With films like The Lodge, The Invisible Man, Color Out of Space, and Livescream kicking off the year, 2020 is shaping up to be another monumental year for horror films. The way we look at it, it’s just a continuation of the modern horror renaissance that started in the 2010s.
Think about it, the 2010s were filled with amazing horror movies. There were horror/comedies like What We Do in the Shadows, Cabin in the Woods, and Get Out; there were slow-burning creepers like Annihilation, It Follows, and Suspiria; and there were gut-wrenching flicks like Green Room, Overlord, and Hereditary. Has any other decade been filled with so many gems? Truly, the age of the prestige horror picture is upon us!
And that’s why we want to take a moment to highlight a few of the upcoming horror movies that we’re excited to see in 2020.
Swallow (March 6)
From the looks of this trailer, Swallow promises a large helping of body horror with a side of beautifully composed cinematography from Katelin Arizmendi (CAM). Halley Bennett (nope, that’s not Jennifer Lawrence) stars as Hunter, a newlywed who stifles her depression by eating a variety of objects: thumbtacks, marbles, safety pins, and more. When her bizarre addiction is discovered . . . well, you’ll just have to wait and see! –Anthony Darnell
Vivarium (March 27)
I’m a sucker for science fiction horror flicks and Vivarium, starring the ever-so-talented Imogeen Poots and Jessie Eisenberg, had me from the word “Go.” Seriously, it’s giving me strong The Endless and The One I Love vibes and I AM LIVING, MAWMAW! This is one of those films you see on opening night so you can encourage your friends to take a risk on a movie that’s thinking outside the box. I mean, c’mon, they flick off a child. I’m there. –Eve Jackson
Saint Maude (April 3)
This debut film by writer/director Rose Glass promises to deliver a heaping helping of tension, confusion, and manina in the now classic art house A24 style. While the trailer plays up the violence and potential supernatural aspects the film may have, we’re betting the movie will be much more focused on interpersonal horror.
In Saint Maud, the recently devout title character is determined to bring her faith to her terminally ill patient. The only problem is, her patient doesn’t seem to be interested. Monsters, ghosts, and aliens can induce serious frights, but it’s the radicalized human will that often yields the most visceral horror.
We can’t wait. –Adrienne Clark
Promising Young Woman (April 17)
No horror sub genre causes more heated debate than rape and revege. While some see these movies as a cathartic release, others argue that its exploitative nature and frequent male gaze do more damage than good.
Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge showed that rape and revenge flicks could still have legs in a post #MeToo world. So it was only a matter of time before another female filmmaker would take a stab at this oft problematic sub genre. That filmmaker would turn out to be Emerald Fennell. And the film is Promising Young Woman.
In the film, Cassandra Thomas (Carrie Mulligan) seeks out the “nice guys” of the world by feigning drunkenness in public places. But once they get her home, she drops the act, and we’re guessing that’s where the horror begins.
With a clever script and a stellar cast, Promising Young Woman might just be the next step for a sub genre in need of reinvention. –Adrienne Clark
Antebellum (April 24)
We’d like to take our collective hats off to the editors behind the Antebellum trailer. Without giving away a single plot point, the minute-long teaser hints at a film that’s both thought provoking and deeply terrifying.
Slavery is the darkest stain on America’s history, and incorporating it into a horror movie is a bold choice. There’s no doubt that life as a slave would have been more horrifying than anything fiction can invent, but the inherent horror of slavery doesn’t make it an easy topic to incorporate into the genre. We’re interested to see how directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz use this chapter of our country’s history and just what it means to the overall story. –Adrienne Clark
Spiral (May 15)
The thing that has us most excited for the newest installment in the Saw franchise is that after so many uninspired sequels, Spiral is a labor of love.
Fans may have been surprised to see comedian Chris Rock in the trailer when it dropped, and we can see why. Although Rock is a beloved comedian, his name doesn’t exactly make us think of torture, blood, and guts.
But perhaps it should have. It turns out that Rock has long been a fan of the franchise started by James Wan and Leigh Whannell back in the early 2000s. In fact, he even told writer Whannell how much he’d love to make a Saw film when they met at a party. We’ll never know if that chance meeting helped inspire Rock to eventually pitch his idea to Lionsgate, but no matter the inspiration, we’re glad Rock finally took the plunge. –Adrienne Clark
The Vast of Night (May 27)
The Vast of Night has me intrigued, but not completely sold. Clearly, there’s some otherworldly activity going on in the skies over New Mexico, and while we’re led to believe that it’s probably aliens, the trailer doesn’t spill the beans completely. Seems like it’s ground that has been traveled many times before—especially, when it’s set in McCarthy-era America—but Amazon Originals have been known to reinvent the mold from time-to-time. –Anthony Darnell
Candyman (June 12)
Any 2020 horror list worth its weight in salt has to include Candyman from Executive Producer Jordan Peele. From that creepy rendition of Destiny Child’s “Say My Name” to all those goddamn bees, I am 100% sold on this movie. We’ll have to wait to find out, but it looks like a modern origin story that could turn into a new franchise for the character and that’s definitely alright by me. The original Candyman explored racial themes—in a very 90s kind of way—and a modern take on that could carry important social messages—in the vein of Get Out—while still delivering the frights. –Eve Jackson