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Horror movies that will blow everyone away in 2020

Horror cinema is booming right now. Whether we're talking about reboots of fan favorites, sequels to decades-old classics, or brand new fare by ambitious young filmmakers, it's a good time to be scared at the movies. 

In 2019 we're getting tons of terror on the big screen, thanks to everything from Midsommar to Annabelle Comes Home, from Us to It Chapter Two, and the scares don't seem to be slowing down at all with 2020 on the horizon. The next decade of cinema scares will kick off in a big way, with everything from long-awaited sequels to daring reboots to new takes on some classic ghost stories.

So, what's in store? Well, we've got a brand-new, modern take on The Turn of the Screw, writer/producer Jordan Peele's much-buzzed about sequel to Candyman, the first of two sequels to 2018's Halloween, the third film in The Conjuring series, a reboot of The Grudge, and much more. Plus, 2020 might finally be the year we see The New Mutants. Maybe.

Check out our preview of the biggest horror movie releases of 2020.


In 2004, two years after The Ring launched a wave of American interest in Japanese horror cinema, we got The Grudge. This English-language remake of the 2002 Japanese scarefest Ju-On brought stateside audiences a look at the curses and hauntings that form in places where angry, violent deaths have occurred. The Grudge got two sequels in 2006 and 2009, but the Ju-On franchise has continued in Japan with nine films and counting. Now, the American remake franchise is getting its own reboot. 

Grudge (yes, they've simply dropped the "The") is directed by Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother) and will serve to reset the American version of the franchise with a new story of a vengeful spirit haunting a house where past violence took place and formed a curse. The film features an impressive cast led by Andrea Riseborough (Mandy), Demian Bichir (The Hateful Eight), Betty Gilpin (GLOW) and Jacki Weaver (Bird Box). If the filmmakers pull this off, it could launch yet another series in the Ju-On mythology. The film was originally set to be released in June of 2019, but was later pushed back to January 3, 2020.

The Turning

Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw is one of the most popular and influential ghost stories ever written, and it's been adapted for the screen numerous times. In 2020, the classic tale will get a new, modern take from director Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways) with The Turning. This version of the story will be set in modern Maine, but will still tell the story of a governess (Mackenzie Davis) tasked with caring for two young children (Finn Wolfhard and Brooklynn Prince) after the deaths of their parents. As she settles in for the job, she begins to suspect the mysterious estate where the family is living may be harboring a number of dark secrets, and may in fact be haunted.

The film is worth getting excited about for any number of reasons. It's Sigismondi's second feature film after The Runaways, and it'll be fascinating to see how she adapts her visual style, honed in music videos and episodes of prestige TV, to this ghost story setting. The cast is also stacked with talent thanks to the presence of Davis, Wolfhard, and Prince, and the story is iconic. The Turning will hit theaters January 24, 2020.

The Invisible Man

In 2014, Universal Pictures tried to revamp its universe of classic movie monsters with the prequel story Dracula Untold. It didn't quite land, but in 2017 they tried again with an even more ambitious effort, an attempt to launch an interconnected "Dark Universe" with The Mummy. That film also didn't work out, so for now it seems the studio is refocusing its intentions with more standalone efforts rebooting those monsters we know and love. The Invisible Man is the first of these, and it's got lots of intriguing talent involved

First of all, the film falls under Jason Blum's Blumhouse production banner, the same house of horrors that gave us hits like Paranormal Activity, Get Out, and 2018's Halloween, so it already has a certain horror pedigree. The film will be directed by Leigh Whannell, the man responsible for giving us Insidious and Upgrade, so that adds even more intrigue. Then there's the cast, which so far includes Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, and Storm Reid. You'll see all this talent (or maybe you won't) on the screen on March 13, 2020.

A Quiet Place 2

A Quiet Place, the story of a family trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world filled with monsters who hunt by sound, was one of the most successful and acclaimed genre films of 2018. It didn't take long for talks of a sequel to emerge after it hit big with audiences. Now we know that sequel is on its way, and it'll almost exactly two years after the original. 

John Krasinski will return to both write and direct the second installment in the franchise, while his wife Emily Blunt will also return to star. The film's full plot is still unknown, but we do know it will follow the surviving members of the Abbott family, now led by Blunt's Evelyn, as they continue to try to survive together after learning a trick to defeating the creatures at the end of the first film. Newly armed with a way to fight back, the Abbotts will meet more survivors in the form of new cast members Brian Tyree Henry and Cillian Murphy. Will a third installment follow? We'll have to wait and see. A Quiet Place 2 sneaks into theaters March 20, 2020.

The New Mutants

Though Dark Phoenix closed out the main story of Fox's long-running X-Men film franchise in 2019, it's not actually the final Marvel-based film produced under the Fox banner. That honor belongs to The New Mutants, a horror spin-off based on the Marvel Comics mutant team of the same name. Boone's film will take a decidedly darker approach to the X-Men mythos, focusing on a group of younger mutants including Wolfsbane (Maisie Williams), Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy), Cannonball (Charlie Heaton), and more. 

Unfortunately, the story of The New Mutants as a film has been overshadowed by repeated delays in its release date. The film was originally supposed to land in theaters in April of 2018, but was pushed back to February of 2019. Then the release date was pushed again to later in 2019 after reports of impending reshoots. Those continued delays, plus Disney's purchase of Fox assets — including the film rights to the X-Men — put the film's future in jeopardy, and by the spring of 2019 there were reports that the film could be indefinitely shelved.

Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case, as the film now has a new release date of April 3, 2020. Hopefully it sticks. 

Saw 9

In May of 2019, the internet was both delighted and a little confused by reports that legendary comedian Chris Rock would be venturing into horror territory with a new spin-off film set in the Saw universe. Yes, it might sound a little like a weird rumor you just heard, but it's definitely real. The ninth Saw film, working from a story developed by Rock, is in production now, and it will hit theaters in the spring of 2020. 

We still don't know much about the film's plot, but we do know that Rock is also set to star as a detective investigating a killer who likes to build elaborate puzzles for his victims (sound like anyone we know?), and that Samuel L. Jackson has added even more star power to the cast after signing on the play the father of Rock's character. The film's cast also includes Marisol Nichols (Riverdale) and Max Minghella (The Handmaid's Tale) in key roles, and will be directed by Saw franchise veteran Darren Lynn Bousman. 

The still-untitled ninth Saw film hits theaters May 15, 2020.


In 1992, a new horror legend was born with Candyman, a story about a hook-handed killer (Tony Todd) who lived on as a vengeful, murderous urban legend long after he was the victim of a lynch mob in the 19th century. Candyman is a modern horror masterpiece that spawned two sequels and lives on through a devoted fanbase eager to analyze every piece of this often deceptively deep film. 

That depth, plus Candyman's ongoing reputation as one of the best horror films of the 1990s, was enough to draw attention from modern horror master Jordan Peele, who's now helping bring a spiritual sequel to the original film to the big screen. Candyman 2020 will be directed by Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) from a script by Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions partner, Win Rosenfeld. Peele is also producing the film, which will star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris in still-undisclosed roles. It also seems that the original Candyman himself, Tony Todd, might be making an appearance of some kind. The still-mysterious Candyman arrives on the big screen June 12, 2020.

The Conjuring 3

In 2013, a relatively small scale horror film about a pair of real-life paranormal investigators who helped a family battle the evil in their haunted new home blew up at the box office. That film was The Conjuring, and the paranormal investigators in question — Ed and Lorraine Warren (played in the films by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) — had plenty of other stories that could serve as material for future films. In just six years following the original, The Conjuring spawned one direct sequel and five spin-off films, three of which center of the haunted doll known as Annabelle. The Conjuring Universe has become a horror juggernaut for the 2010s, and in 2020 the third film in the main series will finally arrive on the big screen.

Not much is known yet about the plot of The Conjuring 3, which will feature the return of Wilson and Farmiga as The Warrens and will be directed by Michael Chaves, who helmed the spinoff The Curse of La Llorona. We do know that it will veer away from the haunted house format offered in the first two films, and according to franchise producer James Wan will include a story that features "the first time in America's history where the defendant used possessions as a reason, as an excuse."

We'll hopefully know more soon, because The Conjuring 3 will be terrifying audiences on September 11, 2020.

Halloween Kills

In 2018, director David Gordon Green brought star Jamie Lee Curtis back to the Halloween franchise with a new film that ignored all previous sequels, setting the stage for a showdown between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers that, in this universe, had been four decades in the making. That film, simply titled Halloween, was one of the year's biggest horror hits, and though it could have closed the book on the franchise, talk of a sequel began to surface. 

In July of 2019, we found out that we'd be getting not just one, but two sequels in the span of two years. The first of those, Halloween Kills, will arrive in 2020. Green will return to direct and co-write the film with Danny McBride, while Curtis will also return as Laurie Strode with Judy Greer and Andi Matichak returning as Laurie's daughter and granddaughter, respectively. Given how the past film set up a legacy of strong women in the Strode family, it'll be very intriguing to see how the next film expands on this new version of the mythology. 

Halloween Kills arrives October 16, 2020. It will be followed by the final film in the trilogy, Halloween Ends, on October 15, 2021.