What to Expect in the World of Horror in 2019

by John Evans

On the first day of this glorious new year, I thought I’d do my best impression of The Legendary Criswell and make some horror predictions for 2019. These aren’t necessarily wild ideas I’ve pulled out of thin air… they’re simply my expectations based on the trends I’ve observed developing over the course of 2018. I’ll document my thoughts now, and then revisit my premonitions in December to see how I did! So, without further ado, let’s peer into the wonderful world of tomorrow!


Eighties Exhaustion

Remember how thrilling it was the first time “99 Luftballoons” appeared on your favorite new movie’s soundtrack? Remember how cool it was when the popular character in a hot new show referenced Dungeons & Dragons? Or how awesome it was when Netflix made an entire show based on 80’s pop culture and horror tropes? Well, the excitement kind of starts to wear off after the sequel to The Strangers got an unnecessary 80’s veneer and every big budget action film from Ready Player One to the latest Transformers movie resorts to name dropping elements of pop culture from the decade in an attempt to establish instant street cred.

I expect that 2019 will be the year when horror fans drop their love affair with 1980’s flair in new content like a hot potato. Interest in such content has waned over the years, and I predict that even Stranger Things 3 will struggle to keep fans engaged on nostalgia alone. Of course, it will take the studios longer to catch on that the decade has overstayed its welcome, and 2019 might offer the most cringeworthy 1980’s throwbacks we’ve ever seen before the trendsetters seek to establish their next fad. Anyone up for the return of the 1990’s?


Sabrina Saturation

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was an instant hit for Netflix. In fact, the show became so popular that the streaming giant announced a Christmas special, a second season debut just months after the show’s premiere, and an additional order of Seasons Three and Four. Everyone was thrilled! Well, except for The Satanic Temple.

I suspect that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina may run out of steam faster than the average hit series due to over-saturation of content. While we do live in the age of instant gratification, horror fans love to have something to wait for and look forward to; and this release calendar doesn’t provide any absence period to make the heart grow fonder. I predict that the number of months between the premiere of Season Two and the premiere of Season Three will be set significantly longer than the gap between One and Two after a softer critical and audience response to the expedited release of Season Two.


The Haunting of Hokey Ghost Stories

The fact that yet another prediction of mine revolves around a popular Netflix series shows how integral the streaming platform has become to the horror genre. Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House was rightfully touted as one of the best horror productions of the year… and everyone’s going to want to get in on the supernatural action!

I predict that ghost movies and television shows will be creeping out of the woodwork in 2019… and most of them will fail to recognize what made The Haunting of Hill House such a hit in the first place: competent character development, layered storytelling, and unconventional hard-earned scares. The bargain basement knock-offs of 2019 will instead offer underdeveloped caricatures and predictable jump scares.


Killer New Trend

More than any other genre, horror tends to evolve through series of cycles. Astute viewers can almost identify the date of production of a movie or show based on whether it features vampires, zombies, or torture traps. We’ve dabbled in the supernatural for the past couple of years, and I think that 2019 will be the year of the killer.

Production just wrapped on Season Two Mindhunter, The Clovehitch Killer is set to hit home video in March to tremendous buzz, and even the secret ending to Venom confirms that it’s sequel will feature Woody Harrelson as the infamous serial killer Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage. Couple this with the latest nostalgia-inducing Criterion Collection reissue of The Silence of the Lambs and new merchandise for the classic film (Anyone up for the return of the 1990’s?), and the stage has been set for the return of the killer in mainstream horror. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!


So there you have it… my HNN horror predictions for 2019! Have a wonderful new year, and keep your eyes peeled for these horror premonitions to ring true over the course of the next twelve months!


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