Horror Movies to Watch in 2023


2023 is here – and you know what that means: another year of new cinema to ingest! And for horror fiends, this could be a good year to have those nerves and sensitivities rattled. Here are some of the horror films I’m looking forward to, as well as some of the other horror releases you may want to put on your list.

Watch the video above or read the write-up below!

Infinity Pool, in U.S. cinemas January 27th.

Infinity Pool is the latest film from writer-director Brandon Cronenberg, who previously made 2012’s Antiviral and 2020’s Possessor. I thought Possessor was a standout sci-fi horror film of 2020 – incredibly potent and really brutal stuff. Brandon Cronenberg is, of course, son of acclaimed filmmaker David Cronenberg, so tackling extremely dark cinema clearly runs in the family.

If you’ve seen Infinity Pool’s first trailer, which I reacted to HERE, you’ll have a taste of the insanity that Cronenberg has in store here – and with a couple of very strong leads to boot. Alexander Skarsgård and scream queen of the moment Mia Goth are among the cast of this horror sci-fi film, which follows a couple on the fictional island of La Tolqa. James (Skarsgård) is behind a fatal accident, and as punishment… he’s told that he is to be executed. Unless, that is, he’s willing to pay to have his double killed instead.

This film was actually given an NC 17 rating in the U.S. – which is pretty much the highest rating for a feature film – pushing Brandon Cronenberg and his team to appeal and provide a new edit. They did so, managing to get it down to an R.

Knock at the Cabin, hitting Australian cinemas on February 2nd and U.S. cinemas on February 3rd.

The fifteenth feature from The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Split director M. Night Shyamalan is Knock at the Cabin, an apocalyptic psychological horror film. The cast includes Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, and Rupert Grint, among others.

As with a number of Shyamalan’s films, there’s a very intriguing concept: a family of three, on vacation at a remote cabin, are held hostage by four strangers and are told to make a devastating choice: one member in their family must die in order to prevent the apocalypse. A very intriguing concept, although, as usual, it’s likely how the answers or twists play out that will determine whether or not it’s successful.

Now this is based on a 2018 novel The Cabin at the End of the World by author Paul G. Tremblay, which I haven’t read. If you have read it, there’s a good chance you know a good amount of what’s coming. But perhaps Shyamalan has some of his own twists in store… which is risky considering his mixed bag of films. But, I’m excited to see how this plays out.

Evil Dead Rise, opening in Australian cinemas on April 20th and U.S. cinemas on April 21st.

The Evil Dead franchise is getting its next chapter with Evil Dead Rise, the fifth film in this horror franchise following Sam Raimi’s 1981 breakout hit The Evil Dead, his 1987 follow-up Evil Dead II, his 1992 threequel Army of Darkness, and the 2013’s reboot/loose continuation, Evil Dead, directed by Don’t Breathe helmer Fede Alvarez. Over the years I’d say that Evil Dead fans have been somewhat split over that fourth installment, but I’m a fan. I thought it paid respect to the overall original concept while firmly planting its own bloody handprint on the series.

Shot in New Zealand, Evil Dead Rise is directed and written by Irish filmmaker Lee Cronin, who was handpicked by producer Sam Raimi. This is the second feature film from Cronin; he previously directed the 2019 supernatural horror film The Hole in the Ground, a small Irish film that managed to gather some strong distribution and receive mostly positive critical reviews. Cronin showed plenty of promise with his debut, so it’ll be interesting to see what he delivers here.

The plot of Evil Dead Rise will follow a road-weary Beth, played by Aussie actress Lily Sullivan, as she hits L.A. to visit her older sister Ellie, a single mother of three played by another Aussie actress, Alyssa Sutherland. Their reunion is cut short by a certain book discovered in the bowels of Ellie’s building. Flesh-possessing demons and a primal battle for survival ensue.

Last Voyage of the Demeter, in U.S. cinemas on August 11th.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is based on one chapter from Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, and it’s going to be telling the story of what goes down aboard a merchant ship, the Demeter, carrying fifty wooden crates from Carpathia to London. No prizes for guessing that things don’t exactly go swimmingly for the crew on this journey.

As the official synopsis from Amblin reads: “Strange events befall the doomed crew as they attempt to survive the ocean voyage, stalked each night by a merciless presence onboard the ship. When the Demeter finally arrives off the shores of England, it is a charred, derelict wreck. There is no trace of the crew.”

Directing this one is Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal, whose previous films include The Autopsy of Jane Doe (a good one), Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Trollhunter. As for the cast, it includes Corey Hawkins (In the Heights, Straight Outta Compton) as Clemens, a doctor who joins the Demeter crew; Aisling Franciosi (Game of Thrones, The Nightingale) as an unwitting stowaway; and Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones, Clash of the Titans) as the ship’s captain.

The Exorcist, in U.S. cinemas October 13th

I’m not really outraged about news of reboots, sequels, prequels. Sure, original ideas are always nice, but there have been remakes and sequels that I’ve absolutely loved. And I definitely don’t buy the “they’re ruining the original” argument. If a new attempt sucks, the original is still there for you to enjoy! I don’t know, I’m usually happy to provide the benefit of the doubt.

Which brings us to The Exorcist, both a reboot and a continuation of the horror franchise that kicked off with William Friedkin’s 1973 classic. Directing this new Exorcist is David Gordon Green, who was at the helm of recent Halloween trilogy (I only really dug Green’s first Halloween). Nevertheless, he’s a solid director, in my opinion. Apart from Halloween, he’s dabbled in strong comedy, such as Pineapple Express, and emotional drama, such as Stronger.

The new Exorcist, the sixth installment in the overall franchise thus far, will have Hamilton and Glass Onion star Leslie Odom Jr. playing a father to a 12-year-old girl who has become possessed by a demonic entity. A big connection to the original: Ellen Burstyn is also here, reprising her role as Chris MacNeil.

Jason Blum is producer on this film, which Universal Pictures and streaming service Peacock purchased the rights for in 2021. That deal, by the way, was for a trilogy; expect two follow-ups if this one does well.

Salem’s Lot, no exact release date as yet for its planned 2023 release.

Stephen King’s second published novel, from 1975, is getting its first big-screen film adaptation. There have been a few small-screen adaptations before, including a two-part mini-series in 1979.

James Wan is producing this adaptation, with direction and screenplay coming from Gary Dauberman, director of Anabelle Comes Home and screenwriter on the It films.

In case you don’t know the plot, King’s novel tells the story of a writer named Ben Mears who returns to the town of Jerusalem’s Lot (or ‘Salem’s Lot for short), where he lived for a period in his childhood, only to discover that the residents are becoming vampires. A few vampire movies this year.

The cast includes Lewis Pullman (Top Gun: Maverick) as Ben Mears, Makenzie Leigh (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) as Susan Norton, and Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage, See) as Dr. Cody, among others.

Now, this film has been completed and had even been given a U.S. rating of R for “bloody violence and language”. It was originally scheduled to open in cinemas in September 2022, but COVID-related delays pushed that release back to April 21st, 2023. Warner Bros. then decided to take it off that date, replacing it with Evil Dead Rise instead. As of right now, there’s still no date, although a 2023 release is still expected. With those delays, make of it what you will. Holding out hope for a good one here.

Cuckoo, no exact release date as yet for its 2023 release.

Not a whole lot to go on with this one, although it’s been gathering a bit of buzz online.

First up, the cast. The film will be led by Euphoria star Hunter Schafer, who’s gathered quite the fanbase with her role in that HBO series and is making her feature debut with this one. The cast also includes Dan Stevens (The Guest, Legion) and Jessica Henwick (Glass Onion, The Matrix Resurrections).

This is the second film from German filmmaker Tilman Singer, who previously made 2018 German horror film Luz. Haven’t seen that one, but I’ve heard some pretty intriguing things.

I couldn’t spot an official synopsis as yet, although I did find one that was going around a while ago. It reads: “Chased by a mysterious woman, 17-year-old Gretchen (played by Schafer), who just moved with her family to an alpine resort after her mother’s death, must uncover a conspiracy to save herself and her sister.”

That about does it for me for some of the 2023 horror films I’m most interested in checking out, although I will quickly mention some of the other upcoming horror films of note:

  • Scream 6

The next Scream film will find the latest Ghostface out of Woodsboro and New York City this time around, chasing down those that survived the fifth chapter, 2022’s Scream. That film’s directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet return at the helm. A number of cast members also return, including Courtney Cox, Hayden Panettiere, and Jenna Ortega, among others. Interestingly, Neve Campbell apparently won’t be back after being unhappy with the amount of money she was being offered. So, this will be the first Scream film without Sidney Prescott.

  • Insidious: Fear the Dark

The fifth chapter in the franchise will catch up with the Lamberts 10 years after the last instalment and will see young Dalton Lambert entering college. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne will be back, and this will actually be the feature directorial debut for actor Patrick Wilson, whose been with the franchise since the beginning. Hope it’s a return to form for the franchise – didn’t really dig Chapter 3 or The Last Key.

  • Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey

A bonkers one here. A horror reimagining that makes the classic Winnie the Pooh bear character a blood thirsty killer. The plot of this slasher has Winnie’s human buddy, Christopher Robin, leaving to go to college. Well, Pooh and his buddies, including Piglet, are straight up pissed. Bloody mayhem ensues. Directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield.

  • Saw X, aka Saw 10

Yes, the torture-porn franchise is still going, getting a tenth chapter that will be released in October this year. The next entry is being directed by Kevin Greutert, who directed Saw 6 and Saw 3D. His credits include horror films Jessabelle and Visions. Not much known about the plot, although it is known that Tobin Bell is, once again, back as John Kramer, aka Jigsaw. And there have been reports that Shawnee Smith, who appeared in a number of Saw films, was in talks to reprise her role as Amanda. I’m not a hundred percent on if she has signed up; as of the time writing, she’s not listed on the Saw X iMDB page.

  • The Nun 2

A Nun sequel is heading to cinemas in September. I wasn’t really a fan of The Nun, but the film was an undeniable financial success. In fact, with a $US365 million draw, it’s the highest-grossing film in the entire Conjuring universe thus far. And so, The Nun 2 is on the way. The first film’s star, Taissa Farmiga, is returning as Sister Irene, who, in France 1956, is again facing Valak the Demon Nun. The cast includes Storm Reid (Euphoria, A Wrinkle in Time), and set to direct is Michael Chavez, who was at the helm of previous Conjuring universe films The Curse of La Llorona and The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It.