I’ve pretty much been an over-enthusiastic fan of horror movies for most of my life. In fact, one of my most vivid memories from childhood is watching 1976’s Carrie with my stepmother and jumping nearly 10 feet in the air when Carrie’s hand shot out of the ground while the camera showcased her tombstone. And if you don’t know what scene I’m talking about, then here you go. But even an 8-year-old me being absolutely terrified by a singular horror scene was enough fuel needed to ignite my passion for the horror genre — a passion which has faithfully followed me through adulthood as I near my ‘30s.
Skipping ahead to the present day, horror movies don’t necessarily “scare” me as much as they used to when I was a child — but that’s probably the case for many people. At the time of this writing, however, there are a handful of upcoming horror features set to engage audiences on a wild ride of spooks and scares, although it’s worth wondering how much any of these horror flicks will genuinely scare folks.
Of course, there’s an abundance of other independent and low-key horror projects set to be released this fall, but I’ll keep it simple and list the major movies and how scared I think they’ll actually make me.
6. Pet Sematary: Bloodlines
Honestly, this is probably the movie I’m least excited about on this list. Furthermore, it’s truthfully the only movie that’s not going to scare me. We’re all in agreement that 2019’s Pet Sematary was nothing special, right? So looking forward to another pointless chapter in this “franchise” would be silly — especially with this one serving as a prequel. To quote the 1989 masterpiece, sometimes dead is better.
A blood-splattered slasher movie about Thanksgiving? Sign me up. If anything, I’m more excited about this movie than scared, so I definitely have high hopes that I’ll be enjoying this more than shielding my eyes from terror. That’s not to say Eli Roth isn’t a gifted horror filmmaker, I’ve just been anticipating this film since it briefly appeared as a parody in Grindhouse.
4. Five Nights at Freddy’s
It’s hard to say that I think this movie will scare me, seeing as I’ve been waiting years for it to happen. Based on the legendary horror video game, one has to wonder just how terrifying Blumhouse decided to make this movie. But even if all else fails and I end up sitting there grinning with glee in the theater and not afraid at all, at least horror icon Matthew Lillard is on board to make it an enjoyable experience right at the end of spooky season.
3. Saw X
This is an interesting one. On one hand, Saw is one of the most unsettling horror franchises in the widespread genre — but I wouldn’t necessarily declare that I think this chapter will scare me. I’ve got a particularly weak stomach (which is often difficult as a lifelong horror fan), so naturally, Saw makes me more queasy than anything. But because Tobin Bell is back as John Kramer, I have confidence this installment will spook me just as much as it’ll make me nauseous. I suppose I’ll take that as a good thing.
2. It Lives Inside
I’ll be honest here, the trailer alone looked absolutely terrifying. This one hasn’t been discussed too much, I get that, but that could possibly mean that we have a sleeper hit on our hands here. Horror indulging in other cultures and pulling inspiration from folklore monsters of different heritages feels like a necessary step, and I’m honestly excited to see how this film performs. And, if I’m being completely blunt, I think it’ll scare my socks off in the same vein as Talk to Me earlier this year.
1. The Exorcist: Believer
Let’s not mince words here — 1973’s The Exorcist is not scary. It’s highly influential and one of the greatest horror films ever constructed, but it’s not scary in the slightest. I mean, it probably was back in the ‘70s when most of the population was Christian and possession movies weren’t common, but the project barely makes horror fans of this generation flinch. And yet, I truly believe that out of all of these movies listed, The Exorcist: Believer will scare me the most. With special effects improving over the years, I truly believe this had the chance to be the scariest movie of the year.
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