2021's Most Hotly Anticipated Horror Movies

2021's Most Hotly Anticipated Horror Movies

Horrorific content by Brian B. on February 13th, 2021 | Horror News |

January is in the rear view mirror, and February is under way. And slowly, new releases, including some promising horror movies, are making the big screen and streaming services as well.

Wondering what horror movies are coming in 2021? 2020 was a weird year for movie production release schedules owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many film studios punted their movie releases because movie theaters were closed down. Still, streaming had a great year, and some big movies made their way to streaming platforms, skipping theaters all together.

Now, 2021 is shaping up to be a busy year for horror movie releases. That said, film production slowed in 2020, so that may disrupt release schedules in the future.  But let’s save those worries for another time. This year, horror fans have a lot to look forward to.

Let’s take a look at some of the hottest horror films set to release (or already have released) in 2021.

The Night - Jan. 2021

Many of the films on this list have not yet premiered, so you’ll have to wait to get your fright on. Not with “The Night”, directed by Kourosh Ahari (this is his debut film, by the way). This horror movie has already hit the silver screen, and early reviews suggest that The Night is a solid all-around horror film.

Trapped in a hotel room, an Iranian couple is forced to confront the secrets that are now threatening to rip apart their marriage (and their lives, for that matter). Like many horror flicks, “The Night” has jump scares that can lift you out of your seat. Yet by and large, this movie is considered more of a slow burn, with the tension slowly rising to a crescendo.

If you’re sick of all the same old movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime, “The Night” should offer a breath of fresh horror.

The Night premiered on January 29th.

Red Dot - Feb. 2021

If we start handing out awards for best trailers, “Red Dot” will likely make the short list. Many horror films give away too much in the trailer, ruining twists and scares. Red Dot, which premiered on Netflix, walks that fine line between hooking you and not giving away too much.

A Swedish couple and their dog head out for a deep country hike amid snow covered landscapes. Camping over night, a red dot (yes, literally a red dot, from a laser point, the same you might use to torture play with cats) appears on their tent.

The couple start to investigate, wondering where the red dot is coming from. Over the remaining seconds in the trailer, we see flash forwards showing them on the run, under attack, and scared out of their minds. The flash forwards are brief and don’t give away much, so you’re forced to wonder what exactly unfolds.

Check out the Red Dot on Netflix to find out. Premiered February 11th.

Sacrifice - Feb. 2021

Another movie that just hit the big screen, “Sacrifice” has received positive early reviews from critics. Audience scores are a bit more tepid, still this horror movie is one that many might enjoy (or at least get scared from).

A man and his pregnant wife return to a remote Norwegian island to claim an unexpected inheritance. Yet instead of finding wealth, they stumble upon dark secrets and a blood thirsty cult. The “Sacrifice” is receiving high marks for building tension and anxiety. And a pregnant character quickly compiles the terrors and raises the stakes.

Indie horror films from Europe have done quite well in recent years. Often operating on tighter budgets, many European filmmakers have crafted cerebral movies in the horror genre and other genres too.

Sacrifice premiered February 9th.

A Quiet Place Part II- Sept. 2021

Many believe that “A Quiet Place” was one of the better horror movies in recent memory. Certainly, it was an intriguing premise (blind monsters hunting by sound), and John Krasinski starts his movie off with a bang, showing just how high the stakes are in the opening minutes of the film. John Krasinski also stars on stage alongside Emily Blunt. Both put in good performances and drive home the family feel of A Quiet Place.

Which brings us to “A Quiet Place Part II.” Krasinski and Blunt are back and ready to fight off monsters in an effort to protect their family once again. The premier date has been pushed back several times, at least partially due to COVID-19, most recently from April 23, 2021 to September 2021.

That said, A Quiet Place Part II already had its “world premier” back in March of 2020. Those who got to see the early screening raved about how tense the movie is. Part I did a good job of keeping viewers on the edge of their seats, and we expect Part II to accomplish the same.

A Quiet Place Part II Premieres on  September 17, 2021.

Spiral - May 2021

Running nine movies long, the “Saw” franchise might be more unkillable than most horror flick monsters. And now, it’s being brought back from the dead, once again, with a new reboot. And this reboot features some major star power with Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock on board.

The new reboot comes after “Saw: the Final Chapter” premiered in 2010. Sometimes final isn’t so final after all.

As of now, “Spiral” is slotted for a May 2021 launch date. Of course, you’ll want to check back given how frequently films are getting delayed. The early teasers have been promising, so if you’re a fan of the Saw series, Spiral is close to a must watch.

But just how high should we set expectations? Critics have always been tepid with the Saw series, but many of the films have resonated well with audiences.  The most recent Saw flick, “Jigsaw” got a critic score of just 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes in 2017, but enjoyed an 89 percent audience approval rating.

Spiral is set for a May 21st launch date

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It - June 2021

The vast Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) may end up changing the film industry, at least for huge franchises. The interwoven MCU films and TV shows come together to form a larger universe containing multiple related story lines. If you’re a horror film fan, you can enjoy a similarly large and interconnected universe, “The Conjuring Universe.”

Several series, movies, and shorts, including “The Nun” and “Annabelle” series branch off from the two mainline movies, “Conjuring 1” and “Conjuring 2”. Now, in 2021, we’ll get to enjoy a third main series Conjuring film, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”.

When a murderer claims demonic possession as the cause of a crime, paranormal investigators  Ed and Lorraine Warren set out to uncover the truth. Unlike many horror films, the Conjuring series is inspired by real life. Ed and Lorraine Warren were real paranormal investigators. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts and the like, the real life element of the Conjuring series often makes the films feel more real.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is currently set to premiere on June 4th.

The Forever Purge- July 2021

The Purge” series pushed its way into pop culture with an innovative idea: one day a year, laws are suspended and people can pretty much kill at will. Great for revenge, not so much for society. The Purge is set in an America divided by fanatical politics and collapsing social order (somehow that sounds familiar...) The annual Purge night is supposed to help the country stay together, but go figure, rampant murder and anarchy tends to make things worse.

The Forever Purge” was supposed to premier in 2020. As with many other horror movies, however, the film was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Forever Purge is now set to hit the big screen in July. And supposedly, this Purge is the Purge to end all Purges, but let’s face it, horror series have a tendency to come back from the dead.

Purge movies have received mixed reviews throughout their run. Regardless, the first Purge and all the Purges that came after have cemented themselves as one of the largest and most popular horror series over the last few decades.

The Forever Purge should be available on July 9th, 2021.

Don’t Breathe Part 2 -  Aug. 2021

The original “Don’t Breathe” movie took an interesting twist on the horror genre, slotting in a blind man as the primary terror. Directed by Fede Álvarez, Don’t Breathe received excellent scores from critics and audiences enjoyed it too. It should come as no surprise then that a lot of people are eagerly looking forward to the sequel, “Don’t Breathe Part 2.”

In the first Don’t Breathe, a few Detroit kids are struggling to get by, and resorting to crime to try to better their lives. Hearing rumors of a safe stuffed with money, they set out to rob a blind man, Norman Nordstrom. Only, Nordstrom fights back and a terrifying movie unfolds.

Don’t Breathe is particularly notable because it’s easy to see both sides. The kids are criminals, yes, but they’re trying to get to a better place in life. Nordstrom is a victim, but at the same time, he’s also a killer. At times, as a viewer, you might wish everyone could sit down, have a cup of tea, and work things out.

In the sequel, Norman Nordstrom is living with an orphaned girl in an isolated cabin. Some criminals kidnap the girl and Nordstrom is forced to fight back. It’s hard to capture the original magic of a film in a sequel, but it’ll be interesting to see if Don’t Breathe Part II manages to dive as deeply into moral gray areas.

Regardless, this is a horror movie we can look forward to.

As of now, is scheduled Don’t Breathe Part II to premier on August 13, 2021.

Other Horror Movies Set to Premier in 2021

Last Night in SOHO - Oct. 2021

Did you ever have that dream of moving to the big city (or maybe you already lived in one) and striking it rich in fashion, music, comedy, acting, or whatever else? This familiar troupe sets up the premise for “Last Night in SOHO.” A young, wanna-be fashion designer somehow ends up going back in time to the 1960s to meet her idol.

So far, this might sound like the premise of an animated Disney film or rom-com. Yet “Last Night in SOHO” takes a dark turn and ends up being a psychological horror film. Generally speaking, it’s best not to meddle in the past.

Last Night in SOHO is set to premiere on October 22, 2021.

Candyman 2 - Aug. 2021

The first “Candyman” often makes the list of under-appreciated horror films and is especially beloved as part of the 90s horror genre. One of the better horror films of that decade, Candyman features a truly terrifying antagonist. Candyman was a vengeful ghost of a murdered African American man, killed for a “forbidden love.”

The sequel, “Candyman 2,” appears to be building on this antagonist. Many horror films have featured heightened realism in recent years, and this realism often drives the terror home. So far, it seems that Candyman 2 is taking a similar approach, and that may well lead to an excellent horror film.

As of now, Candyman 2 is set to premiere on August 27th, 2021.

Halloween Kills - Oct. 2021

Like many of the films on this list, “Halloween Kills” was supposed to release in 2020. Alas, the COVID-19 pandemic put many releases on hold.

“Halloween Kills” is yet another addition to the long-running Halloween franchise. Halloween films have largely been hit or miss over the years. Some films were quite good, others were clearly cashing in on the name. Where will  Halloween Kills fall? It’s hard to say but early trailers show promise.

Halloween Kills is currently set to premiere on  October 15, 2021, just in time for the Halloween scare season.

Dark Harvest - Sept. 2021

Second to last, but not second to least, “Dark Harvest” is another horror film showing promise. Set in a small midwestern town that no one seems to leave, Dark Harvest is based on a popular 2007 horror novel of the same name (written by Norman Partridge.)

The town’s young folk must fight off a mysterious pumpkin headed monster, Sawhead Jack, that emerges during harvest season to kill people. And the lucky youngin who defeats Sawhead Jack is rewarded a fantastic prize.

Dark Harvest is set to premiere on Sept. 24, 2021, just as harvest season sets in in the United States.

Morbius - Jan. 2022

Yes, this is our 2021 hot horror film list. And yes, “Morbius” is set to premier January 2022. But up until recently, “Morbius” was slated to premier on July 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has pushed this film back, and then back again. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the premier date will move up. If not, then Morbius may help 2022 get off to a strong start. (Of course, it could always get delayed again.)

Anyway, Morbius is based on a Marvel character. Yes, Marvel, as in the comic books. That said, Morbius is believed to be quite the dark take on the Marvel Universe.

The titular Michael Morbius ends up turning himself into a vampire while trying to find a cure for his rare blood disease. Portrayed by Jared Leto, this super hero/horror mashup is already generating a lot of buzz.

It’ll be interesting to see if and how Morbius integrates with the rest of the Marvel Universe, which is known more for action and PG-13 takes. A bit of a horror edge could add an interesting fold to Marvel’s universe.

As of now, Morbius is scheduled to premiere sometime in January 2022 (no official date pinned down yet).

Would it Kill You to Subscribe?

Get horror news, reviews and movie recommendations every Friday!

We respect your email privacy