Horror movies can turn any day into an insta-Halloween—even the dead of winter and the start of a new year. From vengeful vampires to faceless things that have a taste for both metal and human flesh, we’ve ventured to the other side and come back (sort of) alive with every figment of your nightmares that will probably give you even more nightmares until all those possessed jack-o-lanterns make way for equally disturbing mall Santas.
Dare to go see as many of the movies in our creepfest as you can handle before they start messing with your perception of reality…
January 10 (Wide Release)
If “based on actual events” doesn’t haunt you enough, the horrifying evidence law student Rachel Iverson’s flashlight reveals in a murder investigation will. The victims don’t exactly stay buried in the basement or forever frozen in the black-and-white photos she unearths. As Rachel finds out too quickly, you don’t always need a séance and a Ouija board to summon spirits, and the vengeful dead don’t really care if the case went cold a century ago.
The Bye Bye Man
January 13 (Wide Release)
An abandoned house off campus may save you rent money until you realize the resident demon doesn’t make it too much of a great deal. Let his name cross your lips or so much as think it, and the Bye Bye Man will take over every limb and brain cell, which explains a recent string of unsolved murders. He’ll even sneak into a photo op when you’re taking a selfie (and that’s the least of your problems).
January 20 (Wide Release)
The last place anyone would ever think of getting kidnapped from is a birthday party, but terrified teens Claire, Marcia and Casey go from eating cake to being tortured by a two-faced (more like twenty-three-faced) psychopath. Nobody wants to be locked in a basement dungeon, let alone by someone with multiple personalities, especially when one of these personas calls itself The Beast. Leave it to M. Night Shyamalan to dream up nightmare fodder this twisted.
January 20 (Limited Release, VOD)
Abandoned asylums are some of the most haunted places anywhere. Crawling into one to find a forgotten aunt’s death certificate, which may or may not exist, could mean a tempting inheritance for Jacob Martin after his father passes. Being a millionaire may not be worth the shock and terror unearthed with evidence of a series of ghastly treatments that one deranged psychiatrist viewed as radical decades ago—and he doesn’t want to stay in the past.
Stake Land II
January 20 (Limited Release, VOD)
Think of the sequel to 2010’s Stake Land as the vampire version of The Walking Dead. Overrun with undead that don’t sparkle, the badlands are seething with bloodsuckers. Rogue vamp hunters Martin and Mister return to destroy them with the same weapons that have been rumored to vanquish the Nosferatu since time immemorial. There are no rules when the survival of the human race could depend on vigilante justice. If it looks dead, stab it.
The Axe Murders of Villisca
January 20 (Wide Release)
Take “based on a true story” seriously as ghost hunters literally dying for internet fame venture into the shadows of a house whose walls were splattered with blood the night of June 9, 1912. Note to self if you’re a paranormal investigator: taking your own tour of a place where the vengeful spirit of a killer who never saw the other side of a jail cell is still lurking. There’s a reason this cold case remained frozen.
Resident Evil: Biohazard
January 24 (Wide Release)
While a viral apocalypse should be enough to satisfy most corporations whose full-time job is biological warfare, it apparently isn’t enough for Umbrella. Imminent danger (and possibly imminent death) breeds desperation. Alice and the rest of the survivors rising out of the ashes must head back to where their infernal nightmare had its genesis to get their hands on the antidote that could possibly keep all humanity from getting obliterated.
Don’t Knock Twice
February 3 (Wide Release)
Urban legends aren’t always just legends. When a troubled daughter tries to reconnect with her estranged mother in a house that just screams “haunted”, she resurrects childhood rumors about the type of creepy old woman who never gets any trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Knock on her door, and you will summon a witch who can unlock the portal to hell and craves the flesh of the innocent. You might want to ring the doorbell from now on.
Feburary 10 (Wide Release)
Zombies would easily get slaughtered by the deranged superhumans inPatient Zero, who morph into killing machines when infected with a monstrous strain of rabies. The uninfected keep dwindling as the human race hurtles towards self-annihilation. As an asymptomatic victim about as far away from the Eleventh Doctor as you can get, Matt Smith salvages the survivors and desperately tries to communicate with the army of homicidal maniacs to track down Patient Zero—and a cure.
February 10 (Wide Release)
Just released from rehab, recovering alcoholic Jackie has a chance to reboot her life in the wake of losing her eight-year-old daughter. Her new apartment at Havenhurst is a godsend until she starts to unravel the disappearance of a former friend from the clinic who previously lived in room #1006 until she and her boyfriend strangely vanished. What ensues is a thrill ride through a paranormal hell. Also, the unapologetically sadistic landlady will pervade your dreams.
February 17 (Wide Release)
Samara’s cursed tape comes back to haunt us in the third harrowing story in the American version of The Ring series. High school senior Julia fears her college boyfriend is vanishing from her life. She visits him on campus to discover he’s joined a sinister club whose members pass around the Samara tape—and that he’s seen it the magic number of times that will leave him a corpse by sundown on the seventh day. Further, there may actually be a movie within the movie that nobody has yet seen…
A Cure for Wellness
February 17 (Wide Release)
You might never set foot in a spa again after being immersed in this creepy, cultish nightmare of a so-called wellness retreat. When a junior executive is sent to this sprawling manor in the middle of nowhere to find his mysteriously ill CEO and wake him up to corporate life again, he is soon given the same diagnosis after delving too far into the spa’s unnerving therapies—freakishly designed to keep its patients desperate for a cure.
March 10 (Limited Release)
You’re only a vegetarian until you get hazed. Initiation will turn you not just into a carnivore, but into a cannibal. This is the same movie that caused shockwaves in the news when several people fainted from a gore overdose at Cannes after being subjected to graphic scenes of a teen girl gorging on what is definitely not sushi. The way the blood-streaked cool kids devour raw human flesh like it’s no big deal is especially disturbing.
The Belko Experiment
March 17 (Wide Release)
In this corporate Battle Royale, a disembodied voice orders employees to kill their coworkers over the loudspeaker. Nobody in this Belko Corp’s world of starched white shirts wants to believe this is anything more than some sick joke until one of those shirts ends up covered in blood spatter. Chaos ensues in a terrifying lockdown of the building when the explosives implanted in everyone’s heads could be detonated at any moment. There is no clocking out now.
May 19 (Wide Release)
Planets can look like far-off paradises from the POV of a human eye through a telescope—until they aren’t. When the Covenant blasts off to what the astronauts aboard think is a lush utopia floating in uncharted space, they venture into a terrifying world of spine-invading man-eaters, sinister spores, and carnivorous flowers that could be the spawn of the Demogorgon. The only thing that isn’t ready to eat you alive from the inside out is Michael Fassbender.
June 9 (Wide Release)
The Mummy franchise is getting resurrected with this much darker take on what lies behind the death mask. Archaeologist unknowingly awaken a princess embalmed thousands of years ago when they bring a ghoulish, gargoyle-esque sarcophagus aboard a plane headed to London, but you don’t just disinter a mummy that has been spelled with possible curses. Maybe the swarm of bats that invades the plane is the first clue that they should have left her buried.
Halloween: The Night Evil Died
June 23 (VOD)
Seems you really can’t kill the boogeyman. Michael Myers is back haunting Haddonfield and hunting teenagers after being taken for an electrocuted corpse and waking up in a morgue, and he’s in a homicidal mood. The spookiest night of the year gets even scarier when he vows to kill every last Myers and Strode still breathing—not exactly the ideal time for Pamela Strode’s granddaughter to be staying over. Expect clown masks and gratuitous slashing.
Amityville: the Awakening
June 30 (Wide Release)
Moving to a new town and a new school is hard enough already when you don’t have to deal with a haunting. The fact that you’ve now living in the infamous Amityville house, where the owner murdered his whole family back in 1974, could give you an idea why lights are flashing, voices are echoing and your comatose brother’s eyes fly open with no medical explanation. An abundance of creepy dolls certainly doesn’t help with the ambience.
The Dark Tower
July 28 (Wide Release)
Stephen King’s supernatural horror epic is finally riding through the shadows and onto the big screen. Roland Deschain is a knight in a cowboy hat, a lone rider whose journey across vast beaches and through magical doors echoes with Athurian legend. As the last gunslinger, Roland’s quest to find the man in black and, ultimately, the fabled Dark Tower that connects every universe in existence is brought to almost tangible life in a gripping dark fairy tale.
September 9 (Wide Release)
The anxiously awaited remake of Stephen King’s creepy clown thriller will terrorize your neighborhood this fall. Revamped greasepaint still won’t hide demonic cravings for unsuspecting children. What’s even creepier is that in this suburban circus of terror, Pennywise will be closer in age to his innocent victims and a reflection of their worst nightmares. If you thought the yellow-eyed sociopath in a ruffled rainbow suit couldn’t possibly get more demonic, he just did.
September 29 (Wide Release)
Revived from the 1990 thriller about a group of medical students who dance with death on a hospital bed to demystify what lies beyond the veil, Flatliners will revisit the afterlife in the fall. Expect dramatic near-death experiences that will have you checking your pulse. Because the media has been keeping any further details as secret as what happens after your last breath, and probably will until this summer, today is not a good day to die.
Friday the 13th
October 13 (Wide Release)
He’s still there. Jason Voorhees’ reign of terror puts on its hockey mask for the thirteenth time in this machete-wielding screamfest (which is actually not supposed to be a sequel to the 2009 revamp). Camp Crystal Lake enters dark water when suspicious noises only seem like a teenage prank until its infamous menace in a hockey mask emerges from the deep, oozing with vengeance. Expect flashes of the murder weapon in unexpected places—including your throat.
This one has been delayed so many times that we wouldn’t be surprised if there was another one.
Insidious: Chapter 4
October 20 (Wide Release)
Demonologist Elise will be resurrected again in this continuation of the prequel series that started with Chapter 3. Turning the page, she returns to her hometown to investigate that horrifying demon from Insidious that haunted her before it ever spooked little kids—and probably made your skin want to crawl off your bones the moment its Sith-like face flashed onscreen. Whether she will be possessed is unknown, but the answer might come to you in a nightmare.
October 27 (Wide Release)
Do you want to play a game? Jigsaw will be waiting for you with even more deadly and sadistic traps this Halloween, not to mention disembodied pig heads. His thrill-kill torture chamber has gotten an even more gruesome makeover. Just when you think you’ve broken out of his (literal or proverbial) chains, there is always another, more horrifying way to die. You might actually end up screaming louder than the masked psycho’s victims. Game over.