The Must-See Horror Movies of 2019

Prepare for scares with our 19 most highly anticipated horror movies of the year ahead.

Horror Movies

10. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Destroy All Monsters with a 200 million dollar budget. Let them fight, ’nuff said. Gareth Edwards’ 2014 disaster film was one long tease building to this moment when Godzilla and Mothra tag-team slam against Rodan and King Ghidorah. For those not in the know, that might sound like gobbledygook and that’s ok. Michael Dougherty is about to deliver a glorious lesson in kaiju cinema to the rest of the world. Get hip. (Brad Gullickson)

Velvet Buzzsaw

9. Velvet Buzzsaw

When I first saw Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler I was gobsmacked by how he was able to take what is ostensibly the structure of a serial killer horror film and, by extracting the one-minute element, turns it into a hilariously cynical edge of your seat thriller. But now Gilroy is allowing himself to have his cake, too, with the art-world horror of Velvet Buzzsaw. I want to keep as tight-lipped about the plot as possible because, but if the trailer is any indication, you’ll want to go in as blind as possible to feel the full effect of the film. I will tell you that Jake Gyllenhaal stars as an art curator who is presented with a new collection of art by a dead painter who created his work with his own blood, literally. Once they become a hit on the New York gallery scene, strange things begin happening with the paintings. Trust me: Velvet Buzzsaw looks deliriously fun and filled with enough scares and Gyllenhaal freakouts to sate even the staunchest of Nicolas Cage stans. (Jacob Trussell)

8. It: Chapter Two

2017’s It accomplished the unexpected by crafting a cohesive and terrifying whole out of just half of Stephen King’s monstrous novel. It stands as a complete and satisfying tale overflowing with terrific child performances, fantastic visuals, and raw emotion. The follow-up will tell the book’s adult half, and with the same director and writer aboard alongside an impressive cast (including James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Jess Weixler, and more) there’s good reason to suspect it’ll be every bit as thrilling, horrifying, and satisfying. (Rob Hunter)

7. Wounds

Babak Anvari, director of 2016’s critically acclaimed Under the Shadow is back with another — hopefully — chilling horror movie. Wounds follows a bartender played by Armie Hammer whose life becomes plagued by mysterious and disturbing occurrences after he picks up a cell phone left behind at his bar. The film also stars Dakota Johnson in an unspecified role. Both Hammer and Johnson have delivered some marvelous performances in the last few years (special shoutout to Luca Guadagnino!) and you don’t need to be a member of stan twitter to recognize that the two will no doubt be amazing on screen together. (Anna Swanson)

6. Midsommer

Hereditary made me Ari Aster fanboy for life. So, don’t bother me those sophomore slump worries. I don’t care what the plot is. A summer trip that’s gone awry? Sure, sure, ok. Whatever he’s concocting alongside Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, Florence Pugh, and William Jackson Harper is bound to be meticulously constructed and executed. I am here for the craft. I am here for the emotion. I am here for the dioramas and the clockwork and the twisting of nerves. (Brad Gullickson)

5. Satanic Panic

Satanic Panic, even if it didn’t have such startlingly good creative team behind it, would be exciting because there is so much to still draw from the wealth of stories about the titular religiously manufactured crisis. The film follows a pizza delivery girl who must escape the clutches of an evil sect of Satanists. While Satanic Panic was a real thing, the covens they spoke about weren’t. But maybe they would have been if the Satanic Society was led by Rebecca Romijn! Written by a duo of New York City’s best modern genre voices, Ted Geoghegan (Mohawk, We Are Still Here) and author Grady Hendrix (Horrorstor, My Best Friend’s Exorcism), with the newly revived Fangoria on as producers, Chelsea Stardust’s debut feature is simply destined for cult status. Delivery in 30 minutes or the human sacrifice is free! (Jacob Trussell)

Happy Death Day U

4. Happy Death Day 2U

Following 2017’s super fun Happy Death Day, a box office hit that mashed Groundhog Day and Scream together, the sequel is back to do the same thing all over again. How fitting. Director Christopher Landon and the cast of the first film return for the sequel which follows college student Tree as she wakes up every day in a time loop that can only be defeated if she stops the masked killer that is stalking her. Tree thought she closed the loop before, but as the trailer has demonstrated, there’s more to it than that. The film is set for a February 14th release, so be prepared to plan your Valentine’s Day accordingly, everyone. (Anna Swanson)

3. Brightburn

I can’t shake Patton Oswalt’s tweet review from my brain. “What if Superman were Michael Myers?” Oh dear god. No. That’s not good. No matter how apple pie Pa Kent’s teachings were, none of that wholesome learning would crack The Shape’s demonic psychology. Jeffery Dahmer in the toolshed with cats and heat vision and impossible strength? As a longtime comic book obsessive, I find such thoughts truly upsetting. All believers in truth, justice, and the American way should probably be quaking in their boots at this point. 2019 is the night the Kryptonian came home. (Brad Gullickson)

2. Us

New Jordan Peele movie. New Jordan Peele horror movie. New Jordan Peele horror movie with a cast that includes Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss. New Jordan Peele horror movie with a cast that includes Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss that promises a terrifying story about personal identity, family dynamics, and all of the horrible things that can be done with scissors. I could keep going, but you get the picture. Every single thing about this movie is enticing and every horror fan should have Us’s release date marked on their calendar (it’s March 22, by the way). (Anna Swanson)

1. The Lighthouse

Love it or hate it, Robert Eggers’ The Witch was one of the most audacious debuts in recent memory as it refused to conform to film and genre norms from its production through its execution. I’m on the love it side of things as he proved himself a master of its tone, pacing, and end effect. Little is known about his follow-up — the ideal situation for any film — except that it’s set in early 20th century Maine and stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. The former plays a lighthouse keeper named Old, and what that means is anyone’s guess. Is he guiding souls or monsters? Is Pattinson his replacement? Do they fall in love and forget their duty leading to the destruction of all humanity? We’ll have to wait and see. (Rob Hunter)

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