The world is terrible and literally on fire, but at least we have horror movies. A new decade of #content is dawning, and I am waiting with open arms to be showered in remakes, sequels, sequels to remakes, and giant monsters.
Sure not everything will be great, but I am unbelievably excited for the upcoming year. 2020 is filled with absolute bangers - even in January - and if only half of the movies on this page end up being good it will still end up being a fantastic year. I am depressingly pessimistic about everything else in my life (for good reason) but I am ready for a great year of film. I'm ready to get my heart broken, baby.
Summaries in quotes and italics are taken from IMDb.
Directed by: Nicolas Pesce
Written by: Nicolas Pesce, Jeff Buhler, Takashi Shimizu
Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye, Jacki Weaver
"After a young mother murders her family in her own house, a single mother and young detective tries to investigate and solve the case. Later, she discovers the house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death. Now, she runs to save herself and her son from demonic spirits from the cursed house in her neighborhood.”
I’ll be honest with you Gentle Reader, the first trailer had me less than thrilled. “Oh boy,” I said aloud in an empty room, “A remake of a remake that's nothing but jump scares being dumped into the first week of January.” I'm not huge on jump scare reliant movies, but I get it. Every movie loosely associated with those damn Conjurings the kids love so much end up grossing 100 times whatever their budget was, regardless of quality. So yeah, I get it. But the final trailer stirred something deep in my loins. The Grudge looks like it’s going to be a lot less meowing Japanese child and a lot more gruesome body horror. Writer/director Nicolas Pesce’s debut The Eyes of My Mother and last year’s follow up Piercing both demonstrated his ability to conjure up gruesome images that make you say “hey what the fuck cut that out,” so I’m going to go against all of my better judgement and say I’m excited for this. Please don’t make fun of me if I’m wrong.
Update from The Wrap:
Directed by: William Eubank
Written by: Adam Cozad, Brian Duffield
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Jessica Henwick, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie, T.J. Miller
"A crew of aquatic researchers work to get to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory. But the crew has more than the ocean seabed to fear."
I had no idea this movie existed before being blessed with a trailer for it in front of Knives Out and I was woefully unprepared for the roller coaster of emotions. What begins as slight confusion towards the existence of a deep sea exploration movie starring Kristen Stewart turns to childlike glee at the reveal that they are trapped underwater and being attacked by monsters. I kick my feet like a toddler in his high chair as I’m overwhelmed at the realization that I’m most likely going to get to see a water critter graphically murder T.J. Miller.
The icing on the cake? This movie was shot in 2017 and is getting dumped into January 3 years later. I couldn’t be more excited.
Directed by: Floria Sigismondi
Written by: Carey W. Hayes, Chad Hayes, Henry James (novel)
Starring: Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, Brooklynn Prince, Joely Richardson
"A young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the deaths of their parents. A modern take on Henry James' novella 'The Turn of the Screw'."
Body horror...monsters...what are we missing? Spooky kids, of course. Luckily January is a smorgasbord of delectable horror treats. It truly is a wonderful time to be alive. Mackenzie Davis takes on a nanny job at a giant house in Maine that definitely isn’t haunted where she watches over two orphans who also definitely are not haunted. I haven’t read a book in twenty years so I don’t know how the story ends, but whatever it is can’t possibly be scarier than Finn Wolfhard’s voice dropping.
Color Out of Space
Directed by: Richard Stanley
Written by: Scarlett Amaris, Richard Stanley, H.P. Lovecraft (short story)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Q'orianka Kilcher, Joely Richardson, Tommy Chong
"A story of cosmic terror about The Gardners, a family who moves to a remote farmstead in rural New England to escape the hustle of the 21st century. They are busy adapting to their new life when a meteorite crashes into their front yard. The mysterious aerolite seems to melt into the earth, infecting both the land and the properties of space-time with a strange, otherworldly color. To their horror, the Gardner family discover that this alien force is gradually mutating every life form that it touches...including them."
I don’t even have to write anything, you're seeing it.
Gretel & Hansel
Directed by: Oz Perkins
Written by: Rob Hayes
Starring: Sophia Lillis, Jessica de Gouw, Alice Krige, Ian Kenny, Charles Babalola
"A long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil."
I don’t think I necessarily need an A24-style retelling of Hansel and Gretel but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t into it. Oz Perkins directed The Blackcoat's Daughter, which has been lingering in my head ever since I first saw it a couple of years back. I'm willing to follow him on a movie idea that doesn't necessarily jump out at me, but I can't stress enough to absolutely not make fun of me if I'm wrong and it ends up being terrible.
Directed by: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Written by: Sergio Casci, Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Starring: Jaeden Martell, Riley Keough, Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone
"A soon-to-be stepmom is snowed in with her fiancé's two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations begin to thaw between the trio, some strange and frightening events take place."
This right here. This is the perfect scientific concoction of a movie that I desperately want to see as soon as possible while at the same time dreading the experience. The seclusion of the characters in a snowed in lodge is going to have me chewing through my nails in a dark theater. Everything about this seems like my shit. You've got the Goodnight Mommy team so you know they're great at working with creepy kids. You've got two kids who actively hate their new step mom. You've got said family being snowed in and trapped in a lodge in the middle of nowhere. You have the phrase "mass cult suicide." My body is not even close to ready.
Directed by: Jeff Wadlow
Written by: Jeff Wadlow, Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach
Starring: Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Michael Peña, Portia Doubleday, Austin Stowell, Ryan Hansen, Jimmy O. Yang, Michael Rooker
"The enigmatic Mr. Roarke, makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true at a luxurious but remote tropical resort. But when the fantasies turn into nightmares, the guests have to solve the island's mystery in order to escape with their lives.”
Thank you, Blumhouse. This is exactly my kind of trash. Pick up that dumpster filled with Unfriended and Truth or Dare and empty it precisely onto my stupid face. I am a filthy little piggy and I want to roll around in this PG-13 horror slop. Not only did they greenlight the premise "what if monkeys paw, but at a hotel," but they brought back the writer/director of Truth or Dare to helm it and cast Lucy Hale, the MVP of insane drama meant for teenagers that I consume as I enter my 30s. I can’t wait to see it on Valentine’s Day with my human girlfriend who is real.
Brahms: The Boy II
Directed by: William Brent Bell
Written by: Stacey Menear
Starring: Katie Holmes, Ralph Ineson, Owain Yeoman
"After a family moves into the Heelshire Mansion, their young son soon makes friends with a life-like doll called Brahms."
If there’s one thing I love about horror, it’s how franchises are born solely because they can. Did the first movie only make 30 million worldwide? Doesn’t matter, it only cost 10 to make. And thus a series is birthed into the ether. Do you remember The Boy? It came out January 2016 and while it looked like a predictable haunted doll movie, I was pleasantly surprised by it. Call it low expectations but I enjoyed it. Well here’s a sequel. And an endless barrage of cheap jump scares. And Katie Holmes. Fuck you, you’ll see it. And you’ll see The Boy 3 and The Boy 4.
The Invisible Man
Directed by: Leigh Whannell
Written by: Leigh Whannell, H.G. Wells (novel)
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer
"When Cecilia's abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see."
This looks like an absolute banger. On paper you see “Universal tries to do the Dark Universe for the third time” and you can’t do the jerk off motion fast enough, but this might be one of my most anticipated movies of the year. I love the conceit of the invisible man faking his own death and then using his invisibility to D.E.N.N.I.S. the living shit out of Elisabeth Moss for 90 minutes and driving her insane. There are a lot of movies I’m cautiously optimistic for this year, but I’m going to pretty upset if this one isn’t good.
A Quiet Place: Part II
Directed by: John Krasinski
Written by: John Krasinski, Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Starring: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, Cillian Murphy
"Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path."
I don’t know if I really need a follow up to A Quiet Place, but like I said before, that’s never stopped horror before. Honestly I really don’t see any need for this. Like at all. The flashbacks to the first day of the attack could be interesting but if we’re being real I got everything I needed in Part One. I don’t need to see how it all happened. I liked the first one for what it was but never felt a lingereing reason to revist this world. Maybe I’ll be wrong. At least it has Krasinski returning to write and direct, so it feels much less like a shitty cash in.
The New Mutants
Directed by: Josh Boone
Written by: Josh Boone, Knate Lee
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Alice Braga, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga
"Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves."
I've been writing this preview since 2017, I’ll believe it when I see it.
Directed by: Scott Cooper
Written by: Scott Cooper, C. Henry Chaisson, Nick Antosca (short story)
Starring: Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, Amy Madigan
"A small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, become entwined with a young student harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences."
Another movie that looks like it was created solely to appeal to me. Spooky ass kid, monsters, people going missing, Guillermo del Toro producing. The most baffling part about all this is looking at director Scoot Cooper’s earlier works. He’s directed 4 movies prior to this: Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace, Black Mass, and Hostiles. He made a movie about Jeff Bridges singing country music, Christian Bale searching for his brother Casey Affleck, Johnny Depp as a mob boss, and Christian Bale in 1892. So yeah, my first choice for Is This Kid Makin Monsters: The Motion Picture.
Directed by: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz
Written by: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz
Starring: Janelle Monáe, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe
"Successful author Veronica finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it's too late."
A black woman finds herself trapped in an alternate reality where she’s a slave working a plantation? This looks like the kind of movie that is going to make some of my extended family Incredibly Mad Online. It’s a cool concept, I just don’t know how they’re going to make a full length film out of a debate over states’ rights.
The Organ Donor (Saw 9)
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Written by: Chris Rock, Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg
Starring: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisol Nichols, Max Minghella
The thing I’m most looking forward to in 2020 is the day this trailer drops and the entire world learns at the same time that a Saw movie written by Chris Rock and starring Samuel L. Jackson is coming out.
Directed by: Nia DaCosta
Written by: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Clive Barker
Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Tony Todd
"A "spiritual sequel" to the 1992 horror film 'Candyman' that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began."
It really is a shame that Candyman doesn’t get any love outside of sweaty horror nerds like yours truly. Jordan Peele’s name being attached to this should give it some long overdue recognition, as Tony Todd deserves the world and so far we have failed him. I’m really into the idea of this being connected to the original (we don’t have to discuss the two sequels) and returning to the same neighborhood and finding it to be a gentrified nightmare.
Directed by: Everardo Gout
Written by: James DeMonaco
Starring: Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Gregory Zaragoza
A wise man once said “I know writers who use subtext and they’re all cowards.” That’s why I love The Purge franchise. 4 movies and a TV series that have all of the subtlety of showing the government paying a white militia to kill people on Purge night. DeMonaco has written every movie in the series and returns to pen what he is claiming is the conclusion. That’s a shame, because this kind of exploitation hits me right in that sweet spot and I could watch one of these every couple of years no problem. The final Purge movie on an election year during this presidency? GO ahead and jam that right into my eyeballs.
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Written by: Jason Reitman, Gil Kenan
Starring: Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd
"When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind."
Directed by: Daniel Espinosa
Written by: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Starring: Jared Leto, Adria Arjona, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson
"Biochemist Michael Morbius tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease, but he inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism instead."
You see what you did? This is what happens when you all go see Venom ironically. It ends up ironically making 800 millions dollars and we have a whole new god damned ironic Sony Spider-Man Villains Cinematic Universe with Jared Leto as a vampire. You have no one to blame but yourselves.
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: James Wan, Ingrid Bisu
Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Jake Abel, Michole Briana White, Jacqueline McKenzie
Seriously I’ve never heard of this but I guess it’s coming out this Summer? I can’t find anything about the plot except that it’s based on a graphic novel that was also written by James Wan. Let me just mosey on over to Amazon to see what it’s about.
"Alan Gates, a cancer patient with a terminal diagnosis, is resigned to his fate...until he discovers that his tumor is actually a mysterious parasite! Granted a second lease on life and incredible, otherworldly powers, Alan must fight against an evil army buried beneath society's skin, all the while unlocking the secrets of his forgotten past. Dark, twisted, and unique, MALIGNANT MAN is a sci-fi thriller that can't be missed!”
I for one support any director getting a Blank Check movie to make whatever weirdo vision he wants. The graphic novel is from 2011 and Wan has enough clout after making 2 movies that each grossed over a billion dollars and jump-starting several long running franchises to do whatever he wants. And you know, I respect that. Your movies are single handedly keeping Warner Bros relevant, make whatever weirdo superhero thing you want. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be the exec that turns him down.
Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Written by: Paul W.S. Anderson, Kaname Fujioka (video game series)
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, T.I., Ron Perlman
"When Lt. Artemis and her loyal soldiers are transported to a new world, they engage in a desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers. Feature film based on the video game by Capcom."
Video game movie? Paul W.S. Anderson? Milla Jovovich? God dammit, at some point we’re going to have to come together and make a pact to stop seeing these things…I say as I glance towards my shelf with all six (!) Resident Evil movies sitting snuggly behind me.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Directed by: Michael Chaves
Written by: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Sterling Jerins, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, Charlene Amoia
"The Devil Made Me Do It reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they'd ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.
— Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema"
I know what you’re thinking: who asked for this and why? Let me stop you right there. Take a gander at this excerpt from The Conjuring Universe’s Wikipedia page:
"The franchise has been commercially successful, having grossed a combined $1.9 billion against a combined budget of $139.5 million, becoming the second highest-grossing horror franchise ever behind Godzilla."
Just let that wash over you for a minute.
So that’s why there’s a third Conjuring after last year’s third Annabelle and why there’s a second Nun on the way. It doesn’t matter what the plot is. It doesn’t matter who made it. This is the first Conjuring movie not directed by James Wan. He handed the reins over to Michael Chaves, who directed The Curse of La Llorona. Stop laughing. It could be directed by me and be 2 hours of a family looked scared while doors slam and picture frames fall off the wall. It’s still going to make its budget back fifty times over.
...But with that said I’m still going to see it.
Last Night in Soho
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by: Edgar Wright, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie, Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp
"A young girl, passionate in fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences."
Edgar Wright returning to horror in a movie involving time travel, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, and directly citing Don’t Look Now and Repulsion as inspirations. If this is bad I’m going to be inconsolable for months.
Directed by: Andy Serkis
Written by: Kelly Marcel
Starring: Tom Hardy, Stephen Graham, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Reid Scott, Naomie Harris
Was Venom good? Not particularly. Do I watch it every time I come across it on TV? Absolutely. Will I pay money to see this solely to see Woody Harrelson play Carnage? 1000%
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Written by: Robert Zemeckis, Kenya Barris, Roald Dahl (novel), Allan Scott (1990 screenplay)
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Octavia Spencer, Chris Rock
"Based on Roald Dahl's 1983 classic book 'The Witches', the story tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven year old boy who has a run in with some real life witches!"
I couldn’t tell you a single thing about the original movie version except that it was based on a Roald Dahl book. I couldn’t tell you when it came out. I couldn’t tell you who directed it. I couldn’t tell you who starred in it. I couldn’t tell you the plot. I couldn’t tell you a single thing about it. Except that scene. I will never forget that scene for as long as I live. If this reinterpretation has anything that terrifying then I support it 100 percent. Children need to get the shit scared out of them. They need to see a movie targeted to them that has something in it that will make their blood run cold when someone references it decades later.
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Written by: David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Scott Teems, John Carpenter (characters), Debra Hill (characters)
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Anthony Michael Hall, Andi Matichak, Kyle Richards, Nick Castle
"The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series."
The second movie in the…new Halloween trilogy written by David Gordon Green and Danny McBride? No, that can’t be right. The running theme of these posts is coulda, not shoulda, so after Halloween 18 releases to critical and commercial success Blumhouse announced not one, but two sequels. Sooooooo Laurie Strode and Michael Myers are back. I don’t really know what else to say. If this entry is good we might creep closer and closer to finally having as many good movies in the Halloween series as bad ones. Don’t ask which ones are the good ones.
The Busta Rhymes one. That’s the good one. Here's our episode on it to prove it.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Directed by: Adam Wingard
Written by: Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein, Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, Zhang Ziyi, Demián Bichir
"As the gigantic Kong meets the unstoppable Godzilla, the world watches to see which one of them will become King of the Monsters."
Honest to God, if this isn’t good I’m going to need someone to do a wellness check. I would do anything for Godzilla, King Kong, or Adam Wingard. In that order. I don’t care how it happens or why it happens. I don’t care if it’s 90 minutes of them beating the shit out of each other or them beating the shit out of each other and then teaming up to beat the shit out of something bigger. I just need it. I need it more than I need oxygen. If we can’t a massive studio budget version of King Kong vs Godzilla then what is the point of film? Why even have movies? Why get out of bed in the morning?
Escape Room 2
Directed by: Adam Robitel
Written by: Fritz Böhm, Will Honley, Christine Lavaf, Maria Melnik, Bragi F. Schut, Daniel Tuch
Starring: Taylor Russell, Indya Moore, Isabelle Fuhrman
Oh my God, why are there six writers for “Saw but with escape rooms”? I really dug the first movie, save for the ending which has to be the most blatant example of “wow this movie is screening well go film a sequel tease” that I’ve seen in a very long time. There were a lot of creative rooms in the first one and if they can keep that up I wouldn’t be upset at this being the new Saw or Paranormal Activity and I get to see one of these a year for the next four or five years. It’s a simple gimmick that can be expanded in a ton of creative ways.
~ TBD ~
Army of the Dead
I’m not particularly fond of VISIONARY FILMMAKER ZACK SNYDER, nor the idea of him making a zombie movie with a blank check from Netflix, however I am incredibly fond of Dave Bautista shooting things in the head.
Marcus Dunstan checks in to a third entry to The Collector series. The Collector came in in 09 right in the midst of Saw and Hostel and was followed by up by a sequel in 2012. It had been quiet up until now but a third movie is on the way and I’m starting to get a little nostalgic for the bloody trap-based kills from a decade ago.
Todd McFarlane has been threatening us with years about a new cool, grim R rated Spawn movie that is definitely not for kids or pussies. Real cool guy shit. It was quiet for a bit…and then McFarlane announced he would direct it himself. And Jamie Foxx is playing Spawn. Things were quiet again and I see why. I mean really who is this for? Who is going to want to see an overtly cynical R rated movie based on a comic book character. Now let me just crack open the newspaper and see how much money Joker made.
So here’s something to keep your eyes on. Fear Street was R.L. Stine’s book series for kids that were too old to read Goosebumps but weren’t ready to mess with the really heavy shit. The plan is for this movie to come out this June, but it will be part of a trilogy. And each movie in the trilogy will come out a month apart. So in theory we would have three movies over this summer about solving spooky small town mysteries. I dare say…I’m here for it.