Horror films are a dime a dozen. Hollywood can’t stop churning ‘em out, and audiences can’t stop watching them. We like to experience the thrill of the scare within the comfort of our seats. We’re weird like that. However, most horror films are downright terrible. Have you ever noticed how Netflix usually has a rotation of popular titles to watch, but they always have the same terrible options for the horror genre? It’s not because they’re in crazy high demand, I guarantee it.
As much as I criticize scary movies, the truth is I absolutely love them, especially when they are done well. I could rewatch Sinister and Insidious anytime. Go ahead. Give me an excuse. Even the 2006 video game-based thriller Stay Alive is a guilty pleasure.
I just wish I hadn’t spent literally days of my life sifting through garbage horror in order to find those few gems. So in an attempt to spare a few souls the same anguish, we’ve compiled a list of some promising titles coming out within the next year. If you think we skipped something or we were unaware of a title, I assure you we did not and we are not.
Lights Out – July 22, 2016
This PG-13 thriller is only 80 minutes long. That’s already two red flags right there. However, and this is a huge “however,” it is produced by James Wan, a contemporary horror icon who has helmed films like The Conjuring, Insidious, and Saw. Lights Out is based on a short film by the same name. Guillermo del Toro’s Mama shared a similar origin story but turned out to be a feature-length disappointment. Hopefully, Lights Out won’t share its fate.
Check out the spectacularly terrifying short film here:
The Girl with All the Gifts – September 2016
Based on the bestselling novel by M. R. Carey, The Girl with All the Gifts is a dystopian film about a group of unique children raised on a military base. One day the children escape and in the chaos young Melanie saves the life of her teacher (Gemma Arterton), creating skepticism and uncertainty around her supposed animal nature. The film looks like a 28 Days Later-esque thriller with an emotive story and even bigger explosions.
A Cure for Wellness – February 2017
No trailer or poster has been released for A Cure for Wellness, but the two leads have been cast: Dane Dehaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Place Beyond the Pines) and Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter films). Both are fantastic actors—seriously, watch Dehaan in Chronicle—and a horror-thriller is an interesting next step in their careers. Dehaan will star as an employee who seeks to rescue his boss from a European “wellness spa” run by Isaacs. The film has been categorized as a “supernatural thriller,” but what makes it “supernatural” has yet to be revealed.
Patient Zero – 2017
This highly-anticipated movie is bursting with star power and even had a panel at this year’s Comic-Con. Matt Smith (“Doctor Who”) plays a man with the strange gift to speak the language of those who have been infected by a zombie virus.The film features Natalie Dormer (“Game of Thrones”), Clive Standen (“Vikings”), and Stanley Tucci (any movie ever). Basically, they had me at Tucci. Plus, the fact that the cast is almost entirely British leads me to believe that Patient Zero might be slightly more intelligent than the average horror film. No, not because their accents make them sound smarter, but because of movies like 28 Days Later and Attack the Block.
Nosferatu – TBA
Little is known about this upcoming horror film, except that Robert Eggers has been in talks to direct this remake of the German classic. Eggers directed the astonishing, critically-acclaimed The Witch, and anything he touches has my attention. Fingers crossed this Nosferatu remake comes to fruition.
As a final note in our listicle of horror flicks, I want to give a little piece of advice before autumn’s box office fright fest begins: beware of sequels. Sequels are almost always a bad idea, most notoriously in the horror genre. I don’t care what your reasons are, there is no excuse for seeng Ouija: Origin of Evil or—heaven forbid—Halloween II, a remake of a sequel. Or is it actually a sequel of a remake? Either way, don’t do it.