2023 horror movies: from M3GAN to Saw X

1. M3GAN

  • Starring Allison Williams
  • Released January 13

The pitch An apparently innocent gift for an orphaned young girl backfires in this cautionary sci-fi horror tale. Get Out's Allison Williams plays the well-intentioned auntie who purchases a top-of-the-line 'M3GAN' doll for her niece, with disastrous and chilling consequences.

In addition to Williams, the movie also sports the input of horror heavyweights James Wan (Saw; Insidious; The Conjuring) and Jason Blum, the latter of whom produces through his hugely successful Blumhouse label.

2. Knock at the Cabin

  • Starring Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Rupert Grint
  • Released February 3

The pitch M. Night Shyamalan's career bounce-back continues apace after box office hits Split, Glass and Old. The filmmaker, still best known for the acclaimed likes of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, adapts Paul G. Tremblay's novel The Cabin at the End of the World, focusing on two men, their child and an unexpected interruption from a group of strangers who promise that the apocalypse is incoming.

Guardians of the Galaxy's Dave Bautista lends his imposing screen presence to the leader of the gang. Meanwhile, ex-Harry Potter star Rupert Grint reunites with Shyamalan following his appearance in the eerie TV series Servant.

3. Scream VI

  • Starring Courteney Cox, Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Samara Weaving
  • Released March 10

The pitch In 2022, the long-running Scream series was successfully revived. Ready or Not filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet brought their penchant for dark humour, suspense and gore to the fifth movie in the Scream franchise, making plenty of winky in-jokes about the current state of 'elevated horror' even as a new Ghostface killer went on the rampage.

The notorious psycho is about to resurface again in Scream 6, although this time absent series regular Neve Campbell. (She abandoned the project in a dispute over pay.) Nevertheless, Scream veteran Courteney Cox will be appearing, and Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega return from the previous movie.

4. Evil Dead Rise

  • Starring Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan
  • Released April 21

The pitch Sam Raimi's scrungey and splatterific horror-comedy Evil Dead may have been released in 1981, but it's lost none of its power to shock. The movie spawned two sequels, both helmed by Raimi, and then a 2013 remake, which doubled down on the gore largely at the expense of Raimi's wacky humour.

Evil Dead Rise is pitched as a sequel to the 2013 movie, so one can expect that grim tone to be maintained. Lee Cronin directs, having helmed the well-regarded 2019 chiller The Hole in the Ground.


5. Renfield

  • Starring Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina
  • Released April 21

The pitch Chris McKay, the director of The LEGO Batman Movie, re-imagines Dracula's crackpot pupil to blood-soaked and oddball effect. Nicholas Hoult plays the eponymous Renfield, the spider-chewing loony who has barely escaped his diabolical master's clutches, and now needs serious therapy for the trauma.

However, Renfield has been invested with some serious limb-lopping abilities, and try as he might, he can't quite escape the nefarious Dracula's spell... Renfield looks like a gory and hilarious treat with support from Awkwafina and a toothy, accent-mangling turn from Cage as the dreaded Count.

6. Insidious: Fear the Dark

  • Starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins
  • Released July 5

The pitch The Insidious series shows no signs of running out of steam. Instigated by Saw filmmaker James Wan back in 2011, the jump-tastic franchise has charted the trials and tribulations of the Lambert family, who have been targeted by all manner of hideous demons from a dimension known as 'the Further'.

Series veterans Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne make their first appearance in the series since the second. What can possibly be in store for their characters Josh and Renee this time? Whatever it is, it's bound to be frightening.


7. The Last Voyage of the Demeter

  • Starring Corey Hawkins, David Dastmalchian, Liam Cunningham, Javier Botet
  • Released August 11

The pitch Bram Stoker's classic horror novel Dracula devoted a particularly memorable chapter to the ill-fated ship, the Demeter. It was this transport that Dracula used to gain passage into England from Transylvania, and now the blood-curdling, gore-soaked voyage is the subject of its own movie.

Norwegian horror veteran André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe; Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) is behind the camera and set to deliver bucket-loads of creepy atmosphere. Playing Dracula himself is monster and motion capture specialist Javier Botet whose angular body language has graced a host of memorable chillers including REC and Mama.


8. The Nun 2

  • Starring Taissa Farmiga, Storm Reid, Bonnie Aarons
  • Released September TBC

The pitch The Nun was a commercially successful entry in the blockbusting Conjuring Universe series of movies. The film, set in the 1950s, took us inside a forbidding Romanian monastery where a novitiate nun (Taissa Farmiga) came face to face with the all-too-familiar spectre of the demon known as Valak. Said demon had appeared earlier in The Conjuring 2.

Farmiga's character Sister Irene must confront the terrifying Valak again during the events of The Nun 2. Michael Chaves is directing, having steered earlier Conjuring movie The Curse of La Llorona.


9. The Exorcist

  • Starring Leslie Odom Jr., Ellen Burstyn, Ann Dowd
  • Released October 13

The pitch It's a bold move to remake one of the most famous (and infamous) horror movies of all time. But never tell director David Gordon Green the odds. Having reconfigured the Halloween mythology with his recent trilogy of films, Green now sets his sights on rebooting Willliam Friedkin's controversial and provocative 1973 shocker.

In truth, the new Exorcist movie is being billed as a sequel to the original, and the exact nature of its status as a 'remake' remains to be seen. The original film's Ellen Burstyn is in the cast, so we can expect some degree of continuity with the original, horrifying story of the possessed young girl Regan.


10. Saw X

  • Starring Tobin Bell
  • Released October 27

The pitch The long-running horror series that makes one value one's limbs makes a grisly return to the big screen. Not much is known about Saw X's plot other than Tobin Bell is set to make a return as the notorious mastermind psychopath Jigsaw. That's surely enough of a reason for fans and devotees to get very excited.


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