2022 has been an incredible year for the horror genre with smash-hit releases coming from both returning franchises and independent projects. While certain sections of the film industry have seen hard times, audiences have continued to embrace horror and enabled it to flourish. Radio Silence’s Scream reboot kicked off the year with a resounding success, while films like X, Barbarian, and The Black Phone captured the hearts of fans around the world. Smile proved to be the most surprising smash-hit of the year, generating a massive worldwide box office return of over 200 million dollars, and independent project Terrifier 2 became an instant cult classic amongst fans – giving hope to any inspiring filmmakers looking to break through in the business.
With such a successful year of horror behind us, we now look forward to the future, with a whole lot of new spooky releases on the horizon. Whether it be returning franchises or more independent features, 2023 is set to be another huge year for horror.
Here, we take a look at the most anticipated horror releases of 2023! (Be sure to check local listings in your country as some dates may differ.)
M3gan – January 6th (US), January 13th (UK)
Kicking off the year is M3gan – a brand new original movie from the prolific horror minds of James Wan and Jason Blum. M3gan looks to reinvent the concept of a killer doll for modern audiences, replacing the possession formula with a new take on AI gone wrong. The film follows the story of a robotics engineer called Gemma, who suddenly becomes the caretaker of her orphaned 8-year-old niece. Unprepared and under huge pressure at her work, Gemma decides to enlist the help of M3gan – a new life-like doll designed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. A decision that comes with unimaginable consequences.
M3gan sees Get Out’s Allison Williams star alongside Violet McGraw (The Haunting of Hill House), with Housebound director Gerard Johnstone helming the feature. Malignant writer Akela Cooper continues to elevate her name in the genre by penning the script.
Alone at Night – January 20th
Alone at Night promises to serve up a sexy, slasher film from a bygone era, with an impressive ensemble cast that sees Ashley Benson, Pamela Anderson, and Paris Hilton star alongside Luis Guzmán and Sky Ferreira.
The film follows Vicky, a young woman looking for an escape after going through a tumultuous breakup. After retreating to a friend’s remote cabin in the woods to clear her head, she continues modeling sexy lingerie for her devoted followers on 18 & Over, an adults-only, live-streaming website. But when the power goes out, Vicky discovers something terrifying awaiting her in the dark — a masked killer wielding a crowbar who’s hellbent on bringing her night to a grisly end.
Director Jimmy Giannopoulos has spoken more about the release, saying:
“With Alone at Night, I wanted to make the kind of movie I would have snuck into as a teen. Slasher, stoner, a sexy thriller with killer music. Playing on the nostalgia of my favorite B-horror we truly made a terrifyingly fun film. Though the themes of isolation and obsession are as old as time, culture always breeds new ways for them to manifest. You can isolate but you can’t hide.”
Infinity Pool – January 27th
Mia Goth had a breakout year in 2022, making a huge name for herself with great performances in both X and its sequel Pearl. Next up from the actress is Infinity Pool, another original horror that takes the idea of a perfect island vacation and turns it into a nightmare. The film follows James and Em Foster, who meet a mysterious and seductive woman named Gabi whilst enjoying the pristine beaches and exceptional staff at a luxury resort. After a tragic accident occurs, the couple finds themselves outside the resort grounds in a culture filled with violence, hedonism, and untold horror.
Director Brandon Cronenberg helms the feature that also stars Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood, The Northman) and Cleopatra Coleman.
Knock at the Cabin – February 3rd
Visionary filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan returns with an adaptation of Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World. The film looks set to bring a fresh take on the home invasion sub-genre by adding an apocalyptic twist as a family’s vacation at a remote cabin takes a sinister turn.
Knock at the Cabin follows a family vacationing at a remote cabin when they are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand that they make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost.
The film stars Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Army of the Dead) Rupert Grint (Servant, Harry Potter franchise) Nikki Amuka-Bird (Old) Ben Aldridge (Pennyworth, Fleabag), and Jonathan Groff (Mindhunter).
Horror maestro Stephen King heaped praise on Tremblay’s novel by describing it as “thought-provoking and terrifying, with tension that winds up like a chain” and “gripping, horrifying, and mesmerizing,” so here’s hoping Shyamalan’s vision delivers another memorable release.
Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey – February 15th
The era of taking beloved childhood characters and turning them into homicidal murderers continues with Winnie the Pooh, the latest to receive the horror makeover. The film follows Pooh and Piglet, who go on a murderous rampage for human flesh after being abandoned by Christopher Robin when he heads off to college. The trailer offers up a prototypical slasher vibe that sees a group of university women encounter the bloodthirsty duo whilst partying at a rural cabin.
Rhys Frake-Waterfield directs the film which stars Amber Doig-Thorne, Natasha Tosini, May Kelly, and Maria Taylor. Craig David Dowsett is tasked with bringing the deranged Pooh to life.
Scream 6 – March 10th
Paramount and Spyglass wasted no time in capitalizing on the success of Scream’s 2022 reboot by commissioning a sixth entry in the franchise. This time around, Ghostface abandons the rural setting of Woodsboro in favor of a killing spree in New York City – New City, New Rules…
This latest outing follows the four surviving members of the recent Ghostface killings as they leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter in the big apple. While specific plot details remain under wraps, the official teaser gives us a look at our leads as they encounter Ghostface on a packed Halloween subway train.
Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega, who starred as Sam and Tara Carpenter in Scream 2022, have spoken glowingly about the release. In a previous interview, Barrera stated that “this one is on another level,” while Ortega (known for breakout roles in X and Netflix’s Wednesday) claimed that the next chapter of the franchise will be both “action and gore-heavy.”
Returning for Radio Silence’s latest outing are Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Mason Gooding, who star alongside franchise legend Courtney Cox and Hayden Panettiere, who reprises her role of Kirby Reed from Scream 4. Newcomers to the franchise include Ready or Not’s Samara Weaving, Josh Segarra, and Dermot Mulroney.
Renfield – April 14th
Universal is set to deliver a fresh take on the classic Dracula tale by exploring the classic character of Renfield. Starring Nicholas Cage as the legendary vampire, the film is said to be a “modern-day adventure story that is comedic in tone.” – But fear not horror fans, the film has been rated R for “Bloody violence, some gore, language throughout and some drug use.”
Based on an original pitch from The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, the film will be directed by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War) and will also star Nicholas Hoult as the title character.
The film centers on Renfield, who has grown sick and tired of his centuries as Dracula’s lackey. The henchman finds a new lease on life and maybe even redemption when he falls for feisty, perennially angry traffic cop Rebecca Quincy.
Evil Dead Rise – April 21st
The Evil Dead franchise returned in 2013 with one of the more disturbing and frightening releases in recent memory, so anticipation for its next installment runs high. After really positive feedback from its private screenings, the studio opted to release the film theatrically instead of its originally intended release straight to HBO Max. Although a trailer is still yet to be released, we know that the film’s plot will focus on a twisted tale of two estranged sisters whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.
Sam Raimi serves as a writer for the film alongside Lee Cronin, who also helms the feature. Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan, and Morgan Davies star.
Insidious 5 – July 7th
Sony is heading back into The Further with The Insidious franchise making its long-awaited return in 2023. While plot details remain under wraps, franchise star Patrick Wilson will return to not only star but direct the feature too. Also returning are Rose Byrne and Ty Simpkins. The film is set to follow the Lambert family ten years after the latest installment, as Dalton begins college.
Speaking more about his directorial duties, Wilson said:
“I’m honored and thrilled to be at the helm of the next Insidious installment, which will provide an amazing chance to unpack everything the Lamberts went through a decade ago, as well as deal with the consequences of their choices. Directing the movie is both professionally and personally a full-circle moment for me, and I am extremely grateful to be entrusted in continuing to tell this frightening and haunting story. Into the further, we go…”
Leigh Whannell returns to pen the script alongside Scott Teems.
The Nun 2 – September 8th
The Conjuring Universe continues to grow with its next installment bringing us the return of The Nun. Following on from the events of 2018’s The Nun, the second feature to exclusively focus on The Demon Nun will take the story into 1950s France, where evil begins spreading after the murder of a priest. Taissa Farmiga returns as Sister Irene, who once again comes face to face with the demonic force known as Valak.
Bonnie Aarons also returns as Valak, alongside Euphoria’s Storm Reid who is set to play a leading role.
James Wan once again serves as producer, with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It director Michael Chaves tasked with helming the project. Malignant and M3gan’s Akela Cooper pens the script.
The Exorcist – October 13th
David Gordon Green proved to be one of horror’s most divisive figures in 2022, with his trilogy ending Halloween Ends becoming one of the most debated films of the year. With his take on the Halloween franchise now at an end, attention toward another beloved franchise becomes the priority as Green is set to helm a reboot of The Exorcist.
Plot details remain under wraps, but the film is set to serve as the sequel to the 1973 film that focuses on a 12-year-old girl who is possessed by a mysterious demonic entity, forcing her mother to seek the help of two priests to save her.
The yet untitled project comes to us from Blumhouse, who have already expressed their excitement about a possible trilogy. Company head, Jason Blum, spoke more about this, saying:
“I’m really excited about The Exorcist. The first person I approached when we picked up the film was David Gordon Green. I thought what David did with Halloween was great and I think he really found a great balance of respecting the original intellectual property, but also bringing something new to it. So it didn’t feel like a retread. So I was really happy when he wanted to do The Exorcist and we’re starting production really soon. We’re already setting up a framework and thinking about a trilogy. We also have a great cast.”
The film is set to see Ellen Burstyn reprise her role as Chris MacNeil from the original 1973 movie, with Leslie Odom Jr. and Ann Dowd (Hereditary, The Handmaid’s Tale) also set to star.
Saw X – October 27th
Do you want to play… another game?
The Saw franchise is set to continue with a tenth installment arriving just in time for Halloween. Given the underwhelming release of Spiral in 2021, you could be forgiven for thinking that the franchise had met its end, but there is more to come from this world. Plot details remain under wraps, but Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith have both been confirmed to return.
Kevin Greutert, director of Saw VI and Saw: The Final Chapter, will return to the director’s chair for this next chapter. Lionsgate will once again serve as producers for the film and the production company has teased more about the release, saying:
“The return of Tobin Bell to the franchise furthers Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures’ goal of a film that captures everything Saw fans love about the franchise, while also keeping them guessing with all-new traps and a new mystery to solve.”
So, there are just a few exciting releases on the horizon for 2023. What are your most anticipated horror releases of 2023? Let us know in the comments section, below.