After an outstanding year for horror in 2017, the genre got right back to scaring audiences at the turn of the new year with the box office hit The Last Key, the fourth entry in the Insidious franchise. While the majority of the most anticipated horror films are set for summer, there are still some spring releases for audiences to look forward to. Let's take a look at the upcoming releases that should terrify anyone waiting for the season of sunny beaches and cold theaters.
Mom and Dad
Though it's been a rough few years for 63-year-old Nicolas Cage and his filmography, his January 2018 release looks to return Cage to the realm of solid pictures. Mom and Dad, written and directed by Crank co-creator and Happy! TV developer Brian Taylor, follows a teenage girl and her little brother as they fight for survival. Why? Their parents, and the other adults in town, are exposed to a virus which causes them to spiral into a violent rage against their own kids. A reversal in plot to 2014's similar genre entry, Cooties, the film's mixture of pitch black comedy, gritty violence and an insane Cage performance — the only kind we need right now — may make for one of the craziest horror movies this year.
For those living in California, the Winchester Mystery House has always been a symbol of pride not just as an interesting tourist spot for out-of-state visitors, but also reportedly as one of the most haunted houses in the United States. This haunted history will finally be told on the big screen with the February release of Winchester. Sarah Winchester (Mirren), the widow to the heir of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, becomes obsessed with the paranormal and occult studies following her husband and son's deaths, and continually expands her large San Jose mansion which holds a dark supernatural secret. For the past 10 years, The Spierig Brothers have been making a large name for themselves in the film industry, most recently with 2017's hit revival Jigsaw, and now they bring their directorial talents to one of the most captivating true paranormal tales.
After the rave critical reviews and modest box office success of 2015's sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, writer/director Alex Garland returns to blend sci-fi and horror with the upcoming Annihilation, based on the 2014 novel of the same name. When a man (Isaac) returns from a scientific exhibition into an environmental disaster zone, gravely injured and without the rest of his team, his wife (Portman) and a second group of scientists make their own incursion into the zone to try and discover a way to save his life. More important, they seek whatever potentially dangerous things are found within. Given Garland's fantastic past in both the sci-fi and horror genres, and the mystery behind the film's plot, this is sure to be a creepy and intelligent entry into the genre that will both confound and horrify audiences.
The Strangers: Prey At Night
Hard to believe it's already been a decade since the first Strangers film scared up $82 million at the box office against its $9 million budget. Now, after years of development hell, audiences will finally get to see new reasons not to talk to strangers. This sequel follows a family staying overnight in a secluded mobile park, with the three masked psychopaths returning from the original to psychologically torment and (probably) kill the family. Given that the first film was loosely based on true events and this sequel holds on to that claim, the idea alone that this is possible is disturbing enough for audiences. Combined with some stylish direction and a menacing atmosphere, this could certainly be one of the more quietly successful horror films this year.
A Quiet Place
It's fascinating to see comedians move into other arenas. Plenty of comics have done unsettling turns in thrillers and drama, and we're still talking about Jordan Peele's move from Comedy Central's Key & Peele to writing and directing Get Out. This year's crop of horror features another film from an actor who is expanding past his comedy roots. A Quiet Place is written, directed by and starring John Krasinski – perhaps best known as Jim Halpert from The Office – and follows a family living on a secluded farm hiding from some form of unknown evil. The twist: whatever pursues the family hunts by sound. The teaser trailer gave audiences an inside look at the family's difficult life. It's an original and captivating world in which the family must collect sand from their nearby beach to create paths to walk quietly along, and communicate exclusively through sign language. Can you sign a scream, though?
Truth or Dare
Blumhouse Productions is not only one of the most highest-profiting production companies in Hollywood at the moment, they are also becoming one of the most important studios for horror films both large and small. The company looks set to continue its successful streak with the supernatural horror Truth or Dare. The film follows a group of college students lured to Mexico one night by a guy who gets them to play a supernatural version of the titular game. The students, however, are horrified to discover the consequences when they try to end the game early. Though its story feels very much like a combination of the Ouija franchise — which Blumhouse also produces — and the widely-acclaimed It Follows, the film still offers an interesting twist on the classic party game with some disturbing visuals and a solid cast.