Fall 2023 Horror Movie Preview

As spooky season approaches, the annual crop of fall fright flicks is beginning to roll out. In a year that’s already seen the release of massive horror hits like M3GAN, Scream VI, Evil Dead Rise, and Talk to Me, the final quarter of 2023 has a lot to live up to.

But with offerings that range from new installments in the Conjuring, Saw, and Exorcist franchises to a diverse array of found footage films to a Blumhouse adaptation of a beloved video game, the season’s lineup looks to be a strong one.

Here are the 15 most anticipated horror movies of fall 2023.

Read more: The 35 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2023

The Nun II (In theaters Sept. 8)

Five years after The Nun became the highest-grossing entry in The Conjuring universe with a global box office total of over $365 million, everyone’s favorite evil-banishing nun, Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), is back to once again take on the demon Valak (Bonnie Aarons). Directed by Conjuring veteran Michael Chaves, The Nun II builds on the first movie’s cliffhanger ending, with Valak using Maurice (Jonas Bloquet) as a vessel to wreak havoc after escaping the Abbey of St. Carta in Romania. “Maurice made his way to France and he’s working at this boarding school as kind of a handyman,” Chaves told MovieWeb. “But we know from the first film that there’s something terrible inside of him, that Valak escaped within him, and events pull Irene back on this collision course with her old friend.”

Satanic Hispanics (In theaters Sept. 14)

Winner of the Best Director(s) Award at Fantastic Fest 2022, Satanic Hispanics is a horror anthology featuring five shorts from five of the genre’s leading Latin filmmakers: Alejandro Brugues (Juan of the Dead), Gigi Saul Guerrero (Bingo Hell), Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!), Demián Rugna (Terrified), and Eduardo Sánchez (The Blair Witch Project). The overarching narrative centers on a mysterious figure known as the Traveler (Efren Ramirez), the lone survivor of a gruesome massacre in El Paso who, after being taken in for police questioning, begins recounting a variety of terrifying tales—with each story spinning into one of the film’s shorts—from his unusually long life.

Fall 2023 Horror Movie Preview

A Haunting in Venice (In theaters Sept. 15)

Based on Agatha Christie’s chilling 1969 novel Hallowe’en Party, A Haunting in Venice marks Kenneth Branagh’s third outing as Christie’s famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Set in post-World War II Venice, the supernatural mystery, also directed by Branagh, will see a now-retired Poirot attempting to solve the murder of a guest at a séance he attends on All Hallows’ Eve. The adaptation serves as a sequel to 2022’s Death on the Nile and features a star-studded ensemble, with cast members including Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, and Jamie Dornan.

It Lives Inside (In theaters Sept. 22)

From the producers of Get Out comes a coming-of-age horror that brings a terrifying creature from Hindu and Buddhist mythology to the big screen. The movie centers on Samidha (Megan Suri), a second-generation Indian American who begins rejecting her family’s culture in an attempt to fit in at school. But when a demonic entity known as a Pishach latches on to her former best friend, Samidha must come to terms with her heritage in order to defeat the malevolent spirit. It Lives Inside is the debut feature from writer-director Bishal Dutta, who drew on his own childhood experience of emigrating from India to North America at the age of four as inspiration for the film. “As it developed, It Lives Inside formed its own dual identity much like mine,” he said in a statement at SXSW. “On one hand, it is a love letter to the community and culture that raised me while on the other, it is a visceral experience that is designed to instill the same raw terror in its viewers that my favorite horror films instilled in me.”

No One Will Save You (Streaming on Hulu Sept. 22)

Sci-fi psychological thriller No One Will Save You stars Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor Kaitlyn Dever as Brynn Adams, an anxiety-ridden homebody who awakens one night to the sound of aliens breaking into her house. As the night goes on, Brynn must do whatever it takes to survive while battling the extraterrestrial beings that have invaded her safe space. In July, director Brian Duffield tweeted his own synopsis of the film: “If you wanted a movie where a bunch of greys try to abduct Kaitlyn Dever and she keeps being like, no thank you, we made that movie.”

Saw X (In theaters Sept. 29)

Set between the events of Saw I and II, the latest Saw installment brings back Tobin Bell as Jigsaw Killer John Kramer for a sequel that takes viewers on a blood-soaked journey into the past. Directed by franchise veteran Kevin Greutert, Saw X follows a terminally-ill Kramer as he journeys to Mexico for an experimental medical procedure—only to realize the entire operation is a scam. This doesn’t sit right with ol’ Jigsaw, who goes to work devising a series of sadistic torture traps to unleash on those who wronged him. This time around, the story will be told from Kramer’s perspective rather than that of his targets, according to Greutert. “[Saw X] is an emotional journey that you go on with John Kramer, and less a slaughterhouse that you experience from the point of view of the victims,” he told Empire. “Obviously there will be people that can’t handle it, but I think it has a good chance of appealing to people beyond gore freaks.”

The Exorcist: Believer (In theaters Oct. 6)

Fifty years after The Exorcist launched an entirely new subgenre of horror films, director David Gordon Green is revisiting the terrifying franchise for a new tale of demonic possession. The Exorcist: Believer serves as a direct sequel to William Friedkin’s 1973 classic and sees Ellen Burstyn return in the iconic role of Chris MacNeil, mother of the once-possessed Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), to help save two young girls who have fallen under the control of a demonic entity. It’s intended to be the first entry in a new Exorcist trilogy, with the second film, The Exorcist: Deceiver, currently set for release on April 18, 2025.

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines (Streaming on Paramount+ Oct. 6)

Serving as a prequel to the 2019 film adaptation of Stephen King’s terrifying 1983 novel Pet Sematary—the author’s self-proclaimed “scariest property of all time”—Bloodlines is based on a previously untold chapter from the book that was also written by King. Set in 1969, filmmaker Lindsey Anderson Beer’s feature debut centers on Jud Crandall (Jackson White)—the Creed Family’s elderly neighbor from the original story—when he was still a young man with dreams of escaping his hometown of Ludlow, Maine. After discovering a local cemetery where the dead can be brought back to life (sort of), Jud must contend with a sinister family legacy that will forever connect him to Ludlow, and, alongside his childhood friends, battle an ancient evil with the power to destroy everything in its path.

Totally Killer (Streaming on Prime Oct. 6)

Starring Kiernan Shipka as a time-traveling teen out to stop the infamous “Sweet Sixteen Killer” from claiming her as a new victim 35 years after his initial murder spree, Totally Killer is a slasher comedy from horror powerhouse Blumhouse that promises to deliver its fair share of gore. Directed by Nahnatchka Khan (Always Be My Maybe), the movie follows 17-year-old Jamie (Shipka) as she travels back to Halloween night of 1987 and teams up with the teen version of her mom (Olivia Holt) to stop the masked maniac hunting her in the present from ever killing the three teenage girls that were his original targets.

V/H/S/85 (Streaming on Shudder Oct. 6)

Cult favorite horror anthology franchise V/H/S continues with a sixth found footage installment that delves into “the grim underbelly of the forgotten 1980s.” Featuring segments from directors David Bruckner (V/H/S), Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose), Gigi Saul Guerrero (Bingo Hell), Natasha Kermani (Lucky), and Mike P. Nelson (Wrong Turn), V/H/S/85, like its predecessors, follows a group of people who stumble across a collection of VHS tapes that contain a series of horrific recordings. While details about the plot have largely been kept under wraps, according to Deadline, the movie spotlights five episodes whose premises contain plenty of chilling promise: “scientists observe an unusual boy fixated on his TV, kids embark on a lake skiing adventure, a TV crew fights to survive a natural disaster, the early days of VR awaken something terrifying, and a deadly dream is captured on tape.”

Malibu Horror Story (In theaters Oct. 20)

Set over the course of 10 years, Malibu Horror Story follows a crew of paranormal investigators as they dig into the mysterious disappearance of four teenage boys who went missing in the California hills after discovering a sacred Indigenous cave. Written and directed by Scott Slone, the found footage flick is more than a decade in the making and aims to put a new spin on the haunted Native American burial ground trope. “Our story is told through different perspectives, timelines, and layers of media that were compiled over several years,” Slone said. “The goal was to incorporate all of those elements and place them inside of a conventional horror movie structure that would not only appeal to found footage enthusiasts but to a broader horror audience as well.”

Five Nights at Freddy’s (In theaters and streaming on Peacock Oct. 27)

Following the success of M3GAN, Blumhouse is back with another highly-anticipated horror about killer animatronics. Based on Scott Cawthon’s video game franchise of the same name, Five Nights at Freddy‘s stars Josh Hutcherson as Mike Schmidt, a newly-hired night security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza who comes to discover that something deadly is afoot at the abandoned family entertainment center. Directed and co-written by Emma Tammi, the movie adaptation of Cawthon’s series has been in the works since April 2015, eight months after the release of the first game.

Thanksgiving (In theaters Nov. 17)

A holiday not often associated with horror gets the scary movie treatment in this slasher from Hostel director Eli Roth. Based on Roth’s fake trailer of the same name that appears in 2007’s Grindhouse, Thanksgiving chronicles the exploits of a serial killer who sets out to make a festive carving board out of the residents of a small Massachusetts town. While plot details are scarce, it was announced in February that Tiktok star Addison Rae had been cast in a lead role.

The Wait (TBD)

Described to Bloody Disgusting as a “sinister folk horror tragedy” that “portrays the macabre descent into hell of a man who suffered the tragic loss of his family,” The Wait centers on the devastating fallout that ensues after Eladio (Victor Clavijo), a hunting estate keeper in the Andalusian countryside, takes a bribe from a veteran hunter. Written and directed by Spanish filmmaker F. Javier Gutiérrez, the film is expected to hit theaters in late 2023 or early 2024 following an expansive festival run.

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