Recently, I posted up an article laying out my top ten horror films of the year so far. Halfway through 2018, it seems like a good time to also take a look at the exciting genre flicks we can still look forward to…
…If you ask me, it’s been another GREAT year in horror so far, and looking at the list below, the second half of 2018 could either cement the year as one of the best in horror in a long time, or be considered one of the most massively disappointing years ever in terms of letting us down despite so much potential. That's because there is A LOT left to be excited about, including giant sharks, the epic return of beloved franchises, and a few blood-red gems that may just end up becoming instant classics.
The following is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
Director: David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Joe)
Synopsis: "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."
Releases: October 19th, 2018 (theatrical)
What really needs to be said here? Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, the role that made her an icon, to face off against Michael Myers, one of the greatest horror legends to ever slash through the silver screen. While I was originally against the film (and the idea of rewriting the franchise’s history), the idea that Curtis’ character could finally have a proper conclusion to her story is tantalizing to say the least. It doesn’t hurt that original director John Carpenter not only has a heavy hand in producing, but is composing the music as well. The last time he wrote a score for a Halloween film, well, let’s just say it worked out. The trailer didn’t sell me as much as I would’ve liked, but damn, does Michael Myers look scary again for the first time in a long time.
Director: Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name)
Synopsis: "A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up."
Release Date: November 2nd, 2018 (theatrical)
This is that I think many horror fans, including myself, found themselves extremely apprehensive over. A remake of Dario Argento’s most highly praised film, one that couldn’t possibly be done in the same unique style, from a director that has barely, if ever, dabbled in horror? Those fears began to subside for me though after rumors began leaking out that Suspiria was a relentless force that was both chilling and disturbing, and the release of the unsettling trailer confirmed that. What I love is that Guadagnino in no way whatsoever attempted to replicate Argento’s visionary color scheme, and instead has made the film his own. Hopefully, this will be one of those remakes we talk about as being a respectable interpretation of the original.
08. The Predator
Director: Shane Black (Lethal Weapon)
Synopsis: "When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe's most lethal hunters return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race."
Release Date: September 14th, 2018 (theatrical)
When The Predator was first announced, I was THRILLED. This is a franchise I always thought deserved more sequels, being that the Predator is one of the coolest creatures ever designed. With Shane Black signing on, a director that I admire the hell out and a guy who had a hand in making the original film what it was, it felt like the film couldn’t fail. And then the casting began. Olivia Munn? Boyd Holbrook? Keegan-Michael fucking Key!? (Not hating, I just don’t see any of these people as the kind of badass characters I hope to see in a Predator film). Sure enough, trailers began releasing, and it became evident pretty quickly that The Predator was going for a more comedic route, and so far, I haven’t heard great things about it. BUT, I refuse to give up hope yet, as the Predators themselves look great for the most part, the film is rated R, and I love this franchise too much to throw in the towel before the damn thing even releases. Plus, the most recent trailer is MUCH better.
07. The Cured
Directed by: David Freyne
Synopsis: "A disease that turns people into zombies has been cured. The once-infected zombies are discriminated against by society and their own families, which causes social issues to arise. This leads to militant government interference."
Release Date: July 3rd, 2018 (Blu-ray/VOD)
The Cured to me is a prime example of what I love about horror recently. We’re seeing new and different takes on concepts that have become stale. There are thousands of zombie films, but how many of them deal with the idea of what happens to the people once they are cured? Could you go on living with yourself? Would the world hate you? What would you do in response to that? There are a lot of great ideas to toy with here, and based on the trailer, The Cured appears to deal with those ideas the way they should be. My only worry here is that this film was originally supposed to release on VOD in February, and it never happened, but according to Amazon, it’s coming out next week. Not a good sign, but we’ll see.
06. The House that Jack Built
Directed by: Lars Von Trier (Anti-Christ)
Synopsis: "The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer over the course of 12 years and depicts the murders that truly develop Jack as a serial killer."
Release Date: October 17, 2018 (France)
Any time I hear a horror film at Cannes being described as “vile” or “vomitive”, my first thought is, I must see this movie. Am I a sick fuck? Probably. Does the trailer for The House that Jack Built look mind-bogglingly fascinating? Hell yes. Matt Dillon appears transformative in the role, and Lars Von Trier’s masterful direction could make this one of the standouts of the year. And you have to love a guy who stands by his work and just does not give a fuck if some people hate his movie. The man is a true auteur. Love or hate him, he puts images on screen that are often remembered for a very long time, graphic as they may be. Remember the castration scene from Anti-Christ? Unfortunately, there's no guarantee this one will make it to the U.S. this year, but fingers crossed.
05. Puppet Master: The Littles Reich
Directed by: Sonny Laguna & Tommy Wiklund (Wither)
Synopsis: "Recently divorced and reeling, Edgar returns to his childhood home to regroup his life. When Edgar finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother's room, he decides to sell the doll for some quick cash at a small-town conventing celebrating the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. Girl-next door Ashley and his comic book shop boss Markowitz join Edgar for the doomed road trip. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that's motivated by an evil as old as time."
Release Date: August 17th, 2018 (limited theatrical)
Most horror fans have probably written off the Puppet Master franchise by now, but this is different. The plot sounds badass. Cinestate is producing this time instead of Full Moon Pictures. And for the first time in a LONG time, we’ll get to see the puppets on the big screen. Add into that rumors that this is an ultra gory, sometimes offensive horror film, and fans of the franchise suddenly have a list of reasons to be looking forward to it. I’m one of them. As you can see in the picture above, there’s also a new puppet added to the family. What does he do? I don’t know, but I must find out. You just know it’s going to be awesome.
04. The Nun
Directed by: Corin Hardy (The Hallow)
Synopsis: "A priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun."
Release Date: September 7th, 2018 (theatrical)
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not one of the horror fans who worshipped The Nun from Conjuring 2 like she was the Mona-Lisa of horror ghosts. She’s not. I’ve also been a harsh critic of the Annabelle spin-offs, and hate the idea of a Conjuring “universe”. Despite all of that, I actually found the trailer for The Nun to be pretty effective, and I love the gothic vibe. Sure, the film will probably be littered with as many jump scares as a church choir at Christmas, but I’m willing to accept that as long as Corin Hardy achieves even half as much terror with the demonic Nun as James Wan managed in Conjuring 2.
Directed by: Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow)
Synopsis: "Set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller, a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life."
Release Date: September 14th, 2018 (theatrical)
Up until today, I really hadn’t given Mandy a second thought. I have yet to see Cosmatos’ film Beyond the Black Rainbow (though I have heard some good things), and Nicolas Cage is typically a sign that a film isn’t exactly a masterpiece these days. And then a trailer dropped today, and my mind was blown. No, shattered. NO. My mind was opened up to another dimension full of crimson colors and hellish imagery beyond the imagination. Though this film looks nothing like Hellraiser, I am beginning to wonder if Cosmatos could be our next great visionary in horror. THAT’s how incredible this trailer is. I’ll be counting down the days until this nightmarish fever dream smashes its way into theaters with a cacophony of screams and the revving of a blood-spattered chainsaw.
02. The Meg
Directed by: Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure)
Synopsis: "After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible."
Release Date: August 10th, 2018 (theatrical)
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking how could I possibly include The Meg, a PG-13 big, dumb shark movie on a list of upcoming horror films to be excited about. I’ll tell you why, and it’s very simple. It’s a big dumb shark movie that, based on the trailer, promises mega-sized over-the-top fun. The Meg knows exactly what kind of film it is, and isn’t trying to be anything else (they cast Jason Statham, for fuck sake). The tagline on the poster is “Nice to eat you”. Normally, this would be a straight to Syfy channel type of shark movie, doomed to join the ranks of a hundred other forgettable films like Sharktopus or Sand Sharks. Instead, The Meg was given a huge budget, a fun cast, and all around just looks an action-packed thrill ride that will surely swallow all of our money whole. I also happen to be a huge fan of the book by Steve Alten, which, for those looking for a scarier action-adventure story, is a MUST READ. It would’ve been nice to see a more horrific version of The Meg, but I’ll take my shark movies any way I can get them. I have a problem.
01. Summer of 84
Directed by: Francois Simard & Anouk Whissell & Yoann-Karl Whissell (Turbo Kid)
Synopsis: "After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous."
Release Date: August 3rd, 2018 (limited theatrical)
Many of you have probably forgotten about Summer of 84, if you ever knew about it at all. That’s why I’m here to remind of a film which could be a sneaky hit this, er, summer. Sporting an 80’s slasher vibe mixed with a Stranger Things type cast, there’s a lot to be excited about with this film. Most importantly, it’s directed by the team that brought us Turbo Kid, a wildly entertaining, gory action film that was by far my favorite film of 2015. Will Summer of 84 top it? Hard to tell by the trailer, but there’s an obvious love of 80’s horror present, and for me, that’s enough to get me pumped.
Another Wolfcop - July 3rd, 2018 (Blu-ray)
The Ranger - (TBD)
The First Purge - July 4th, 2018 (theatrical)
Slender Man - August 24th, 2018 (theatrical)
Overlord - October 26th, 2018 (theatrical?)
What's on your lists for most anticipated during the rest of 2018? Post below!