From The Menu to Shelby Oaks, these are all the upcoming horror movies we’re keeping our eyes peeled for, in 2022, 2023.
2022 has been a great year for horror. From indie horrors like Hellbender, X, Watcher to successful studio-flicks like Nope, Smile, and The Black Phone, the genre has seen a terrific revival. Barbarian, Prey, The Innocents, Incantation, Sissy, and You Won’t be Alone are some other notable horror flicks of the year. Of course, there have been awkward failures like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Firestarter, and Halloween Ends. But for every clumsy horror sequel and remake, we’ve also had a diverse roster of original horror films. Additionally, streaming services allow us to enjoy new horror movies from across the world.
The promising 2023 lineup only looks to maintain the growing trend. While well-known horror series like Scream, Insidious, Evil Dead, and Exorcist are making a comeback to frighten us, there are also some originals on their way from filmmakers like Manoj Shyamalan and Scott Cooper. Intriguingly, 2023 will see the release of two Dracula films. Once the official release date is established, there will be a ton of new horror movies set to arrive. Until then, block these dates to get your fill.
Here are 16 upcoming horror movies we’re excited about:
Upcoming Horror Movies
1. The Menu, Release Date Nov 18, 2022
Mark Mylod has returned to feature-film direction after more than a decade with the satirical horror The Menu. In the interim, Mylod has directed multiple-episodes in the acclaimed TV series like Shameless, Game of Thrones, and Succession. Written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, The Menu is set on a remote island, which houses an exclusive restaurant of the celebrity Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes). The protagonists are a wealthy foodie Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) and his mysterious date, Margo (Anya Taylor-Joy).
One night, the young couple arrive at the restaurant alongside ten other wealthy patrons. The trailer hints that Chef Slowikhas prepared a grand surprise for his guests. The Menu seems like a twists-filled dark comedy on upper-class entitlement and foodie culture. The horror movie had its international premiere at Toronto Film Festival.
2. Bones and All, Release Date Nov 23, 2022
Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino reunites with his Call Me By Your Name protagonist Timothee Chalamet in this cannibal romance/horror. Bones and All is based on Camila DeAngelis’ 2015 novel of the same name. Luca has previously delved into the horror genre with the competent remake of giallo classic Suspiria. Bones and All promises to be a richly fascinating art house horror like Julie Ducournau’s Raw. The narrative is set in Reagan-era America, where a high-school student named Maren (Taylor Russell) suffers from the nasty habit of feasting on human flesh.
One day, she goes on the run and meets a charming drifter named Lee (Timothee). The two embark on a journey into the dangerous and beautiful back roads of America. Luca has said that though Bones and All has horror elements, it isn’t entirely made for shock value.
3. M3GAN, Release Date Jan 3, 2023
Acclaimed horror filmmaker James Wan produces the Al doll horror M3GAN (Megan) with Blumhouse Productions. The film is directed by New Zealand filmmaker Gerard Johnstone, who previously made the horror comedy Housebound. The story is written by Akela Cooper and James Wan himself. Wan’s stories often feature a creepy doll. Cue, Saw & Annabelle doll in The Conjuring. M3GAN, however, seems to be a full-fledged doll horror and its eerie atmosphere reminds us of Orphan (2009).
The trailer reveals that M3GAN is a life-like doll prototype, programmed to be a child’s companion. When an 8-year old girl Cady (Violet McGraw) loses her parents, she is sent to live with her roboticist aunt Gemma (Allison Willams). Though designed only to be a playmate, Megan probably becomes self-aware and gets overprotective of Cady.
4. The Pale Blue Eye, Release Date Jan 6, 2023
Scott Cooper’s Netflix horror thriller The Pale Blue Eye is an adaptation of Louis Bayard’s 2003 novel. It’s a story of conspiracy and murder, set in the year 1830. A veteran detective named Agustus Landor (Christian Bale) sets out to investigate the murder of a young cadet at West Point Military Academy. A fellow cadet helps the detective to decipher the clues and find the culprit.
The capricious cadet, who turns himself into an amateur sleuth is none other than Edgar Allan Poe, who later becomes the master of horror and mystery literature. Pale Blue Eye marks Cooper’s third collaboration with Christian Bale. Director Cooper has recently made the grim, powerful eco-horror movie Antlers. So, there’s much anticipation on how he’s handled this period horror. The ensemble cast includes great performers like Timothy Spall and Toby Jones.
5. Unwelcome, Release Date Jan 27, 2023
Unwelcome is Irish filmmaker Jon Wright’s fourth feature film. He is best known for sci-fi horror/comedy Grabbers, which premiered at 2012 Sundance Film Festival. While Grabbers was an alien invasion story in the vein of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, Unwelcome seems like an eerie folk-horror with a touch of home-invasion horror. The trailer shows a married young couple Maya (Hannah John-Kamen) and Jamie (Douglas Booth) moving to their inherited home, situated in rural Ireland.
The couple is soon terrorized by malevolent creatures lurking in their garden. And there seems to be terrible secrets in the village. The murderous goblins in Unwelcome are inspired by Redcap, wicked blood-thirsty creatures found in Anglo-Scottish folklore. Jon mentions Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs as an influence. He further notes that Unwelcome would be a horror with an underlying subtext like Hereditary & Witch.
6. Knock at the Cabin, Release Date Feb 3, 2023
Manoj Night Shyamalan’s upcoming horror movie Knock at the Cabin is loosely based on Paul Tremblay’s novel Cabin at the End of the World. The director’s recent film Old did very well at the 2021 summer box-office, despite the pandemic. From the trailer, Knock at the Cabin looks like a home-invasion horror set during the end of the world.
Similar to the director’s previous works The Visit and Split, Knock at the Cabin unfolds in tight spaces. Here, it is a remote cabin, where a gay couple take their little adopted daughter for a getaway trip. Soon, four strangers hail from the woods and the family of three is taken hostage. It seems the four armed strangers can avert the impending apocalypse, and it involves the family. The cast includes familiar names like Dave Bautista and Rupert Grint.
7. Scream 6, Release Date March 10, 2023
Scream 5, directed by Tyler Gillett & Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, enjoyed decent box-office success and critical acclaim. Dubbed as ‘requel’, Scream 5 brought in a fresh generation of actors alongside the older actors reprising their roles. Scream 6 is made by the same team and unfolds immediately after the events of Scream 5. The survivors of the recent spate of Ghostface killings leave small-town Woodsboro and move to New York. However, a new Ghostface killer emerges to haunt our survivors.
The central character Sidney Prescott (played by Neve Campbell) won’t appear in this sequel. However, Scream 4’s Kirby(played by Hayden Panettiere) has joined the team. The franchise’s new star Jenna Ortega has already revealed that Scream 6 will be gorier. But fans are expecting it to be a clever meta-horror like the other entries in the franchise.
8. The Pope’s Exorcist, Release Date April 7, 2023
The Pope’s Exorcist is a historical horror, allegedly based on the events from real-life Italian priest Gabriele Amorth. Father Gabriele is known as the Vatican’s chief exorcist. He is said to have performed more than 100,000 exorcisms. The Exorcist director William Friedkin has already made a documentary on Father Gabriele. Russell Crowe will play the Italian priest in Pope’s Exorcist. Legendary Spaghetti Western actor Franco Nero is also part of the cast.
The film was in development for years, ever since Screen Gems acquired life rights to Gabriele Amorth’s memoirs. Spanish filmmaker Angel Gomez was previously attached to the project. Julius Avery of Overlord fame will now direct the film. To find out if any of the priest’s numerous exorcisms will be the center of the film, we’ve to now wait for the trailer.
9. Renfield, Release Date April 14, 2023
Renfield is a horror comedy directed by Chris McKay, who previously made the alien-invasion movie The Tomorrow War. Based on a story by Robert Kirkman, Renfield sounds like an inventive take on the vampire sub-genre. The narrative supposedly revolves around Count Dracula’s lackey and familiar, Renfield. The titular character is played by Nicholas Hoult and the tale is set in modern-day New Orleans.
Renfield leaves his employer Count Dracula when he falls in love with a traffic cop named Rebecca Quincy. Dracula has been portrayed by different actors from Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee to Klaus Kinski and Gary Oldman. In Renfield, Nicolas Cage will play the iconic vampire. The Farewell fame Awkwafina is cast in the role of Rebecca. Vampire movie buffs are expecting the film to balance gory and offbeat humor.
10. Evil Dead Rise, Release Date April 21, 2023
Fede Alvarez’s 2013 reboot of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead lacked the campy fun of the original movies. We have to wait and see if Lee Cronin’s new Evil Dead movie features the right mix of action, dark humor and horror like Sam Raimi’s original. Evil Dead Rise will once again return to the haunted cabin in the woods. The story seems to feature new characters and revolves around two estranged sisters.
The family reunion is cut short by the discovery of a mysterious book, which is followed by the attack of scary demons inhabiting the woods. The sisters are played by Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan. Writer/director Lee Cronin has previously directed the eerie, claustrophobic horror Hole in the Ground (2019). Sam Raimi and original Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell are producing the horror movie.
11. Insidious 5, Release Date July 7, 2023
The Lambert family will return to the horror franchise in Insidious 5, which is set ten years after the first Insidious film. The Lamberts will probably once again head back into the evil realm ‘The Further’. Josh and Renai Lambert’s (Patrick Wilson & Rose Byrne) son Dalton Lambert (Ty Simpkins) goes off to college in Insidious 5. Dalton will perhaps encounter the netherworld demons as he leaves the safety of his home. Interestingly, Patrick Wilson who plays the dad Josh will make his directorial debut with Insidious 5.
The movie is based on Leigh Whanell’s story and the script is written by Scott Teems (Halloween Kills). The last two films in the Insidious franchise have been underwhelming. And they didn’t focus on the Lambert family. So, there’s much anticipation to witness the Lamberts’ terrifying struggles once again.
12. Shelby Oaks, Release Date July 2023
Popular YouTuber and film critic Chris Stuckmann makes his directorial debut with the crowd-funded horror film Shelby Oaks. The narrative revolves around a young woman named Mia (Camille Sullivan), who is obsessively investigating the disappearance of her sister Riley. Riley is a paranormal investigator and she spearheaded a group called Paranormal Paranoids. The unsettling leads in the case push Mia to remember a monster from their childhood.
Shelby Oaks supposedly has a budget of more than $1 million, which is relatively high for an independent horror feature. In fact, recently indie horror flicks like Hellbender and Deadstream have been more inventive and terrifying than some of the stale big-studio horrors.
Stuckmann and his wife Samantha Elizabeth have co-written the script.
13. The Last Voyage of Demeter, Release Date Aug 11, 2023
The ‘Demeter’ is the name of the fictional merchant ship that featured in Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic novel Dracula. Demeter is chartered to carry a strange private cargo of fifty unmarked wooden crates from Carpathian to London. During the voyage, the ship’s crew is unsettled by a strange, mysterious presence. When Demeter finally arrives in England, there’s no trace of the crew. In the novel, the doomed voyage of Demeter is confined to a single chapter.
Andre Ovredal’s The Last Voyage of Demeter expands on the premise to deep dive into Dracula’s savagery. The initial draft of the screenplay was written by Bragi F. Schut in 2002. Stefan Ruzowitzky and Zak Olkewicz rewrote the script, and Neil Marshall was attached as a director. However, the film was stuck in development for more than a decade before getting revived by Trollhunter fame André Øvredal.
14. The Nun 2, Release Date Sept 8, 2023
The Conjuring universe has created its own set of films including Annabelle, The Nun, and The Curse of La Llorona. The demon nun in Conjuring 2 is particularly the most sinister character in the horrorverse. Set in 1952 Romania, The Nun had plenty of good jump scares but suffered from weak writing. However, Taissa Farmiga gave a brilliant performance as Sister Irene. The actress is reprising her role in the eponymous sequel.
Nun 2 is set in 1956 France and revolves around the brutal murder of a priest. Bonnie Aarons plays Valak the evil nun. Storm Reid of Euphoria fame is also part of the cast. Director Michael Chaves has previously helmed The Conjuring 3and Curse of La Llorona. The script is penned by Malignant writer Akela Cooper.
15. The Exorcist, Release Date 13 Oct, 2023
William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist is one of the most disturbing horror novels ever written. The 1973 film adaptation by William Friedkin deeply embedded the story into pop-culture. Now fifty years after the release of boundary-pushing horror, David Gordon Green and Blum House Productions are revisiting the premise. Green’s Exorcist is supposedly a sequel to the original, and to everyone’s surprise Ellen Burstyn will reprise her role as Chris MacNeil, the celebrity mother of possessed teenager, Reagan MacNeil. Ellen is returning to the franchise after the first movie.
David Gordon Green has planned to release the new iterations of Exorcist as a trilogy. The other two films are still at the pre-production stage. It is unclear whether the new Exorcist will bring up the characters of Father Merrin and Karras, since both the actors who played those roles have passed away.
16. Saw X, Release Date 27 Oct, 2023
It seems Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures aren’t done with the Saw franchise yet. The tenth installment in the horror franchise will be released during the Halloween season of 2023. Tobin Bell will reprise his role of John Kramer in Saw X. The actor wasn’t part of the recent Saw movie, Spiral. Apart from the original Saw movie, the sequels have garnered mixed to negative reviews. Nevertheless, the films have either been instant box-office success or sleeper hits.
Besides, the franchise fans have always been on the lookout for new hellish and twisted traps of its psychopathic villain. Nothing much is revealed about the plot at this stage. The other cast members also haven’t been revealed yet. But it’s confirmed that Kevin Greutert, who directed Saw VI and Saw 3D, will direct Saw X.
There you go! These are all the upcoming scary movies that have us excited. There are few other horror movies expected to release in 2023 that don’t yet have a release date. The adaptation of Stephen King’s popular novel Salem’s Lot, the remake of psychological horror The Strangers, and the adaptation of Norman Patridge’s horror novel Dark Harvest are some other delayed horror movies with no official release date.
The third installment in A Quiet Place franchise is expected to release in March 2024. Jordan Peele’s Nope is set to stream on Amazon Prime Video Nov 18, 2022.