Originally written by Jack Wilhelmi for Screen Rant
2020 is looking like it could be a banner year for horror, with highly-anticipated franchises seeing new installments, old villains getting a refresh, and original ideas from some of the greatest minds in horror being released. Some of the most anticipated films of the year include big name titles such as Halloween Kills, The Conjuring 3, Candyman, and The Invisible Man.
The past decade saw a lot of growth in horror, with updates being made to slasher films from the 70s and 80s, directors like Ari Aster and Robert Eggers producing highly stylized films that made people question just exactly how far the genre could stretch. Guillermo del Toro won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2018 for his aesthetically stunning monster movie, The Shape of Water. Jordan Peele's Get Out was nominated the same year, in the same category, and picked up the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
2020 isn't completely saturated with major franchises, however. Some of the most highly-anticipated titles involve directors like Guillermo del Toro, who has become something of a master within the genre. Blumhouse Productions, one of the most successful horror studios of the modern era, is adapting an old television series with a horror angle. If 2020 is any benchmark, the upcoming decade seems to contain a lot of promise for horror movies.
Gretel & Hansel - January 31
Gretel & Hansel is an adaptation of the classic tale, Hansel and Gretel, from The Brothers Grimm, which was originally published in 1812. The story of a young brother and sister who wander into the woods looking for work and food only to cross paths with a cannibalistic witch has endured throughout the years, but director Oz Perkins is looking to update the tale with Gretel at the forefront. Sophia Lillis, of IT fame, is starring as Gretel in this folk horror meets coming-of-age tale that looks appropriately terrifying for such a brutal story.
Fantasy Island - February 14
Blumhouse's Fantasy Island looks to be exactly in their wheelhouse; it's full of fresh-faced actors in a dynamic, ensemble cast and it surrounds a tropical, island paradise with danger lurking around every corner. The film's release on Valentine's Day weekend will likely bring about a decent return for the studio, which has made a name for itself by producing streamlined, crisp horror on a budget. Fantasy Island adapts the old ABC television series of the same name that ran from 1977-1984 in its first run. It has been described as The Cabin in the Woods meets Westworld and promises a mystery to be solved.
The Invisible Man - February 28
Director Leigh Whannell, of Saw and Insidious fame, reimagines the classic Universal monster in this updated version of The Invisible Man. Here, Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) is a woman trying to escape her abusive ex's hold on her when he reportedly commits suicide and leaves her a handsome sum of money, though she suspects his death was a hoax. Soon after, she starts to experience increasingly lethal coincidences that suggest Adrian was able to turn himself invisible. It's a tale of the real-life horrors surrounding abuse and gaslighting for the modern age, and a unique spin on the original H.G. Wells tale.
A Quiet Place Part 2 - March 20
A Quiet Place 2 is the highly-anticipated follow up to 2018's smash hit from director John Krasinski which also starred Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds. In the post-apocalyptic world that shows the US being inhabited by extraterrestrial beings that respond to the slightest sound, the silence is deafening and creates a perfect atmosphere for nail-biting horror. Beyond that, it makes for one of the most unique theatrical experiences ever because, by and large, most viewers are compelled to be silent. The recent trailer drop for the film explores life after the death of Krasinski's character in the first film, and follows the Abbott family as they travel to a new location where they meet up with new survivors and learn that people might be just as dangerous as the creatures.
Antlers - April 17
Antlers, the newest film from master of horror Guillermo del Toro seems like everything one might expect. While Scott Cooper is in the director's seat, Del Toro lends his savvy and unique stamp as a producer for the film. It's a supernatural horror tale that follows a teacher in a small, Oregon town named Julia (Keri Russell) as she crosses paths with a student who is harboring dangerous secrets about his family. The trailer suggests that the young boy's "dad" is a monster, but invokes a "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" sort of vibe as the story is told. While the film is cloaked in mystery, the trailers look startling and intense, which might be exactly what the genre needs to kick things off.
Untitled Saw Movie - May 15
Saw's 9th installment, which is going by the working title "The Organ Donor" was adapted from a story from Chris Rock, who also stars in the film, and sees the return of director Darren Lynn Bousman to the popular franchise. While not much is known about the plot of the film, it seems to be an attempt to refresh the brand itself and bring something new after some previous installments have fallen flat and aspects of the films have become repetitive. Saw has been successful for the better part of a decade, and has launched the careers of many successful names in horror including Leigh Whannell and James Wan.
Candyman - June 12
Director Nia DaCosta and producer Jordan Peele have been getting major press ever since they announced they would be taking on a "spiritual sequel" to Bernard Rose's Candyman. The original 1992 movie was based on a story from Hellraiser creator Clive Barker, and dealt with race and class in the project neighborhood of Chicago's Cabrini Green. As Peele is known for mixing race and horror together with his other films, Get Out and Us, he's an important name to have behind the project. DaCosta has already proven herself to be a talented filmmaker, though she's early in her career. Candyman's plot is vague, but will see a return from Tony Todd, who originated the role, in some capacity.
The Purge 5 - July 10
With The Purge television series just finishing season two, fans of the franchise are looking to the next feature's release, which will happen in summer 2020. Creator James DeMonaco said in October 2018, that the fifth film would be the franchise's last. However, with the series and other potential for spin-offs, if it is the last feature film, it's likely The Purge won't be done forever. The untitled movie hasn't released much information regarding the plot, but could potentially tie-in to the television series or follow up after Election Year, since the fourth installment in the franchise, The First Purge was a prequel.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It - September 11
The Conjuring 3 is on the way from director Michael Chaves, who directed The Curse of La Llorona, and will focus on a different story from Ed and Lorraine Warren's case files. This time, instead of directly centralizing the plot around a specific haunting as it happens, the film will focus on the aftermath. The trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, or the infamous "the devil made me do it" case, was the first instance where someone claimed demonic possession as a defense in a murder trial. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson will return to reprise their roles and Lorraine and Ed, respectively.
Halloween Kills - October 16
The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in Halloween Kills, the sequel to 2018's Halloween, which followed the events of John Carpenter's 1978 original film 40 years later. Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney, And Matichak, and Judy Greer have all signed on to reprise their roles from the first film. Anthony Michael Hall has been cast as the adult Tommy Doyle, who Laurie babysat in the original film, and Kyle Richards reprises the role of Lindsay Wallace, the other child in Laurie's care, which she originated. The film will likely follow the events of the first pretty closely, and could reflect the original Halloween 2 sequel in some capacity.
The first of these highly anticipated horror movies, Gretel & Hansel, opens at Regal this Friday, January 31st.