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13 Horror Movies We’re Screaming to See in 2020

on January 15, 2020, 12:00am
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Face it, there’s never a wrong time to watch a horror movie. Sure, most of the world tends to get spooky around autumn — and the Halloween season is the best time to put on a Friday night rental — but horror hounds never stop. They’re thirsty. Not just for blood, but that inextricable feeling that the things that go bump in the night take us away from the things that go bump in our day-to-day life. Yes, there’s a difference.

Beyond any other genre, horror is a true-blue escape. Because really, there’s nothing more intoxicating than curling up in a theater — or on our couch — and getting whisked away to a lonely suburban street. Or a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Or even a dusty basement … that just so happens to be stained red. The best kind of horror can do that, and the best kind of horror takes our minds off our own real-life horrors.

This year is no exception, and fortunately for everyone, we won’t have to wait until the pumpkins are set on the stoops. Starting this month and going far into the fall season, the spooky is in full supply. From a Henry James reimagining, to a retooled ’70s television hit, to the return of our favorite man in the mirror, 2020 is chock full of reasons to keep checking under our beds at night. And for that, we can sigh in relief.

Here are 13 tricks and treats we’re screaming to see…

–Michael Roffman
Editor-in-Chief

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13. Fantasy Island

50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

Fantasy Island (Blumhouse)

Release Date: February 14th

In 2018, Lucy Hale made for one of the few bright spots in the otherwise drab, toothless Truth or Dare. We’re guessing both she and the audience will fare better with Blumhouse’s latest: Fantasy Island, a Jeff Wadlow-directed horror adaptation of the 1978 TV show of the same name. Hale joins a pretty sold cast, which includes Maggie Q, Michael Rooker, Michael Peña, and Ryan Hansen in full Ryan Hansen mode. Add in a lively trailer (with a top-tier Ariana Grande needle-drop deployment) and we’re not-so-cautiously optimistic.—-Allison Shoemaker

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12. The Turning

Finn Wolfhard in The Turning (Universal)

The Turning (Universal)

Release Date: January 24th

Henry James’ Gothic story The Turn of the Screw has long been fodder for the most intriguing works of cinematic horror — take Jack Clayton’s The Innocents for instance, or 2001’s The Others. But Runaways writer-director Floria Sigismondi comes to us with a slinky, modern-day adaptation starring Mackenzie Davis as a beleaguered nanny beset by dark forces in a spooky old house and two even spookier charges (Finn Wolfhard and The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince). January releases for horror are never a good sign, but the game cast and stylish visuals give us hope that this will be a step above the rest. –Clint Worthington

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11. Gretel and Hansel

Gretel and Hansel Trailer

Gretel and Hansel (United Artists)

Release Date: January 31st

Look, no matter how you spin it, Hansel and Gretel is terrifying. Witches eating kids? C’mon. So, you can only imagine what filmmaker Oz Perkins might do with his literal spin on the infamous Brothers Grimm tale. Based on its cloudy first trailer, Gretel and Hansel looks downright unnerving in the ways we love prestige horror. Sophia Lillis, fresh off of equally nail-biting turns in It: Chapter One and Sharp Objects, plays little Gretel, and while she’s out of the sewer, these woods don’t look so pleasant, either. That shot of the witch in the distance? Much scarier than Pennywise the Dancing Clown. –Michael Roffman

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10. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

the conjuring 3 13 Horror Movies Were Screaming to See in 2020

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Release Date: September 11th

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return once more to bring our favorite cinematic demon-fighting couple to life in the next installment of the mega-popular Conjuring series. This time, James Wan has passed the baton to The Curse of La Llorona’s Michael Chaves. It’s not just behind the scenes that mark a shakeup for the series; the plot centers around one of the most sensational cases from the Warrens’ files in which an American murder suspect argued that they couldn’t be found guilty of the crime, as they were demonically possessed at the time. Demonic courtroom drama and the Warrens? Yes, please. –Meagan Navarro

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09. Halloween Kills

Halloween Announcement (Blumhouse)

Halloween Kills (Blumhouse)

Release Date: October 16th

When David Gordon Green’s Halloween conquered the box office in 2018, becoming the highest grossing slasher of all time, you just knew Michael Myers never perished in that fire. Well, he didn’t, at least not yet, as Blumhouse has dated two sequels for this year and the next. The first, Halloween Kills, hits theaters this October, and seemingly picks up right where the last left off. This time around, Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode isn’t the only familiar face in Haddonfield, Illinois as we’ll be seeing Anthony Michael Hall as not-so-bratty Tommy Doyle, Kyle Richards as not-so-little Lindsay Wallace, and Charles Cyphers as not-so-Sheriff Brackett. Trick or treat? We’ll find out. –Michael Roffman

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08. A Quiet Place 2

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

A Quiet Place II (Paramount Pictures)

Release Date: March 20th

A Quiet Place didn’t need a sequel. The 2018 sci-fi thriller ended beautifully, leaving the fate of the surviving Abbots and the rest of that curious world up to our own imagination. Well, imagination got the best of writer and director John Krasinski because he’s back with a second chapter. This time around, we’re leaving the farmstead and venturing forth into the world, and Emily Blunt is at the front of the charge. Based on the synopsis (and the first trailer), it would appear there are more monsters due on this Maple street, and some of them may be from this world. Spooky. –Michael Roffman

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07. The Lodge

Riley Keough in The Lodge

The Lodge (Neon)

Release Date: February 7th

Those searching for some bleak winter horror should seek refuge in The Lodge. One of our favorite selections from last year’s Cinepocalypse Festival, this icy thriller follows a fractured family in a remote cabin amidst a brutal holiday storm. What’s under the Christmas tree? Dread! As they’re wont to do, Goodnight Mommy directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala relish every opportunity to send their characters further into a downward spiral, and Riley Keough burns brighter the deeper she goes. It’s claustrophobic, it’s often cruel, but it’s always riveting. Don’t sleep on this one. –Michael Roffman

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06. The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man Trailer, Elisabeth Moss, Blumhouse

The Invisible Man (Blumhouse)

Release Date: February 28th

Here’s one remake saved by development hell: After the dissolution of Universal’s failed Dark Universe, Blumhouse snagged the rights to The Invisible Man to deliver this modern reimagining, instead. Directed by Leigh Whannell, who’s hot off of 2018’s sleeper hit Upgrade, the film follows Elisabeth Moss as she attempts to stave off her abusive boyfriend who may or may not be the titular force at hand. Lots of metaphors to glean with this one, but also plenty of tension to mine, and Whannell isn’t the kind of guy to waste any of that. Good on him, and good for us. –Michael Roffman

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05. Antlers

50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

Antlers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Release Date: April 17th

Scott Cooper may not be one of the most well-known filmmakers working today, but he’s spent the majority of the last decade crafting taut mid-budget dramas with a dash of social commentary. So, it seems that he’ll be quite comfortable dipping into the horror genre with his latest picture Antlers. There’s a sinister teaser trailer online now that hints of what scares Cooper has tucked under his sleeve. With actors like Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons involved, those are reasons alone to get excited for one of the most anticipated horror films of 2020. –James Clay

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04. Candyman

candyman reboot jordan peele nia dacosta

Candyman

Release Date: June 12th

Candyman. Candyman. Cand–eh, let’s not test it. Out of all the reboots and remakes coming from Hollywood, we’re actually pretty stoked to reunite with Clive Barker’s man in the mirror, especially since Tony Todd is back behind the bees. Of course, it helps that Jordan Peele is involved, and that it’s being helmed by Little Woods director Nia DaCosta. That level of talent insists we’re not getting just another cash grab sequel, but a film that has something to say, which has long been the enduring strength of the 1992 original. Even better, it’s a direct sequel! –Michael Roffman

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03. Antebellum

Janelle Monae Antebellum First Trailer Watch

Antebellum (Lionsgate)

Release Date: April 24th

Though details for Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz’s Antebellum remain scant, the few crumbs we do have are tantalizing. The teaser released in November depicts Janelle Monáe as a modern-day author trapped in a nightmare: She’s a slave in the pre-Civil War South. Kiersey Clemons and Gabourey Sidibe also star in this provocative horror flick produced by Sean McKittrick (Get Out and Us). Seeing Monáe in a star-driven vehicle makes Antebellum a can’t miss experience. –Robert Daniels

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02. The Organ Donor

50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

The Organ Donor (Lionsgate)

Release Date: May 15th

A ninth Saw movie starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson … from a story by Rock? That’s something you don’t hear every day. Allegedly, The Organ Donor will not be a reboot as previously thought, but a legitimate continuation of the Jigsaw story — complete with Saw sequel stalwart Darren Lynn Bousman returning to direct. The plot itself is still under wraps, but given Rock’s involvement, we can expect some darkly comic twists along the way. Unless he wants to play it completely straight, in which case we’re doubly interested to see what kind of twisted game he has in store. –Clint Worthington

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01. Last Night in Soho

50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

Last Night in Soho (Focus Features)

Release Date: September 25th

Edgar Wright knows his way around every genre, but he tends to always have the last laugh. That’s why we’re intrigued by Last Night in Soho, which is being touted as a psychological horror movie. Is this Wright tickling his Lynchian funny bone? Will he leave any room for comedy? Given his macabre influences on the project (Don’t Look Now, Repulsion), we’re expecting something as visceral as Baby Driver, only with chills over thrills. Then again, with 1917 co-screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns offering an assist, it’s hard to imagine this being anything short of a thrill ride. –Michael Roffman

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