From franchise expansions (“Scream,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) to new terrors (“Fresh,” “Don’t Worry Darling”), there’s plenty to look forward to in next year’s horror slate.
Genre veteran Stephen King’s 1975 novel “Salem’s Lot” is finally getting a feature film adaptation, while recent horror darling Jordan Peele will follow up 2019’s “Us” with a new frightening tale.
Elsewhere, Jamie Lee Curtis stars in the final instalment of David Gordon Green’s modern “Halloween” trilogy, and Isabelle Fuhrman will reprise the spine-chilling role of Esther in “Orphan: First Kill.”
Since many of these films are months away from release, get your adrenaline pumping early with the best horror movies of 2021, selected by Variety.
Without further ado, here are our most anticipated scary movies of 2022, starting with a healthy dose of horror in January.
The fifth instalment in the beloved slasher franchise, “Scream” sees the return of stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox as well as a slew of newcomers including Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega and Jack Quaid.
The movie sees a mysterious new killer donning the Ghostface mask, once again targeting a group of local teenagers. “Scream” is a direct sequel to 2011’s “Scream 4,” and it will be the first of the series not helmed by Wes Craven, who died in 2015. This time, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett direct, with the screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick.
Fresh (Jan. 20)
Set to premiere at Sundance Film Festival, “Fresh” marks Mimi Cave’s directorial debut. There’s limited information about the thriller, but the logline reads, “The horrors of modern dating seen through one young woman’s defiant battle to survive her new boyfriend’s unusual appetites.”
The cast includes Sebastian Stan, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Jonica T. Gibbs, Charlotte Le Bon, Dayo Okeniyi, Andrea Bang and Brett Dier. Written by Lauryn Kahn, the movie is produced by Adam McKay, Kevin J. Messick and Maeve Cullinane.
Orphan: First Kill (Jan. 28)
Isabelle Fuhrman first scared the living hell out of us in 2009 as the murderous 33-year-old posing as a 9-year-old child in “Orphan.” Thirteen years later, she reprises the role in “Orphan: First Kill,” a prequel that follows “Esther” (Furhman) as she escapes an Estonian insane asylum and impersonates the missing daughter of a wealthy family.
Rounding out the cast are Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland and Hiro Kanagawa. William Brent Bell directs a screenplay written by David Coggeshall.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Feb. 18)
After Legendary acquired the rights to the franchise, the studio announced “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” a direct follow-up to the 1974 original, ignoring all other sequels and spin-offs. The film follows Melody (Sarah Yarkin), her sister Lila (Elise Fisher) and their friends Dante (Jacob Latimore) and Ruth (Nell Hudson) as they build a new business venture in the remote town of Harlow, Texas.
Soon, their dream turns into a nightmare, as they discover they are unwanted visitors in the home of serial killer Leatherface. Directed by David Blue Garcia and penned by Chris Thomas Devlin, the film also stars Mark Burnham, Moe Dunford, Olwen Fouéré, Alice Krige and Jessica Allain.
Morbius (April 1)
Marvel’s Morbius, who first appeared as a villain in the Spider-Man comics, will get his feature film debut in 2022. Jared Leto plays the titular character, an ailing scientist who, in an attempt to cure himself, becomes a vampire.
Led by Swedish film director Daniel Espinosa (“Life,” “Safe House”), the film also stars Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal and Tyrese Gibson. “Morbius” is the next iteration of Sony’s plan to develop a new shared universe of films inspired by Spider-Man characters, beginning with 2018’s “Venom.”
The Black Phone (June 24)
“The Black Phone” is not Ethan Hawke’s first foray into horror, but it may be his most exciting. The supernatural horror film, directed by Scott Derrickson (“Sinister”) and produced by Jason Blum (“Insidious,” “The Purge”), follows a serial killer who abducts children in a suburban Colorado town.
When Finney Shaw (Mason Thames) is kidnapped by “The Grabber,” he hears voices of past victims that guide his escape. Based on Joe Hill’s short story of the same name, “The Black Phone” also stars Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy Davies and James Ransone.
Nope (July 22)
Despite little information about the film — other than a poster featuring an ominous storm cloud and a cast including Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yuen — Jordan Peele’s next exercise in horror has already energized hordes of fans on social media.
Also joining Kaluuya (who starred in Peele’s directorial debut “Get Out”) are Barbara Ferrera, Brandon Perea and Michael Wincott, who have supporting roles in “Nope.”
Salem’s Lot (Sept. 9)
While Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” spawned a two-episode TV miniseries in 1979, the classic novel is finally getting a proper feature film adaptation next year. Directed by Gary Dauberman, with help from horror maestro James Wan producing, the film follows Ben Mears (Lewis Pullman), a writer who returns to his hometown to discover a mysterious force that turns the residents into vampires.
Instead of running away, Ben forms a coalition to fight the evil and save the town. Mackenzie Leigh, Bill Camp, Spencer Treat Clark and Alfre Woodard also star.
Halloween Ends (Oct. 14)
The final instalment in David Gordon Green’s modern “Halloween” trilogy will premiere in theatres on Oct. 14. Taking place four years after 2020’s “Halloween Kills,” “Halloween Ends” once again stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Storde, the lone survivor of Michael Myers’ 1978 killing spree.
After the death of her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), Laurie will surely seek revenge on the serial killer with her granddaughter Allyson Nelson (Andi Matichak). “Halloween Ends” is written by Green, Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier and Danny McBride.
Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (TBA)
Five years after “Jeepers Creepers 3” debuted to lacklustre reviews, director Timo Vuorensola will take a swing at the horror franchise with “Reborn,” the first of a new trilogy set apart from the Victor Salva films. The movie follows Chase (Imran Adams) as he attends the Horror Hound festival with girlfriend Laine (Sydney Craven), who begins experiencing unexplained premonitions and frightening visions of the town’s past. The cast also includes Gabriel Freilich, Pete Brooke, Dee Wallace and Gary Graham.