After giving us one of the best years in horror in decades, 2022 has finally come to a close and the new year is upon us. 2023 certainly has big shoes to fill in terms of the horror genre, but its lineup is looking pretty creative and fun. So as we welcome the new year, we wanted to celebrate it by taking a look at the horror movies we’re most excited for and anticipating for 2023!
M3GAN – Releasing Jan. 6
We won’t have to wait long for this one as it’s coming out in less than a week. This film’s marketing campaign has been admittedly brilliant via its use of Tik Tok, other social media, as well as the film’s official Twitter account feuding with the Chucky one (both of which are owned by the same studio).
Blumhouse can be very hit or miss, and definitely tend to give way too much away in the trailers. As far as all that goes, M3GAN looks like a lot of fun, and appears to have an almost campy self-awareness to its admittedly overused premise. With the right tone and sense of humor, along with brutal kills, M3GAN has a very real opportunity of joining Chucky and Annabelle in the Killer Doll Hall of Fame!
Knock at the Cabin – Releasing Feb. 2
Speaking of hit or miss, M. Night Shyamalan is back in 2023 as well. After his reputation took a nosedive, he made a well-earned comeback with films like The Visit and Split. And while Glass largely divided audiences, they at least felt like he was “back” so to speak. 2021’s Old proved to be equally divisive. It was an interesting premise, but contained a bit too many Shyamalanisms.
Similarly, Knock at the Cabin is another literary adaptation that he’s directing and he’s a solid cast to back it all up. Everyone from Dave Bautists to Rupert Grint to Jonathan Groff, there’s certainly a lot of talent in front of the camera. And given the story’s premise involving a group of zealots willing to do something horrific to prevent the apocalypse, Shyamalan’s awkward dialogue delivery kind of fits the tone.
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey – Releasing Feb. 15
Bring on the slasher films based on beloved childhood classics that have recently gone public domain! If The Mean One was any indicator, we definitely need to go into this movie with the right expectation. It’s ultra-low budget and independent, and as much as we wish it were so, they’re not all going to be Terrifier 2. That was very much a happy fluke, which is why it took the world by storm.
That being said, as long as this movie isn’t boring and has fun with its ridiculous premise, it will succeed at being a fun movie to laugh at with friends. The trick is it either has been smart and witty enough with its comedic chops, or it has to be a genuine attempt to make a good movie gone wrong. That’s the true recipe for “so bad it’s good”. Whenever someone sets out to make a movie like that, they usually fail because it wasn’t genuine.
Cocaine Bear – Releasing Feb. 24
Speaking of “so bad it’s good”, a mere week and half after Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, 2023 is bringing us another ridiculous movie that would usually have been reserved for SyFy channel original content. Very loosely based on the “true” story, Cocaine Bear’s title pretty much says it all.
Definitely more action/thriller than traditional horror, we’re including this movie on the list since we consider monster movies to be horror, and this feels like it fits the bill. The trick will be keeping the kills brutal and violent enough to keep the absurd premise going, and given its R rating, that’s hopefully the case. This film will also be memorable as Ray Liotta’s final performance, following his tragic passing in 2022.
Scream VI – Releasing March 10
Much like its predecessor, Scream VI has some very big shoes to fill and is already working at something of a disadvantage. Back in 2022, audiences went into Scream 5 with an appropriate apprehension, believing that no one other than Wes Craven could deliver a quality Scream movie.
However Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (the team behind Ready or Not) proved everyone wrong and managed to introduce interesting new characters, respect legacy characters, and successfully satirize “requels” and reboots in a manner much better than Scream IV did. All that being said, this movie kind of only works because it ends with the idea that there don’t need to be any more sequels.
But Paramount wasn’t going to let the franchise stay idle, so we’re going to New York City. On the one hand, it’s refreshing to see a change in location that could keep things interesting, and it’s good to see a slasher that claims to be set in New York actually go to New York (we’re looking at you Jason Takes Manhattan). The teaser we got showed us very little, but what it did show was Halloween in NYC, and a fun new setting for Ghostface. So this will hopefully live up to the last one!
Renfield – Releasing April 14
Nicolas Cage is Dracula, and that’s it! That’s all we need to hear to be sold on at least checking out this movie. At this point, we don’t have a trailer, all we have to go on is a production photo of Cage in a red suit, looking like a cross between Marilyn Manson and Liberace, and it’s kind of amazing. Knowing Cage’s craft, his take on the character will most certainly be interesting, no matter if it’s great or terrible.
He’s one of the few actors out there that is never boring, and always fun, even when his performance is bad. Plus we’re actually getting another Dracula themed movie later in 2023, Last Voyage of the Demeter, directed by André Øvredal (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) and starring David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad, Ant-Man).
Evil Dead Rise – Releasing April 21
Originally supposed to be released in 2022, this long anticipated return of the Deadite franchise is finally coming to HBO Max this coming year. It will be quite appropriate in that it will be just around the 10 year anniversary of the last Evil Dead movie, which surprised audiences with how strong a remake it was.
That one took the more direct adaptation approach, whereas this one seems to be changing the setting entirely, which will hopefully keep things fresh. As much as it would be great to get Bruce Campbell back, he’s not getting any younger and we were lucky enough to get Ash vs. Evil Dead and see him return there. That said, hopefully Evil Dead Rise does the franchise justice.
The Exorcist – Releasing Oct. 13
Following the incredibly divisive response that Halloween Ends received, David Gordon Green’s Exorcist requel has just become the most anticipated horror movie of 2023, and it honestly could go either way. Much like with Halloween, they’re already announcing that it’s going to a trilogy, and it’s been announced that Ellen Burstyn is reprising the role of Chris MacNeil for the first time since 1973.
The Exorcist has long been considered by many to be one of, if not the greatest horror film of all time, so trying to follow it up is no easy task. Hopefully David Gordon Green has learned a few lessons from making the Blumhouse Halloween trilogy, and this new Exorcist trilogy isn’t met with the same level of hate and arguments on the internet.
Saw X – Releasing Oct. 27
Despite being killed off way back in 2006, John Kramer (aka “Jigsaw”) just can’t seem to stay dead, nor can his franchise; which is impressive considering this is a series that has never gone supernatural. If this franchise weren’t a personal favorite, it’s likely that this movie wouldn’t even be on this list, given how played out the series is at this point.
Thus far, all we have is a production photo of Tobin Bell as John Kramer, looking over a decade older than he did in the other Saw movies (because he is), despite this having to be a prequel, since again, he died in 2006’s Saw III. And while Spiral had its issues, it at least offered a fresh take and tried to go in a new direction. As a result, Saw X will be watched with a lot of curiosity…
V/H/S/85 – Releasing TBD
While we don’t have an official release date yet, we do know that Shudder will be releasing the highly anticipated 1980’s set installment of this popular franchise. This was a series that admittedly went downhill with its third film, but then Shudder very much revived it and released the respective 94 and 99 installments.
And now they’re going back to the 80’s, the prime era for VHS culture. Plus there’s some massive talent behind the camera with directors like Scott Derrickson and Gigi Saul Guerrero directing segments.
What horror movie are you most excited for in 2023? Let us know in the comments!
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