hmv.com previews... 2019's Best Movies - Horror
Over the next few days, we'll be looking ahead to 100 of the best films coming to cinema screens in 2019. Today we pick up with 10 of the most hotly-anticipated horror movies coming your way in the next 12 months...
It: Chapter 2
Starring: Bill Skarsgård, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain
Director: Andy Muschietti
Release date: September 6th
After Bill Skarsgård's impressive turn as Pennywise the Clown in Andy Muschietti's triumphant reboot of Stephen King's It, a sequel seemed inevitable and, sure enough, Pennywise is set to return this year. The sequel is adapted from the second part of King's novel and sees The Loser's Club, now all grown up, facing off against their old enemy 27 years after they first met.
Skarsgård returns for the second chapter, with the adult versions of the loser's Club kids set to be played by James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Isiah Mustafa and Andy Bean. Muschietti is once again behind the camera, working from a script adapted from King's novel by Gary Dauberman. Pennywise and the rest of the gang are due to return to cinemas on September 6th, in plenty of time for Halloween.
Starring: John Lithgow, Jason Clarke
Director: Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer
Release date: April 5th
Another of Stephen King's novels that made its debut on screens in the 1980s, Pet Sematary terrified audiences with the story of a burial ground for animals whose supernatural powers see the family pets interned there brought back from the dead and seemingly possessed by evil spirits, who set about terrorising their former owners.
A new reboot of the story is headed to cinemas later this year courtesy of directors Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer, the pair behind 2014 horror Starry Eyes, with Jason Clarke and John Lithgow set to lead the cast. The film is due to arrive in cinemas on both sides of the Atlantic on April 5th.
Happy Death Day 2U
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard
Director: Christopher Landon
Release date: February 14th
Christopher Landon's Groundhog Day-meets-Halloween slasher flick Happy Death Day saw Jessica Rothe playing a college student who is murdered on her birthday, before subsequently re-living her final day over and over again until she finds her masked killer, enabling her to break free of the loop and continue with her life. Having done so, Rothe's character Tree returns for the sequel and finds herself sucked back into the loop, two years on from the events of the original film.
This time, Tree finds that her friends are also involved and that the original killer has been murdered. If she is to escape the loop once again, she must find the person responsible for murdering her own murderer. Landon returns to direct the sequel and Israel Broussard reprises his role from the first film, with new additions to the cast including Sarah Yarkin and Suraj Sharma.
The Curse of La Llorona
Starring: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz
Director: Michael Chaves
Release date: April 19th
The story of La Llorona – otherwise known as “the weeping woman” - has been a fixture of Mexican folklore for centuries, based on the legend of a woman named Maria who drowned both of her children and immediately regretted it, spending the rest of her days wandering the banks of the river and crying until her own death some years later. Legend has it that her spirit roams the earth vengefully taking the children of others, and anyone who sees her or hears her cries are thought to be doomed.
It's this eerie legend that forms the basis for an upcoming horror film produced by James Wan and directed by Michael Chaves. Set in 1973, the film stars Linda Cardellini as a social worker named Anna who finds eerie similarities with one of her cases and the supernatural occurrences haunting her family, subsequently learning that La Llorona has latched onto her and is determined to take her children. Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velásquez also star in Chaves' movie, which has a US release date of April 19. A UK release date has yet to be confirmed, but you can find the first trailer below...
Starring: Andrea Riseborough, John Cho
Director: Nicolas Pesce
Release date: June 21st
Over the last couple of decades there have been plenty of Japanese films which have become the subject of English-language remakes, from The Ring to Dark Water, but what made the American remake of Takashi Shimizu's supernatural horror The Grudge different from the others is that Shimizu was retained as director for the first two instalments of the American version of the franchise. When a third film directed by Toby Wilkins failed to live up to expectations, a reboot was ordered and the resulting movie, directed by Nicolas Pesce and simply titled Grudge, is due to arrive this year.
Andrea Riseborough and John Cho lead the cast for the new film, which also stars Demián Bichir, Lin Shaye and Jacki Weaver. Although the story will be loosely based on the original, it is understood that there will be new ghosts and a new haunted house, but besides that plot details are still scarce at this stage. You won't have too long to wait though, with the rebooted film due in cinemas on June 21st.
Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Elisabeth Moss
Director: Jordan Peele
Release date: March 15th
Jordan Peele's directorial debut Get Out was undoubtedly one of 2017's outstanding films, earning Peele an Oscar for Best Screenplay as well as nominations for Best Director and Best Picture, so it's with more than a little excitement that we anticipate the arrival of his next movie, Us, which is due to arrive in spring.
Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong'o lead the cast of Peel's new movie, starring as two parents taking their kids for a relaxing break at their beach house, but their peace is soon shattered by the arrival of a group of mysterious strangers who seem eerily familiar. If it turns out to be half as good as Get Out, Us could well be one of the year's best horror movies. We'll find out for sure when the movie arrives in cinemas on March 15th.
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, McKenna Grace
Director: Gary Dauberman
Release date: July 3rd
James Wan's 2013 horror hit The Conjuring has taken just a few years to grow into a fully-fledged franchise, with two main instalments already released and a third on the way in 2020, as well as spin-offs in the form of The Nun and two films revolving around The Conjuring's creepy haunted doll Annabelle. The second of these, Annabelle: Creation, landed in 2017 and took us back to the doll's tragic origins in an ill-fated orphanage.
A third as-yet-untitled Annabelle film is due in the summer and although full plot details have yet to be revealed, director Gary Dauberman says that the new film will take place shortly after the events of The Conjuring, but well before those of its sequel. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are confirmed to be reprising their roles as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren in the third Annabelle movie, which is set to hit cinema screens in July this year.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Director: DJ Caruso
Release date: October 11th
For kids growing up in Canada during the 1990s, Nickolodeon's TV series Are You Afraid of the Dark? was a regular fixture on Saturday nights before the show finally broadcast its last episode in July 2000. Taking inspiration from shows such as The Twilight Zone, the show was an anthology series revolving around a group of teenagers calling themselves The Midnight Society, with most episodes beginning around a campfire as each member submitted their own spooky stories, which would form the basis of each episode.
Now Paramount are bringing the idea behind the series to the big screen, with It and The Nun writer Gary Dauberman providing the script and Disturbia director D.J. Caruso set to direct. Dauberman says he has written an original story for the movie, rather than base the film on any of the show's episodes, but beyond that there's very little to go on and there are still no confirmed cast members at this point, meaning that Caruso and Dauberman will have to work fast to meet the film's projected release date of October 11th.
Starring: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman
Director: David Yarovesky
Release date: May 24th
Back in 2003, Kick-Ass author Mark Millar delivered his own brilliantly unique (and near-blasphemous) take on DC's most famous superhero in Superman: Red Son, which asked a simple question: what if Kal-El's spacecraft had crash-landed not in Kansas, but on a collective farm in the Soviet Union? The idea might sound radical, but it isn't a million miles away from the premise of Brightburn, a new film produced by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, in which the central question posed might be this: what if Ben Affleck's Batman was right about Superman after all?
The set-up for Brightburn, directed by David Yarovesky, will be very familiar to Superman fans: a childless couple living on a farm in rural America witness an unidentified aircraft crash onto their land, and inside they find what appears to be a human baby, which they decide to raise as their own in secret, hiding the remains of the wrecked ship under their barn. But as the child grows older and his abilities begin to manifest, so does the sense that this alien visitor may not have humanity's best interests at heart. Elizabeth Banks, David Denman and Jackson A. Dunn lead the cast for Yarovesky's film, which is due to arrive in cinemas on May 24th.
47 Meters Down: Uncaged
Starring: John Corbett, Nia Long, Corinne Foxx
Director: Johannes Roberts
Release date: June 28th
Director Johannes Roberts was recently named as the man helming the upcoming Resident Evil reboot, but before he gets down to the business of tackling the zombie apocalypse, there's the small matter of an upcoming sequel to his 2017 shark attack horror 47 Metres Down, which is due to arrive this summer.
This time the cast includes Sex and the City's John Corbett, Empire's Nia Long and Corinne 'daughter of Jamie' Foxx, who all star as a group of backpackers on a diving expedition in the submerged caves of a ruined city, only to find that they are not the only living creatures skulking around in the water. There's no UK release date for the film as yet, but 47 Metres Down: Uncaged is slated for release in the US on June 28th.