Hasitha Fernando on the top ten horror movies we’re waiting to see in 2021…
Now that the proverbial dumpster fire we know as 2020 has come to a close, we are left to ponder as to what strange and terrifying new surprises this year has in store for all of us. As far as horror films are concerned, we are left with some old familiar flicks which got inevitably postponed from last year, as well as some new ones which are slated for release this year. Here’s hoping that audiences will soon be able to sit in theatres to relish these new devilish delights, by the time they open.
Directed by David Gordon Green.
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Anthony Michael Hall, Kyle Richards.
The saga of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.
2018’s quasi reboot-sequel didn’t quite capture the magic of the original Halloween film, but it was nonetheless a thrilling return to Haddonfield, Illinois which saw the infamous masked murderer once again stalking members of the Strode family. Halloween Kills sees the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, as she bands together a motley crew of townsfolk to take on our deranged psychopath Michael Myers. Danny McBride and David Gordon Green, the talented creative team behind this recent reimagining, have already confirmed that their next film titled Halloween Ends, will not only function as a direct sequel to this movie but also conclude their story arc based on the franchise. With this new installment touted as being “very aggressive” and “more efficient” than its predecessor by director David Gordon Green, it’s safe to assume that Halloween fans have a real bloodletting treat to look forward to.
Directed by Scott Cooper
Starring Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane
A middle-school teacher and her Sherriff brother get entangled with an enigmatic student, who harbours a dark secret.
This Guillermo del Toro produced supernatural horror drama has been a long time coming. But even with multiple delays in its release, interest about it still remains strong. Based on the short story ‘The Quiet Boy’ by Nick Antosca, showrunner of Syfy’s Channel Zero, the tale follows an enigmatic child keeping a supernatural creature in his household and a concerned teacher’s efforts to help the boy with his brother in the local law enforcement. Helmed by Academy award winner Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) and bolstered by a talented cast of actors that includes Keri Russell (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) and Jesse Plemons (I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Antlers is certainly one of 2021’s most anticipated horror films. The minor caveat being, its release date has not yet been announced. Keep your eyes peeled for this one ladies and gents.
Last Night in Soho
Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp, Rita Tushingham
A young girl passionate about fashion is able to mysteriously enter the raving 60’s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But not all is what it seems, in this treacherous era of deceit.
Edgar Wright has made a name for himself as one of cinema’s most fiercely original, visually stylish modern directors. From the crazy genre-mashup that was the Cornetto trilogy to the uber kinetic rollercoaster thrill rides that were Baby Driver and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the auteur has certainly racked up quite an impressively diverse filmography, over the past few years. But this next effort is without a doubt his most intriguing project yet. Said to be heavily influenced by British cult-horror like Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, Wright also expressed that there’s a time-travel element also interwoven to the narrative. I don’t know what Wright’s cooking up, but a timey-wimey-brain-melting-horror-flick certainly sounds like a helluva lot of fun.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Directed by Michael Chaves
Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard
The chilling tale of the Arne Cheyenne Johnson trial, the first instance in U.S history where a murder suspect would use demonic possession as a defense.
Ditching the haunted house trappings of its predecessors The Conjuring 3 dives into tackle something far bolder and more different; the infamous case of the Arne Cheyenne Johnson trial. The sequel also marks the first instance horror-guru James Wan wouldn’t be returning to helm a film belonging to a franchise he helped create. In his stead Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona) has taken over the reins to steer the daunting proceedings. Suffice to say The Conjuring 3 will therefore not only be tonally different to Wan’s efforts, but will also have more things in common with the 2005 horror drama The Exorcism of Emily Rose, from a narrative standpoint. Regardless, this will be one horror film experience that is certainly not to be missed, come June 2021.
Directed by Nia DaCosta
Starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo
Candyman was an underrated horror film from 1992 which developed a strong cult-following over the years. The film explored complex themes involving gentrification and racism whilst delivering on the gory thrills, as befitting the hook brandishing titular villain. Touted as a ‘spiritual sequel’ of sorts to the original, this movie revisits the infamous Cabrini Green projects and expands on the Candyman mythos by adding a twist to the tale. Behind this nightmarish project is genre maven Jordan Peele (Get Out) who’s penning the script with up-and-coming female director Nia DaCosta (Captain Marvel 2) who’ll be also helming the flick. Fans of the original can rest easy with the creative talent involved, and if the trailers are any indication, we are in for one wildly terrifying ride.
Don’t Breathe 2
Directed by Rodo Sayagues
Starring Stephen Lang, Bobby Schofield, Rocci Williams, Adam Young, Christian Zagia
The much-anticipated sequel to director Fede Álvarez’s nail-biting horror-thriller released in 2016, sees Stephen Lang once again returning to reprise his role as the vision deprived war veteran of the original. Although the setting this time around have changed somewhat, the stakes involved still remain the same, with Lang’s chillingly efficient antagonist Norman Nordstrom once again fighting to keep what is rightfully his. Regarding the twisted narrative Álvarez has apparently cooked up for Don’t Breathe 2, producer Sam Raimi had this to say, “It’s only the greatest idea for a sequel I’ve ever heard. I’m not kidding.” I think it’s safe to say that we can expect an equally masterful sequel that’ll keep us at the edge of our seats, with this one.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
Starring Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Zoie Palmer
Just when you thought the Saw franchise was done and dusted, enter ace comedian Chris Rock who has now decided to dip his talented shoes into the world of horror cinema. Rock approached Lionsgate with a view of reinvigorating the Saw brand whilst being respectful of the legacy it has created. Needless to say, Lionsgate loved his new take and thus Spiral came into being. Former series director Darren Lynn Bousman is returning to helm the film, with original Saw creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell joining Rock as executive producers. With the top-notch talent in front and behind the camera, Spiral is bound to be an exciting new chapter for horror aficionados, as well as fans of the beloved franchise.
Directed by James Wan
Starring Annabelle Wallis, Jake Abel, George Young, Maddie Hasson, McKenna Grace
The newest genre bending horror movie by James Wan.
As evidenced by the rather vague synopsis above, plot details regarding the film have been kept under wraps. However, we do know that it is based on an original story by Wan and his fiancé Ingrid Bisu. It was previously thought that Malignant was going to be an adaptation of Wan’s own graphic novel Malignant Man, but this notion was scuttled by Wan himself who stated that, “Malignant is an original thriller, not based off any existing IP.” With lead star Annabelle Wallis (Peaky Blinders, Annabelle) positively gushing about the film in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, we can certainly assume that what Wan & co. has in store for us horror buffs will be nothing short of terrifying.
A Quiet Place Part II
Directed by John Krasinski
Starring Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou, Noah Jupe, John Krasinski
Following the deadly events that took place in their home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the world at large.
A Quiet Place was undoubtedly the most suspenseful horror film of 2018. The directorial debut of John Krasinski (The Office) the movie was praised across the board, for being a strong character driven drama which skillfully utilized sound, music and atmospherics to heighten the tension of the proceedings. Part II which is set in the traumatic aftermath of the first film, follows the Abbott family as they navigate through the dangerous post-apocalyptic landscape and encounter its other human inhabitants. Joining the sequel are the insanely talented Cillian Murphy (The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Djimon Hounsou (Shazam!), who will most likely come to odds with the Abbotts in their quest for survival. A heart-stopping, emotional rollercoaster the likes of no other awaits us… of that much is certain.
Army of the Dead
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Garrett Dillahunt, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Hiroyuki Sanada
A group of mercenaries plot a heist on a Las Vegas casino during a zombie outbreak.
Zack Snyder broke into the Hollywood scene in 2004 with his visceral remake of George A. Romero’s zombie classic Dawn of the Dead. So, it goes without saying that he’d want to revisit the property somewhere down the line. Languishing in developmental hell for a number of years, the film eventually got picked up by Netflix in 2019, who acquired the distribution rights for the project from Warner Bros. But that’s not all, it seems the streaming giant have already made plans on expanding this zombie-battling franchise with a prequel film and an anime series, all of which’ll be overseen by Snyder. That’s right zombie fans, you’re gonna get more than you can chew once this Army of the Dead-verse kicks off on Netflix, but in the meanwhile this sequel which debuts this year, ought to satiate your undead appetites.
What horror films are you most looking forward to this year? Are there any that have slipped under our radar? Let us know on our social channels @FlickeringMyth…
Hasitha Fernando is a part-time medical practitioner and full-time cinephile. Follow him on Twitter via @DoctorCinephile for regular updates on the world of entertainment.