Horror movies that will blow everyone away in 2019

Horror fans have a lot to look forward to over the next couple of years. We're already looking at the start of a full slate of creepy fright flicks for 2018—and we can look even further into the future, as studios are starting to fill slots for the year after. Intriguing remakes, sequels to smash hits, awesome original projects from beloved filmmakers—let's look forward in prolonged anticipation to these horror films that will blow us all away in 2019.

An American Werewolf in London

John Landis' landmark 1981 film An American Werewolf in London is notable for several reasons. It established Landis as a daring filmmaker with a strong visual style, proved that you could successfully blend gut-wrenching horror with comedy, and more or less introduced the world at large to Rick Baker, the makeup effects genius behind what is still today the most convincing onscreen werewolf transformation ever (for which he won the first of seven Oscars). Remaking the film will be a tricky proposition, but fortunately, an eminently qualified filmmaker has come aboard to give it a shot: Max Landis, John's son and something of a fan of the original.

The younger Landis is most well known for writing the amazing found-footage superhero film Chronicle, and he'll be handling scripting duties on Werewolf as well. Asked about any involvement he might have by, the elder Landis told Collider, "I get money… My son is brilliant, he really is, and he wants to do it. So what am I going to say? No? I know it won't be as bad as (the awful 1997 sequel) An American Werewolf In Paris." It's unfortunate that Dad isn't a little more excited, but Max is sure to treat this update with the utmost respect. 

Firestarter

Stephen King's novel Firestarter, about a young girl with powerful pyrokinetic abilities on the run from sinister government agents, was previously adapted in 1984, with a young Drew Barrymore starring. While it's one the more faithful adaptations of King's work, it wasn't particularly well-received—but after the smash success of 2017's It, filmmakers are lining up to take their shots at any other King properties that might need re-adapting. 

Enter horror impresario Jason Blum, whose Blumhouse Productions has been behind a ton of the most successful fright flicks in recent years. He'll be producing an updated take on Firestarter, with frequent producing partner and prolific screenwriter Akiva Goldsman set to direct. Goldsman is familiar with King, having penned this year's Dark Tower adaptation, and he actually won an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind—hopefully, he'll deliver the big-screen Firestarter fans have been waiting decades to see.

It: Chapter Two

Speaking of It, most fans only had one question after the end credits: "when can we see the sequel?" Now we have our answer—Sept. 6, 2019—but getting it wasn't as easy as you might think. The second chapter of the two-part story wasn't even greenlit by studio Warner Bros. until they were absolutely positive they had a hit on their hands, which means It: Chapter Two's script hasn't even been written yet—that's the bad news. The good news is that a sequel is now certain, because Chapter One recently became the highest-grossing horror film of all time—and director Andres Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman are both on board. 

While Muschietti's hiring isn't official, it's all but certain given the staggering success of Chapter One. Dauberman has officially been hired, and the original production team (which includes Muschietti's sister Barbara) is also returning. Dauberman is becoming known for writing hits—he's the writer of both Annabelle films, and he's also handling The Nun, the next installment in Warner's Conjuring universe. With those films and the most successful Stephen King adaptation yet on his résumé, we can expect to see a lot more of his spine-tingling work in the future.

The Conjuring 3

Good news, Conjuring fans: Warner Bros. has committed to a third entry in the series, having hired Conjuring 2 screenwriter David Leslie Johnson to handle scripting duties. While James Wan will almost certainly return as producer, he told Entertainment Weekly that he may have to hand off the director's chair this time around, saying, "I wouldn't turn anything down… I am quite busy potentially for the next couple of years. So who knows if they'll actually wait for me to come back and do another one?"

Few other details on Conjuring 3 are available at this time, but Wan is right—he'll be plenty busy. In addition to producing a slew of upcoming projects, he's currently helming Aquaman for Warner's DC Extended Universe. As for Johnson, he's also attached to upcoming reboots of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and A Nightmare on Elm Street

The Crooked Man

Yet another entry in the Conjuring universe, The Crooked Man will be based on the character introduced in one of the freakiest scenes of The Conjuring 2. Details are extremely sketchy about how the Crooked Man's backstory will be filled out, but Variety reports that the script is being handled by up-and-coming screenwriter Mike Van Waes, while Wan and regular producing partner Peter Safran are on board as producers. More details will certainly trickle out over the next year, and perhaps we'll even get some idea of where the Crooked Man fits into this universe when The Nun is released in 2018.

Untitled Wizard of Oz horror movie

Warner Bros. and subsidiary New Line are doubling down on the horror over the next couple of years, and it appears they're using a lot of the same talent to develop multiple projects. Mike Van Waes, who's working on the screenplay for The Crooked Man, has another horror movie on his plate that sounds interesting indeed—it's set in the world of L. Frank Baum's Oz.

Van Waes came to the attention of Warner Bros. when the studio came across his Black List script titled Hammerspace, which they purchased and also have in development. They obviously think they have a hot young talent on their hands, as "Horror Film Set In Oz"—as fantastic an elevator pitch as that is—sounds like something that could either go spectacularly right or ridiculously wrong. Judging by the studio's recent winning streak, the former seems more likely, so it's probably not too early to get excited about what could be the most bonkers horror film of 2019. 

Untitled Joss Whedon World War II horror film

Joss Whedon is nothing if not an entertaining storyteller, but his film output has so far been limited largely to micro-indies and superhero blockbusters (which is not necessarily a bad thing). Fans waiting for an original Whedon project are going to get more than they bargained for in 2019, however: speaking to Complex, the writer/director not only revealed that he's been hard at work on a passion project, but also gave up a few details that make it sound pretty intriguing.

"It's definitely a departure from the things that I'm known for. It's as dark as anything I've ever written," Whedon explained. "It's a historical fiction-slash-horror movie about a time when the world was going insane, World War II." He went on to discuss the "eerie" parallels he uncovered between 1930s Germany and the modern-day United States in the course of his research. We'll have to wait to see what kind of craziness Whedon is crafting, but it sounds safe to say that cerebral scares and snappy dialogue will be involved.

The Blob

The 1958 low-budget horror classic The Blob (starring a very young Steve McQueen) has already gotten the remake treatment once, in 1988. That version was pretty inessential, and some horror fans may wonder whether another attempt at updating the material after another 30 years is really necessary. If you're one of those, then you should know that Samuel L. Jackson is starring in the forthcoming re-remake, which would make it very necessary indeed.

Speaking to the Toronto Sun on the press tour for Kong: Skull Island, Jackson strongly suggested he'd be participating in the film: "I've been running from or chasing King Kong, Godzilla, the Wolfman, whatever, since I was a kid… so I'm doing Kong for the same reason I'll probably be doing The Blob. I just got a call the other day, [and the producers] finally got their money from China to do Blob." 

His casting was later confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, and (unconfirmed) rumors have popped up online suggesting Halle Berry is joining the cast as well. Veteran action director Simon West (Con Air, The Expendables 2) has long been attached to the project, but his involvement is also unconfirmed. We'll have to wait to see how The Blob takes shape, but one thing seems certain: Mr. Jackson will have a few choice words for the monster.

Untitled Alien: Covenant sequel

This year's Alien: Covenant offered a little more of what fans wanted from the Alien series than 2012's Prometheus, which is by design: director Ridley Scott heard their complaints, and for better or worse decided that if they wanted Xenomorphs, he would give them Xenomorphs. Covenant was a critical and box office success, but Scott hasn't forgotten about Prometheus' Engineers or the overarching story in which they play a part—he's recently teased that the creator race will be returning for the sequel to Covenant, which he's currently developing.

In an interview, Sir Ridley teased: "There will be three or four different players coming in… one of which will be the Engineers." When pressed for further details, he elaborated, "Where we go next is obvious. We're gonna actually go to the planet," before realizing what he was saying and cutting himself short with, "I'm not gonna tell you the whole story." Obviously, the venerated director has a tough time keeping his mouth shut, so we're certain to get more details before this sequel—which may or may not be called Alien: Awakening—hits theaters sometime in 2019.

Glass

Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan's creepy, twisty return to form with 2017's Split was helped out significantly by James McAvoy's mesmerizing performance as Kevin Crumb, aka The Beast. As usual, Shyamalan loaded the thriller with a couple of stunning last-act reveals—not the least of which is that the film was a stealth sequel to one of his earlier efforts. Bruce Willis made a surprise cameo as David Dunn, the hero of 2000's Unbreakable, making reference to that film's villain Elijah Price, aka Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). It didn't take long for Shyamalan to confirm what most fans suspected with a thrilling announcement—that a third installment is on the way. It is set to hit theaters on January 18, 2019 and it will be titled Glass.

The director clarified on Twitter that this was "always [his] dream to have both films collide in this third film." The cast will feature Willis, Jackson, McAvoy and Split's Anya Taylor-Joy all reprising their roles, and will be the final installment of the dark superhero trilogy that has suddenly taken shape from Unbreakable, one of Shyamalan's most well-regarded films. 

The initial plot description sounds, well, absolutely perfect: "Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb's superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men."

Eli

Paramount Pictures has been something of an also-ran at the box office in recent years, and their 2017 slate—which included Rings, Baywatch, and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage—underperformed severely. The venerable studio is seeking to remedy this with a brand-spanking new division, Paramount Players, which will be tasked with digging up the banner's next generation of franchise material. For their first effort, they'll be betting on the reliably profitable horror genre with Eli, an intriguing project with a script that's generated a fair amount of buzz.

Writer David Chirchirillo contributed one of the most brutally satisfying segments of the 2014 horror anthology ABC's of Death 2, and his screenplay for Eli—about a sick boy who experiences ghostly goings-on at a secluded clinic—garnered some attention after making the 2015 Black List. Ciaran Foy (Sinister 2) is attached as director, and also notable is the involvement of production house Intrepid Pictures, which has contributed to such recent creepy favorites as HushOculus, and the Netflix Stephen King adaptation Gerald's Game. All the right ingredients for a creepy good time are here, and we'll see how the recipe comes together when Eli hits theaters on January 4, 2019.

Untitled Van Helsing reboot

Universal's Dark Universe is slowly but surely wrangling updated versions of all their classic monsters together, so it only makes sense that the most famous monster hunter of all would be making his return as well. The 2004 Hugh Jackman vehicle Van Helsing was not particularly well-received, so there's a lot of leeway here for an updated take on the character, as evidenced by the fact that producers are currently taking a hard look at Channing Tatum for the lead role in a forthcoming reboot.

Of course, they'll first have to attach some talent behind the cameras. The script is currently being reworked by Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans) from a draft by Eric Heisserer (Arrival) and Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange, The Mummy). No other details are available, other than that producers intend for the new iteration of Van Helsing to be "as scary as possible," and that they are eyeing a 2019 release date.

Hellboy

Fans had long held out hope for a third installment of director Guillermo Del Toro's Hellboy series, but that hope was unfortunately dashed when Del Toro finally admitted early in 2017 that it just wasn't going to happen. But that doesn't mean moviegoers have seen the last of the Right Hand of Doom—director Neil Marshall, best known for his nerve-jangling 2005 thriller The Descent, will be taking the helm of a reboot that has already landed David Harbour (Stranger Things) in the title role and Milla Jovovich (the Resident Evil series) as its villain. 

In keeping with the seeming tradition of each Hellboy movie being made by a different production house, the reboot has been picked up by Lionsgate, which is allowing Marshall the freedom to make his film in the hard-R vein of recent hits like Deadpool and Logan. Speaking on the Post Mortem podcast, the director said, "We've been granted permission to do it R-rated… so now we can just make the movie we want to make. It's not like I'm going to force it to be R-rated, but if it happens to come out that way, just because of my own sensibilities, then fine. And nobody's going to stop us… when you go back the original material, it is kind of bloody, so I'm going to embrace that." We'll see if fans embrace Marshall's vision when Hellboy hits theaters on January 11, 2019.

Untitled Jordan Peele project

Jordan Peele's "social thriller" Get Out was one of the biggest surprise hits of 2017, not to mention a unique and well-made shocker with a lot going on below its surface. Fans who are understandably anxious to see if the comedian turned horror impresario will keep bringing us the scares should be relieved to know that Peele's next fright flick is on its way, and he has no intention of stopping with it. 

The writer/director's untitled next film has been given a March 15, 2019 release date by Universal/Blumhouse, and it will reportedly be another socially conscious horror movie in much the same vein as Get Out—just don't expect Peele to become a one-trick director. In a ScreenJunkies interview, he elaborated on his vision

"I love this idea of the social thriller, and that the worst monster that you can explore in a horror movie is human beings themselves," he said. "I have these other films I want to do in the next 10 years or so about different social monsters… I think the scariest thing we don't talk about enough is that when people get together, we're… capable of the darkest things. It's kind of a flaw in humanity, our need to scapegoat, our desire to protect our own over the needs of others." It sounds like whatever Peele is brewing will be well worth the wait.