The pandemic has inevitably had a massive effect on the film industry. Cinemas across the world being forced to close their doors—some, such as the iconic ArcLight in Hollywood never to reopen—has meant severe delays to a few of the most anticipated new movies (including Dune and No Time To Die, the latest James Bond).
In the world of horror, this means we’re about to be hit by a tidal wave of petrifying content. From iconic horror franchises (Halloween and Saw) to new offerings from some of the most beautifully twisted minds in the industry (Guillermo del Toro and Jordan Peele), 2021 promises to be a vintage year for all things scary.
Vogue turns off the lights, locks the doors, and lines up the most terrifying horror films due for release this year.
1. candy man (August)
Director Nia DaCosta was just two years old when the original iteration of this mirror-based mayhem was released in 1992. Now 31, she’s partnered up with Oscar-winning producer Jordan Peele, a modern master of horror, to give us this spiritual sequel, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman, Watchmen). The follow-up expands on the themes of the original, taking us back to Cabrini-Green in Chicago where the original Candyman was murdered for being a Black man in a relationship with a white woman. Pointing a lens at gentrification and race, candy man is one of the most anticipated releases of the year.
2. Benedetta (July)
Controversial 82-year-old Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven’s catalogue includes cult classics Basic Instinct (1992) and Showgirls (1995). The master of the “erotic thriller” most recently directed the critically acclaimed She (2016) starring Isabelle Huppert. A divisive figure, no other director can claim to have won a Golden Raspberry Award for worst picture and worst director (Showgirls) and a Golden Globe for best foreign-language film (She), but those two awards, side by side, are a pretty good reflection of his body of work. The trailer for his latest, starring Virginie Efira and Charlotte Rampling, described as an “erotic lesbian nun horror,” looks like peak Verhoeven. Sexy, exciting and a bit silly. And, like all of Verhoeven’s work, utterly original.
3. Spiral: From The Book Of Saw (May)
The infamous franchise returns to our screens having recruited two acting legends, Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, to star in what is the ninth installment. Directed by seasoned Saw regular Darren Lynn Bousman, Spiral takes the form of a detective thriller about a serial killer targeting cops, leaving spiral symbols as their calling card. Expect this to be true to form, which is to say exceptionally gory and utterly petrifying. If you fancy 90 minutes of adrenaline and nausea starring two of the best actors in America, this is the one for you.
4. Don’t Breathe 2 (August)
Director Fede Alvarez returns for part two of a story that had audiences gripped from the first frame back in 2016. Part one, about a group of burglars who break into the house of a blind man, played by Stephen Lang, soon finds out he is anything but helpless. The follow-up sees our visually impaired killing machine living in a cabin in the woods where he’s been taken in by a young orphan girl (look, it’s not Shakespeare). When the girl is kidnapped, he must leave the house to try to save her. Producer Sam “The Evil Dead” Raimi, godfather of the horror world, declared the film’s premise “the greatest idea for a sequel he’s ever heard.”