2022 was a fantastic year for horror films. I had so many on the shortlist for this Top 5 list that I struggled to cut it down, and shaving off those finally a couple of films into just five was nearly as hard as watching some of the horrific scenes in the movies on this list.
Here are my picks for the Top 5 Best Horror Movies of 2022.
– Dylan Blight
Directed by: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
I really like Scream 4, and although I could talk about how it was way ahead of its time, it didn’t have the same weight resting on its shoulders as 2022’s Scream did. With the passing of Wes Craven, this was the first time the series would be directed by and written by anyone outside of Craven and Kevin Williamson. However, the duo of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett, aka Radio Silence, more than proved they were the right choices for the job. Not only is Scream a fantastic slasher with all the kills and thrills to keep fans happy, but it also builds upon the running tropes of the genre, incorporates them into the film, and uses the more recent running trend of “soft-reboots” to wiggle into some classic Scream film criticism.
Directed by: Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele’s third film takes on the sci-fi and alien genre with an equal measure of mystery and intrigue. In some parts, Spielberg and others Hitchcock, the film takes many wild turns in the desert as our cast deals with what is potentially aliens stalking and hiding around their farm stealing the horses. On the other side of the coin, we flashback several times to a scene on a family program where a monkey lost it and killed and brutally marred actors. What connects the two is for you to discover, but like all past films by Peele, Nope is a beautifully made and sometimes terrifying time.
Directed by: Zach Cregger
The number one film on this list you should go into knowing the least. Even if you watch the trailers, there’s been a good effort to keep as much to be discovered in the film as possible, and I plan to keep it that way. Barbarian is the worst-case scenario for an Air BNB going wrong. When Tess (Georgina Campbell) shows up and finds Keither (Bill Skarsgård) at the house she’s booked, she thinks, at worst, it’ll be just a long night until she can find somewhere else to book. Of course, it’s not that simple, and things only get weirder as the film goes on.
2.) Terrifier 2
Directed by: Damien Leone
Like many horror fans in 2022, I read the headlines about people throwing up in cinemas and running out the doors while watching Damien Leone’s Terrifier 2 in cinemas and took that as a reason I had to watch it. Being able to watch either Terrifier or Terrifier 2 in Australia proved to be a horror story itself, as neither was available to stream. Terrifier 2 only received a small run in a select few cinemas here. Fortunately, Umbrella Entertainment released them digitally at the back end of the year, and I couldn’t be happier.
Art the Clown quickly jumps into the category of modern-classic horror villains with his psychotic and obsessive nature of violence. And the film heroine in Lauren LaVera, proves to be a badass. Like most great horror films, there are scenes in here that had me smiling, laughing and then wanting to look away from the screen, which is why it’s easily one of 2022’s best horror films.
Directed by: Ti West
I don’t think there are X or Pearl people; there’s just the general agreement of how lucky we were to get both of those films in 2022. And it all started with X, a film that introduces a young group of would-be porn actresses and porn directors who go rent out a farm and secretly begin filming their dirty picture. Little do they know that the old lady in the house, Pearl, is in love with fame, jealous of the pretty girls, and not afraid of violence. Little did we know back when X was released or being filmed, but Mia Goth’s secretly playing both Maxine and Pearl in the film was a stroke of genius, especially to lead into the prequel later in the year, Pearl.
X is a straight-up 70’s slasher with Texas Chainsaw Massacre and grindhouse inspirations spread all over it. It’s violent, sexy, and gleefully fun. With a cast as good as X’s, it’s hard not to be. If I could give a casting director an award for this year, it would also be going to this film. I couldn’t slot Pearl into my top five picks here, but consider this a dual-win for Ti West’s two 2022 films with A24, and I can’t wait to see more with the upcoming MaXXXine and who knows what else in this world.
Dylan Blight compiled this Top 5 list. The movies nominated must have had a theatrical release in a cinema, VOD or on a streaming platform between December 27th 2021 – December 27th 2022.