These Summer Horror Releases Will Make You Drop Your Popcorn

CBS Films

The intense heat and humidity of summer has a way of making people feel a little out of sorts — irritable, cranky, and prone to rash decisions. So the hottest months of the year are a great time to duck into a cool, air-conditioned movie theater and take in a terrifying movie, rather than enacting one of your own. These eight horror movies coming out this summer will test your courage and give you a safe outlet for your seasonal angst.

Some, like Child's Play and Annabelle Comes Home, are sequels or reboots of properties that have already scared the crap out of audiences. Others, like Midsommar and Them That Follow, are original creepy tales that offer a more subtle, slow burn of terror. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is an adaptation of the book fair favorite series that was co-written and produced by Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro. So if you're a fan of his or convinced your parents that they had to let you buy those freaky books, it should definitely be on your radar.

There are also zombies and mutants and killer sharks out there, so grab a buddy and head to the closest theater.


'The Dead Don't Die' (June 14)

This zombie comedy from writer/director Jim Jarmusch features an amazingly mismatched ensemble cast. Bill Murray and Adam Driver star as small-town cops facing an unexpected zombie outbreak, with Selena Gomez, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Austin Butler, RZA, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez and Carol Kane rounding out their fellow townsfolk.


'Child's Play' (June 21)

This one updates the story of a murderous, possessed doll named Chucky, who made his film debut way back in 1988. The eighth film in the franchise mixes elements of the original with some fresh scares.


'Annabelle Comes Home' (June 21)

This seventh installment in the Conjuring franchise is a followup to 2014's Annabelle and 2017's prequel Annabelle: Creation. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return as Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are based on real-life paranormal investigators. With Child's Play and this hitting the same day, killer dolls are owning the weekend.


'Them That Follow' (June 21)

The Orchard

Though not technically a horror film per se, Them That Follow has all the tension of one. The film stars Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, and Thomas Mann and is set in an Appalachian religious community that utilizes snake handling as a part of their ritual. It premiered at Sundance this year, after which Slash Film called it "a slow-burn Appalachian gothic tale that descends into body horror territory."


5. 'Midsommar' (July 3)

Midsommar looks like what Frozen would be like if it were about a Swedish cult instead of a magical queen. The story revolves around the Northern European festival celebrating the summer solstice. Florence Pugh stars as Dani, whose idyllic trip turns more frightening as the festival goes on.


'The New Mutants' (Aug. 2)

New Mutants takes the comic book genre into horror territory. Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, and Alice Braga star as young mutants learning how to either use or control their powers. But the facility in which they're being kept couldn't be farther from Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.


'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark' (Aug. 9)

It's unclear which individual stories from the children's horror books written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell will be included in the movie, but the storyline seems to connect them all through single book written by a young, troubled writer named Sarah.


'47 Meters Down: Uncaged' (Aug. 16)

The trailer for this sequel to 2017's 47 Meters Down doesn't give much away in terms of plot, or really include any of the new cast members, such as John Corbett, Nia Long, and Jamie Foxx's daughter, Corrine Foxx. But that probably just adds to the "what you can't see is more terrifying" ambiance of this oceanic fright fest.

If you prefer jumping out of your seat to superhero blockbusters, this summer still has plenty to offer.