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Horror Movies That Will Blow Everyone Away In 2023

It's not outlandish to say that 2022 has been one of the best years for horror in recent memory. Films like "Nope," "X," "Bodies Bodies Bodies," "Barbarian," and "Watcher" have dazzled theatrical and streaming audiences for the last 12 months, and 2023 should be no different. Audiences have recently said goodbye to some franchises, like "Halloween," and were introduced to new ones, like "X."

On par with 1973 ("The Exorcist," "The Wicked Man") 1978 ("Halloween," "Dawn of the Dead"), and 2019 ("Midsommar," "Us"), the bevy of horror films we got this year was a great gasp of fresh air. There are sequels planned for 2023 that are sure to expand their universes deftly and distinctively, while a lot of original ideas are on the docket, too, including a fresh Stephen King adaptation and some work from prolific filmmakers within the genre. From potential theatrical heavyweights to low-key streaming gems, here are some horror movies that are sure to leave their mark in 2023.


The first horror movie coming out in 2023 is one of the most anticipated, as "M3GAN" arrives on January 6 from director Gerard Johnstone and writers James Wan and Akela Cooper. Wan is one of the most prolific horror filmmakers working today, as he's helmed films like "Saw," "Insidious," "The Conjuring," and "Malignant" since making his debut in 2000. "M3GAN" marks the reunion of Wan and Cooper, who worked together on "Malignant," and the second feature from Johnstone, who directed "Housebound" in 2014.

"M3GAN" is set to dazzle, as it marks Allison Williams' return to the horror spotlight after her chilling performance in Jordan Peele's "Get Out" in 2017. The premise is refreshing but familiar, as roboticist Gemma uses her understanding of AI to build a lifelike doll. Reminiscent of Lars Klevberg's "Child's Play" remake from 2019, the artificial intelligence-goes-rogue storyline is not new territory, but Wan and Cooper dare to shake things up by giving audiences a passionate depiction of survival between two people who deeply need each other. Of course, Gemma deciding to use her M3GAN prototype to help take care of her recently orphaned niece doesn't go well, and the result is a palpable tale of technology vs. humans with horror tricks.

Scream 6

The next "Scream" film doesn't have an official title yet, so we'll call it "Scream 6" for now. Set to hit theaters in March, the story will continue where it left off in "Scream (2022)," with sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega) and twins Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) as they attempt to put their lives back together by leaving Woodsboro for New York City.

"Scream 6" has garnered a lot of attention in recent months, specifically because of Neve Campbell declining to reprise her role as Sidney Prescott due to a failure to agree on a new contract. It's hard to imagine a "Scream" movie without Campbell, as she is the heart, soul, and face of the franchise (well, aside from Ghostface).

As a result, longtime cast member Courteney Cox will be tasked with shouldering the franchise's legacy. She doesn't have to do it alone, though, as she will be joined by the returning Ortega and her fellow up-and-coming scream queen, series newcomer Samara Weaving. Ortega is coming off of a brilliant 2022, where she starred in "Scream (2022)," "X," and "Wednesday," so her performance will likely be a slam-dunk. This marks the first film in the franchise without David Arquette, whose character Dewey died in the last installment. It's going to be fascinating to see how the creative team will pay tribute to Dewey, and how that will affect Gale's (Cox) own story.

Evil Dead Rise

The prospects of a new "Evil Dead" movie have been in the works since Fede Alvarez resurrected the franchise with a soft reboot in 2013. Before then, there'd been rumblings about a new film for years, with series star Bruce Campbell set to reprise his role as Ash Williams. However, the 2013 film was billed a "reimagining" of Sam Raimi's original 1981 "The Evil Dead," and the character of Ash was absent from the story (though Campbell did star on the Starz series "Ash vs. Evil Dead" for three seasons).

For the previous feature, Alvarez chose to focus on new stars Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore, and Lou Taylor Pucci as a group of friends attempting to survive in a cabin while supernatural monsters attempt to possess and murder them. Now, Lee Cronin has taken on the task of directing a fifth installment, "Evil Dead Rise," which follows two sisters, Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and Beth (Lily Sullivan), who must fight against flesh-hungry demons living in the deep pits below Ellie's Los Angeles apartment building.

What makes the "Evil Dead" franchise so refreshing is how it always aims to reinvent itself. "Evil Dead (2013)" was a worthy entry, garnering relatively positive reactions from critics and fans, so expectations for "Evil Dead Rise" are high ahead of the film's April release. Again, Campbell is not reported to be involved, though he might receive similar treatment as he did in 2013, when Ash was featured in a post-credits scene.

Insidious: Fear the Dark

By the time "Insidious: Fear the Dark" hits theaters in July 2023, it'll have been almost five years since "Insidious: The Last Key" graced our screens. Franchise regulars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Ty Simpkins are set to reprise their roles as the Lambert family for the first time since "Chapter 2" in 2013, with Wilson making his directorial debut for the franchise's fifth installment, "Fear the Dark."

Series creator Leigh Whannell is back, as he again wrote the story for the film. It'll be interesting to see if he can follow up the successes of his last project, Blumhouse's update of H.G. Wells' "The Invisible Man," which was a box office smash and a critical darling in 2020.

"Insidious: Fear the Dark" is set to continue the Lamberts' story, as Dalton (Simpkins) is headed to college, with the Lipstick-Face Demon returning to bring Dalton and Josh's (Wilson) past into the present. The last two installments were critical flops, so here's to hoping that "Insidious: Fear the Dark" can get the franchise back on track.

Haunted Mansion

The "Haunted Mansion" that's arriving in theaters on August 11 is not a remake or sequel to Rob Minkoff's "The Haunted Mansion," which came out in 2003. Instead, it's another adaptation of Disney's classic Haunted Mansion theme park ride that's carrying a lot of hype heading into 2023, as it will set out to improve on its predecessor from 20 years ago.

"Haunted Mansion" has a star-studded cast, with Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Winona Ryder, Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tiffany Haddish, Jared Leto, and Dan Levy slated to have roles. Unlike "The Haunted Mansion," which focused on married couple Jim (Eddie Murphy) and Sara (Marsha) navigating a night trapped in the titular property, "Haunted Mansion" focuses on single mom Gabbie (Dawson) and her young son who are hoping for a fresh start in life when they move into a New Orleans mansion that's possessed.

2003's "The Haunted Mansion" was a lifeless, unfunny film that flopped critically, despite a decent box office performance. "Haunted Mansion" has a chance to right the ship, but hopefully its loaded cast doesn't oversaturate the story. With Justin Simien, who directed "Dear White People" and "Bad Hair," at the helm, the sky's the limit for this new take on a Disneyland classic.

The Nun 2

Five years after the release of "The Nun," James Wan is back with another installment, co-writing the story with Akela Cooper. With director Michael Chaves ("The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It") at the helm, "The Nun 2" is meant to be a direct sequel to "The Nun," and is the ninth movie to take place in "The Conjuring" franchise's universe. Set as a prequel to "The Conjuring 2," "The Nun 2" will continue to explore the demonic secrets of the paranormal entity Valak.

Taissa Farmiga returns as Sister Irene, who again is tasked with battling Valak, a demonic nun who murders a priest in post-World War II France four years after the events of "The Nun." Farmiga shined in her first outing in the "Conjuring" franchise, rivaling the work of her older sister Vera's performance as Lorraine Warren in all three "Conjuring" movies.

"The Nun" struggled to please critics, holding a 25% Rotten Tomatoes score, but it made heaps of cash, raking in over $365 million at the box office. A good script could send "The Nun 2" to the echelons of the "Conjuring" franchise. After a good string of movies of late for Wan, including "Malignant" in 2021, "The Nun 2" has a lot of promise it will hopefully live up to upon its release in September.

The Exorcist

There are some movies that are so legendary they can never be remade, and "The Exorcist" is one of them. Luckily, David Gordon Green's 2023 "Exorcist" film, which is currently untitled, is meant to act as a direct sequel to William Friedkin's enigmatic, 1973 cultural phenomenon. The original became the first horror film to earn a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards, and has since been preserved by the Library of Congress in its National Film Registry.

Set to hit theaters in October, "The Exorcist (2023)" is more than likely not going to garner quite the success its predecessor did 50 years ago, but writers Scott Teems, Danny McBride, Peter Sattler, and Green are primed to approach this new installment in a similar fashion as their "Halloween" trilogy that concluded in 2022. The film will eliminate all other storylines that have occurred within the franchise, disregarding the events of everything from "Exorcist II: The Heretic" to "Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist."

The divisiveness of "Halloween Ends" may not bode well for Green and company, but it will be interesting to see what direction the film takes. With Leslie Odom Jr., Ellen Burstyn, and Ann Dowd set to play key roles, "The Exorcist (2023)" will attempt to expand the story in ways that previous attempts at franchising failed to do.

Saw X

Not much is known about the 10th entry in the "Saw" franchise other than one essential detail: Series icon Tobin Bell will reprise his role of John Kramer, the Jigsaw Killer, according to Deadline. Bell is the lifeblood of the franchise, as his character's moral philosophy is what created nearly a dozen movies centered around merciless torture devices and murders labeled "games." "Saw" has been a pillar in the horror genre since its inception in 2004, and every further installment, no matter how silly or illogical the story gets, brings something to the table that satisfies its devoted fanbase.

The 2021 "Saw" spinoff "Spiral" found modest success at the box office, even if critics panned it. It felt inevitable that a direct sequel to "Spiral" would arrive, but that part of the "Saw" universe appears to be on the backburner. What Bell's return to the franchise means for "Saw X" remains to be seen. The character of John Kramer was "killed off" at the end of "Saw III," but Bell has reprised the roles in various flashbacks, dreams, and prequel sequences in the years since.

Even though "Jigsaw," the last "Saw" film in which we saw Bell, was not well-loved by critics, it managed to make its budget back ten times over. Box office success in the face of critical derision has remained a consistency within the "Saw" franchise, so "Saw X" should be expected to keep with the status quo. Expect a script with a lot of ruthless torture traps, moral dilemmas, and John Kramer ideology, which is all that "Saw" fans could ask for.

The Boogeyman

The last Stephen King book to become a film was Keith Thomas' "Firestarter," the 2022 remake of Mark L. Lester's 1984 adaptation. Unfortunately, it was panned widely by critics. Hoping to get the world of King-on-screen back on track, Rob Savage is helming "The Boogeyman," which is based on King's 1978 short story of the same name.

The premise of "The Boogeyman," if it stays true to its source material, should follow two sisters who, while grieving the death of their mother, are haunted by a sadistic, paranormal monster. "The Boogeyman" is one of King's less known short stories, so Savage and company have a good opportunity to bring prominence to an otherwise overlooked tale.

"The Boogeyman" is not set for a theatrical release, due instead for exclusive streaming on Hulu sometime in 2023. With a budding young cast that includes Madison Hu, Vivien Lyra Blair, Sophie Thatcher, and Chris Messina, "The Boogeyman" has a lot of promise. Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (who, together, co-wrote "A Quiet Place") have writing credits, the script should be stellar. Having Shawn Levy on as a producer should bode well, too, as his recent credits include "Stranger Things 4," "The Adam Project," and "Free Guy."

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey

Few horror movies set for release in 2023 have conjured as much buzz as Rhys Frake-Waterfield's "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey," a grisly and gory take on the beloved children's book character. A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard's "Winnie-the-Pooh" became public domain in 2022, and with Disney no longer holding the exclusive rights to the source material, Drake-Waterfield set out to turn a beloved cartoon into a nightmare.

The premise of "Blood and Honey" follows anthropomorphic Pooh (Craig David Dowsett) and Piglet's (Chris Cordell) descent into madness after Christopher Robin (Nikolai Leon) goes off to college. The two woodland creatures kill and eat Eeyore and attempt to wreak havoc on humans after learning that Christopher is now married. Feeling betrayed, Pooh and Piglet get their revenge by attacking a cabin full of sorority girls.

"Blood and Honey" initially garnered attention after the release of a teaser in May 2022, and horror fans and Disney adults alike should be drawn to Frake-Waterfield's film. It's set to be released on February 15 with an exclusive event through its distribution company, Altitude Film. Whatever your expectations regarding quality, "Blood and Honey" should be worth seeing for the shock factor alone.

Knock at the Cabin

Adapting Paul G. Tremblay's 2018 novel "The Cabin at the End of the World," M. Night Shyamalan is back with "Knock at the Cabin," an apocalyptic psychological horror film set to hit theaters in February 2023. "Knock at the Cabin" will serve as a follow-up to Shyamalan's divisive thriller "Old," which found mixed reviews from critics in 2021.

"Knock at the Cabin" will follow a family of three –- Andrew, Eric, and Wen -– who are taken hostage by four friends — Leonard, Redmon, Sabrina, and Adriane — with a lot of demands as the world is about to end. Tremblay's book is emotional, cutthroat, and merciless. How Shyamalan will translate that in "Knock at the Cabin" is something to look forward to.

Most importantly, though, Tremblay's book offers a lot of commentary on modern-day homophobia, so it'll be interesting to see how that plays out on the silver screen in 2023. Overall, it's a story about paranoia, enduring love, and familial survival in the wake of disaster and sacrifice in the end times. Many of the ideas at play in "Knock at the Cabin" has been touched on before in horror, with the hostage plot reminiscent of "The Strangers" and "The Purge," but the apocalyptic element should offer a breath of fresh air in a genre that can always use it.


Ti West and Mia Goth had an incredible 2022 together. After releasing "X" in March, it was quickly revealed, through an after-credits teaser, that West had shot a prequel at the same time. That prequel, the origin story "Pearl," was co-written by West and Goth, and it dazzled audiences even more than "X." When "Pearl" hit theaters, it was finally confirmed that a final film would arrive to make it a trilogy.

At the heart of West's trilogy are two characters played by Goth. "X" introduced the elderly Pearl, who yearns for her lost vibrancy, and the young Maxine, a porn star and the daughter of a fundamentalist Christian preacher. While "Pearl" follows the origins of the antagonist who murdered all of Maxine's friends in 1979, "MaXXXine" will pick up after the events of "X" to focus entirely on Maxine. With a 1980s setting, West is certain to deliver a stylish time capsule of Reagan-era nostalgia, and audiences can expect another memorable performance out of Goth.

A release date for "MaXXXine" has not been made official yet, and a more specific premise is being kept under lock and key. All we have to hold us over for now is a short title card teaser that ran at the end of "Pearl." Though the script is still in development, the fact that West was able to churn out "X" and "Pearl" within mere months of each other suggests that we can probably expect to see "MaXXXine" hit theaters before 2023 ends.