A new year, a new list! It’s time for my list of most anticipated horror films of 2017!
Let’s be honest, 2016 sucked in a lot of ways, not least of wish was that the horror movie release calendar was disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great 2016 horror movies with real terror, solid scares, and provocative storytelling. But there were some real duds, the kind that made me roll my eyes and sigh at the state of the horror industry.
Yet here comes 2017, still full of hope and potential, sharing bright and shiny horror trailers for all. Among 2017’s most anticipated horror are dark and twisted social commentaries, high-profile reboots of horror movie classics, gorgeous grotesqueries, and a few black pearls of brave indie filmmaking.
Check them out!
The Lure (February 1, 2017)
“Two mermaid sisters become caught in a love triangle when they fall for the same man.”
I saw this trailer a few days ago and instantly fell in love with its sparkly, gritty, 80s craziness. I love mermaids, especially when they’re presented as the frightening sea monsters of lore. Also, who doesn’t like musicals?
Touted by Indiewire as “a wonderfully demented new musical that bridges the gap between Hans Christian Andersen and Nine Inch Nails,” I’m really looking forward to the Lure and all its potential for zany, bloody, feminist horror.
A Cure for Wellness (February 17, 2017)
“An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious ‘wellness center’ at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem.”
Wasn’t that trailer gorgeous? Director Gore Verbinski is always delivering sumptuous cinematography, as evidenced in The Ring. Luckily for us, A Cure for Wellness looks like he will once again deliver in the visual department. Check out these striking and disturbing teasers as well, one for water, air, and earth. Makes me shiver!
I’m also excited for the premise of a “wellness center/spa” that has a probably evil doctor at the helm with malicious intent. Its setting and undeniably nihilist themes are so timely, especially with our new cultural obsession “mindfulness” and reflection. Indeed, Gore Verbinkski recently gave an interview to Slashfilm where he explained the film as such: “It’s a health spa. Who doesn’t like to put on a nice comfy robe and slip into a warm bath? But when you put a razor blade next to the bathtub, it changes the meaning completely. I think to pervert and corrupt that sort of tranquility, or to at least say, look, the thing about denial is, that inevitability keeps marching forward. The truth keeps marching on. And I think as a society, we live in a time where we are perhaps in denial.”
Here’s to the hope that A Cure for Wellness is more than just a pretty movie and gives us both horror and insight.
XX (Limited release February 17, 2017)
“An all female horror anthology featuring new work from Karyn Kusama, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin and Jovanka Vuckovic.”
Horror, like most of the film industry, is still a boys’ club, despite a lot of advancements. How wonderful is it then to see a female-led, female-directed horror anthology? The female directors are, Roxanne Benjamin (Southland), Sofia Carrillo (Prita Noire), Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, The Invitation), Annie Clark (a.k.a. singer St. Vincent!), and Jovanka Vuckovic (The Guest). It’s an eclectic group of female directors with their own visions and talents to share, and I can’t wait to see it.
There are four chapters of XX: “The Birthday Party”, “The Box”, “Don’t Fall”, and “Her Only Living Son”. How encouraging is it that all of the segments are intriguing and chilling? I was very impressed by what I saw in the trailer, most notably the clips of “The Box” and “Her Only Living Son”, but it all seems solid. We will have to wait to see if it’s truly groundbreaking horror, but XX is definitely shaping up to be a great entry in the recent horror anthology trend.
The Girl with All the Gifts (February 24, 2017)
“In the future, a strange fungus has changed nearly everyone into a thoughtless, flesh-eating monster. When a scientist and a teacher find a girl who seems to be immune to the fungus, they all begin a journey to save humanity.”
Yes, horror is crowded with zombies—zombies have taken over movies, books, graphic novels, tv shows, and podcasts. Lord knows I’m a little tired of zombies at this point, but I can’t help but be excited for The Girl with All the Gifts. I enjoyed the novel for its fresh take on a zombie plague, as well as the difficult questions it raised about evolution, scientific discovery, and other ethical dilemmas. In particular, I loved how deep the book went in handling the plight of survivors in the zombie wasteland and all the ways they were able to fend of “the hungries.”
I’m especially heartened by IGN’s review, where Chris Tully wrote that The Girl with All the Gifts is, “light on gore but heavy on brains” and “delivers what it means to be living, undead or a new combination of the two, with originality and guts.”
Get Out (February 24, 2017)
“Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.”
There are so many things to look forward to concerning Get Out: Jordan Peele (of Key and Peele) wrote and directed this film, it has a solid cast, and it looks like genuinely creepy horror with a socially conscious message about race and class.
I was a huge fan of Key and Peele when it was on air mostly because I appreciated the duos’ love of movies and pop culture and how skilled they were at entwining the two with provocative humor. It appears as though Jordan Peele has done the same for his directorial debut, telling Forbes that he looked to Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives for inspiration.
I hope I’m not getting ahead of myself when I say that Get Out has potential to be an insightful, powerful film as only a horror film can truly accomplish. It is certainly a good sign that Peele himself said this of the horror genre, “As with comedy, I feel like horror and the thriller genre is a way, one of the few ways, that we can address real life horrors and social injustices in an entertaining way. We go to the theater to be entertained, but if what is left after you watch the movie is a sort of eye-opening perspective on some social issues, then it can be a really powerful piece of art.”
Raw (March 10, 2017)
“A young vegetarian begins having an unbidden taste for fresh meat after a carnivorous hazing ritual.”
I’ve been waiting so long for this film to be released in the states! SO LONG! I first caught wind of this moody cannibal movie when I was researching for my Horror Movies at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival post, and I’ve been infatuated ever since. Especially considering much-hyped reports that people fainted and dry-heaved during screenings of Raw.
But it’s not just a blood-spattered gorefest—The Guardian assures us that “What is very impressive about Raw is that absolutely everything about it is disquieting, not just the obvious moments of revulsion: there is no let up in the ambient background buzz of fear.”
The Belko Experiment (March 17, 2017)
“The American Belko Company in South America is mysteriously sealed off at the start of work, leaving 79 people trapped in an office building, forced to kill each other or be killed.”
Honestly, I wouldn’t normally be very interested in a slasher/murder Olympics horror movie like this, but two things pique my interest: James Gunn and my own complicated feelings to my corporate job. I can’t help but think about that—I probably spend more waking time with my coworkers than I do with my husband and friends. We like to assume there aren’t any emotional attachments to our coworkers, but how can it be avoided? A huge chunk of your life is shared with the people who occupy the offices next to yours, with your boss, with the one coworker who always takes lunch at the same time as you and who you chat with as you both microwave leftovers. And you didn’t really choose those relationships, did you, not in the same way you can choose your friends and significant others. Yet there you are, spending the majority of your day with these people, week after week.
What would it be like to suddenly be pitted against the people you spend so much time with? That conflict fascinates me.
Also, I, like many, have strong feelings about how cutthroat and manipulative a corporate environment can be, which seems like a shallow but ultimately correct interpretation of The Belko Experiment.
Alien: Covenant (May 19, 2017)
“Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David, the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.”
I’ve written before about how much I love Alien, as it’s one of my favorite movies ever. It was and still is a huge influence on horror and science-fiction, and its legacy will endure for a very long time to come, regardless of how bad some of its sequels were. As a fan, I’ve longed for a return to the genius of Alien. I thought Prometheus would do that, and while that film was well-acted and beautiful and had a good premise, it failed to deliver. It was nowhere near the worst film in the franchise, but Prometheus did devolve into a clumsy mess of shallow development and characters acting stupid. It proved to be a massive disappointment after all the studio hype.
All of this is to say that I want Alien: Covenant to succeed where Prometheus failed. I really do. This trailer has me cautiously optimistic, because holy crap that opening clip is intense. And using “Nature Boy” is inspired. And the alien hunts them through the dark bowels of the ship? And Danny McBride is in this? GOD PLEASE MAKE THIS GOOD. I’ll just ignore that cheesy looking CGI in the shower scene clip.
The Mummy (June 9, 2017)
“Thought safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the desert, an ancient princess whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in the modern era, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.”
This doesn’t look like a traditional scary horror movie, but I’m still excited for what looks like an action-horror thriller. Also important to consider is how The Mummy is Universal Picture’s first attempt to “reboot” all of its classic movie monsters. Forbes reported on rumors of several films in the works: Invisible Man starring Johnny Depp, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Russell Crowe, Frankenstein with Javier Bardem, Bride of Frankenstein with Angelina Jolie, Creature from the Black Lagoon with Scarlett Johansson, and Dracula with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Be still my heart!
And it all starts with The Mummy, as the success of this film determines the fate of the others. So yeah, keep an eye on The Mummy.
It (September 8, 2017)
“In a small town in Maine, seven children known as The Losers Club come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise.”
What horror fan doesn’t want to see this movie? It is one of the most infamous horror novels and Pennywise is one of the most famous modern movie monsters. I mean, this clown has been giving people Coulrophobia for years! It’s about time this Stephen King classic received the proper movie treatment.
It remains to be seen if the movie will be any good or not, considering the behind the scenes drama, but you know It is going to be huge.
Flatliners (September 29, 2017)
“Medical students experiment on “near death” experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives.”
In case you don’t know, Flatliners was originally a 1990 horror movie starring Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon, and Kevin Bacon’s mullet. It may be one of the most 90s films I’ve ever seen though not in a good way. It had a great premise but was poorly executed and unintentionally hilarious, mostly due to director Joel “Let’s put nipples on the Batsuit” Schumacher. IT also wasn’t very scary.
I mean, just look at these clips:
Flatliners has deserved a proper remake for years, and I’m really hoping this one improves upon the original.
Friday the 13th (October 13, 2017)
“The return of the legendary mass murderer Jason Voorhees in the new Friday the 13th.”
As with the It adaptation, the new Friday the 13th has a reputation and a legacy that very much works in its favor. I don’t really do slashers, but the original Friday the 13th is a classic and I respect it as such. That alone makes me want to see this remake.
But wait, apparently the filmmakers really want us to know they’re putting effort into this iteration. It will be a “hard R” which means that gorehounds will be very satisfied and Jason will be terrifying. This film won’t be a found footage horror film (thank the Lord!) and will be told from Jason’s POV. The characters will be realized and developed characters, including Jason’s family! Sounds promising!
The God Particle (October 27, 2017)
“A team of astronauts aboard a space station find themselves alone after a scientific experiment causes Earth to disappear. When a space shuttle appears, the space station crew must fight for survival following their horrible discovery.”
The God Particle is actually the latest entry into the Cloverfield series, which continues to deliver smart and unexpected stories. There isn’t much known about this film, but I want to see it based on the premise alone.
“A young ballet dancer travels to a prestigious dance academy in Berlin in 1977, only to discover it is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of increasingly grisly murders.”
The danger with remaking such iconic and classic horror films is the high probability that your remake will suck. That’s especially true for the Suspiria remake, considering how influential Dario Argento’s 1977 horror film was. This remake is an uphill battle. I’m praying the filmmakers know what they’re doing and don’t try to simply reshoot the original but opt instead to do something new with this story. At least the cast is encouraging, with Tilda Swinton as the mistress of the ballet academy, Dakota Johnson as main character Susie, and Chloe Grace Moretz and Mia Goth as students.
Killing Ground (TBD)
“Ian and Samantha head to a national park, hoping the bush will give them space for some quiet time together. They arrive at an isolated campsite to find an SUV and a tent – no sign of the occupants. As night falls and the campers fail to return, Ian and Sam grow increasingly uneasy. The discovery of a distressed child wandering in the woods unleashes a terrifying chain of events that test the young couple to breaking point.”
I’m very intrigued by this film, mostly because Australian horror doesn’t disappoint—Wolf Creek, The Loved Ones, You’re Next, The Babadook. Rolling Stone described it as, “an impressive, not-for-the-fainthearted feature debut that cleverly plays both with narrative chronology and your central nervous system.”
Sounds good to me!
“Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.”
Again, not a whole lot is known about this film, but the cast is amazing, with Anna-Taylor Joy (The Witch) and Anton Yelchin (Green Room, Star Trek). And this is Anton Yelchin’s last film due to his tragic and untimely death last year.
I think there is a ton of potential in the story itself, about two girls seeking to bond and repair their tumultuous relationship by committing a murder together. Bad friendships can be toxic enough without the addition of murder, so I’m definitely keeping watching for this film.
“Housewife is centered on Holly, whose mother murdered her sister and father when she was seven. 20 years later and slowly losing her grip on the difference between reality and nightmares, she runs into a celebrity psychic who claims that he is destined to help her.”
This is another example of an upcoming film that’s being kept mostly under wraps (indeed, whether or not this is released in 2017 seems to be up in the air). I am intrigued by the synopsis and by the director, Can Evrenol, whose most recent film Baskin was…something else.
This quote from Can Evrenol says a lot:
“’It’s almost a continuation of my work, the recurring themes of sexuality, family, social claustrophobia and nightmares,’ he explained. ‘This time it’s from a female’s perspective and it’s going to be in the English language. If you say Baskin is like my Carpenter and Stephen King homage, this is going to be Argento and Fulci.'”
That’s all I need!
A Dark Song (TBD)
“A determined young woman and a damaged occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a dangerous ritual that will grant them what they want.”
Last but not least, A Dark Song is an Irish horror film about two desperate people engaging in a black magic ritual, and I am here for it! This looks so dark, giving me a serious The Monkey’s Paw vibe, which promises to explore how scary and consuming grief and obsession can be. But I’m also totally going to watch this movie just for the rituals themselves. Too often, films about witchcraft have kind of lame spells or don’t spend a lot of time on spells; as such, it’s exciting to see a film spend such time and care on depicting some terrifying spells.
And early reports support the film’s darkly attractive feel. The Hollywood Reporter described it as “Peppered with runic symbols, spooky spells and invocations to ancient gods, Irish writer-director Liam Gavin’s debut feature initially feels like a docudrama on occult rites, though it is ultimately more interested in the real-world horrors of grief and depression.“ There’s no release date yet, but you can bet I’ll be there whenever A Dark Song opens.
I hope you enjoy these anticipated horror movies when they come out! Did I miss any anticipated horror that you think should be included? Let me know in the comments!