2022 was an obscenely good year for horror films, wasn’t it? Between Nope, Barbarian, Scream and the 10,000 things A24 released, you couldn’t go a week without a new genre classic falling into your lap. So is it blasphemous to say that 2023 could become even better?
The new year is only just over a week old, but we’re already looking down the barrels of new Exorcist, Saw and Dracula entries, not to mention all those arthouse masterpieces due from rising auteurs. To get you amped up for the terrors ahead, Louder presents its bakers dozen of thrillers, chillers and Winnie-The-Pooh slashers that horror hounds will need to see.
Infinity Pool (January 27)
Brandon Cronenberg, son of body horror master David, may be a nepo baby, but his 2020 masterpiece Possessor proved the apple had fallen just far enough from the tree to be thought-provoking. Three years later, he could be on the cusp of another triumph: Infinity Pool is a fucked-up-looking sci-fi starring The Northman’s Alexander Skarsgård and X’s Mia Goth. Its trailer promised style, existentialism and avant-garde music by the bucketload, so count us in!
Knock At The Cabin (February 3)
Saying M. Night Shyamalan has weathered peaks and valleys is like calling the Titanic sinking “a kerfuffle”. The director has topped both best and worst all time film lists, yet returns-to-form The Visit and Split have proved he’s most comfortable when orchestrating nightmarishly claustrophobic psych-horrors. Knock At The Cabin falls into that category, so, with the help of the ever-magnetic Dave Bautista, we’re cautiously optimistic that the Shyamalanaissance will continue through 2023.
Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood And Honey (February 15)
Pretty much the second Winnie-The-Pooh's IP entered the public domain, exploitation horror distorted the wholesome honey-guzzler into a fucking serial killer. The trailer for Blood And Honey was ridiculous, cliched and probably done on a lower budget than your weekly shop – holy hell, though, are we ready for this film. Set in a bizarro dimension where the animals of the Hundred-Acre Wood are forgotten and feral, it could turn out pooh, but it will certainly entertain.
Scream VI (March 10)
2022’s Scream may have swapped Wes Craven for dual directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, but its lampooning of elevated horror and long-awaited franchise comebacks made it a more-than-worthy part of the series. No one anticipated seeing Scream VI hack its way onto cinemas screens so soon, though. Fortunately, like any good killer, Ghostface is striking unexpectedly in 2023 – and hopefully with jibes just as sharp as before.
The Pope’s Exorcist (April 7)
Horror diehards may already know of Gabriele Amorth, since The Exorcist director William Friedkin made a documentary about him in 2017. If you don’t, the Catholic priest was the official exorcist of the Diocese Of Rome and reportedly wrangled with demons 50,000 times during his 91-year life. He was basically a real-life horror hero, so Russell Crowe and Overlord director Julius Avery should have a devil of a time bringing him to the big screen this year.
Renfield (April 14)
Allow us to make you salivate over Renfield in four words: “Nicolas Cage plays Dracula.” Sure, there are plenty of other aspects to be excited about as well; Nicolas Hoult and Awkwafina round out the horror-comedy’s cast, while Chris McKay – best known for making The Lego Batman Movie more frenetic, heartfelt and witty than anyone expected – is directing. But let’s be real. We’ll all watch this to see Ghost Rider nibble people.
Evil Dead Rise (April 21)
Ten years ago, Fede Álvarez reignited the Evil Dead engine using a bloodsoaked remake, but then the franchise quickly stalled again without a sequel. Now, finally, there’s going to be a fifth film in the series Sam Raimi started, and the Deadites are going to ditch that dilapidated shack. Evil Dead Rise will drag the demons to Los Angeles, where they could topple civilisation and, based on that horrific trailer, make us shit ourselves.
The Last Voyage Of The Demeter (August 11)
Yep, it’s another Dracula film, this time courtesy of the mastermind behind Troll Hunter and The Autopsy Of Jane Doe. The Last Voyage Of The Demeter’s twist on this oft-spun yarn is that it’s going to adapt just one chapter from the novel. It’ll elaborate on the vampire’s slaughter of a ship’s crew as he smuggles himself from Transylvania to England, so steel yourself for a claustrophobic and monstrous slasher à la Alien.
David Gordon Green’s untitled Exorcist film (October 13)
Whether you love or loathe the sequels it spawned, David Gordon Green’s 40th-anniversary Halloween reboot was the best the series had been since it started. So it’s no surprise the director’s been granted the keys to the Exorcist kingdom. Like Halloween, the franchise built off the back of a projectile-vomiting teenager never emulated its original masterpiece, but Green has the track record to get a long-overdue renaissance up and running.
Saw X (October 27)
Paranormal Activity took Saw’s crown as the king of annual Halloween horrors and sentenced the franchise to death, but then two low-budget spinoffs slowly revived it. Saw X will be the series’ first mainline entry in 13 years, and promisingly reintegrates Kevin Greutert – the director of the best sequel, VI – with Tobin Bell back as the big baddie. It could prove the most wholesomely gore-drenched reunion of horror’s year.
Ti West is what every slasher filmmaker aspires to be. Last year, he released both X and its prequel, Pearl, making them quickly and cheaply to outrageous acclaim. And he’ll keep his pedal to the metal in 2023 with trilogy conclusion MaXXXine. All we know is that Mia Goth, who’s played both aspiring actor Maxine and her psychopathic counterpart, Pearl, will return against the backdrop of 80s L.A. We’re already eager.
'Salem’s Lot (TBA)
Four years and one apocalypse ago, New Line Cinema confirmed they were making the first big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s vampire myth, ’Salem’s Lot. It screenwriter Gary Dauberman and Saw’s James Wan were announced as director and producer respectively, then…delays. A September 2022 release was postponed to April 2023, only for that to be scrapped so Evil Dead Rise could have room. The film’s finished – they’ve even revealed its run-time – so just put it out! Please!
Sister Death (TBA)
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. A teenage girl fiddles with a Ouija board and gets possessed… OK, so 2017’s Verónica had a plot as fresh as sun-dried milk, but under the direction of Paco Plaza, it flourished into a suspenseful gem. Sister Death will be a prequel, again helmed by the genius behind REC. Even though they’re cancelling The Midnight Club and 1899, this should make that Netflix account worthwhile this year for horror fans.