Happy New Year all you spelunkers! Welcome back to The Void of Celluloid. With every new year comes every early era of the New Year’s resolutions. This year, forget about the ones that cause you to be incredibly hard on yourself. TVOC has a very attainable New Year’s resolution for you: to see all of these new and upcoming horror films.
If you’re here already, then this should be up your alley. However, if you’re one to avoid the genre, I am going to involve a little intensity prediction to aid those that might be interested in dipping their toes into the horror genre this year. This genre is open for everyone, and you can definitely consider yourself a horror fan even if you’re not into the guts and gore.
Here are five horror movies that you should keep on your radar through the new year.
We have to kick off this list with one of the biggest shockers of 2022. Ti West returns with the quickest trilogy made. In addition to the short time between X and Pearl, this is not an adaptation of anything. Dare I say, Pearl was even better. So, when the sneak peek for the third film dropped, stifling excitement was impossible. Co-written by Mia Goth who portrays both Pearl and Maxine in all the films, this is one of the most exciting projects for the horror genre yet.
There is no release date for this film set. Given the sneak peek of Pearl also didn’t give a date, we can expect in the near future, most likely around late spring or early summer. If you haven’t seen the previous two films, definitely give those a watch before approaching this film–plot points in each of them will probably be quintessential to the third installment.
As far as intensity goes, the previous two films were fairly intense when it came to graphic violence and startling scenes. Therefore, if you have seen the other two, you should be golden. Use X to gage what you can stomach when approaching this trilogy if you are unsure, but it is a slasher through and through.
Intensity Prediction for Maxxxine: A Light 8/10
Everybody loves a franchise… Scream VI seems to deliver something new and inventive. Very little slasher films have taken place in a busy city, and the teaser trailer presented something that is a little too close to reality. Much like the opener for Scream 2, crowded areas are a victim’s worst enemy, and a subway on Halloween night is prime real estate for Ghostface to kill in plain sight. Jenna Ortega and Melissa Berrera return as the lead sisters from the previous installment, which you can read about my lukewarm feelings about here.
Super familiar faces such as Courtney Cox and Hayden Panettiere reprise their roles as Gale and Kirby, however a massive misstep already happened early on in production. Neve Campbell will not return because the studio did not pay her enough. So, while the film remains intriguing, it’s unsure what a Scream film is like without Sidney Prescott (you should’ve paid her, damn it).
While Maxxxine may be a slasher-style film, Scream VI will be a slasher film. It will be gory; it will be intense and will be riddled with jumpscares. Scream has always been the lighter one of the slasher bunch, but in non-horror standards, this will still be a very intense ride.
Intensity Prediction for Scream VI: A solid 9/10
To be honest, this one might be the one I am most personally excited for. I am a sucker for horror comedies, but more importantly, I am a sucker for Nic Cage. Renfield is an offbeat horror comedy starring Nic Cage as Dracula, and I don’t think you can get any better than that. This is also a film from Chris McKay, who is responsible for three seasons of Robot Chicken and two seasons of Moral Orel, if that adds any context on what to be expecting.
Renfield is focused on Dracula’s assistant–Renfield–as he daydreams of what his life would be like if he were not Dracula’s assistant. A plot that sounds similar to a subplot in the hilarious What We Do in the Shadows TV series is one to not shy away from. On top of it all, it is a horror comedy–so a crowd-pleaser nonetheless and probably will become a Halloween cult classic.
While this film may have a bit of gore and raunchiness, this is definitely going to be one that anyone could watch and enjoy. I expect this one to not be as intense and more hilarious than horrifying. Plus, Nic Cage and his signature acting style can tame anything to be accessible to everyone.
Intensity Prediction for Renfield: a Light 3/10
Evil Dead Rise
After ten years, the remake of Evil Dead finally gets a sequel. One of the most well-regarded remakes in the entire genre finally returns but instead of the typical Cabin-in-the-Woods setting, the Dead are in a high-rise apartment complex. You would think people would stop messing with the Necronomicon at this point, but we’re so glad they haven’t. A fairly new director is at the helm of this film–Lee Cronin–has been taking notes from Sam Rami himself, so we’re in for a treat. You can see the first look here at Bloody Disgusting.
The theme of modern horror franchises seem to focus on estranged sisters, as this one focuses on two sisters who are at odds and have to come together when the flesh-possessing demons we all know and love come to cause chaos, bloodshed and torment to the sisters in their apartment complex. This expands the Evil Dead universe into territories that weren’t fathomable before and will amp up the carnage that usually comes with it.
If 2013’s Evil Dead is anything to go by, this film is going to be gruesome. Evil Dead took an already gory film and gave it a budget and advanced special effect. 50,000 gallons of fake blood was used for only one scene in the previous film, so this is not for the faint of heart. Expect something violent, disgusting and gory.
Intensity Prediction for Evil Dead Rise: A Strong 9.5/10
Beau is Afraid
It seems like everyone has been waiting for this one with bated breath. Ari Aster is set to return this year and will probably mess us all up again with Beau is Afraid, starring the king of the freaks Joaquin Phoenix. Now, Ari Aster is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those of us that love the guy (me included), it is intriguing he is turning his debut short film Beau into a full-length feature film. The short film has become extremely hard to find, so good luck looking for it as A24 has wiped any trace of it.
Beau is Afraid, if like the short film, focuses on a middle-aged man, Beau, who is on his way to visit his mother. However, it is delayed after his keys to his home are stolen. From then on, a chaotic and sinister chain of events occur. We don’t need to get into the nitty gritty details, as Aster’s films work best with the moments of shock which hit like a curveball to the head.
Speaking of curveballs to the head, take caution with this film. While it may look like a horror comedy and Aster describes it as a horror comedy, note he did the same for Midsommar. I am not expecting this film to be any less intense than Hereditary or Midsommar, and knowing that he likes to crank it up a notch all of the time, I am expecting this to not be an easy watch in the slightest.
Intensity Prediction for Beau is Afraid: A solid 10/10
So, there’s my list for my top five anticipated movies of the new year. 2023 is already looking to be a treat for films, so I am excited to see what it brings. This is also a reminder to see these films in theaters, especially the indie films that need some love nowadays. I do love my franchises, but they are going to naturally see a bigger box office than the indie darlings due to their familiarity. The new year is for trying new things, so if you’re not necessarily into horror films, give something a shot. My goal in the new year is to be more on top of releases and reviews, so I will keep in mind intensities of these films if you want to join me on this journey
Thanks for spelunking this void with me. If you’re new to the Void of Celluloid, welcome. Feel free to spelunk some other voids while you’re here and follow me on other platforms by clicking the buttons below. We post regularly and stay up to date about what’s going on in horror today, reflect on what went on yesterday, and plan for a better, horror filled tomorrow. See ya next time.