The most exciting upcoming horror movies coming in 2024

Lily-Rose Depp in Nosferatu
(Image credit: Focus Features)

Summer is heating up to be another strong season for upcoming horror movies, with all sorts of terrifying treats inbound to enjoy over our ice cream (although we’re not sure how they’re going to scare our socks off if we’re wearing flip flops).

A Quiet Place: Day One and Alien: Romulus are on their way to expand their respective franchises, and are shaping up to be this summer’s big horror blockbusters. We also have two new features coming from the Shyamalan dynasty, with M. Night Shyamalan’s high concept serial killer thrill ride Trap and Ishana Night Shyamalan’s debut, the mysterious creature feature The Watchers. 

Multiple murderers are clearly hot this summer, as we’re also getting the third film in the X series from Ti West and Mia Goth: the 1980s-set MaXXXine, in which a killer dubbed the Night Stalker is plaguing Hollywood while Goth’s character searches for stardom, and Longlegs, the new serial killer film directed by Osgood Perkins and starring Maika Monroe and Nicolas Cage, which looks genuinely terrifying. Russell Crowe will be involved once again in occult goings on in The Exorcism, the new possession horror directed by Joshua John Miller, and another crow (as in, the upcoming reboot of The Crow starring Bill Skarsgaard and FKA Twigs) is also due to land. Plus, the much anticipated creepfest Cuckoo starring Hunter Schaefer and Dan Stevens will soon reveal its secrets.

There’s way more on the horizon beyond summer and through the last few months of the year too. Below is what you need to know about the upcoming horror movies making their way to the big screen to keep us screaming.

Read more: Best Horror movies | Best Netflix horror movies | Movie release dates | Upcoming movies | New TV shows

The Watchers

Dakota Fanning in The Watchers

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Release date: June 7, 2024

From producer M. Night Shyamalan comes The Watchers, written and directed by Ishana Night Shyamalan in her feature directorial debut and based on the novel by Irish author A.M. Shine, who also co-wrote the script. This supernatural horror film follows Mina, an artist stranded in an expansive, untouched forest in western Ireland. When Mina finds shelter, she unknowingly becomes trapped alongside three strangers who are watched and stalked by mysterious creatures each night. Dakota Fanning (Effie Gray, Night Moves), Georgina Campbell (Barbarian, Lovely Dark and Deep) and Olwen Fouere (Mandy, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Northman) star. In the UK, the film’s title is The Watched.

Trim Season

Trim Season trailer

(Image credit: Paper Street Pictures)

Release date: June 7, 2024

From award-winning filmmaker and production designer Ariel Vida comes Trim Season, which is being referred to as “like if someone took the ‘nightmare blunt rotation’ meme and turned it into a horror film.” This suspenseful, witchy, weed-themed horror movie stars Bethlehem Million (Sick) as Emma, a young woman seeking a job and a purpose, who drives up the California coast to make quick cash trimming marijuana on a secluded farm. Cut off from the rest of the world, Emma and the rest of the young ‘trimmers’ soon realise the seemingly amiable owner of the estate is harbouring dark secrets and find themselves in a race against time to escape with their lives. Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes, Doctor Sleep, The Pope’s Exorcist), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Hell Fest, Scream), Ally Ioannides (Synchronic), Cory Hart (Fear the Walking Dead) and Jane Badler also star.

The Exorcism

Russell Crowe in new horror movie The Exorcism

(Image credit: Vertical Entertainment)

Release date: June 21, 2024

Russell Crowe is becoming somewhat of a late-career scream queen what with his popular role as Father Amorth in last year’s The Pope’s Exorcist (which grossed nearly $77 million worldwide and has just been greenlit for a sequel) and now his turn as a troubled actor in Joshua John Miller’s upcoming possession flick, The Exorcism. Crowe plays Anthony Miller (note the name), a movie star who begins to unravel while shooting a horror film, while his estranged daughter (played by Ryan Simpkins from the Fear Street trilogy), wonders if he's slipping back into past addictions or whether there's something more sinister at play. (Spoiler: there’s something more sinister at play). Joshua John Miller has strong pedigree in the genre, having appeared in 1987’s Near Dark as childlike vampire Homer, written the 2015 fan-favourite The Final Girls, and as the son of Jason Miller who starred as Father Karras in William Friedkin’s 1973 all-timer The Exorcist. In other words, this guy knows some things about actors being surrounded by weirdness on set and about creating entertaining meta movies of his own. Starring in The Exorcism alongside Crowe and Simpkins are Samantha Mathis (Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, American Psycho), Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation) and David Hyde Pierce (Hellboy).

A Quiet Place: Day One

A Quiet Place 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

Release date: June 28, 2024

From director Michael Sarnoski, who brought us the violent culinary Nicolas Cage vehicle Pig in 2021, A Quiet Place: Day One serves as a prequel to the 2018 horror smash hit original and its sequel in 2020. This third film in the series about a world where humans are pitted against blind but noise-sensitive creatures will star Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond, who also made a brief appearance in A Quiet Place Part 2), Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things, Overlord), Alex Wolff (Hereditary, Old) and Lupita Nyong’o (Us, Little Monsters). With the tagline "Hear how it all began" and a trailer teasing a proper action-packed alien invasion, this will be a return to the start of a series that audiences have become invested in and an end-of-the-world monster movie that may be this summer’s big horror blockbuster.

MaXXXine

Mia Goth and Halsey in MaXXXine

(Image credit: A24)

Release date: July 5, 2024

Aside from a teaser trailer and a handful of images, we know relatively little about the upcoming third part in Ti West’s X trilogy, although the plot synopsis promises that the film will center around Maxine, the only survivor of the bloody incidents of the first film, as she continues her journey towards fame as an adult film actress in mid-80s Los Angeles. Mia Goth returns following her resplendent turns in 2022’s X and follow-up Pearl, and will be joined by Michelle Monaghan (Nanny, The Craft: Legacy), Elizabeth Debicki (Widows, Tenet), Lily Collins (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile), Kevin Bacon (Friday the 13th, Hollow Man) and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad). 

Longlegs

Longlegs

(Image credit: Neon)

Release date: July 12, 2024

In this new psychological horror written and directed by Osgood Perkins (The Blackcoat’s Daughter, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, Gretel & Hansel), and starring Maika Monroe (It Follows, The Guest, Watcher), Nicholas Cage (Mandy, Renfield) and Alicia Witt (Urban Legend), FBI Agent Lee Harker (Monroe) is assigned to an unsolved serial killer case that reveals evidence of the occult. Harker discovers a personal connection to the killer and must stop him before he strikes again. Longlegs has been causing quite a stir online since the release of its creepy and enigmatic marketing campaign. The trailer and posters denote odd symbols, violent imagery, jarring editing, and a droning score, and promise a terrifying and stylish shocker, with potential vibes of Zodiac and The Silence of the Lambs.

In A Violent Nature

In a Violent Nature

(Image credit: Shudder)

Release date: July 12 (UK)

Directed by Chris Nash in his feature debut, In a Violent Nature follows a mute killer, whose rotting corpse is resurrected when a locket is removed from the collapsed fire tower that entombs his body, then targeting a group of teenagers in the Ontario wilderness hellbent on retrieving it. This is an unsettling Canadian slasher peppered with gruesome kills that are observed largely from the killer's point of view, which has been receiving positive reviews following its premier earlier this year at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. 

Cuckoo

Cuckoo

(Image credit: Neon)

Release date: August 9, 2024

Many horror fans have had Cuckoo in their sights since it was first announced in 2021, and now it’s finally coming to our cinema screens following appearances at the Berlin Film Festival and SXSW. Written and directed by Tilman Singer, who brought us the demonic horror Luz in 2018, and starring Hunter Schafer (Euphoria, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes) and Dan Stevens (The Guest, Colossal, The Rental), this has some exciting talent involved. The film follows Gretchen (Shafer), a 17-year-old forced to move with her family to a German mountain resort where things are not what they seem. Cuckoo is shaping up to be a mysterious and eerie look at adolescence and family secrets - the trailer promises a film that’s tense and weird, with some blood-soaked body horror and genuine shocks on the cards too. This one’s a big deal on the horror calendar. 

Trap

Trap

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Release date: August 9

M. Night Shyamalan, visionary director of such horror big hitters as The Sixth Sense, The Village, The Visit, Split, and Old, is back on our big screens this summer following 2023’s Knock at the Cabin, and with his first movie back with Warner Bros. Pictures since 2006’s The Lady in the Water. His new horror feature Trap stars Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night, The Faculty, Halloween H2O), Alison Pill (American Horror Story: Delicate, Them), Ariel Donoghue (Wolf Like Me), and British acting legend Hayley Mills, and follows a father and his teen daughter as they attend a concert for her favorite pop star - played by the director’s eldest daughter Saleka Shyamalan. But when the dad learns that law enforcement have set up the event as a trap for a serial killer they’re calling The Butcher, he needs to find a way to escape. In an interview with IndieWire earlier this year, Hartnett said about Trap: “It’s very bizarre, very dark, and it’s wild.” Sounds good to us! 

Alien: Romulus

Alien Romulus trailer

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Release date: August 16, 2024

Sci-horror fans are in for a treat this summer with a brand new film in the Alien franchise directed by prolific genre creator Fede Álvarez (Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe). This will be the first entry into the enduring Xenomorph canon since 2017’s Alien: Covenant and the action will reportedly be a stand-alone story taking place directly after the events of Ridley Scott’s 1979 original and before James Cameron’s sequel Aliens (1986). Excitingly, the effects team behind the terrifying extraterrestrials in Cameron’s space action masterpiece is returning to create the aliens in Romulus so there’s potential for the practical here. The cast features some interesting stars not necessarily previously known for their genre work, including Priscilla’s Cailee Spaeny, Isabella Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold), and David Jonsson (Rye Lane), and although the film was originally slated as a Hulu exclusive it’s now looking like it will get a cinema release in mid-August.

The Crow

The Crow

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Release date: August 23, 2024

Rupert Sanders (Ghost in the Shell, Snow White and the Huntsman) is in the director’s seat for this upcoming reboot of The Crow, with Bill Skarsgard (IT, Barbarian) and FKA Twigs both starring. The 1994 movie adaptation of the same name, directed by Alex Proyas and starring Brandon Lee, Ernie Hudson and Michael Wincott has become a cult classic, beloved of goths and genre fans alike, and told the story of a murdered man who comes back to life as the undead avenger of his and his fiancée's violent deaths. The original has also gone down in Hollywood history due to the tragic death of Lee, following an accidental on-set shooting from a special effects stunt gone wrong. This new film will be a modern re-imagining of the iconic character Eric (Skarsgard), based on the source comic books by James O'Barr. 

Starve Acre

Starve Acre

(Image credit: BFI)

Release date: September 6, 2024

Based on Andrew Michael Hurley’s award-winning novel of the same name, and following its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in 2023, Starve Acre will have its anticipated cinema release this September. The film is an unsettling British folk horror written and directed by BAFTA nominee Daniel Kokotajlo (Apostasy) and starring Matt Smith (Last Night in Soho, His House) and Morfydd Clark (Saint Maud). In 1970s rural Yorkshire, a couple’s seemingly idyllic life is thrown into turmoil when their young son starts acting out of character and a sudden, tragic event drives a wedge between them. While Juliette (Clark) turns to the local community to find some kind of peace, Richard (Smith) obsessively buries himself in exploring a folkloric myth about an ancient oak tree that once stood on their land, and they soon discover dark and sinister forces in their remote home of Starve Acre that may offer a disturbing possibility of reconnection. Kokotajlo has said that his film “taps into a timeless fear that feels more relevant than ever: the idea that returning home, to nature, and regressing into childhood, is a big mistake.” That sounds like classic folk horror goodness to us!

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Release date: September 6, 2024

Get ready to don your finest black and white stripes and practice your best Harry Belafonte, as Tim Burton is set to bring one of his most iconic characters back to the big screen, with a sequel to his 1988 horror comedy Beetlejuice. The stacked cast includes Michael Keaton who is returning to the title role as the grotesque and hilarious ‘bio-exorcist’, with Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara also reprising their parts from the original film, plus Jenna Ortega, Willem Dafoe, Monica Bellucci, and Justin Theroux. Not a whole lot is known yet about the specific story of the follow-up but audiences should expect distinctive Burton aesthetics, camp and kooky antics from offbeat characters, and hopefully at least one bizarre toe-tapping musical number. This should be a fun and creepy legacy sequel to help get us in the mood in the run-up to the spooky season.

Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil

(Image credit: Blumhouse)

Release date: September 13, 2024 

This American remake of the acclaimed 2022 Danish shocker is coming to cinemas in August from Universal and Blumhouse, and has recently received a rating of ‘R’ from the Motion Picture Association (MPA), hopefully promising the Stateside version will not be pulling any punches, just like the original most certainly did not. The film will be a retelling of the terrifying story of a family invited to spend a weekend in an idyllic country house, going from a dream vacation to a psychological nightmare. James Watkins (Eden Lake, The Woman in Black) is in the director’s chair, and James McAvoy (Split) and Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate, The Turning) will star. Hollywood remakes of recent smash hit horrors can be touch and go, but with Christian and Mads Tafdrup – the director and writer of the original, respectively – on writing duties alongside Watkins, this could prove to be a worthwhile stab at bringing the tale of socially-awkward scares to a wider audience. 

Terrifier 3

Terrifier 2

(Image credit: Bloody Disgusting)

Release date: October 25, 2024

If you’re a horror fan, you might have had long lost friends get in touch at one point last year just to ask you if you had managed to catch a certain murderous clown movie. Art the Clown, the sadistic villain of Terrifier 2, apparently had cinemagoers requiring (helpfully branded) sick bags. The hype, not to put too fine a point on it, was real. And it’s impossible to argue with the figures. Terrifier 2 - a fun, gory, if overly long throwback slasher movie - cost only $250,0000 to make but grim reaped a cool $15 million at the global box office. Hence Terrifier 3, which will debut exclusively on US horror streaming service Screambox.

As reported by Bloody Disgusting, director Damien Leone is excited to bring even more extremity to the series for this threequel. “Aside from a yearning for new and exciting horror villains like Art the Clown, a large part of Terrifier 2’s success was based on its unprecedented theatrical release and its uncompromising nature. It’s pretty clear that we’re now entering a slasher genre renaissance; perhaps the biggest one since the '90s. Filmmakers like myself are gonna have to keep pushing the envelope so it’s encouraging when a company respects a director’s vision and understands what makes a certain type of film successful.”  

Nosferatu

nosferatu

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Release date: December 25, 2024

We’ve been teased with Robert Eggers’ adaptation of Nosferatu for a while now. First it was happening, then it wasn’t, then it was, and now we’ve finally gotten a first look! Following the 1922 classic directed by F.W. Murnau and the 1979 remake from Werner Herzog, Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse, The Northman) is officially bringing his version of one of the most genuinely chilling vampire tales to the big screen - and it’s gearing up to continue the tradition of Count Orlok being a truly terrifying monster. The chameleonic Bill Skarsgard (IT, Barbarian) will embody Orlok this time around, alongside another impressive Eggers' ensemble including Lily-Rose Depp, Willem Dafoe, Nicholas Hoult, Ralph Ineson, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. We can’t wait to sink our teeth into this one! 

The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger

(Image credit: Legendary Pictures)

Release date: TBC

The reboot of the 1984 Troma Entertainment comedy-horror cult classic got its world premier at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas in September 2023 and although we don’t yet have a confirmed release date, this should be one on the radar for anyone with a penchant for schlocky gore, quirky comedy, and practical effects. Macon Blair, best known as the director of 2017’s indie favourite I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore and his acting turns in a whole host of genre fair including Blue Ruin, Green Room, and The Hunt, feels like a safe pair of hands for this retelling of the tale of The Toxic Avenger - a mutated anti-hero who wields a deadly mop. Peter Dinklage is in the title role, starring alongside Kevin Bacon, Jacob Tremblay, and Elijah Wood, with the teaser trailer seemingly promising that this new version will lose none of the humor and chaos of the original. Here’s hoping we get to revel in all its frenetic, jaw-ripping action sooner rather than later.

Salem’s Lot 

Salem's Lot

(Image credit: New Line)

Release date: TBC

Just when you didn’t think there could be any more Stephen King adaptations, another tome is added to the ‘time for a remake’ shelf. And this time, it’s a heavy hitter. For those of a certain age, one of the most terrifying horror moments lurks in Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot TV series from 1979 as a vampire child arrives at a window asking to be let in…. This means no pressure for Conjuring Universe staple Gary Dauberman on both directing and screenplay duties. The good news is that given that he is also responsible for the screenplay of both parts of IT, Dauberman already has keen King conversion chops. The similar ‘terror in a small town’ theme of Salem’s Lot as a vampire holes up in the old house on the hill could mean very good things. There's been no official reveal of a poster or trailer but the art above was revealed after a tie-in edition of the book was spotted online. The movie was initially meant to release in 2022 but New Line has since added a new 2023 release date and cruelly taken it away again. As it stands, you’ve got a little longer to prep your garlic.   

The LaLaurie Mansion Series 

American Horror Story

(Image credit: FX)

Release date: TBC

Whether it’s a good thing or not, we now live in a world where entire franchises are announced before even the first movie has been released. The writers of the first two The Conjuring movies, Chad and Carey Hayes, have teamed up again and revealed an entire series of horror movies revolving around the infamous LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans. Once home to none other than Nic Cage, who allegedly only lasted one night of horrific screams and bumps in the night, this grim abode is said to be one of the most haunted locations in the world. The good news is that if you’ve done your horror homework and watched American Horror Story Coven, you’ll already know its most villainous resident. 

Played by Kathy Bates in AHS, Madame LaLaurie was both a New Orleans socialite and horrific 19th century serial killer, responsible for the horrific torture, mutilation and murder of a number of Black slaves. Her secret was only revealed when a fire broke out at her mansion and firefighters discovered some of her barely alive victims in diabolical states. 

Not content with just one movie, the Hayes brothers are going to tell multiple stories of the mansion throughout history, from its horrific beginnings, all the way to modern day. Plus, they’re considering writing some of it from inside the house. “We love writing films in which we get to tell true stories – incorporating moments that people can look up and discover did in fact happen,” they announced in a press release. “With the LaLaurie House we get to do exactly that… there is a wealth of documentation of a very dark and frightening past of true events. Not to mention that after spending some time there, what we personally experienced was truly unnerving. We haven’t been this excited about a project since The Conjuring!”   

Azrael

Azrael

(Image credit: Republic Pictures)

Release date: UK: TBC

A new action-packed post-apocalyptic movie starring horror darling Samara Weaving (Mayhem, The Babysitter, Ready or Not, Scream VI) and directed by E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills) is getting its world premiere at SXSW on March 9 before a cinema release a couple of days later. Many years following the apocalypse, a devout cult of mute zealots hunts down a young woman, Azrael, who has escaped her imprisonment. Recaptured by its ruthless leaders, Azrael is to be sacrificed to pacify an ancient evil that resides deep within the surrounding wilderness – but she’ll stop at nothing to ensure her own survival. In what follows, Azrael makes a savage bid for freedom as her escape accelerates towards a vicious, revenge-fueled showdown. The film also features an impressive genre-leaning supporting cast including Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Femme, Candyman), Vic Carmen Sonne (Holiday) and Katariina Unt (November). 

Becky Darke
Freelance Writer

Becky Darke is a London-based podcaster and writer, with her sights on film, horror and 90s pop-culture. She is a regular contributor to Arrow Video, Empire, The Evolution of Horror and The Final Girls.

With contributions from