New year, new scares – 2023 looks like it will have a lot of them, if the upcoming slate of horror movies is anything to go by. Among them, expect to be given a fright by AI-assisted dolls, childhood favourites gone feral and, er, a cocaine-eating bear. Don’t worry, Hollywood is still giving us all the usual ghosts and ghouls too, so get ready for an incredibly spooky year ahead with these unmissable horror films.
Release date: January 13
Starring: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng
In this modern update on the kids-toy-gone-murderous approach, toy company roboticist Gemma (Allison Williams) creates an AI-assisted lifelike doll called M3GAN to be both a child’s best friend and to help out parents. But when Gemma gains custody of her niece following a car crash that kills the girl’s parents, M3GAN takes her task a little too seriously, killing anyone who tries to come between her and her charge.
Release date: January 27 (US), UK TBA
Starring: Mia Goth, Alexander Skarsgård, Cleopatra Coleman
Couple James (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em Foster (Cleopatra Coleman) are enjoying what seems like the holiday of a lifetime in the all-inclusive island resort of Li Tolqa. But when a fatal accident takes place outside the hotel’s gates, the resort’s real nature is quickly revealed.
Knock At The Cabin
Release date: February 3
Starring: Dave Bautista, Abby Quinn, Rupert Grint
M. Night Shyamalan returns with an apocalyptic psychological thriller that puts one family in a horrific situation. While on holiday at a cabin in the woods, they are taken hostage by four strangers who tell them they can stop an impending apocalypse – but only if they sacrifice one of their family members.
Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood And Honey
Release date: February 15 (US), UK TBA
Starring: Craig David Dowsett, Chris Cordell, Natasha Tosini
Prepare to have your childhood tipped upside down – the wholesome, sweet bear of Hundred Acre Wood this ain’t. Blood And Honey finds Winnie-The-Pooh gone feral and, with the help of the equally evil Piglet, he hunts down Christopher Robin as part of a murderous rampage.
Release date: February 24
Starring: Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ray Liotta
Based on the true story of an American black bear that died after eating a duffel bag of cocaine, there’s one big difference between real life and fiction here. Where the real “cocaine bear” met a quick end, in this Elizabeth Banks-directed film, it instead wreaks havoc on a small town in Georgia, killing locals and tourists alike.
Release date: March 10 (US)
Starring: Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Courteney Cox
After the last round of Ghostface killings, Samantha (Melissa Barrera), Tara (Jenna Ortega), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad (Mason Gooding) move to New York in the hopes of starting afresh. That plan is quickly scuppered, though, when the Big Apple becomes the setting for a new spate of murders committed by their familiar foe.
Release date: April 14 (US)
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina
Forget Dracula, this Chris McKay-directed movie centres around the infamous vampire’s henchman, Renfield (Nicholas Hoult). Set in modern-day New Orleans, it follows Renfield’s decision to quit his job with the world’s most famous bloodsucker after falling in love with traffic cop Rebecca (Awkwafina).
Evil Dead Rise
Release date: April 21
Starring: Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan, Morgan Davies
The latest in the Evil Dead franchise switches things up, relocating to a city instead of the typical cabin in the woods. There, two estranged sisters find their reunion cut short by the arrival of a group of demons who they must face off against if they want to survive.
Insidious: Fear The Dark
Release date: July 7
Starring: Ty Simpkins, Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne
Fear The Dark might be the fifth instalment in the Insidious franchise, but it actually serves as a direct sequel to the first two films in the series. Set 10 years after Insidious: Chapter 2, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) is heading off to college, ready to enter a new chapter of his life. The demons of his past have other ideas, though, and soon rear their heads to create a whole new nightmare.
Meg 2: The Trench
Release date: August 4
Starring: Jason Statham, Sienna Guillory, Cliff Curtis
The sequel to 2018’s The Meg and based on the 1999 book The Trench by Steve Alten. Little has been confirmed about where the script for the film goes, but in the book, a Megalodon baby called Angel escapes her enclosure and kills three teenage boys, sending Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) on a quest to capture and kill her.
The Nun 2
Release date: September 8 (US), UK TBA
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Storm Reid, Anna Popplewell
Set in France in 1956, Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) is once again brought face-to-face with the Nun, a demonic entity in the form of a religious woman. Part of The Conjuring franchise, story writer James Wan has previously teased that The Nun 2 could take the series “full circle” and tie in with Lorraine Warren’s story in The Conjuring series.
Release date: October 13
Starring: Leslie Odom Jr, Ann Dowd, Ellen Burstyn
Don’t worry, this isn’t another reboot of an old classic – Blumhouse’s new Exorcist movie is actually a direct sequel to the 1973 original. The plot is largely under wraps for now, but it will focus on the father of a possessed child, searching for other parents who’ve been in a similar position.
Release date: October 27
Starring: Tobin Bell, Synnøve Macody Lund, Steven Brand
The first Saw movie in 13 years to actually bear the franchise’s name in its title proper and the sequel to Jigsaw and Spiral, Saw X arrives two decades after the bloody series first began. Very little has been revealed about what the new film will entail, but expect gore – and a lot of it.
Release date: TBA
Starring: Hunter Schafer, Dan Stevens, Jessica Henwick
Although Cuckoo’s details are under lock and key right now, what we do know about it suggests good things. It’s directed by Luz filmmaker Tilman Singer for a start, while its cast will include The Matrix 4’s Jessica Henwick and Euphoria breakout star Hunter Schafer. Add in a few scares and a strong plot and we’ll be hooked.
Release date: TBA
Starring: Mia Goth
Mia Goth returns as Maxine, an aspiring actress in 1980s LA – and the sole survivor of the mass slaughter that took place in X. Not much is known about the plot of MaXXXine yet, but it will continue the story of its predecessor, while still being easy to understand and enjoy independently of each other, according to director Ti West.
*All release dates are UK unless otherwise stated