21 Horror Movies You Should Be Excited to See in 2018

Horror 2018

Curse you, Father Time. Why couldn’t 2018’s commencement be postponed in the name of cinematic achievement? “2017 Is Officially The Best Year Ever For Horror Films,” one headline read. “2017: The Biggest Year In Horror History,” another claimed. Why end a year riding such a terrifyingly momentous wave in favor of an abyss of unknown, unproven future releases?

Well, quite simply, because all those articles forgot to include the words “So Far” in their takes. Is history not allowed to repeat…nay, outperform itself?

Instead of declaring a moratorium on genre content like a stake through the heart of 2018, why don’t we instead explore which films dare to challenge greatness. Save hyperbole for end-of-year fluffing. If undistributed festival titles and listed release dates are any indication, 2018 has every chance to repeat such successes (with Insidious: The Last Key already scaring up early profits). There’s plenty of weird, wild and wicked content just waiting to be unleashed, which, lucky enough for you, is creeping closer than you think.

Below are 23 highly-anticipated genre titles intended to open publicly throughout 2018. I’ve left off flicks like Summer of ‘84, Piercing and Mandy that will premiere at this month’s Sundance film festival because there’s a chance they might become 2019 releases thanks to distribution fights. For now, let’s just focus on what we know 2018 is good for (or assume with confidence in select cases).

The Endless (March 23, 2018)

Humans have – and will continue to be – filled with questions and suffocating uncertainties as life marches on. Some films attempt to distract from this phenomenon, but not The Endless. Creators Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead project their own cumbersome curiosities onto the setting of a cult commune, which, to be warned, plays as a pseudo-sequel to their first film, Resolution. These maddened disciples of Linklater pose hefty narratives that require mental gymnastics to comprehend, but the workout is always uniquely fulfilling, The Endless as much, or even more, than their previous two indie stunners.

Out of all my four years covering Tribeca’s festival programming, never has a title rendered me so vulnerable. The Endless beats a drum for magnetic, riveting indies built on asking questions with the utmost provocation (with hard genre thrills to boot). This rightfully stand alongside Bodied as the two undistributed 2017 films that’ll no doubt make my year-end Top 10 in 2018.

Anna and the Apocalypse (2018 Holiday Season)

John McPhail’s Anna And The Apocalypse will be one of your new favorite Christmas horror watches. The infectious rhythms of this Irish zombie musical introduce the greatest movie you never knew you needed, from choreographed slayings to harmonious vocal ranges. Ella Hunt stars at the titular Anna – a female lead who’s arc is beyond refreshing – but talented musicianship spans a cast that’s as inclusive as it is sprawling. I was even privileged enough to interview the cast at last year’s Fantastic Fest!

There’s a reason why I placed Anna And The Apocalypse at #6 on my all-encompassing “Rank Every Christmas Horror Film” feature that was posted on Christmas Day. There’s a reason why I left Fantastic Fest singing its praises (and choruses). There’s a reason why I spent December 2017 baffled by the fact that no distributor had claimed release rights. And now, with a little more patience until 2018’s holiday season, you’ll know exactly why.

Like Me (January 26, 2018)

Robert Mockler’s Like Me may only represent a single cinematic example of social media’s toxic stranglehold, but it’s a damn fine one. This artsy fever-dream of abstract neons and foodplay is fueled by an obsession with floaty heart-shaped “likes.” Addison Timlin stars as an artistically ambitious outcast who’ll do whatever it takes to achieve viral fame, while poor Larry Fessenden finds himself caught in the middle, among others on the outskirts of Timlin’s circling storm. Performances are strong and direction is full of curiosity, as Like Me strikes the core of our society’s current obsession with measuring value in digital clicks.

Mom and Dad (Out Now)

Brian Taylor’s Mom And Dad ponders an age-old question: “Could you kill a child?” While the film doesn’t push as far as the most ravenous genre fans may expect (I promise I’m stable), it’s still a frenzied midnight watch thanks to “out of body” performances by Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair. The quotability factor is strong as Blair’s mother and Cage’s father attempted to slaughter their children because of a freak high-frequency “outbreak.”

If you want to save the best moments for your full viewing, avoid the trailer. If not? Check out Cage at his destructive hokey-pokey best, then prepare yourself for the inevitable “Cage Reel Cut” of Mom And Dad that’ll hit YouTube within minutes of home release.

Sequence Break (2018, TBD)

It’s not known when yet, but Shudder has confirmed Graham Skipper’s Sequence Break will exclusively release on their streaming platform in 2018. Rejoice! Soon you’ll be able to log into Skipper’s analog love story that’s drenched in sludgy goo, complete with a scene primed for many a “WTF!” and “OMG!” from varied audiences. Arcade machines, Chase Williamson’s slacker-given-motive protagonist, a digital realm that gets very Under The Skin – expect a practical-effects-driven freakout of the wired, motherboard frying variety, “biomechanical mutations” and all.

The Ritual (February 9, 2018)

We haven’t heard nearly enough from David Bruckner since 2007’s vastly underrated The Signal, but 2018 will break the pseudo-silence when his TIFF midnighter The Ritual hits Netflix early this February. It’s a “male bonding hike” thriller that lands stateside already with many positive reviews from international outlets/festival coverage (72% on Rotten Tomatoes out of 36 so far), one that stars Rafe Spall and Downton Abbey’s Robert James-Collier. A dark ritualistic haunter set against thick Scandinavian forests? I can’t wait to see what David Bruckner has in store for us.

Dead Shack (2018, TBD)

I was lucky enough to review Peter Ricq’s Dead Shack for /Film last summer, which won me over with dad jokes and zombie brutalization in the goofiest form. There’s no date announced as of yet, but 2018 seems like a proper estimation based on its four-festival run (at least) so far. Better for it, because there’s not much guaranteed in the way of genre indies right about now. This “cabin in the woods” exploitation would be a welcome addition to current horror scheduling, even if it doesn’t know when to keep its mouth shut at times.

conjuring 2 spin-off

The Nun (July 13, 2018)

Fact: Corin Hardy’s The Nun represents his first feature since The Hallow was released in 2015 (second feature overall).

Second Fact: The information above is impossible for me to comprehend and it’s about time Hardy gifted us another nightmare.

As you may know, The Nun is part of James Wan’s Conjuring universe and this “Waniverse” that’s taken mainstream horror by storm. Actress Bonnie Aarons portrays the titular ghostly woman of cloth already, who has already made appearances in The Conjuring 2 and Annabelle: Creation. Hardy will take her origin head-on with a cast that includes Taissa Farmiga, Demián Bichir and Charlotte Hope, all set to a mid-1900s Romanian backdrop. I mean, it’s Corin Hardy playing (nicely, I presume) in James Wan’s sandbox! Horror fans deserve this content! Being “excited” for such a film is an understatement of the harshest degree.

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