What a long, terrifying trip it’s been. 2022 has officially come to a close; a year that marked my tenth-year writing for Horror News Network and looking back on it, I didn’t really do a tremendous amount of writing for the site this past year. It was a very busy year workwise and with two kids that play multiple sports, things get kind of hectic.
I’m not a “New Year’s Resolution” type of guy but I’ll make one small resolution…okay, actually two: resolution number one is to finally win the Powerball…enough screwing around. Resolution number two will be to write more articles for Horror News Network this year.
Now that that’s settled, one thing I did not slack on this year was watching movies. Some movies I watch with the Fam, but most are done while everyone else is asleep. I painstakingly went through that list of movies that I watched, categorized the horror ones, and came up with the below list of my TEN (or eleven) favorite horror films of 2022. As I always say, keep in mind that these are my favorites and I’m sure that you won’t agree with all of them (or my omissions) and that’s fine – I welcome the discussion and the opportunity to try and convince you otherwise.
The order of the below films is alphabetical, not ranked…but if you absolutely MUST know, I will say at the end which of the 2022 horror films was my absolute favorite.
Can Justin Long ever catch a break in a horror movie? If he’s not losing his eyes in Jeepers Creepers or getting turned into a damned walrus in Tusk…damn! It’s pretty hard to feel bad for him in this gem of a film though. Barbarian kind of came out of nowhere for me; this was a rare one that I hadn’t heard of before I saw the trailer. An excellent, dark and funny movie.
BONES AND ALL
I’m not even sure this is really a horror movie? More of a love story actually…but a really messed up one. Directed by Luca Guadagnino who helmed the 2018 Suspiria remake (don’t hold it against him), it’s a film set in the 80’s about two cannibal teenagers who fall in love while drifting across the country. PS – no one plays a better weirdo than Michael Stuhlbarg.
Two years in a row now Rebecca Hall has had a film in my best-of-year lists and both are mainly on the strength of her incredible acting chops. Last year she blew me away in The Night House and now this year she absolutely knocks it out of the park as a woman traumatized by the reoccurrence of an abusive ex-husband (played incredibly by Tim Roth).
I may get some crap for this one. Slash/Back is technically not a great movie…it has problems. The pacing is a bit rough and the story kind of collapses toward the end, but I still loved it. Watching this cast of young, Inuit non-actors leading this “The Thing-esque” monster movie through the frozen Arctic was beautiful – this movie has loads of heart. Writer/director Nyla Innuksuk is one to watch out for.
SPEAK NO EVIL
I love movies that shock me. Speak No Evil shocked me. You know that feeling where you know that something’s wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on what it is? Then it smashes you in the face? Yeah, that’s this movie.
While a bit longer than it maybe needed to be, The Innocents offers a really jarring look at youth and just how vulnerable they can be to outside (and inside) influences. When a small group of local kids living in the same apartment building suddenly realize they have kind of super powers, how do they react? How does the bullied kid handle it? PS: If you like cats, fast-forward through the section in the stairwell. You’re welcome.
Anya Taylor-Joy is becoming another regular on my year-end lists. The Menu is chock full of great performances and is sure to have you laughing (and gasping) all the way through. But listen, if you go out to eat and the restaurant’s executive chef is Lord Voldemort, don’t eat there.
Can we just give Maika Monroe an Oscar right now? Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but not by much! Maika does an amazing job showing the fear and desperation of a woman who is basically left to fend for herself, in a foreign country where she doesn’t speak the native language and is practically ridiculed by her boyfriend, and the authorities she reaches out to for help.
Alright, maybe I’m cheating a bit here by lumping two movies in as one BUT WAIT…there’s a reason. So, anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a Ti West fan. I have literally never liked any of his films, but I watch them anyway because that’s what I do. So, when X came out, I admittedly went into to it with a bad attitude and indubitably did not care for it. Then Pearl came out and I sighed…then I got angry…there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But I then resigned myself to watching it and much to my surprise, and against all my better instincts, I found myself absolutely loving this story, the character of Pearl, and especially the portrayal by Mia Goth. SO…I went back and re-watched X and lo’ and behold, I liked it (not quite as much as Pearl, but much more so than the first time I sneered through it).
YOU WON’T BE ALONE
Wow…what an insane story. A horrifying-looking witch named Maria comes to steal a newborn but her mother begs her not to take the baby. She promises the with that she can come back and take her when she turns 16 and the witch agrees (not before turning the baby into a mute). Like clockwork, that witch comes back 16 years later and finds that the child and mother have been living in a cave the whole time and the child has never seen the outside world. Well, what better guide than an ancient shapeshifting witch. Really an incredible movie and the woman who plays the witch (Anamaria Marinca) is absolutely fantastic.
Well, there we have it – my ten (or eleven) favorite horror movies of the year. There are a few honorable mentions that I’d like to throw in as they were really top-notch but didn’t crack the lucky ten: A Wounded Fawn, Crimes of the Future, Saloum, Mad God & The Black Phone were all highly enjoyable. I suppose if I was forced to pick an overall favorite from the ten, it would be a toss-up between Watcher & Bones and All.
Have a safe, happy and horror-full 2023!