Most Promising New Horror Films of 2020 & Beyond
By: Domonique Cox-Salberg
Gore, dismemberment, fear, death, psychopaths, and thrilling, frightening twists; the horror genre is all that and more. Luckily, this year’s horror films and the coming year seem bright, bloody, and promising for fans. New talent and creators backed by prominent filmmakers and actors crossing over to the genre take chances and show what they got. Judging by the talent, production, and stories, there is much to look forward to in the coming year.
Freaky (November 13, 2020)
Freaky, directed by Christopher Landon, starring witty Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, is putting a dark twist on the “Freaky Friday” trope, most famously referring to people swapping bodies. Instead of a mother and daughter switching places in Disney’s Freaky Friday, Landon’s has a young high school girl and a deranged serial killer swap bodies. From there, she has 24 hours before the change becomes permanent. Vaughn is a familiar face and an instant favorite; however, Newton appears to hold her own and be perfect for the role.
Dare to Say His Name.
A “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 film, newcomer Nia DaCosta has been tasked with reviving the Chicago legend. This time the film takes place in a now gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began, and lead by the rising star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. DaCosta also has Jordan Peel on her side as he helped write the screenplay along with Win Rosenfeld, while his production company Monkeypaw is producing. The company behind successful horror films like Us and Oscar-winning Get Out.
A Quiet Place II (April 23, 2021)
A prequel to the surprisingly successful and impressive A Quiet Place (2018), John Krasinski leads his on-screen and real-life wife, Emily Blunt, through the events following the first film’s ending. The Abbott family is now forced from their home and into the outside world to face its terrors and the unknown. They soon learn that the creatures which hunt by sound are not the only threat lurking beyond the sand path.
Spiral (May 21, 2021)
Out of all the films on the list, this was the most unexpected teaser trailer to see. It has Chris Rock and Samuel Jackson in a horror movie together, and on top of that, acting in a new Saw story, becoming its ninth installment in the series. Thus, the sadistic mastermind is back to unleash his twisted form of justice in Spiral with new and surprising stars.
Halloween Kills (October 15, 2021)
A classic and influential film within the horror genre, the Michael Myers saga is back again. We get to go on another thrilling chapter with Laurie Strode and continue the Halloween series from director David Gordon Green. Who also was the producer for Halloween (2018).
Nocturne (October 13, 2020)
Another Blumhouse Production, Nocturne, is a supernatural horror film written and directed by Zu Quirke in her directional debut. The film follows an incredibly gifted pianist who makes a Faustian bargain to surpass her older sister at a prestigious institution. Moreover, for those not familiar with “a Faustian bargain,” it refers to Doctor Faustus, an Elizabethan tragedy by Christopher Marlowe. In the tale, Faustus sells his soul to the demon Mephistopheles in return for worldly knowledge and pleasure and has been treated as a metaphor for unholy political pacts.
Army of the Dead (2021)
With the recent release of The Snyder Cut, Zack Snyder has been on a role. He now has partnered with Netflix for the Army of the Dead, which he wrote and directed. It follows a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, where a group of mercenaries take the ultimate risk and enter the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted. Just about everyone likes zombies, so it should be a popular release.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (September 4, 2020)
Another Netflix film, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, is written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, responsible for the fantastic yet cerebral films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, and Synecdoche, New York. Nevertheless, in his newest widely inventive film, a young woman travels with her new boyfriend to his parents’ secluded farm.
Antlers (February 19, 2021)
What may be a great monster movie, Scott Cooper’s Antlers takes place in an isolated Oregon town and centers on a middle-school teacher and her sheriff brother. He becomes entangled with her enigmatic student whose dark secrets lead to terrifying encounters. One in which involves a legendary ancestral creature who came before them.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (June 4, 2021)
A popular modern horror franchise, this marks its third installment. However, the plot is currently unknown; judging by its predecessors, it will not be short of scares and spectacle.