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Horror Movies 2019 – Guide

19th  We Summon the Darkness
Starring: Logan Miller, Alexandra Daddario, Amy Forsyth, Johnny Knoxville
Director: Marc Meyers
Released: TBC 2019
best horror movies 2019

It’s 1988 and people are terrorised by a nationwide rash of apparently Satanic murders, which appear to be connected to kids who go to heavy metal concerts. Three girls in their early 20s (inc Alexandra Daddario, ‘Baywatch’ and Amy Forsyth, ‘Hell Fest’) meet three guys (inc Logan Miller, ‘Scouts Guide Apocalypse’) at such a concert and go back to a vacant country house, where the boys learn to their horror that the girls are not the enthusiastic heavy metal fans they seem to be, but something much more terrifying… This comes from the director of ‘My Friend Dahmer’ which was well acted, mature and skillfully characterised. ‘Summon The Darkness’ doesn’t have the same brilliant graphic novel source material, but instead originates from the screenwriter of the ho-hum ‘Burying My Ex’. It’s also far more lighthearted than ‘Dahmer’, at least I’m assuming so since Johnny Knoxville is cast as a pastor. The last horror-comedy made about heavy metal, ‘Deathgasm’, was an overlooked gem.

18th  Velvet Buzzsaw
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, John Malkovich, Toni Collette
Director: Dan Gilroy
Released: February 1, 2019

Top Horror Films 2019

Horror-thriller set in the contemporary Los Angeles art scene. After a series of paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art. Big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce… Featuring a Robert Altman-like large ensemble cast, this reportedly has a ‘The Player’ vibe to it, but has also been described as surreal, darkly comic, satirical, violent and quirky. It’s all significant because ‘Nightcrawler’ director Dan Gilroy is reuniting with Jake Gyllenhaal (and Rene Russo, Gilroy’s wife). Gyllenhaal gave one of the performances of his career there in one of the best thrillers of the decade (which was also LA-set). Here his character is called Morf Vandewalt and the film is produced by Netflix, which already puts it on shaky ground, but if they can recapture the intensity, darkness, messaging and character nuance it could really be something.

17th  The Dead Don’t Die
Starring: Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Chloë Sevigny
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Released: June 14, 2019

good horror movies 2019

Director Jim Jarmusch returns to the genre after the success of vampire comedy ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’, for his take on the zombie-com. Little is known except Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny play cops (see pic above), Steve Buscemi is a farmer, and Tom Waits a hermit. The main cast have all starred in Jarmusch films before, including Murray (‘Broken Flowers’ +3), Driver (‘Paterson’), Sevigny (‘Broken Flowers’), Buscemi (‘Mystery Train’) and Tilda Swinton (‘Only Lovers Left Alive’). All except Selena Gomez. Jarmusch’s films are eccentric, minimalist and unhurried, favouring mood, character and music over clear plot progression or narrative structure. I find the tranquillised comedy doesn’t rise to more than wry smile territory but he’s amassed a loyal following as one of the faces of award-winning independent cinema for 35 years. ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ feels like a good fit, it has a stellar cast, and Bill Murray hunting zombies will be one of life’s pleasures.

16th  Wounds
Starring: Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz
Director: Babak Anvari
Released: TBC 2019

New Orleans barman Will (Hammer, ‘Mine’) is affable, charismatic and a little shallow, he’s been skating across the surface of life, carefully maintaining contentment. But when he discovers a cell phone after a violent brawl, inexplicable messages prompt him to explore its deeply disturbing contents, dragging his life into a nightmare… Based on the novella ‘The Visible Filth’, which has scored great reviews for its characterisations and for being creepy as hell. It’s adapted and directed by Brit Babak Anvari, writer-director of the terrific Iranian ghost story ‘Under The Shadow’. Armie Hammer has become far more likeable in recent years, and here he’s teamed with Dakota Johnson (‘Suspiria’) and Zazie Beetz (Jinx in ‘Deadpool 2’), making for a very solid trio of in-demand actors. Festival reviews though have been mixed.

15th  Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Starring: Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Austin Abrams, Gabriel Rush
Director: André Øvredal
Released: August 9, 2019

Best Horror 2019 Movies

To solve the mystery surrounding a wave of spectacularly horrific deaths in their small town, a group of teens must face their fears… Based on the infamous 1980’s horror-for-kids anthologies that became the most banned children’s books for over a decade. They were made up of folklore-style gruesome tales (including, for example, eating a human toe, and a farmer getting skinned alive), it was the graphically-creepy illustrations (see above) that made them most shocking. Does the movie version belong in this genre guide or is it another ‘Goosebumps’? Well, the notorious boundary-pushing reputation suggests a harder tone. The director made the definitely-horrific ‘Autopsy of Jane Doe’ and Guillermo del Toro is writer-producer. On the other hand, it’s co-scripted by the duo behind ‘The Lego Movie’. Wherever it lands, this is an intriguing project with calibre behind the camera.

14th  Crawl
Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson
Director: Alexandre Aja
Released: July 12, 2019

best horror film 2019

While attempting to save her father during a Category 5 hurricane, a young woman (Scolelario, ‘Pirates: Salazar’s Revenge’) finds herself trapped in a flooding house and fighting for her life against alligators… Produced by Sam Raimi, this is directed by Frenchman Alexandre Aja. From ‘Haute Tension’ to ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ remake to ‘Horns’, Aja is one of the most capable, and most overlooked, horror directors around. He’s nuanced but not pretentious either, unashamed to have fun with something like ‘Piranha 3D’. ‘Crawl’ definitely has the potential to be cheesy, I hope it’s treated seriously, but with him behind the camera it’ll be entertaining either way. Struggling studio Paramount gave the green-light after the massive success of similarly low-budget horror ‘A Quiet Place’. It’s the first part of their new deal with Raimi’s Ghost House, who made similar cat-and-mouse horror hit ‘Don’t Breathe’. ‘Crawl’ doesn’t have the concept to match those successes, but as the number of options for this list shows, the resurgence of the genre at the box office makes it a good time to be a horror fan.

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  • gd smith said

    I love the Brightburn trailer. I suspect the Bundy film will be more of drama than a horror movie

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      So far so great on Brightburn. Yeah Bundy could easily go the way of ‘My Friend Dahmer’, which didn’t have a drop of blood. It was still sinister and fascinating though.

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  • ReneCat said

    First of all I must disagree with what you said about Jarmusch as I LOVED Paterson and normally I hate those kinds of movies. But you are right about The Dead Don’ t Die having a stellar cast. Now I must REALLY disagree with what you said about Child’s Play! I believed there was NOTHING wrong with the back story and Chucky WON’T be Chucky without Brad Dourif. Just sayin’.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Fair enough. I haven’t seen ‘Paterson’ and am open to my mind being changed. Each to their own on Chucky, Dourif gave him a ton of character but there’s been enough comic Chucky movies for my liking, I’m hoping for something frightening this time out. I know I’m in the minority there.

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    • gd smith said

      Ghost Dog. A hip Hop samurai inspired gangster movie about being loyal to your master with an awesome Wu Tang soundtrack, cool plot, good shoot outs and some funny scenes.

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    Preview – Doctor Sleep
    Trailers – It: Chapter 2, Crawl, Child’s Play, Midsommar, The Dead Don’t Die, Scary Stories To Tell, Hole In The Ground, Annabelle Comes Home, and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile.

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