Looking for upcoming horror movies to raise the hairs on the back of your neck and make your blood run cold? Of course you are! And have we got some choices for you.
The current slate of new horror coming to cinemas and streaming is shaping up to be a fear-filled selection of original stories and returns to old favourites. Supernatural spooks are heading in thick and fast including new films from existing franchises with The Exorcist: Believer and The Nun 2, plus we’ll be heading back to Maine and the world of undead critters in Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, a prequel installment of the story from the mind of Stephen King.
Serial killer scares are also going strong as we travel to Mexico with fan-favourite Jigsaw in the tenth film in the Saw franchise, and Terrifer’s Art the Clown is back too in his second sequel, no doubt hacking and slashing his way through a new bevvy of horrified victims. Mysteries abound in A Haunting in Venice – a new creepy outing for Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot, and in Cobweb – a brand new family-based shocker from the producers of Barbarian. And for fans of horror comedy, there are some laughs incoming with Disney’s The Haunted Mansion and Tim Story’s The Blackening.
So whether you’re headed to your local cinema or settling down on (or behind) your couch, here are the upcoming horror movies to add to your watchlist.
Release date: August 11, 2023 (UK)
Welcome, foolish mortals! They’ve been dying to meet you at the Haunted Mansion… *cough* Sorry, I must have blacked out there for a second… How strange. Well, anyway, Disney is taking another crack at an adaptation of its iconic ride of grim grinning ghosts, and this one looks significantly more fun than the last. Haunted Mansion boasts a star-studded cast including Rosario Dawson, Danny DeVito, LaKeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, and Jamie Lee Curtis as the infamous head in a fortune teller’s ball, Madame Leota. Oh, and Jared Leto is taking on the role of the Hatbox Ghost, an apparition with an impressively mobile skull who steals the show on the ride. Frequent Haunted Mansion guests will recognise plenty of key elements in the trailer, including the stretching room, and some key spooks. Just remember, there’s always room for one more soul…
Release date: August 25, 2023
From director Tim Story (Barbershop, Ride Along), Lionsgate’s new horror comedy follows seven friends who go away for the weekend and end up trapped in a cabin with a masked killer and a threatening – not to mention decidedly outdated – game that dares them to pick a card or die. With the tagline “we can’t all die first”, and a marketing campaign that’s using audience cams to show raucous reactions, this looks like a referential laughfest that wears its horror influences on its sleeve and should be an entertaining time at the cinema.
Release date: September 1, 2023
Horrors abound when a young boy tries to investigate the mysterious knocking noises in his family home, which are only to be written off by his sinister parents as nightmares, an overactive imagination, and the “bumps in the night” of an old house. From director Samual Bodin who previously directed multiple episodes of the frankly terrifying TV series Marianne (2019), and the producer of 2022 smash hit Barbarian, this tale of insidious family secrets has some solid horror pedigree setting it up for spooky success.
The Nun 2
Release date: September 8, 2023
And here you were thinking you were safe from the Conjuring Universe. Valak is back. Yes, The Nun 2 is on the way from The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It director Michael Chaves and everyone is back for another trip to the convent. Bonnie Aarons returns as the nefarious habit-clad demon herself, and Taissa Varmiga is keeping The Conjuring in the family and reappearing as Sister Irene from the original movie. As reported by Bloody Disgusting, the writer responsible for Malignant, Akela Cooper, will be penning the Nun 2. There’s not much more to go on other than a synopsis taking us to France in 1956 where a priest has been murdered. Only Sister Irene can help as she “once again comes face to face with the demonic force Valak, the demon nun….” God speed….
A Haunting in Venice
Release date: September 15, 2023
Off the back of two Kenneth Branagh-led Hercule Poirot blockbusters – Murder on the Orient Express (2017) and Death on the Nile (2022), the Belgian detective and his little grey cells are plunged into a Venetian nightmare of psychics, ghosts, and murder. Expect more ensemble casting including Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, Kelly Reilly, and Jamie Dornan, and plenty of horror cliches like flickering lights, seances, crucifixes, billowing curtains, lightning, dripping faucets, screeching strings, lank-haired-ghost-girls, and shadow puppets. This should be an interesting new spin on an Agatha Christie mystery.
Release date: September 27, 2023
In the latest installment of one of the genre’s most enduring franchises we’re set to go back to the events that took place between Saw and Saw 2, seeing John Kramer – the Jigsaw killer – in Mexico as he searches for a cure for his cancer, and uncovers a scam that sends him on a new spree of elaborate murders.
As well as the return of Tobin Bell in the lead role, the director of Saw VI and Saw 3D Kevin Gruetert is back behind the camera. The poster alone promises the kind of torturous horrors we’ve come to expect from Bell’s sadistic Jigsaw – featuring some kind of mask with tubes attached to the poor victim’s eyes making the titular X – and made a splash on social media with fans celebrating the return of one of their favourite messed-up maniacs.
The film is also reported (H/T The Direct) to have the longest runtime of any Saw movie to date; at the Midsummer Scream 2023 convention in Long Beach, California, Greutert teased, “There’s so much more to this film than even the amazing amount that was there … When we’re editing a ‘Saw’ movie, we do not waste time. So the fact that it’s long, I think, is a testament to just how well done it is.” Sounds like there will be plenty of time to fill our eyes with all sorts of new nightmares.
Pet Semetary: Bloodlines
Release date: October 6, 2023
Coming to Paramount Plus this spooky season is this newest entry into the Pet Sematary canon, a prequel to the 2019 film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.
Set in 1969, Bloodlines will follow a young Jud Crandall (previously played as the Creed family’s wise old neighbour in the original story by Fred Gwynne and John Lithgow in the 1989 and 2019 films respectively) and his childhood friends as they discover sinister secrets and fight an ancient evil in their Maine hometown.
The film is the directorial debut from Lindsey Beer and boasts an impressive cast, starring Jackson White (Ambulance), Samantha Mathis (The Clovehitch Killer), David Duchovny (The X-Files), Henry Thomas (The Haunting of Hill House) and Pam Greer (Jackie Brown). Expect lots of King-style kids riding around on bikes, scary sematary action, and sketchy previously-loved animals brought back to life. We can’t wait!
The Exorcist: Believer
Release date: October 13, 2023
You’d think Halloween remaker David Gordon Green would be due some time off. Maybe sitting on a beach somewhere, sipping a cocktail from a Tiki glass shaped like a Michael Myers mask. Instead, he’s signed up for another huge classic horror reboot trilogy. Yes, Universal and Blumhouse have pencilled in a full scale return for The Exorcist, with the first movie to release for Halloween 2023. And it looks like they’re doing things properly. For one thing, Ellen Burstyn is returning as Chris MacNeil, the mother of Regan from the original movie.
And Gordon Green is raring to go. “[I’m] honored to step into something that’s so valuable within cinema history,” he told Variety back in October. “And knowing that there is a fanbase that is curious, aware, alert, potentially concerned to see what we’re up to. What I like is, people say, ‘Is it stressful?’ No, it’s exciting because I spent so much of my life making movies, and you’re just begging an audience to tune in, or see what’s going on, or buy tickets to the movie. With these, I’ve got stories to tell, I’ve got an imagination to express, and the way I can do that within these movies is an incredible opportunity.”
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Release date: October 27, 2023
It’s been a very long time coming but Blumhouse’s Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is finally almost within our grasp. Not that we’d want to touch these horrific furry animatronics with a barge pole. Ever wondered what the opposite of a cuddle might be? If you’ve been living under a rock shaped like a slice of pizza, FNaF in its original form was a survival horror game where you are faced with the job of overnight security at a popular pizza parlour. The only problem is that the seemingly innocent animatronics in place as children’s entertainment are actually murderous monsters, and you’ll have to keep an eye out for them across various security monitors. There have been multiple versions of the game over the years, complete with many layers of lore, but original game creator Scott Cawthorne has worked on the movie screenplay alongside The Wind director Emma Tammi. With the animatronics built by none other than Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the above trailer hints at serious fuzzy terror to come.
Release date: December 8, 2023
It’s probably not pure horror but very few of Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ movies are happy to be pigeonholed in a particular genre. This is the man who brought us The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and his latest stars Emma Stone as the resurrected creation of the Frankenstein-like Doctor Godwin Baxter, played by Willem Dafoe. Add in Mark Ruffalo and some ultra surreal visuals and Poor Things looks like a fascinating coming of age story with a Shelly-esque twist. Given that it’s already been given an R rating, this clearly isn’t going to be as whimsical as some of the trailer imagery above suggests. Expect this to get dark to balance out the light.
Release date: TBC, 2023
Just when you didn’t think there could be any more Stephen King adaptations, another tome is added to the ‘time for a remake’ shelf. And this time, it’s a heavy hitter. For those of a certain age, one of the most terrifying horror moments lurks in Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot TV series from 1979 as a vampire child arrives at a window asking to be let in…. This means no pressure for Conjuring Universe staple Gary Dauberman on both directing and screenplay duties. The good news is that given that he is also responsible for the screenplay of both parts of IT, Dauberman already has keen King conversion chops. The similar ‘terror in a small town’ theme of Salem’s Lot as a vampire holes up in the old house on the hill could mean very good things. There’s been no official reveal of a poster or trailer but the art above was revealed after a tie-in edition of the book was spotted online. The movie was initially meant to release in 2022 but New Line has since added a new 2023 release date and cruelly taken it away again. As it stands, you’ve got a little longer to prep your garlic.
The LaLaurie Mansion Series
Release date: TBC 2023
Whether it’s a good thing or not, we now live in a world where entire franchises are announced before even the first movie has been released. The writers of the first two The Conjuring movies, Chad and Carey Hayes, have teamed up again and revealed an entire series of horror movies revolving around the infamous LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans. Once home to none other than Nic Cage, who allegedly only lasted one night of horrific screams and bumps in the night, this grim abode is said to be one of the most haunted locations in the world. The good news is that if you’ve done your horror homework and watched American Horror Story Coven, you’ll already know its most villainous resident.
Played by Kathy Bates in AHS, Madame LaLaurie was both a New Orleans socialite and horrific 19th century serial killer, responsible for the horrific torture, mutilation and murder of a number of Black slaves. Her secret was only revealed when a fire broke out at her mansion and firefighters discovered some of her barely alive victims in diabolical states.
Not content with just one movie, the Hayes brothers are going to tell multiple stories of the mansion throughout history, from its horrific beginnings, all the way to modern day. Plus, they’re considering writing some of it from inside the house. “We love writing films in which we get to tell true stories – incorporating moments that people can look up and discover did in fact happen,” they announced in a press release. “With the LaLaurie House we get to do exactly that… there is a wealth of documentation of a very dark and frightening past of true events. Not to mention that after spending some time there, what we personally experienced was truly unnerving. We haven’t been this excited about a project since The Conjuring!”
Release date: Fall 2024
If you’re a horror fan, you might have had long lost friends get in touch at one point last year just to ask you if you had managed to catch a certain murderous clown movie. Art the Clown, the sadistic villain of Terrifier 2, apparently had cinemagoers requiring (helpfully branded) sick bags. The hype, not to put too fine a point on it, was real. And it’s impossible to argue with the figures. Terrifier 2 – a fun, gory, if overly long throwback slasher movie – cost only $250,0000 to make but grim reaped a cool $15 million at the global box office. Hence Terrifier 3, which will debut exclusively on US horror streaming service Screambox.
As reported by Bloody Disgusting, director Damien Leone is excited to bring even more extremity to the series for this threequel. “Aside from a yearning for new and exciting horror villains like Art the Clown, a large part of Terrifier 2’s success was based on its unprecedented theatrical release and its uncompromising nature. It’s pretty clear that we’re now entering a slasher genre renaissance; perhaps the biggest one since the ’90s. Filmmakers like myself are gonna have to keep pushing the envelope so it’s encouraging when a company respects a director’s vision and understands what makes a certain type of film successful.”