Top 13 Upcoming Horror Films of 2018

As the holidays mutate into the festive new year, the Grue-Crew begin to take a look at the genre films in store for us in the coming year. And 2018 looks very promising. Breaking up the selections into three categories, the Grue-Crew take a look at the Horror Films, Genre Films (Sci-Fi/Fantasy), and Superhero Films in our near future. The article below is about the Top 13 Upcoming Horror Films. Look for future articles with the Sci-Fi and Superhero Films soon. Some of the films that could easily be on this list are reserved for those lists: Annihilation, Rampage, Pacific Rim: Uprising, The New Mutants, and Venom. Even with those films stripped from this list, horror promises to dominate 2018 with 13 strong contenders for box office gold with a number of other films that fell below 13: Hellfest, Cadaver, Game Night, A Little Stranger, and Deathwish. Of course, the dates included below can (and, in some cases, likely will) change before they are released. So, read below and get excited, there is  some scary shit coming our way… (in addition, look for the popular Most Anticipated Horror Films of 2018 episode of Horror News Radio to land on Thursday, January 4, 2018) The below are presented in order of release date as known on 12/27/2017.

1) Insidious: The Last Key

Release Date: 1/5/2018 – Director:  Adam Robitel – Writer:  Leigh Whannell
Cast: Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson

James Wan’s Insidious franchise continues with Insidious: The Last Key focusing once again on Lin Shaye’s  Elise Rainier character. Also along for the ride are Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson as Specs and Tucker with the trio heading back to explore more about The Further. This go around the horror is in Elise’s family home, hinting at the origin of the character and how she discovered the ghostly dimension. The film, landing in January, will hopefully break the “January Curse” where studios seem to dump lesser quality horror films to unsuspecting audiences at the first of the year. Director Adam Robitel displayed a strong eye for the genre with his film, The Taking of Deborah Logan; hopefully, we’ll see his talent exceed that film’s promise.

2) Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built

Release Date: 2/2/2018 – Director:  Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig – Writer:  Tom Vaughan
Cast:  Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, Jason Clarke

Academy Award winner Helen Mirren stars as Sarah Winchester the heiress of the Winchester firearm fortune who believes her home is haunted by the souls of those killed by the rifle her family created. To hide from the spirits, she continually builds hallways and rooms in her home to confuse and disorient  those troublesome lost souls. Jason Clarke stars as Eric Price sent to evaluate the matriarchal Winchester’s sanity in hopes his employers can strip control of the company from her. He may be in for far more than he ever considered possible. The Spierig Brothers, the team behind Undead (2003) and Jigsaw (2017), handle the directing chores.

3) The Strangers: Prey at Night

Release Date: 3/9/2018 – Director: Johannes Roberts – Writer:  Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai
Cast:  Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson

The Strangers (2008) is a genuinely unsettling home invasion film, itself a remake of the French film Them (aka Ils). A sequel was rumored for 2016/2017 but did not surface. Then word came that  Johannes Roberts, the director of 47 Meters Down, landed the directing gig with  Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, and Martin Henderson starring as a family staying at a remote mobile park when three maniacs in familiar masks arrive to terrorize them. It will be curious to see how the film recaptures the tension from the original but Roberts displayed a talent for tension with 47 Meters Down, so there is an ocean of potential there.

4) Unsane

Release Date: 3/30/2018 – Director:  Steven Soderbergh – Writer:  Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer
Cast:  Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins

At the time of writing, very little is known about Unsane from director Steven Soderbergh, his first horror film. It is being promoted as being filmed entirely on the iPhone. The synopsis for the film suggests an insane asylum setting and an is-it-real storyline for its lead  character who is unwillingly committed. In addition to  Claire Foy, Juno Temple, and Aimee Mullins, the cast includes Amy Irving, Jay Pharoah, and Joshua Leonard. We’ll get to see if this experiment in terror is successful this coming March.

5) A Quiet Place

Release Date: 4/6/2018 – Director: John Krasinski – Writer: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Cast:  Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe

When the trailer landed in late 2017, coming out of seemingly nowhere, it quickly caught horrorphiles’ attention with its intriguing premise and specific sound design. Real life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt star as a husband and wife trapped in an unspecified world where any sound will attract an unknown horror. The trailer suggests a creature of some form with the horrific scratches discovered on a dilapidated stairway. Krasinski directs and co-writes the script with Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. Hopefully, the film delivers on the trailer’s promise.

6) Truth or Dare

Release Date: 4/27/2018 – Director:  Jeff Wadlow – Writer:  Jillian Jacobs, Michael Reisz, Christopher Roach
Cast:  Tyler Posey, Lucy Hale, Landon Liboiron

Blumhouse own horror, at least a very big piece of the pie. They have established a successful  formula for creating modern horror films, especially financially, but quite often critically (Get Out, Happy Death Day). At times, they cater to the creative team, at other times, the creative team is hired to shepherd a moderately budgeted concept to the big screen. Truth or Dare appears to be the latter at this time focusing on a group of college students who raise a terrifying spirit through a game of… truth or dare, of all things. Jeff Wadlow is the director of Cry Wolf and Kick-Ass 2 and is the producer behind Bates Motel and The Strain. Teen Wolf Tyler Posey stars.

7) Slender Man

Release Date: 5/18/2018 – Director: Sylvian White – Writer: David Birke w/ Victor Surge (aka Eric Knudsen, creator of Slender Man)
Cast: Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Annalise Basso, Javier Botet

Based on the creepypasta sensation, Slender Man was announced in early 2017 and completed filming in July 2017, but very little has been shared about the film at this time. Screen Gems announced that Sylvian White (The Losers 2010) will direct and the that the cast will include Joey King and Javier Botet from various Conjuring films along with Julia Goldani Telles and Annalise Basso. Botet, with this thin, wiry frame, is the perfect choice to bring the title character to life.

The Purge: Election Year, 2016. ph: Michele K. Short/ © Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

8) The Purge: The Island

Release Date: 7/6/2018 – Director:  Gerard McMurray – Writer:  James DeMonaco
Cast:  Luna Lauren Velez, Chyna Layne, Melonie Diaz

Speaking of Blumhouse, the successful company reteams with James DeMonaco to deliver the fourth in The Purge franchise with The Purge: The Island. Leaving behind Frank Grillo’s Leo Barnes from the previous two films in favor of a prequel examing the events that lead to the creation of the Purge. For the first time, DeMonaco steps back and lets a new director approach the material as Gerard McMurray takes the director’s chair. Will this inject new life into the arguably diminishing returns or will it sink the series for good? We’ll find out in July.

9) The Nun

Release Date: 7/13/2018 – Director:  Corin Hardy – Writer:  Gary Dauberman
Cast:  Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Aarons, Demián Bichir

The fifth film in The Conjuring universe of films (The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation w/ The Conjuring 3 and The Crooked Man in the works), The Nun revisits the horrifyingly haunting visage of Valek in a prequel examining how the horror came to be. Colin Hardy, the director behind The Hallow (2015), takes the reins as he and his cast head to Romania to film the summers biggest horror offering. Vera Farmiga’s sister Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story) takes the lead role and Bonnie Aarons returns at the title character.  Demián Bichir co-stars.

10) The Predator

Release Date: 8/3/2018 – Director: Shane Black – Writer: Fred Dekker
Cast:  Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Yvonne Strahovski

Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,  Iron Man 3), who has a supporting role in the original Predator (1987), returns to the franchise as the director of the fourth in the series (not counting the AVP films) simply titled The Predator. Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps, The Monster Squad) joins him on the screenplay chores. What else do you need to know? Okay, how about the cast?! The cast includes Boyd Holbrook (Logan), Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse),   Trevante Rhodes (Westworld), Keegan-Michael Key (Keanu, Key & Peele), Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Thomas Jane (1922, The Mist), Jake Busey (The Frighteners) and Edward James Olmos (Bladerunner). And, of course, the Predator as well. The film is said to be set between Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010).

11) The Meg

Release Date: 8/10/2018 – Director:  Jon Turteltaub – Writer: James Vanderbilts, Erich Hoeber, and Jon Hoeber
Cast: Ruby Rose, Jason Statham, Robert Taylor, Rainn Wilson, and Jessica McNamee

First, The Meg has a giant 70-foot prehistoric shark. Second, the film features Jason Statham as the shark hunter and Jon Turteltaub directing (Sorcerer’s Apprentice) from a script by Dean Georgaris based on the 1997 novel Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten. Lastly, it has a giant 70-foot prehistoric shark — what else do you really need? This film has been in the works for ages with various attempts to get it into production. It appears the recent successes of fellow shark movies The Shallows, 47 Meters Down, and – perhaps – Sharknado have reawakened movies audiences appetite for the sub-genre as well as studios proclivity in making more of them. Regardless, The Meg is finally in the can and ready to devour us all this August.

12) The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Release Date: 9/21/2018 – Director: Eli Roth – Writer: Eric Kripke
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, Kyle MacLachlan

Based on the gothic horror novel from 1973 by author John Bellairs (and featuring illustrations by Edward Gorey), The House With a Clock in Its Walls is set to pounce on its young adult audience (and horror fans) this September. The film is being directed by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel) and adapted by Eric Kripke (Supernatural). Jack Black stars as Jonathan Barnavelt with Owen Vaccaro as his 10-year old nephew, Lewis. Cate Blanchett and Kyle MacLachlan round out the cast. This is quite the departure for Roth; but, with a cast as talented as he has for Clock, he should be able to deliver a fun, horror film for all ages – wait, this is Eli Roth we’re talking about, right… oh, my…

13) Halloween

Release Date: 10/19/2018 – Director: David Gordon Green – Writer: Green w/ Danny McBride
Cast: Judy Greer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Andy Matichak, Nick Castle

The road to getting the Eleventh Halloween film in front of the camera has been tumultuous at best. Since the second Rob Zombie feature, a number of filmmakers and studios have been attached to the franchise. Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer were set to script a Halloween 3D in 2011 and Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan picked up the reigns in 2015. Neither film made it off the ground and Dimension Films lost the rights to the films in December 2015. Blumhouse picked up the ball in May 2016 with the surprising announcement that David Gordon Green and Danny McBride will be driving the film with Green directing and McBride co-writing the script. The film continued to stir up controversy by suggesting it is going to ignore every film since the John Carpenter classic from 1978. Jamie Lee Curtis is returning as Laurie Strode with Judy Greer playing her daughter Karen. Nick Castle is also returning as Michael Myers. It appears that fans will finally get their Halloween film this October, even creator John Carpenter is behind the effort. Take that Jigsaw and Paranormal Activity, the original is back to reclaim the haunting season throne.

Doc Rotten
Editor-In-Chief / Founder / Podcast Producer at Horror News Radio
Doc Rotten is the founder of Gruesome Magazine. He is also a film critic for Gruesome Magazine and the podcast host & producer for Horror News Radio, Monster Movie Podcast, Decades of Horror: 1970s, The American Horror Story Fan Podcast and Hannibal Fan Podcast. He is also co-host of the Dracula podcast on TV TALK and is a contributing reviewer for HorrorNews.Net and Widescreen Warrior.

Doc a lifelong fan of horror films, sci-fi flicks and monster movies first discovering Universal Monsters and Planet of the Apes as a young child in the 1970's searching out every issue of Famous Monster of Filmland (and, later, Fangoria). Favorite films include Jaws, The Car, The Birds, The Tingler, Vampire Circus and The Exorcist. Still a huge fan of horror films from the 70s, Doc continues consuming horror films to this day for the site, for the podcasts and for the fun of it all.