Our horror preview of the big scares coming to cinemas and streaming

From a Post-Modern Prometheus to Hammer time; demonic teddy bears to chat show disasters, here’s what to watch—and what to watch out for—among March and April’s horror releases.

Matt Glasby is the author of The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Film, available here.

Lisa Frankenstein

Diablo Cody got a raw deal. After winning a screenwriting Oscar for 2007’s Juno—which sees a young, pregnant Elliot Page singing the praises of Dario Argento—she wrote the 2009 feminist horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body and got absolutely slammed for it. Fast forward a few years, and popular opinion has shifted, causing a reassessment of the film and its writer. This month, Cody returns with a witty, female-fronted update of the Mary Shelley novel, directed by first-timer Zelda Williams. Lisa (Big Little Lies’ Kathryn Newton) is the 1980s teen who reanimates a Victorian corpse (Riverdale’s Cole Sprause) to create the man of her dreams. Cue Tim Burton-esque stylings, dress-up montages and plenty of grue. Whoever thought up the tagline, “A coming of rage story”, needs promoting.


From Captain Howdy in The Exorcist to Tony in The Shining, imaginary friends occupy a privileged position in horror history. Giving the concept the Blumhouse treatment, Jeff Wadlow’s glossy shocker follows Jessica (Jurassic World: Dominion’s DeWanda Wise) back to her childhood home, where her stepdaughter Alice (Desperation Road’s Pyper Braun) starts playing with Chauncey, the teddy bear she left behind years before. Can Chauncey forgive Jessica for abandoning him and who—or what—is really calling the shots? Wadlow’s last all-out horror was 2018’s disappointing Truth or Dare, so he’ll have to up his game to find the right M3gan-meets-Mama tone here.

Doctor Jekyll

Legendary British horror studio Hammer has had a bumpy ride since coming back from the dead in the 2000s. After being bought by the appropriately named John Gore Organisation in 2023, its first release is Joe Stephenson’s take on the 1886 Robert Louis Stevenson classic. Squirreled away in a remote mansion, billionaire recluse Dr Nina Jekyll (Eddie Izzard), a trans woman, hires fresh out-of-prison Rob (Scott Chambers) as her new helper. But why are there so many alarms, and what happens if she forgets her pills? In such familiar territory, the big draws are Izzard as the imperiously amused Jekyll, and the sight of the Hammer logo appearing in huge red letters across the screen—a transgressive thrill for all true horror fans.

Late Night with the Devil

Australian horror is having a moment right now, largely thanks to the Philippou brothers’ Talk to Me. But they’re not the only Antipodean siblings with genre smarts. Writer/director/editors Cameron and Colin Cairnes made 2012’s 100 Bloody Acres and 2016’s Scare Campaign, but Late Night with the Devil should take them to a new level. David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight) stars as a talk-show host in 1970s America whose live Halloween special is subject to demonic interference—think Ghostwatch (as I’ve previously recounted, 30 years ago, the BBC horror special scared the pants off 11 million viewers) fronted by a failing Johnny Carson. It’s narrated by genre favourite Michael Ironside (Scanners, Total Recall), and executive produced by one Joel Anderson. Who he? Only the director of 2009 horror masterpiece Lake Mungo. In other words, you’re in very (un)safe hands.

The First Omen

The Omen started life as an—excellent—Exorcist cash-in. But three sequels (two of them decent), one failed TV pilot, a single-season TV series and a remake later, it’s carved its own place in horror history. Directed by Arkasha Stevenson, making her feature debut, this prequel follows a young American woman (Servant’s Nell Tiger Free) who’s sent to Rome to work for the church, only to discover a sinister conspiracy. Horror prequels almost always suck—see Exorcist: The Beginning, Leatherface etc—but this one has a good cast (including Sonia Bragia, Ralph Ineson and Flicks favourite Bill Nighy) and an intriguing backwards trailer, so here’s hoping there’s some reason for the rethink.


The Radio Silence collective follows Scream VI (2023), Scream (2022) and Ready or Not (2019) with this sly horror-comedy inspired, of all things, by 1936’s Dracula’s Daughter. It’s a delicious set-up. A team of kidnappers including Scream’s Melissa Barrera, The Guest’s Dan Stevens and woman-of-the-moment Kathryn Newton take a ballet-loving 12-year-old Abigail (Alisha Weir) hostage because she’s the daughter of a crime boss. Only Abigail isn’t quite as helpless—or, indeed, human—as she first appears, and before you can say Black Swan, she’s flipping the tables on her captors with an impressive array of malevolent moves. “What can I say? I like playing with my food,” she purrs. Looks tasty to us.

See also

Spooky music plagues The Piper, one of Julian Sands’ last films. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey II  is the not-very-long-awaited sequel to 2023’s IP slasher. Immaculate sees Sydney Sweeney unearthing dark secrets in an Italian convent.