Horror 2020: ‘Underwater’, ‘The Invisible Man’, ‘A Quiet Place 2’
Studios are going all-in on their horror franchises in 2020. Not only is Universal re-attempting to get their “Dark Universe” going with The Invisible Man, but we have another Purge movie on the way from Paramount.
Jordan Peele will probably save the horror genre again with his produced revival of cult classic Candyman. Either way, we have a lot of great horror offerings in 2020 to get through. Here’s what to expect this year.
This recently released Kristen Stewart-starrer has also makings of a classic creature feature. A group isolated from civilization, a monster attempting to kill them all, a creepy atmosphere, and anchored by a solid performance by Stewart, who is clearly ready to break into big-budget films again. Underwater may not have won big points with critics, but it’s not the worst start that horror in the 2020s could have started off with.
The Turning (Jan. 24)
Creepy kids will forever remain a staple of the horror genre. The young talent in The Turning actually has a lot of promise with Finn Wolfhard (IT) and Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project) starring as said, creepy kids. They definitely don’t seem all that happy to have their governess (Mackenzie Davis) around at all. The real question is: who hires a governess in 2020?
Color Out of Space (Jan. 24)
If you want to see a scary movie but want nothing to do with creepy kids, then Color Out of Space may be for you. Starring Nick Cage in an H.P. Lovecraft story, after a meteorite crashes in the backyard of the Gardner family: the landscape, animals, and the Gardners’ themselves undergoing a horrifying metamorphosis. Go in expecting over the top Nick Cage, CGI body horror, some grotesque special effects, and a decent amount of comedy to pair with the scares.
Gretel & Hansel (Jan. 31)
Based on the fairytale, this horror film takes a more real-life approach. The teenage Gretel (Sophia Lillis) takes her younger brother Hansel (Sam Leakey) in a desperate search for food and work. The siblings find a house in the woods and an old lady (Alice Krige) there in it, but this is not made of candy. If you like your fairy tales dark and gruesome, then Gretel & Hansel may be for you.
Come to Daddy (Feb. 7)
Elijah Wood stars as Norval, who is in for a very strange reconnection with his father (Stephen McHattie). Traveling to his estranged father’s remote home, Norval is about to learn why his mother never talked about him. You thought that your family reunions were bad.
The Lodge (Feb. 7)
Ready for more creepy kids? Hailing from the directors of the eerie Goodnight Mommy, this film examines motherhood in a new way. A soon-to-be-stepmom Grace (Riley Keough) and her future stepchildren are trapped in a snowed-in lodge with dad’s return delayed. The kids aren’t happy about their dad remarrying and Grace is not liking the forced togetherness. Are the kids planning her demise or is the lodge hiding darker forces?
After Midnight (Feb. 14)
Nothing says “Happy Valentines Day” like taking your loved one to see a movie about a man who is possibly going insane following the dissolution of his long term relationship. Is a monster really trying to break into his house every night? Or is the monster in his head instead?
Fantasy Island (Feb. 14)
Ah Blumhouse, only they can take a childhood game (Truth or Dare) or a harmless TV series from the 70s and make it horror. The remake starring Lucy Hale and Michael Peña as the mysterious Mr. Roarke follows a group of people invited to an island which promises all their fantasies to come true. But something a lot more sinister is lurking under the surface than anyone is expecting. “The plane!”, indeed.
VFW (Feb. 14)
In a version of America that has become savaged by an extremely addictive new drug, Stephen Lang plays the owner of a peaceful VFW hall in a small town in the USA. When a young woman bursts in, having robbed the sociopathic drug lord across the street (as you do), Lang and his crew of vets (William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, and David Patrick Kelly) take on the drug lord and his hordes of addicts sent to recover the stolen goods.
Brahms: The Boy II (Feb. 21)
Well someone clearly remembered 2016’s The Boy, even though we’re not really sure how many others do. It had a doll that was slightly below Annabelle on the creep factor. The creepy doll (and his creepy IRL counterpart) are back and terrorizing a new couple. For some reason, Brahams: The Boy II has nabbed Katie Holmes so there’s that at least? We’re happy she’s finding work.
The Invisible Man (Feb. 28)
Elisabeth Moss stars in this Blumhouse update of the classic Universal monster movie. (Is this another attempt to revive Universal’s Dark Universe?) After running away from her abusive ex, Cecilia finds that he’s died and has left her everything. Suffering from PTSD and uncertain of this windfall, Cecilia starts noticing some odd goings-on.
She thinks that her ex may not be as dead as previously thought, In fact, he may be terrorizing her and invisible to boot. Cecile has to fight against this gaslighting and prove her sanity in this unsettling update of the classic horror tale.
Swallow (March 6)
Pretty housewife Hunter (Haley Bennett) finds herself battling boredom as a newlywed by, well, swallowing stuff. What follows is some serious body horror as Hunter ups the ante by swallowing things such as batteries, thumbtacks, and more unsettling objects. When Hunter’s secret is discovered, she either has to confront the roots of her strange addiction or bury herself in the guise of the wife next door.
A Quiet Place: Part II (March 20)
The sequel to the flawed if interesting 2018 A Quiet Place has us following the Abbotts as they journey out into the wider world with…a newborn. You know, one of the loudest humans on this green Earth. Monsters and Cillian Murphy’s beard abound as the Abbotts learn that the greatest monster may be man over the blind creatures from space.
Saint Maud (March 27)
This unsettling film hails from writer and first-time director Rose Glass. Morfydd Clark stars as Maud, a hospice nurse who recently converted to Roman Catholicism. Like many late in life Catholics, Maud has kind of gone hardcore in her faith. When Maud becomes obsessed with her posh patient/employer Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), she believes that she is possessed.
The New Mutants (April 3)
This comic book and horror hybrid have been pushed back for release for a couple of years. With a new trailer and set release date, it looks like fans will finally see The New Mutants. Starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), and Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), this X-Men property goes on a darker take as the teen mutants are locked in a secure psychiatric facility and apparently experimented on by the doctor (Alicia Braga) in charge.
Something in the facility is forcing the teens to literally be tortured to death with their worst nightmares. The kids will have to fight their way out to survive.
Antlers (April 17)
Knowing that the film is produced by horror great Guillermo del Toro should give you an idea of whether or not you can stomach it. Keri Russell (The Americans) stars as Julia Meadows, a small-town Oregon teacher, who gets involved in a mystery surrounding a young student with her sheriff brother, Paul (Jesse Plemons). The student’s secret promises some very “frightening consequences”. Oh…joy.
Escape Room 2 (April 17)
Do you like the idea of a film like the Saw franchise, but can’t handle the gore? Escape Room, which was released in 2019, may be something up your alley. This film was a surprise hit and, of course, a sequel was immediately in the works.
The first film ended with the two survivors Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller) surviving the deadly escape room and swearing vengeance against the Puzzle Master (Yorick van Wageningen). The Puzzle Master, however, was busy turning their plane into another, you guessed it, escape room.
Escape Room 2: Escape from the Plane? We could dig that title.
Promising Young Woman (April 17)
This sounds like a woman on a quest for a vengeance horror movie. Carey Mulligan (Wildlife) stars as Cassie, a former pre-med student with a bright future who had to drop out following a traumatic event. She now spends her evenings weaving a honey trap for skeezy “nice guys” and makes them pay. Promising Young Woman will explore what happens when one, surrounded by bad men, decides to take out the trash from the first-time director Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve).
Antebellum (April 24)
The trailer for this Janelle Monáe-starrer surprised everyone when it dropped in November. Antebellum definitely has us all very interested. Monáe plays Veronica, a woman who is seemingly stuck in two different time periods. One is modern-day and the other is the South during the Civil War. While, in the past, Veronica is stalked by the Confederacy, in the present something sinister may be following her as well.
Untitled Saw Movie (May 15)
Honestly, we’re still not sure if this isn’t one huge practical joke. Basically, Chris Rock (Dolemite Is My Name) will star in the untitled film of the Saw franchise. (Though Wikipedia is calling the film The Organ Donor.)
Written by Jigsaw writers Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger from a story idea from Rock, the film follows Rock as a detective who is trying to solve some mysterious murders. This will also serve as a reboot for the Saw franchise.
Fear Street (June 5)
The first of a planned trilogy based on the R.L. Stine novels of the same name, Fear Street follows a group of Ohio teens in 1994 who believe that terrifying events in their town may be connected and that they may be the next targets. Leigh Janiak has signed on to direct all three films of the trilogy.
The three films will take place in 1994, 1978, and 1666 (before circling back to ‘94) with the plan being that all three will be released in quick succession. It’s unclear if Disney intends to follow that plan.
Candyman (June 12)
Jordan Peele produces this “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 cult classic of the same name. Candyman will take place in the same area as the first film, which is the Cabrini-Green neighborhood of Chicago. Granted, it has become pretty gentrified since the first film.
While there were talks that Watchmen’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II would take over the role of Candyman from Tony Todd, that’s not the case. Abdul-Mateen will play the lead character of the film Anthony McCoy with Todd reprising his character from the first film
The Purge 5 (July 10)
Touted as the fifth and final installment in the franchise, The Purge 5 has been shrouded in a lot of mystery. Presumably, it will take place during the night when all crime is legal in America for 12 hours. Either way, it’s a Purge movie released near the Fourth of July holiday, and will be released during an election year. Let’s do this thing.
Morbius (July 31)
If New Mutants is considered a horror film, then so is Morbius. Jared Leto plays a scientist who, in experimenting himself to cure his rare blood disorder, turns himself in a vampire. Blood cravings and a creepy comics accurate version of Morbius’ vampire face follows for this upcoming film.
Last Night in Soho (Sept. 25)
Inspired by other British horror films such as Don’t Look Now and Repulsion, Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho makes a promising offering for the fall. Details are pretty scarce for the film. We do know that it follows Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace) as a young woman who develops a connection to a character played by Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch). Somehow this leads the two to time travel to 1960s London. So we’ll see how that goes in September.
The Witches (Oct. 16)
Based on the 1973 Roald Dahl novel of the same name, this remake of the 1990 film has Anne Hathaway taking over from Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch. Basically when a little boy stumbles upon a gathering of witches and is turned into a mouse, he must try to stop the witches from turning all children into mice.
Hathaway makes an interesting successor for Houston, but we think she has the chops for the performance. More importantly, will the transformation sequence be as disturbing as the 1990 film? Time will tell.
Halloween Kills (Oct. 16)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) returns in this sequel to the 2018 film, Halloween. Curtis and Nick Castle (Halloween) reprise their roles as Laurie Stroud and Micheal Meyers. Of course Meyers isn’t dead. Not when there are more movies to be made!
Not much is known about the sequel, which has been kept shrouded in mystery. Returning from 1978 film are Anthony Michael Hall and Kyle Richards, reprising their roles as Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace.