like it's coming out 5 years too late. It'll probably still make 300 million bucks as long as it's PG-13. 

The House with a Clock in its Walls
September 21
Director: Eli Roth
Starring: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Kyle MacLachlan

"A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world."

An all ages horror/fantasy movie? With that cast? Directed by…Eli Roth? Mother fucker, he tricked me into seeing another one of his movies.

October 5
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate, Riz Ahmed

Y’all thought you could go one page on this site without seeing something related to comic books. Shame, shame. There’s no plot or anything yet. Hell, we didn’t even know for sure until about a week ago that Hardy was playing the Eddie Brock version of Venom. Now we get to spend 8 months playing a cat and mouse game waiting to see the Venom CGI in action. Ruben Fleischer made a ton of garbage and also Zombieland, Tom Hardy is usually good in whatever he’s in regardless of the movie’s quality, and most importantly we get to watch Sony try to launch a Spider-Man cinematic universe without Spider-Man. 

Goosebumps: Horrorland
October 12
Director: Ari Sandel
Starring: Jack Black and no one else apparently

Still no info yet. It took them surprisingly long to get Jack Black to agree to come back, which is a bit worrying. Goosebumps was much better than I expected it to be, and you know with Horrorland in the title I’m going to go see it. Just me walking into a theater alone with a big bushy beard and loudly eating popcorn surrounded by other people’s children. Completely regular and normal. 

October 19
Director: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Virginia Gardner, Judy Greer, Nick Castle

"Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago."

David Gordon Green and Danny McBride teaming up to write a Halloween sequel the retcons every single movie other than the original. No Paul Rudd, no Curse of Thorn, no magic runes, no Dangertainment. Hell, Michael and Laurie might not even be related. John Carpenter, who famously doesn’t give a shit about anything, seems optimistic about it so that’s good enough for me. 


Director: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton

"A young American ballerina comes to train at a prestigious German dance academy and uncovers the school's dark and menacing secrets."

The fact of the matter with horror movies is that no matter how much you love something, no matter how perfect you think it is, it will always get remade. It was only a matter of time for Suspiria, so if it’s going to be done at least they had the common courtesy to put Tilda Swinton in it. The director of Call Me By Your Name should give us a different take on the original movie and not just try to haphazardly duplicate the original. 

Anna and the Apocalypse
Director: John McPhail
Starring: Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire

"A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven during the Christmas holidays, forcing Anna and her friends to fight, sing and slash their way to survival with a fast-spreading undead horde in relentless pursuit."

This premiered at Fantastic Fest in 2017 and everyone who saw it went completely apeshit over it. Tons of great hype coming out that not only is it a great zombie movie (which is hard enough to find these days) but a great musical as well. These are two things I don’t enjoy separately, much less together, but I can’t say I’m not interested. Orion Pictures (which still exists I guess) picked it up shortly after the festival closed and are planning to release it around Christmas. 

And just in case you're wondering: The New Mutants got pushed back to 2019. I guess there's only room for one horror/capeshit crossover per year. For now. 


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