Top 7 Must-Watch Horror Movies by Woman Directors

movie list horror 2022

For some odd reason horror movie writing and directing has mostly been associated with men. However, many women have also taken leading roles as writers, producers and directors of hit horror films. In fact, some movie distribution companies are now run by women. And for a good reason too, women have directed some of the most iconic as well as influential horror movies out there. Yes, that includes the hit American Psycho. Let’s look at the seven main must-watch horror movies directed by women.

The American Psycho

The horror movie was released in 2000, co-written and directed by Mary Harron. The movie embraces a darkly satirical adaption of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel from 1991. Harron does a great job with the dark humor throughout the movie and also flips the male gaze in the film. Also Harron ensures that the American Psycho does not objectify women unlike other horror movies throughout history. This is actually one of the reasons she wanted to work on this project.

View this post on Instagram #AmericanPsycho #PatrickBateman #ChristianBale #WallStreet #PierceAndPierce #IHaveToReturnSomeVideoTapes #Dorsia #PaulAllen #JaredLeto #WillemDafoe #BretEastonEllis #MaryVaron A post shared by Brett Pritchard (@btpkp) on Sep 26, 2018 at 11:36pm PDT

Kathryn Bigelow co-wrote and directed this movie which was released in 1987. You can consider Bigelow as one of the pioneers for horror movies directed by women. The movie revolves around an exciting and romantic story of a family of specifically nomadic American vampires. Almost like an 80’s ‘Twilight’ Kathryn directs this movie in a unique way without ever mentioning the word ‘vampire’. The movie features amazing actors such as Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein who also appeared in James Cameron’s ‘Alien’.

View this post on Instagram Near Dark (1987) While shooting in the desert, Lance Henriksen relieved the boredom between takes by hopping in his car and taking short drives through the desert, still in costume and often staying in character. According to Henriksen and Bill Paxton, the two were stopped by a policeman who became so unnerved questioning Jesse about his speeding that the officer became visibly uncomfortable, stepping back and placing his hand on his firearm. The obviously flustered officer decided to send them on their way rather than write them a ticket. Unusual for a vampire movie, the word “vampire” is never mentioned. . . . #NearDark #Classic #Horror #Vampires #Vampire #horrorfilm #Horrorfan #Horrorart #HorrorMovies #HorrirMovie #Horrorfanatic #80s #Flick #Horrorlover #Halloweenparty #NoSleep #Terror #Desert #scary #goodmovie #Liked #Spooky #Bests #VAMP #Brutal #Twisted #Story #frightfest #horrorgram #InstaHorror A post shared by Hitcher HorrorSeeker (@horrorseeker) on Sep 18, 2018 at 3:27am PDT

This is one of the recent horror movies written and directed by a woman, Julia Ducournau, who does a stunning job in this cannibal based drama. Raw may be one of the more graphic horror movies on this list, so viewer beware. It even caused a man to faint at a festival viewing. Depending on your stomach this might be a reason to see it or not see it. Julia’s use of bloody violence and shocking imagery is what made it so popular.

View this post on Instagram #rawthemovie #horrormovies #horror #rainysundaymovies A post shared by Courtney Jackson (@courtjay99) on Jul 22, 2018 at 10:24am PDT

The Babadook

The Babadook was released in 2014, written and directed by Jennifer Kent. Although it’s a must-watch movie, it is not for the faint of heart. The Australian writer and director embraces various mechanics of a horror movie to narrate a soul-shaking story. It features main characters such as Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman. Essie Davis plays a young widow who is struggling to raise Noah, her six year old son, who is hyperactive. The movie has virtually no onscreen gore of bloodshed as the director is more interested in preying and exploring upon the most primal fears of the human mind. But still, it’s scary.

View this post on Instagram The Babadook (2014) Director: Jennifer Kent Cinematographer: Radek Ladczuk #cinematography #thebabadook #babadook #babadookdookdook #babashook #jenniferkent #radekladczuk #babadookmovie #babadookthemovie #jedkurzel #simonnjoo #nikkibarrett #alexholmes #karenhannaford #jenniferdrake #heatherwallace #suecarroll #andreahall #dalebamford #justindix #clintdodd #timpurcell #essiedavis #noahwiseman #hayleymcelhinney #barbarawest #craigbehenna #cathyadamek #horrormovies #horrormovie A post shared by Cinematic Artistry (@cinemartistry) on Jun 15, 2018 at 11:05am PDT

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

For fans of Nightmare on Elm Street, this fan favorite is iconic and directed by a woman. Rachel Talalay, the director, worked on several Elm Street movies but has a breakout role as director in this one. She is one of the most notorious women in the franchise and had been working behind the scenes for years before directing this masterpiece. 

View this post on Instagram Released on September 13th, 1991, FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE is 27 years old! Happy Anniversary! #freddysdead #freddysdeadthefinalnightmare #thefinalnightmare #freddy #freddykrueger #robertenglund #90smovies #horror #horrormovies #slasher #lisazane #breckinmeyer #yaphetkotto #tomarnold #roseannebarr #johnnydepp #alicecooper A post shared by The Big Freaking Ogre (@the_big_freaking_ogre) on Sep 13, 2018 at 9:13am PDT

The Hitch-Hiker

Ida Lupino was a popular actress in the early 1950’s. After several successful movies, she made her way into the directing scene. Released in 1953, The Hitch-Hiker is one of the original modern horror movies. It’s about two men who pick up an escaped psychotic convict who then tells them he is going to end their lives before the trip is over.

“The Hitch-Hiker”: The Origin of a Twilight Zone Classic: (new blog post via @wordpressdotcom ) — The Twilight Zone (@TheNightGallery) May 1, 2017

Pet Sematary

After working for several years as a music director for big names like Madonna, Mary Lambert became a household name with her 1989 cult classic ‘Pet Sematary’. This was one of the many horror movies based on the works of Stephen King and her feature movie debut.

View this post on Instagram This is one of my favorites movies: Pet Sematary (cementery). Because i saw it when i was kid and i finished in shocked for many weeks #petsematary #petsematarymovie #petsematarycat A post shared by anubisalejandro (@anubisalejandro) on Jul 15, 2018 at 10:37am PDT

While many think that women don’t have much of a presence in the horror movie genre, this list shows that the statement itself could not be more wrong. While women have directed less horror movies than men, the movies directed by women are some of the best horror movies you can see. There are many good reasons to see these movies above, but the fact that women directed them all is another great reason.

Ida Lupino on the set of The Hitch-Hiker (1953). — Albert Galera (@AlbertGalera) February 4, 2018


movie list horror 2022

movie list horror 2022

movie list horror 2022

movie list horror 2022

TAGGED AS: Horror , movies

movie list horror 2022

(Photo by A24/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: A24 /Courtesy Everett Collection)

Every Horror Movie of 2022 Ranked Best to Worst

We’re ranking all the new horror movies of 2022 by Tomatometer, like Scream , X , Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more. (To recap 2021, see our best horror movies of 2021 list , or the Golden Tomato Awards , where A Quiet Place Part II took home the Best Horror Movie trophy.) We rank the movies Certified Fresh films first, followed by the Fresh and then Rotten. — Alex Vo

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Hellbender (2021) 97%

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The Innocents (2021) 96%

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Sissy (2022) 96%

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Saloum (2021) 96%

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A Wounded Fawn (2022) 96%

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X (2022) 94%

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Prey (2022) 93%

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You Won't Be Alone (2022) 93%

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Barbarian (2022) 93%

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Hatching (2022) 92%

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Piggy (2022) 92%

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Mad God (2021) 91%

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Deadstream (2022) 91%

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We're All Going to the World's Fair (2021) 91%

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Pearl (2022) 92%

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Werewolf by Night (2022) 90%

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What Josiah Saw (2021) 90%

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Something In The Dirt (2022) 91%

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The Menu (2022) 88%

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The Sadness (2021) 89%

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Nanny (2022) 90%

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You Are Not My Mother (2021) 88%

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Watcher (2022) 87%

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Soft & Quiet (2022) 86%

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Glorious (2022) 86%

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Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) 85%

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Terrifier 2 (2022) 85%

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Speak No Evil (2022) 85%

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Hypochondriac (2022) 84%

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Medusa (2021) 84%

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The Black Phone (2021) 83%

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Bones and All (2022) 82%

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Nope (2022) 83%

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Resurrection (2022) 81%

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Crimes of the Future (2022) 80%

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Smile (2022) 80%

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Scream (2022) 76%

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V/H/S/99 (2022) 77%

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Master (2022) 74%

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Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes (2021) 100%

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Some Like It Rare (2021) 100%

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Luzifer (2021) 100%

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The Harbinger (2022) 94%

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Let the Wrong One In (2021) 88%

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Deep Fear (2022) 92%

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To the Moon (2021) 86%

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Torn Hearts (2022) 89%

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The Retaliators (2021) 88%

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Kratt (2020) 87%

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The Changed (2021) 82%

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Gatlopp (2022) 80%

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Shapeless (2021) 76%

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Kicking Blood (2021) 74%

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Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022) 76%

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Orphan: First Kill (2022) 72%

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The Cursed (2021) 71%

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The Witch 2: The Other One (2022) 76%

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Homebound (2021) 70%

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Men (2022) 69%

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The Harbinger (2022) 50%

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Hellraiser (2022) 66%

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Hocus Pocus 2 (2022) 64%

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Room 203 (2022) 64%

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Ghosts of the Ozarks (2021) 63%

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Mosquito State (2020) 62%

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Old Man (2022) 62%

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All Jacked Up and Full of Worms (2022) 61%

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House of Darkness (2022) 59%

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No Exit (2022) 61%

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Studio 666 (2022) 56%

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A Banquet (2021) 56%

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Day Shift (2022) 57%

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Dark Glasses (2022) 51%

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My Best Friend's Exorcism (2022) 53%

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DASHCAM (2021) 48%

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The Curse of Bridge Hollow (2022) 46%

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Mr. Harrigan's Phone (2022) 45%

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Halloween Ends (2022) 40%

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The Long Night (2022) 35%

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Those Who Walk Away (2022) 33%

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They/Them (2022) 34%

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Umma (2022) 32%

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) 31%

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The Cellar (2022) 31%

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Choose or Die (2022) 30%

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The Invitation (2022) 29%

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The Mean One (2022) 21%

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WarHunt (2022) 21%

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Abandoned (2022) 20%

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The Accursed (2022) 20%

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The Requin (2022) 19%

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Prey for the Devil (2022) 17%

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Firestarter (2022) 10%

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The Legend of La Llorona (2022) 7%

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Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (2022) 0%

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movie list horror 2022

2022 Horror Movies

1. Scream (I) (2022)

R | 114 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, Calif., a new killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town's deadly past.

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin , Tyler Gillett | Stars: Neve Campbell , Courteney Cox , David Arquette , Melissa Barrera

Votes: 122,521 | Gross: $81.64M

2. The Requin (2022)

R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller

A couple on a romantic getaway find themselves stranded at sea when a tropical storm sweeps away their villa. In order to survive, they are forced to fight the elements, while sharks circle below.

Director: Le-Van Kiet | Stars: Alicia Silverstone , James Tupper , Deirdre O'Connell , Danny Chung

Votes: 5,842

3. The Long Night (2022)

R | 91 min | Horror

A devoted couple's quiet weekend takes a bizarre turn when a nightmarish cult and their maniacal leader come to fulfill an apocalyptic prophesy.

Director: Rich Ragsdale | Stars: Scout Taylor-Compton , Nolan Gerard Funk , Deborah Kara Unger , Jeff Fahey

Votes: 1,801

4. Student Body (2022)

89 min | Horror, Thriller

High-school student Jane Shipley seeks to mend her splintering relationship with childhood best friend Merritt and fit in with her rebellious peers. When Jane's math teacher oversteps his ... See full summary  »

Director: Lee Ann Kurr | Stars: Christian Camargo , Montse Hernandez , Cheyenne Haynes , Anthony Keyvan

Votes: 1,898

5. Shut In (I) (2022)

TV-MA | 89 min | Thriller

When a young mother is barricaded inside a pantry by her violent ex-boyfriend, she must use ingenuity to protect her two small children from escalating danger while finding an escape.

Director: D.J. Caruso | Stars: Rainey Qualley , Jake Horowitz , Vincent Gallo , Luciana VanDette

Votes: 9,281

6. Those Who Walk Away (2022)

94 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

After Max and Avery meet on a social media app for a first date, they end up at a haunted house only to realize the trauma they share may either save them or erupt into an unforgettable nightmare.

Director: Robert Rippberger | Stars: Booboo Stewart , Nils Allen Stewart , Scarlett Sperduto , Nancy Harding

Votes: 5,923

7. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

R | 81 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

After 48 years of hiding, Leatherface returns to terrorize a group of idealistic young friends who accidentally disrupt his carefully shielded world in a remote Texas town.

Director: David Blue Garcia | Stars: Sarah Yarkin , Elsie Fisher , Mark Burnham , Jacob Latimore

Votes: 55,172

8. Studio 666 (2022)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Horror, Music

Legendary rock band Foo Fighters move into an Encino mansion steeped in grisly rock and roll history to record their much anticipated 10th album.

Director: BJ McDonnell | Stars: Dave Grohl , Nate Mendel , Pat Smear , Taylor Hawkins

Votes: 10,474

9. Fresh (2022)

R | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

FRESH follows Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), who meets the alluring Steve (Sebastian Stan) at a grocery store and - given her frustration with dating apps - takes a chance and gives him her number.

Director: Mimi Cave | Stars: Daisy Edgar-Jones , Sebastian Stan , Jojo T. Gibbs , Andrea Bang

Votes: 60,154

10. X (II) (2022)

R | 105 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.

Director: Ti West | Stars: Mia Goth , Jenna Ortega , Brittany Snow , Kid Cudi

Votes: 117,706

11. Umma (2022)

PG-13 | 83 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Amanda and her daughter live a quiet life on an American farm, but when the remains of her estranged mother arrive from Korea, Amanda becomes haunted by the fear of turning into her own mother.

Director: Iris K. Shim | Stars: Sandra Oh , Fivel Stewart , Dermot Mulroney , Odeya Rush

Votes: 8,178

12. Master (I) (2022)

R | 98 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Three women strive to find their place at an elite Northeastern university. When anonymous racist attacks target a Black freshman, who insists she is being haunted by ghosts, each woman must determine where the real menace lies.

Director: Mariama Diallo | Stars: Regina Hall , Zoe Renee , Julia Nightingale , Talia Ryder

Votes: 5,429

(Prime Video)

13. Night's End (2022)

81 min | Horror

An anxious shut-in moves into a haunted apartment, hiring a stranger to perform an exorcism which quickly takes a horrific turn.

Director: Jennifer Reeder | Stars: Michael Shannon , Theo Germaine , Kate Arrington , Daniel Kyri

14. You Won't Be Alone (2022)

R | 108 min | Drama, Horror

In an isolated mountain village in 19th century Macedonia, a young girl is kidnapped and then transformed into a witch by an ancient spirit.

Director: Goran Stolevski | Stars: Noomi Rapace , Alice Englert , Anamaria Marinca , Sara Klimoska

Votes: 8,063

15. Choose or Die (2022)

MA-17 | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

After firing up a lost 1980s survival horror game, a young coder unleashes a hidden curse that tears reality apart, forcing her to make terrifying decisions and face deadly consequences.

Director: Toby Meakins | Stars: Iola Evans , Asa Butterfield , Robert Englund , Angela Griffin

Votes: 22,685

16. The Cellar (2022)

94 min | Horror, Mystery

Keira Woods' daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new house. She soon discovers there is an ancient and powerful entity controlling their home that she will have to face or risk losing her family's souls forever.

Director: Brendan Muldowney | Stars: Elisha Cuthbert , Eoin Macken , Abby Fitz , Dylan Fitzmaurice Brady

Votes: 6,514

17. Hatching (2022)

91 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A young gymnast, who tries desperately to please her demanding mother, discovers a strange egg. She hides it and keeps it warm, but when it hatches, what emerges shocks them all.

Director: Hanna Bergholm | Stars: Siiri Solalinna , Sophia Heikkilä , Jani Volanen , Reino Nordin

Votes: 11,190

18. The Twin (2022)

109 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A mother has to confront the unbearable truth about her surviving twin son.

Director: Taneli Mustonen | Stars: Teresa Palmer , Steven Cree , Barbara Marten , Tristan Ruggeri

Votes: 3,204

19. Monstrous (2022)

PG-13 | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Story centers on a traumatized woman fleeing from her abusive ex-husband with her 7-year-old son. In their new, remote sanctuary they find they have a bigger, more terrifying monster to deal with.

Director: Chris Sivertson | Stars: Christina Ricci , Santino Barnard , Don Durrell , Colleen Camp

Votes: 3,476

20. Firestarter (2022)

R | 94 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A young girl tries to understand how she mysteriously gained the power to set things on fire with her mind.

Director: Keith Thomas | Stars: Zac Efron , Ryan Kiera Armstrong , Sydney Lemmon , Michael Greyeyes

Votes: 17,672

21. Men (2022)

R | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A young woman goes on a solo vacation to the English countryside following the death of her ex-husband.

Director: Alex Garland | Stars: Jessie Buckley , Rory Kinnear , Paapa Essiedu , Gayle Rankin

Votes: 47,462

22. Torn Hearts (2022)

TV-MA | 97 min | Drama, Horror, Music

Follows a country music duo who seek out the private mansion of their idol and end up in a twisted series of horrors that force them to confront the limits they'd go for their dreams.

Director: Brea Grant | Stars: Katey Sagal , Abby Quinn , Alexxis Lemire , Joshua Leonard

Votes: 1,480

23. Shark Bait (2022)

TV-MA | 87 min | Horror, Thriller

A group of friends enjoying a weekend steal a couple of jetskis racing them out to sea, ending up in a horrific head-on collision. They struggle to find a way home with a badly injured friend while from the waters below predators lurk.

Director: James Nunn | Stars: Holly Earl , Jack Trueman , Catherine Hannay , Malachi Pullar-Latchman

Votes: 3,455

24. Watcher (I) (2022)

R | 91 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A young American woman moves with her husband to Bucharest, and begins to suspect that a stranger who watches her from the apartment building across the street may be a local serial killer decapitating women.

Director: Chloe Okuno | Stars: Maika Monroe , Karl Glusman , Burn Gorman , Tudor Petrut

Votes: 28,641

25. Crimes of the Future (2022)

R | 107 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Humans adapt to a synthetic environment, with new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice, Saul Tenser, celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Viggo Mortensen , Léa Seydoux , Kristen Stewart , Scott Speedman

Votes: 32,421

26. Unhuman (2022)

TV-MA | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

A group of high school students whose school bus crashes on a field trip. Relationships are tested once they realize they are being stalked by an attacker who intends to drive them out and straight into a horrifying fight to survive.

Director: Marcus Dunstan | Stars: Brianne Tju , Benjamin Wadsworth , Uriah Shelton , Ali Gallo

Votes: 2,254

27. Mid-Century (2022)

R | 105 min | Horror, Thriller

A husband and wife's weekend in a mid-century modern vacation rental turns deadly when the husband discovers the owner is a psychopath with a backyard of buried secrets and designs on his wife.

Director: Sonja O'Hara | Stars: Stephen Lang , Bruce Dern , Shane West , Vanessa Williams

28. Abandoned (III) (2022)

PG-13 | 102 min | Horror

After a young couple moves into a remote farmhouse with their infant son, the woman's struggles with postpartum psychosis begin to the house reveals secrets of its own.

Director: Spencer Squire | Stars: Kate Arrington , Emma Roberts , John Gallagher Jr. , Marie May

Votes: 1,915

29. Incantation (2022)

TV-MA | 110 min | Horror, Mystery

Six years ago, Li Ronan was cursed after breaking a religious taboo. Now, she must protect her daughter from the consequences of her actions.

Director: Kevin Ko | Stars: Hsuan-yen Tsai , Sin-Ting Huang , Ying-Hsuan Kao , Sean Lin

Votes: 15,558

30. American Carnage (2022)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

After a governor issues an executive order to arrest the children of undocumented immigrants, the newly detained youth are offered an opportunity to have their charges dropped by volunteering to provide care to the elderly.

Director: Diego Hallivis | Stars: Jenna Ortega , Jorge Lendeborg Jr. , Allen Maldonado , Eric Dane

Votes: 1,886

31. Nope (2022)

R | 130 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Daniel Kaluuya , Keke Palmer , Brandon Perea , Michael Wincott

Votes: 204,738 | Gross: $123.28M

32. The Reef: Stalked (2022)

93 min | Horror, Thriller

After her sister's murder, Nic, her younger sister and two friends seek solace through a Pacific island kayaking adventure. Hours into the trip the women are stalked by a shark and must band together, face their fears and save each other.

Director: Andrew Traucki | Stars: Teressa Liane , Ann Truong , Kate Lister , Saskia Archer

Votes: 4,310

33. Hypochondriac (2022)

Unrated | 97 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A young potter's life devolves into chaos as he loses function of his body while being haunted by the physical manifestation of his childhood trauma.

Director: Addison Heimann | Stars: Zach Villa , Devon Graye , Madeline Zima , Yumarie Morales

34. Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

When a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game turns deadly in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong.

Director: Halina Reijn | Stars: Amandla Stenberg , Maria Bakalova , Rachel Sennott , Chase Sui Wonders

Votes: 42,096

35. Prey (I) (2022)

R | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Naru, a skilled warrior of the Comanche Nation, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.

Director: Dan Trachtenberg | Stars: Amber Midthunder , Dakota Beavers , Dane DiLiegro , Stormee Kipp

Votes: 201,112

36. They/Them (2022)

TV-MA | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A group of teenagers at an LGBTQ+ conversion camp endures unsettling psychological techniques while being stalked by a mysterious masked killer.

Director: John Logan | Stars: Kevin Bacon , Theo Germaine , Anna Chlumsky , Carrie Preston

Votes: 9,343

37. Resurrection (2022)

R | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

Margaret's life is in order. She is capable, disciplined and successful. Everything is under control until David returns - that is - carrying with him the horrors of Margaret's past.

Director: Andrew Semans | Stars: Rebecca Hall , Tim Roth , Grace Kaufman , Michael Esper

Votes: 8,461

38. Orphan: First Kill (2022)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

After orchestrating a brilliant escape from an Estonian psychiatric facility, Esther travels to America by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy family.

Director: William Brent Bell | Stars: Isabelle Fuhrman , Julia Stiles , Rossif Sutherland , Hiro Kanagawa

Votes: 36,204


39. Beast (I) (2022)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A father and his two teenage daughters find themselves hunted by a massive rogue lion intent on proving that the Savanna has but one apex predator.

Director: Baltasar Kormákur | Stars: Liyabuya Gongo , Martin Munro , Daniel Hadebe , Thapelo Sebogodi

Votes: 29,630

40. The Invitation (II) (2022)

PG-13 | 105 min | Horror, Thriller

A young woman is courted and swept off her feet, only to realize a gothic conspiracy is afoot.

Director: Jessica M. Thompson | Stars: Nathalie Emmanuel , Thomas Doherty , Sean Pertwee , Hugh Skinner

Votes: 22,583

41. Who Invited Them (2022)

81 min | Comedy, Horror

Adam and Margo's housewarming party is a success. One couple linger after the other guests, revealing themselves to be wealthy neighbors. As one night cap leads to another, Adam and Margo ... See full summary  »

Director: Duncan Birmingham | Stars: Ryan Hansen , Melissa Tang , Timothy Granaderos , Perry Mattfeld

Votes: 2,366

42. The Harbinger (I) (2022)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

When a man with a dark secret sees his daughter threatened with eternal damnation, he seeks help from an unpopular Native American seer.

Director: Will Klipstine | Stars: Madeleine McGraw , Kate Luyben , Irene Bedard , Teal Redmann

Votes: 1,375

43. Barbarian (2022)

R | 102 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A woman staying at an Airbnb discovers that the house she has rented is not what it seems.

Director: Zach Cregger | Stars: Georgina Campbell , Bill Skarsgård , Justin Long , Matthew Patrick Davis

Votes: 136,362

44. Margaux (2022)

R | 104 min | Horror, Thriller

A group of college friends rent a smart house for a weekend of partying. Later, they start to realize that Margaux, the house's super advanced AI system, has sinister designs for them.

Director: Steven C. Miller | Stars: Madison Pettis , Vanessa Morgan , Jedidiah Goodacre , Phoebe Miu

Votes: 1,550

45. Speak No Evil (2022)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A Danish family visits a Dutch family they met on a holiday. What was supposed to be an idyllic weekend slowly starts unraveling as the Danes try to stay polite in the face of unpleasantness.

Director: Christian Tafdrup | Stars: Morten Burian , Sidsel Siem Koch , Fedja van Huêt , Karina Smulders

Votes: 23,863

46. House of Darkness (2022)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

Hap offers Mina a ride home with ulterior motives, but his night takes a turn when he learns she lives in a creepy American castle...and the shadowy figures in the corridors make it clear that he isn't welcome.

Director: Neil LaBute | Stars: Kate Bosworth , Justin Long , Gia Crovatin , Lucy Walters

Votes: 3,075

47. Pearl (2022)

R | 103 min | Horror

In 1918, a young woman on the brink of madness pursues stardom in a desperate attempt to escape the drudgery, isolation and lovelessness of life on her parents' farm.

Director: Ti West | Stars: Mia Goth , David Corenswet , Tandi Wright , Matthew Sunderland

Votes: 47,508

48. Goodnight Mommy (2022)

R | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

Twin brothers arrive at their mother's house and begin to suspect that something isn't right.

Director: Matt Sobel | Stars: Naomi Watts , Cameron Crovetti , Nicholas Crovetti , Peter Hermann

Votes: 10,952

49. Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (2022)

R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Forced to travel with her boyfriend, Laine begins to experience premonitions associated with the urban myth of The Creeper. She believes that something supernatural has been summoned - and that she is at the center of it all.

Director: Timo Vuorensola | Stars: Sydney Craven , Imran Adams , Jarreau Benjamin , Peter Brooke

Votes: 10,456

50. Sissy (I) (2022)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

Teen best friends Cecilia and Emma, run into each other after a decade. Cecilia is invited to Emma's bachelorette weekend where she gets stuck in a remote cabin with her high school bully and a taste for revenge.

Directors: Hannah Barlow , Kane Senes | Stars: Aisha Dee , Hannah Barlow , Emily De Margheriti , Daniel Monks

Votes: 4,775

51. Smile (V) (2022)

R | 115 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, a psychiatrist becomes increasingly convinced she is being threatened by an uncanny entity.

Director: Parker Finn | Stars: Sosie Bacon , Jessie T. Usher , Kyle Gallner , Robin Weigert

Votes: 109,557

52. Devil's Workshop (2022)

R | 86 min | Drama, Horror

A struggling actor spends a weekend with a female demonologist to prepare for an audition.

Director: Chris von Hoffmann | Stars: Radha Mitchell , Timothy Granaderos , Emile Hirsch , Sarah Coffey

Votes: 1,258

53. My Best Friend's Exorcism (2022)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

Teen best friends Abby and Gretchen grapple with an otherworldly demon that takes up residence in Gretchen's body.

Director: Damon Thomas | Stars: Elsie Fisher , Amiah Miller , Rachel Ogechi Kanu , Cathy Ang

Votes: 4,984

54. Mr. Harrigan's Phone (2022)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

When Mr. Harrigan dies, Craig, the teen who befriended and did odd jobs for him, puts his smart phone in his pocket before burial. When the lonely youth sends his dead friend a message, he is shocked to get a return text.

Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Donald Sutherland , Jaeden Martell , Joe Tippett , Colin O'Brien

Votes: 32,332

55. Terrifier 2 (2022)

Not Rated | 138 min | Horror

After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to the timid town of Miles County where he targets a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night.

Director: Damien Leone | Stars: Lauren LaVera , Kailey Hyman , David Howard Thornton , Jenna Kanell

Votes: 30,114

56. Deadstream (2022)

Not Rated | 87 min | Comedy, Horror

A disgraced internet personality attempts to win back his followers by livestreaming one night alone in a haunted house. But when he accidentally pisses off a vengeful spirit, his big comeback event becomes a real-time fight for his life.

Directors: Joseph Winter , Vanessa Winter | Stars: Joseph Winter , Melanie Stone , Jason K. Wixom , Pat Barnett

Votes: 11,063

57. Old People (2022)

101 min | Horror

A woman travels home with her two kids for her sister's wedding but finds herself defending her family against blood-seeking pensioners.

Director: Andy Fetscher | Stars: Jolene Andersen , Adolfo Assor , Louie Betton , Gerhard Bös

Votes: 5,147

58. Hellraiser (2022)

R | 121 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A take on Clive Barker's 1987 horror classic where a young woman struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites.

Director: David Bruckner | Stars: Odessa A’zion , Jamie Clayton , Adam Faison , Drew Starkey

Votes: 38,700

59. The Inhabitant (2022)

97 min | Horror, Thriller

A series of supernatural events reveal a dark truth behind a tormented teenager.

Director: Jerren Lauder | Stars: Odessa A’zion , Leslie Bibb , Dermot Mulroney , Lizze Broadway

Votes: 2,046

60. The Visitor (2022)

89 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

After a series of tragedies, Robert moves with his wife back to her childhood home. After he discovers an old portrait of a man who looks like him, he goes down a rabbit hole to discover the identity of this mysterious doppelganger.

Director: Justin P. Lange | Stars: Finn Jones , Jessica McNamee , Thomas Francis Murphy , Dane Rhodes

Votes: 1,529

61. Alone in the Dark (2022)

TV-14 | 87 min | Horror, Thriller

Bri is recently divorced and under house arrest due to her ex-husband's crimes, but when a stalker shows up, seems to have control over his surroundings.

Director: Brant Daugherty | Stars: Novi Brown , Terrell Carter , Kimberly Daugherty , Christopher Bencomo

62. Bring It On: Cheer or Die (2022)

PG-13 | 91 min | Comedy, Horror

When a cheer squad practices their routines on Halloween weekend in an abandoned school, they are picked off one by one by an unknown killer.

Director: Karen Lam | Stars: Kerri Medders , Alten Wilmot , Sierra Holder , Alexandra Beaton

63. Grimcutty (2022)

TV-MA | 101 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A suburban teen girl and her little brother must stop a terrifying internet meme brought to life by the hysteria of their parents.

Director: John Ross | Stars: Shannyn Sossamon , Sara Wolfkind , Usman Ally , Callan Farris

Votes: 6,099

64. Project Legion (2022)

R | 90 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A young man trapped in his apartment with a swarm of creatures outside his door must find a way to survive the night and escape from apartment 213.

Director: Lance Kawas | Stars: Brande Roderick , Donald Cerrone , Kelly Lynn Reiter , Chris Maher

65. Halloween Ends (2022)

R | 111 min | Horror, Thriller

The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode comes to a spine-chilling climax in the final installment of this trilogy.

Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis , Andi Matichak , James Jude Courtney , Rohan Campbell

Votes: 57,285

66. Piggy (2022)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

An overweight teen is bullied by a clique of cool girls poolside while holidaying in her village. The long walk home will change the rest of her life.

Director: Carlota Pereda | Stars: Laura Galán , Richard Holmes , Carmen Machi , Irene Ferreiro

Votes: 7,677

67. V/H/S/99 (2022)

Not Rated | 109 min | Horror

Witness a hellish vision of 1999, as social isolation, analog technology and disturbing home videos fuse into a nightmare of found footage savagery.

Directors: Flying Lotus , Maggie Levin , Tyler MacIntyre , Johannes Roberts , Joseph Winter , Vanessa Winter | Stars: Jesse LaTourette , Keanush Tafreshi , Dashiell Derrickson , Jackson Kelly

Votes: 5,259

68. Matriarch (I) (2022)

TV-MA | 85 min | Horror

Afflicted with a mysterious disease after surviving an overdose, a woman returns to her childhood home to confront her personal demons but instead discovers a real one.

Director: Ben Steiner | Stars: Jemima Rooper , Kate Dickie , Sarah Paul , Simon Meacock

Votes: 2,223

69. Slayers (2022)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

A group of superstar influencers are drawn to a reclusive billionaire's mansion only to find themselves trapped in the lair of an evil vampire. The only way out is to be saved by a famous online gamer and an old school vampire hunter.

Director: K. Asher Levin | Stars: Thomas Jane , Kara Hayward , Jack Donnelly , Lydia Hearst

Votes: 1,270

70. Terror Train (2022)

TV-MA | 90 min | Horror, Mystery

It follows a college student as she boards a party train for Halloween, and ends up fighting for her life when a mysterious assailant begins killing the people one-by-one.

Director: Philippe Gagnon | Stars: Robyn Alomar , Mary Walsh , Nadine Bhabha , Matias Garrido

71. Hounded (2022)

R | 94 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

A stately home robbery takes an evil turn one night when a gang of young thieves are caught by the owners of the house and then hunted across the estate for the proprietor's entertainment.

Director: Tommy Boulding | Stars: Samantha Bond , Malachi Pullar-Latchman , James Lance , Hannah Traylen

72. Hellhole (2022)

TV-MA | 91 min | Horror, Mystery

In 1987 Poland, a police officer investigating mysterious disappearances infiltrates a remote monastery and discovers a dark truth about its clergy.

Director: Bartosz M. Kowalski | Stars: Piotr Zurawski , Olaf Lubaszenko , Sebastian Stankiewicz , Lech Dyblik

Votes: 5,299

73. Prey for the Devil (2022)

PG-13 | 93 min | Horror, Thriller

A nun prepares to perform an exorcism and comes face to face with a demonic force with mysterious ties to her past.

Director: Daniel Stamm | Stars: Jacqueline Byers , Debora Zhecheva , Christian Navarro , Posy Taylor

Votes: 11,056

74. The Lair (2022)

Unrated | 96 min | Action, Horror

When Royal Air Force pilot Lt. Kate Sinclair is shot down over Afghanistan, she finds refuge in an abandoned underground bunker where deadly man-made biological weapons - half human, half alien - are awakened.

Director: Neil Marshall | Stars: Charlotte Kirk , Jonathan Howard , Jamie Bamber , Leon Ockenden

Votes: 2,995

75. A Party to Die For (2022)

TV-MA | 83 min | Horror, Thriller

Sadie is ready for change in life as a worker in a luxury boutique store. One day, Jessica, a socialite, invites Jessica to a nightclub. They become quick friends. A night goes wrong when ... See full summary  »

Director: Nanea Miyata | Stars: Jonetta Kaiser , Kara Royster , Jermaine Rivers , Madia Hill Scott

76. Soft & Quiet (2022)

R | 91 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Playing out in real time, an elementary school teacher organizes a mixer of like-minded women, when she encounters a woman from her past, leading to a volatile chain of events.

Director: Beth de Araújo | Stars: Stefanie Estes , Olivia Luccardi , Dana Millican , Melissa Paulo

Votes: 3,607

77. The Friendship Game (2022)

87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A group of teenagers in a small town discover a strange object that tests the strength of their friendship.

Director: Scooter Corkle | Stars: Peyton List , Brendan Meyer , Kelcey Mawema , Kaitlyn Santa Juana

78. The Menu (2022)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

A young couple travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.

Director: Mark Mylod | Stars: Ralph Fiennes , Anya Taylor-Joy , Nicholas Hoult , Hong Chau

Votes: 259,405

79. Bones and All (2022)

R | 131 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

Maren, a young woman, learns how to survive on the margins of society.

Director: Luca Guadagnino | Stars: Timothée Chalamet , Taylor Russell , Mark Rylance , Kendle Coffey

Votes: 36,178

80. The Accursed (2022)

97 min | Horror

Elly is asked by a family friend (Mena Suvari) to look after an elderly woman (Meg Foster) living in a remote cabin for a few days. She agrees, but soon discovers there is a demon hiding in the woman just waiting to break free.

Director: Kevin Lewis | Stars: Sarah Grey , Meg Foster , Sarah Dumont , Mena Suvari

Votes: 1,032

81. The Harbinger (II) (2022)

87 min | Horror

Monique ventures out of quarantine to visit an old friend who's plagued by nightmares. She finds herself drawn into a hellish dreamscape where she must face her greatest fears - or risk never having existed at all.

Director: Andy Mitton | Stars: Emily Davis , Stephanie Roth Haberle , Raymond Anthony Thomas , Gabby Beans

82. Bed Rest (2022)

R | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A pregnant woman on bed rest begins to wonder if her house is haunted or it's all in her head.

Director: Lori Evans Taylor | Stars: Melissa Barrera , Guy Burnet , Edie Inksetter , Sebastian Billingsley-Rodriguez

Votes: 1,034

83. Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022)

Not Rated | 86 min | Horror

It's Christmas Eve and Tori just wants to get drunk and party, but when a robotic Santa Claus at a nearby toy store goes haywire and begins a rampant killing spree through her small town, she's forced into a battle for survival.

Director: Joe Begos | Stars: Riley Dandy , Sam Delich , Jonah Ray , Dora Madison

Votes: 4,134

84. The Mean One (2022)

16+ | 93 min | Comedy, Horror

In a sleepy mountain town, Cindy's parents are murdered and her Christmas is stolen by a bloodthirsty green figure in a red Santa suit.

Director: Steven LaMorte | Stars: David Howard Thornton , Krystle Martin , Chase Mullins , Amy Schumacher

85. Nanny (2022)

R | 99 min | Drama, Horror

Immigrant nanny Aisha, piecing together a new life in New York City while caring for the child of an Upper East Side family, is forced to confront a concealed truth that threatens to shatter her precarious American Dream.

Director: Nikyatu Jusu | Stars: Anna Diop , Michelle Monaghan , Sinqua Walls , Morgan Spector

Votes: 5,937

86. Lullaby (IV) (2022)

89 min | Horror

A new mother discovers a lullaby in an ancient book and soon regards the song as a blessing, but her world transforms into a nightmare when the lullaby brings forth the ancient demon Lilith.

Director: John R. Leonetti | Stars: Oona Chaplin , Ramón Rodríguez , Liane Balaban , Mary Ann Stevens

87. Terror Train 2 (2022)

TV-MA | 88 min | Horror, Mystery

The remaining survivors are coerced to take a New Year's Eve redemption ride on the very same train, where a new evil awaits and the terrified passengers must once again fight to survive the ride.

Director: Philippe Gagnon | Stars: Robyn Alomar , Nadine Bhabha , Nia Roam , Romy Weltman

88. M3GAN (2022)

PG-13 | 102 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A robotics engineer at a toy company builds a life-like doll that begins to take on a life of its own.

Director: Gerard Johnstone | Stars: Allison Williams , Violet McGraw , Ronny Chieng , Amie Donald

Votes: 78,108 | Gross: $93.88M

89. The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

R | 128 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

A world-weary detective is hired to investigate the murder of a West Point cadet. Stymied by the cadets' code of silence, he enlists one of their own to help unravel the case - a young man the world would come to know as Edgar Allan Poe.

Director: Scott Cooper | Stars: Christian Bale , Harry Melling , Simon McBurney , Timothy Spall

Votes: 93,484

90. Swallowed (2022)

R | 96 min | Horror, Thriller

Follows two best friends on their final night together, with a nightmare of drugs, bugs, and horrific intimacy.

Director: Carter Smith | Stars: Cooper Koch , Jena Malone , Mark Patton , Jose Colon

91. The Offering (2022)

R | 93 min | Horror

A family struggling with loss find themselves at the mercy of an ancient demon trying to destroy them from the inside.

Director: Oliver Park | Stars: Nick Blood , Emily Wiseman , Paul Kaye , Allan Corduner

Votes: 1,985

92. She Came from the Woods (2022)

101 min | Comedy, Horror

In 1987, a group of counselors accidentally unleash a decades' old evil on the last night of summer camp.

Director: Erik Bloomquist | Stars: Cara Buono , Clare Foley , Spencer List , William Sadler

93. Dark Glasses (2022)

86 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Diana, a young woman who lost her sight, finds a guide in a Chinese boy named Chin. Together they will track down a dangerous killer through the darkness of Italy.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Ilenia Pastorelli , Asia Argento , Andrea Gherpelli , Mario Pirrello

Votes: 3,331

94. Sick (2022)

R | 83 min | Horror, Thriller

Due to the pandemic, Parker and her best friend decide to quarantine at the family lake house alone - or so they think.

Director: John Hyams | Stars: Gideon Adlon , Bethlehem Million , Dylan Sprayberry , Marc Menchaca

Votes: 11,109

95. The Blackening (2022)

96 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

Seven black friends who go away for the weekend only to find themselves trapped in a cabin with a killer who has a vendetta. Will their street smarts and knowledge of horror movies help them stay alive? Probably not.

Director: Tim Story | Stars: Antoinette Robertson , Dewayne Perkins , Sinqua Walls , Grace Byers

96. Venus (I) (2022)

100 min | Horror

Horror invades the concrete corridors of a cursed apartment complex on the outskirts of Madrid.

Director: Jaume Balagueró | Stars: Ester Expósito , Inés Fernández , Ángela Cremonte , Magüi Mira

Votes: 1,803

97. Blood (IV) (2022)

108 min | Horror, Thriller

Jess, a separated mother and nurse, moves with her daughter and young son Owen back into her old farmhouse. Shortly after settling in, Owen is bitten by the dog, resulting in a mysterious infection from the bite.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: Michelle Monaghan , Skeet Ulrich , Finlay Wojtak-Hissong , June B. Wilde

Votes: 1,773

98. The Outwaters (2022)

110 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Four travelers encounter menacing phenomena while camping in a remote stretch of the Mojave Desert.

Director: Robbie Banfitch | Stars: Robbie Banfitch , Angela Basolis , Scott Schamell , Michelle May

Votes: 1,638

99. Skinamarink (2022)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror

Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished.

Director: Kyle Edward Ball | Stars: Lucas Paul , Dali Rose Tetreault , Ross Paul , Jaime Hill

Votes: 7,970

100. Play Dead (2022)

106 min | Horror, Thriller

Chloe fakes her own death to steal evidence from a morgue. The Coroner uses the morgue as a front for a sick and twisted business. A scary game of cat and mouse ensues as Chloe learns more about the dead than she bargains for.

Director: Patrick Lussier | Stars: Bailee Madison , Jerry O'Connell , Anthony Turpel , Chris Lee

Votes: 1,358

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The 20 Best Horror Movies of 2022

The 20 Best Horror Movies of 2022

As horror’s trends ebb and flow, reflecting the reality from which it crawls out of the shadows, you notice moments of intersection—of flux. Horror that bends the “sub” part of “subtext” past the breaking point crashes headlong into horror that cuts you open and tongues your insides. Slippery slopes of chaos, isolated journeys of dread and confined sentences of madness all feel particularly apropos despite their ostensible dissonance. That’s just how the past few years have been: Locking us down, dismantling our trust in ourselves and each other, then letting us loose back out into an unfamiliar and unfriendlier world. Our fears and how they’re expressed have morphed in kind. Self-reference abounds after a long time stuck with little to look at besides the mirror; spectacle returns as we remember the beauty and potential of the big screen; throwbacks to simpler times—whether that’s a Texas Chain Saw riff or a Ring spin—weaponize rather than rely upon nostalgia. Horror in 2022 has meant so many things, but what it’s represented is the hopeful bursting variety of growth in the face of so much pain. It’s something horror has always thrived on, but with the blockbuster return of Jordan Peele, the ambitious double-whammy from Ti West, and the showstoppers from indie voices like Chloe Okuno, Phil Tippett and Jane Schoenbrun, 2022’s sordid assortment is as much a bag of Halloween candy as it is a snapshot of a society in transition.

Here are our picks for the 20 best horror movies of the year:

movie list horror 2022

Among many things that ended up winning me over about Radio Silence directing group members Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Scream , the main one was that—like its predecessors—it understood how we were going to feel about it before we even got to see it. It knew that I would be torn about its existence. And that, folks, just scratches the surface on why the new Scream , in all its meta-for-a-modern-time goodness, is the best installment since the Wes Craven original. The fifth installment—which takes place 25 years after the original—doesn’t hold back when it comes to analyzing the inner workings of a classic reboot down to the bones. Scream has always been a franchise for film lovers—and it’s never been afraid to be meta as hell, as meta as it needed to be to get its point across. Big questions are raised and left in the air to hang: Are we really just the monsters we create? Are we the monsters that created us, and do we have to be? What is so toxic about loving something with everything you have and wanting it to stay good? Like you’d expect from the franchise, it doesn’t necessarily offer answers to those questions, but the fact that it poses them at all feels right. It is a welcomed dimension to the films that highlights the larger themes that have come into play as the Woodsboro legacy has aged. Sure, the gags about elevated horror and getting back to the roots of slashers, the film trivia, the dedication to the craft of movies—it’s all part of the show. But it’s the fifth movie, and really, why make it if not to send a love letter to the fans?— Lex Briscuso

19. A Wounded Fawn

movie list horror 2022

Co-written with Nathan Faudree, Stevens’ third feature as a director is a complex, beautiful, wonderfully imaginative serial killer story that’s as metaphysical as it is psychosexual. Its setup is familiar, so much so that the tools at Stevens’ disposal can verge on the predictable. But as the film takes a turn into what it’s really about, A Wounded Fawn reveals that there’s something much darker and stranger than a by-the-numbers killer-in-the-house tale at work here, and what starts as familiar quickly becomes one of the most memorable horror films of the year. Meredith (Sarah Lind) is a museum curator who’s finally starting to embrace dating again, and she thinks she may have found the right guy in Bruce (Josh Ruben), a fellow art-lover who also happens to have a secluded cabin perfect for a weekend getaway in the woods. It has all the makings of a romantic re-awakening for Meredith, and she’s particularly impressed when she sees the cabin and Bruce’s art collection, which features a legendary Grecian bronze that may or may not be a replica. What the audience already knows that Meredith does not, though, is that Bruce is a serial killer, a man driven to maul women to death by a strange presence only he can see. It’s clear that Meredith is falling into a trap, but as the struggle between predator and prey begins, Bruce finds that the night is going to be much more complicated than he thought. The intimate setup of A Wounded Fawn means that much of the film unfolds in a single location, with two major characters and an assortment of strange, mythological figures who may be real and may be entirely in Bruce’s addled mind. That gives Stevens the unenviable task of having to maintain a sense of dynamism and visual depth over the course of a film with only a few things to look like. He proved he can do that kind of storytelling with Girl on the Third Floor , and his skills have clearly matured even further into the realm of expressive, endlessly unnerving psychological terror. The film is shot in 16mm, which gives it a grain and texture that few other films in recent years have achieved, but Stevens goes beyond the simple appeal with his aesthetic design. The color temperatures feel like something that could have easily been found in a cinema in the 1970s or on a rack at the video store in the 1980s. The reds are really red, the faces rich with contrast, the balance of cool and warm twisted just so to enhance the crimson hues of both the violence and the strange visions haunting Bruce throughout the film. And those visions are ferocious, chilling and endlessly evolving to great effect. Production designer Sonia Foltarz and costume designer Erik Bergrin have clearly embraced Stevens’ willingness to get weird as the night wears on and both Bruce and Meredith are wounded, struggling to make it to sunrise. From masks to animal heads to one especially strange sequence that can best be described as “metaphysical surgery,” it all sticks in your head like an urge you’d rather ignore, sending chills up your spine even after the credits roll. If you’re willing to take this dark, weird ride and go all-in on Stevens’ descent into mythological terror, you’ll be thinking about what you just saw for weeks.— Matthew Jackson

18. Hellbender

movie list horror 2022

Over the course of their eight-year collective filmmaking practice, the Adams family have continuously honed their aesthetic and narrative interests as artists. With Hellbender , the sixth feature from the nuclear family of filmmakers, confidence and creativity converge to produce something that feels like an alchemic breakthrough. Particularly following their 2020 supernatural thriller The Deeper You Dig , it appears the Adams have acquired a penchant for horror—a perfect complement to their signature low-budget, home-grown style. Though Hellbender utilizes many recurring motifs present in the Adams family’s work—such as dysfunctional family dynamics and nods to John Adams’ former career as a punk musician—it is certainly the most (literally) fleshed-out project the family has undertaken to date. 16-year-old Izzy (Zelda Adams, the youngest daughter and fellow co-director of John Adams and Toby Poser) has been warned from a young age by her mother (Poser) that the outside world will cause her nothing but harm due to her rare autoimmune disease. As such, Izzy spends her days frustrated and friendless, with only the vast landscape surrounding her mother’s reclusive mountain home providing her with any semblance of personal enrichment. Despite being forbidden to leave the property, Zelda’s relationship with her mother is far from acrimonious—they are playfully affectionate with one another, cradling each other’s faces in their hands and venturing into the verdant forest for rainy day hikes. They even perform in a drum and bass punk rock band, appropriately named Hellbender, donning audacious face make-up and practicing tight, catchy songs for the sole benefit of themselves. Every facet of Hellbender has the intrinsically magical quality of being hand-helmed by a small faction of creatives that execute every stage necessary for the film’s production. The cinematography by Zelda and John is just as impressive as the laid-back yet quirky costume design by Poser. The end result is completely stunning in its scope, tandemly laser-focused on two individuals and their insular livelihood while exploring the vast terror of supernatural possession. By the time the film come to a gory, gloomy conclusion, the viewer walks away feeling thoroughly put through the wringer—inherited traumas, overbearing impositions and brooding bloodlust are never presented in a completely straightforward fashion, providing ample twists to accompany any revelation the film wishes to divulge. Tethered closely to the emotions and artistic sensibilities of the tight-knit family that created it, Hellbender is a can’t-miss foray into folk horror. Unabashedly creepy yet perplexingly comforting, it will inevitably remind audiences of the most eccentric aspects of our upbringings. At the same time, it will evoke deeply-concealed memories of the anguish of undergoing growing pains—a veritable hell on Earth if there ever was one.— Natalia Keogan

17. Hatching

movie list horror 2022

Pubescent pressures are compounded by the presence of a horrifying mutant doppelganger in Hatching , Finnish director Hanna Bergholm’s debut feature. Written by Ilja Rautsi, the film is a domestic drama at its core, detailing the toxicity inherent to a controlling mother-daughter dynamic. However, what elevates Hatching to the upper echelons of the familial horror-drama is its inspired use of practical effects and puppeteering, resulting in a genuinely unsettling movie monster that appears all the more uncanny in its originality. While the finer plot details might not feel as fresh as its central doppelganger entity, Hatching hits the right emotional cues nonetheless—instilling its fair share of thrilling scares while stirring adolescent pathos. In an idyllic Finnish suburb, a seemingly perfect family lives a seemingly perfect life. At least, that’s the image that the family matriarch (Sophia Heikkilä) carefully curates via regular vlog posts. Her videos capture their home’s polished decor, making sure to highlight elegant floral details and crystal chandeliers. Just as aesthetically congruent as the home’s interior is the family that resides inside it: The father (Jani Volanen) is well-dressed and mild-mannered, their bespectacled young son Matthias (Oiva Ollila) endearingly precocious and their 12-year-old daughter Tinja (Siiri Solalinna) a rising local gymnast. As the anxiety surrounding an upcoming competition threatens to unravel her, Tinja finds a mysterious object in the woods surrounding her family’s home: A speckled egg, solitary in the world without a mother to brood it. Just a short time later, the egg grows ten times in size—and the being germinating within begins to emerge. A gangly, gnarly bird-like creature bursts into the world, viewing Tinja as its proper mother. In keeping its plot uncomplicated, and without nodding too heavily to its cinematic inspirations, Hatching is given the space to actually come into its own. By singularly focusing on the monster’s unique appearance and qualities, the film evades easy comparison—even if it does boast a handful of predictable narrative beats.— Natalia Keogan

16. When I Consume You

movie list horror 2022

Perry Blackshear’s new film When I Consume You would’ve been a splendid title for a Shudder cooking show: Creatures of the night gorily prepare expired ingredients using eldritch techniques perfected by the old gods themselves. But it suits the film nicely, too, adopting multifaceted malice as Blackshear judiciously doles out new plot bulletins minute by minute. “When I consume you” is a macabre declaration, then a threat, then a promise that carries the weight of inevitability. Your consumption is guaranteed—an assurance of doom rather than a possibility. The “you” are the Shaw siblings, Daphne (Libby Ewing) and Will (Evan Dumouchel), survivors of a hardscrabble childhood now making their way as adults. Will, a scruffy, laconic wreck, leans on Daphne for constant support. Daphne, meanwhile, is sober going on five years, and while stability is a struggle, she’s on track toward getting her house in order. When Will finds her dead of an apparent suicide, he helplessly flails like a man drowning at sea, until, limb by limb, Daphne returns from the other side with a fuzzy memory and a desperate plea to her brother: Don’t confront her killer. Of course, he does, against her advice. That’s all within When I Consume You ’s first half-hour, structured carefully for atmosphere and to maximize spookiness. Blackshear gently eases the movie into full-on frightening territory, his highest priorities being character development and chilling foreshadowing. That delicate craftsmanship makes the smallest gestures toward genre, like Daphne directing Will from beyond the grave toward a stashed box of her personal effects, feel colossal. Working with microbudgets breeds creativity—demands it, really. Blackshear has a clear gift for making a lot out of a little. In horror, that gift goes a long way. When I Consume You has as many pleasures in its low-key moments before the movie’s true horror is revealed, before Will encounters an eccentric detective (MacLeod Andrews), who may or may not be who says he is, and before Blackshear, acting as his own cinematographer, props Daphne’s corpse against a wall—an honest shock rather than an abrupt twist. There is, in fact, so much to relish in Blackshear’s rich, spartan filmmaking that unpacking his aesthetic on paper risks giving away too much. When I Consume You packs an emotional wallop and looks stunning while spending peanuts compared to the average studio horror product.— Andy Crump

15. You Won’t Be Alone


The sprawling, mountainous landscape of nineteenth century Macedonia envelops every frame of You Won’t Be Alone , writer-director Goran Stolevski’s feature debut. A meandering portrait of shape-shifting sorceresses who live on (and off of) the peripheral terrain of a pastoral village, the film is particularly interested in the shifting state of power and peril that comes with practicing witchcraft. Though its leisurely pace and sinuous storyline might test the audience’s patience, the Macedonian-Australian filmmaker packs his folk horror breakthrough with enough guts and gore to keep eyes fixed on the screen. When a mute baby girl is left by her mother in a cave to evade a seemingly inevitable indoctrination into witchcraft, she gradually grows into a feral young woman (Sara Klimoska). When a beldam “wolf-eatress” (Anamaria Marinca) eventually arrives to court her into the occult, the girl follows, cautiously curious about life outside of the cavern that sheltered her for the past 16 years. After being ritualistically branded with the witch’s mark, the girl realizes she possesses the ability to take on the form of any living creature she kills—coupled with a newfound appetite for hot blood and entrails. However, the girl’s swelling affinity for a world she had previously been cut off from clashes with the misanthropic outlook of her mother superior, resulting in the young witch going off on her own. In attempting to forge her own livelihood, the girl crosses paths with a young peasant woman (Noomi Rapace) and her newborn baby. Thinking the girl will do harm to her child, the mother lunges at her and is mortally wounded by the young witch’s talon-like nails. Arrested by fright and intrigue, the girl resolves to take this woman’s form for herself—a decision that sets forth a journey in understanding the intricacies of human life she might never have experienced otherwise. Though You Won’t Be Alone is entrenched in a hearty humanism that embraces the ordinary toil of staying alive, it is also steeped in observations of gendered strife as it has historically affected women. Before the young witch encounters Rapace’s peasant, the camera cuts to the woman clutching onto the wooden beams of a fence on her farm’s edge, crouching and caterwauling mid-labor. As soon as the baby is delivered, the midwife ushers the child away—and the blood-flecked woman waddles back to the working fields. Stolevski’s debut is enthralling and thoughtful, cutting through the clichés of similar recent releases of the same vein. Despite its under-interrogated premise, You Won’t Be Alone is an intriguing, unsettling feature debut with an incisive bite—a strength that the filmmaker will surely sharpen over time. The result is an enticing witch’s brew you can’t stop sipping, even if there’s a slightly sour aftertaste.— Natalia Keogan

movie list horror 2022

Smile may not impress true students of the horror genre, adherents to the dark tradition, but for novices and the easily scared or sensitive, it’s a gruesome and macabre thrill ride that tries to talk about trauma as its characters struggle to unpack it. The movie cycles between and draws on the traditions of recent “elevated” horror as well as sensational exploitation films of the later 20th century. Its main thrust is as a curse movie, reminiscent of mid-00s to 2010s films such as The Grudge and It Follows , while also sharing some of its vibe and structure with psychological-supernatural horror like Daniel Isn’t Real , another movie about trauma activating a supernatural violent streak. Smile is largely a movie about dread, hopelessness and the inability to escape the inevitable. It succeeds in building those feelings while thriving on jump scares, of which there are many. Of course, to build maximum tension, the camera and music sometimes lead us to think one is coming that doesn’t. For some viewers, this might wear out its welcome, but Smile had me on the ropes throughout. Some silliness notwithstanding, Smile successfully builds and reproduces dread. While it uses trauma as a narrative theme, it doesn’t feel completely exploitative or shallow. Because the haunting is unambiguously happening, the trauma discussion doesn’t feel like a red herring but rather a parallel conversation. While genre veterans may effectively point at what and where it borrows, Smile will positively terrify casual fans of horror. It’s creepy, dreadful and jumpy.— Kevin Fox, Jr.

13. Orphan: First Kill

movie list horror 2022

William Brent Bell, the director of Orphan: First Kill (and not the first movie), knows a thing or two about wriggling out of a tight spot in order to bravely forge ahead with a horror sequel: He followed up his own The Boy , another well-twisted horror movie, with a sequel that attempted to take a newly minted gimmick-slasher in a different, franchise-preserving direction. What Bell gains is a neo-scream queen in Isabelle Fuhrman, who in between Orphan movies plumbed psychological depths in The Novice and got cut out of an Escape Room 2 subplot (restored on a home video extended version). She returns for a look at Esther’s early years; the movie opens with her imprisoned in an asylum in Eastern Europe before she escapes and poses as the long-missing daughter of Tricia (Julia Stiles) and Allen (Rossif Sutherland). This means that where a 12-year-old Fuhrman once played a secret 33-year-old, here she’s attempting to pass as a 10-year-old at her real-life age of 25. This is not exactly a plot twist, but it does provide a bold new definition for the circle of life, and an acting challenge as audaciously boldfaced, in its own way, as the original movie’s twist. Maybe more, given that it must be dealt with at the outset, rather than in a ratcheted-up climax. Bell and screenwriter David Coggeshall, working from a story by original Orphan screenwriters David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Alex Mace, build on the first movie’s gothic aggression. They wring knowing laughs out of the bizarre sense of routine while taking clever advantage of the fact that while the family may look familiar, it’s Esther who the audience now knows better. Fuhrman has great fun incorporating her Novice determination into a less conflicted character, and Stiles is nearly as delightful, performing a different sort of time warp: Known for her seeming sophistication as a teen star, her obligatory buttoned-up horror-mom role turns out to be kind of a hoot. The whole movie is, really, as it distorts a decidedly modern franchise extension through a hall of spookhouse mirrors, refracting its silliness across decades. Accordingly, Orphan: First Kill isn’t an especially scary movie, nor is its class-war commentary especially subtle or insightful. Through sheer force of personality, though, these elements are rendered immaterial. Like Esther, the movie has a keen sense of how to weaponize its own audacity.— Jesse Hassenger

12. Wendell & Wild

movie list horror 2022

Early on, Wendell & Wild feels like it might not be for kids so much as inebriated adults. Over the course of its runtime, that is revealed to be a reductive appraisal—it’s a spooky coming-of-age comedy made of sad and dramatic moments which demonstrate the importance of community resistance to corporate control of the government. The plot has enough going on that it could have been a TV series or a two-parter, but for whatever its flaws or limitations, it flows coherently for 106 minutes to a satisfactory conclusion. All the while, it’s a marvel of artistry and artisanship, with a soundtrack full of Black-fronted rock bands to boot. Kat (Lyric Ross), a young green-haired Black girl, loses her parents—pillars of their community—in a car accident and is roughed up over the years by the juvenile justice system as the film visually summarizes through shadow-puppet illustrations of memories. It’s a nice added layer, artistically and didactically. A grant-funded reintegration program brings Kat back to her now largely-deserted hometown, Rust Bank, and its eponymous private Catholic school. There, Kat discovers her supernatural connection to the underworld through Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Jordan Peele). Wendell & Wild reminded me of Beetlejuice and Nightmare Before Christmas , but it isn’t cribbing from what has come before. It’s building on it, and kids and parents everywhere are lucky to have this film. Selick hasn’t directed a lot of movies, but his films have a lasting impact, etching themselves in the memories of their audiences for decades. — Kevin Fox, Jr.


An Aussie influencer slasher—think Ingrid Goes West but with way, way more blood— Sissy spins the notion of a serial killer’s obsession on its head for a world where obsession is monetized and encouraged at the end of every online video. Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes’ film focuses on the social fallout that ensues when childhood friends Cecilia (Aisha Dee) and Emma (Barlow) rekindle their relationship. How does one try to replicate the purity and love of young BFFs? Does that kind of bond ever grow into anything productive, or is trying to translate that into an adult relationship inherently dangerous? When Cecilia joins Emma’s friends (she shares a violent history with one) for a pre-wedding weekend, these questions hit the fan like a trash bag full of shit. Dreamy production places us in Cecilia’s mind while some of the more gruesome details are so icky-realistic that you can’t help but laugh. They draw us back down to the physical world, the kind you remember to see when your phone is as dead as the friends around you. Readings based around bullying, queerness, anti-Blackness and self-help culture abound, adding rich layers to a movie otherwise content to be a nasty fun time. With more to say about Gen Z than Bodies Bodies Bodies and grisly practical kills hat would delight Sam Raimi, Sissy is a stunner.— Jacob Oller

10. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair


We’re All Going to the World’s Fair isn’t straightforwardly a “horror” movie—even if the title reads like an invocation chanted by hypnotized cultists doomed to whatever fate awaits them at the fairgrounds. That, of course, is more or less exactly what it is , as evinced in the opening sequence, where young Casey (Anna Cobb) recites the phrase three times while staring wide-eyed at her computer monitor. Innocent enough, if firmly eerie. Then she pricks her finger with a button’s pin about two dozen times in rapid succession and streaks her blood on the screen (though just out of the audience’s line of sight) to conclude the ritual. All that’s left is to wait and see how joining in this online “game” changes her, as if undergoing a Cronenbergian rite of passage. What writer/director Jane Schoenbrun wants viewers to wonder is whether those changes are in earnest, and whether changes documented by other participants in the “World’s Fair challenge” are legit or staged. They’re unreliable narrators. To an extent, so is Casey—insomuch as teens stepping into the world solo for the first time can be relied on for anything resembling objectivity. There’s also the question of exactly where Casey draws the line between truth and macabre make-believe, and of course whether that belief is made up. Maybe there really is a ghost in the machine. Or maybe a life predominantly lived in a virtual space—because physical space is dominated by isolation and bad paternal relationships—naturally inclines people toward delusion at worst and an unerring sensation of disembodiment at best. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair concludes with ambiguity and atmospheric loss, as if we’re meant to consider leaving childhood behind as a form of tragedy. Spoken in Schoenbrun’s language, that process is painful, transformative and—first and foremost—an internal experience regardless of the movie’s stripped-down visual pleasures. Outside forces influence Casey, but Casey ultimately controls the direction those forces take her. In a way, that’s empowering. But Schoenbrun belies the collective dynamic implied in We’re All Going to the World’s Fair ’s title with Casey’s lonesome reality.— Andy Crump

9. The Menu

movie list horror 2022

Early in The Menu , director Mark Mylod’s beautiful, intricate dark comedy set amid the trappings of exclusive restaurant culture, a character explains that, for him, art doesn’t matter. Films aren’t important. Neither are books, paintings or music. Food, he tells us, is the purest and best art form, because a great chef’s medium is “the raw materials of life and death.” Like just about every piece of dialogue in the film, written with fiendish joy by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, it’s both funny in the moment and unexpectedly profound in the larger context of The Menu ’s dark game. Yes, the enigmatic master chef at the heart of film is playing with the raw materials of life and death on his plates—seafood, fungi, roast chicken, flash-frozen microgreens and plenty of artful foam—but the menu he’s developed, and the film that depicts it, is also dealing with the raw materials of human human life and death. The list of ingredients is long, the techniques complex, but everything is whipped like egg whites into something so light and airy you barely notice the bitterness until it smacks you in the teeth. The restaurant at the heart of this heady recipe is Hawthorne, a fabulously expensive establishment run by the demanding, precise Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes, sharp as carbon steel) from a private island where all the ingredients are local and a seat at the table will set you back more than a grand. Hawthorne serves just 12 diners per service, and on the night we journey to the island, they include everyone from a couple of regulars (Judith Light, Reed Birney) to a renowned and famously hard-to-please food critic (Janet McTeer) to a fading movie star trying to build a second career as a travel show host (John Leguizamo). The film is interested in each of these personalities to varying degrees, but turns particularly sharp focus on Margo (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), a mismatched couple with very different views of what they’re about to experience. Yes, all the ingredients are treated with care, and the film’s early developments are placed with the precision of a single sprig of chives tweezed onto a plating, but the film’s dark secret is that it’s not here to be subtle. Its true strength is not in tweezers, or carefully engineered molecular gastronomy, but in the furious swipes of a cleaver coming at your head. The complexity, both tonally and visually, is there to tease out the film’s black genre heart, and it’s that heart that makes The Menu a delicious and deeply filling experience that will make you beg for a second helping.— Matthew Jackson

8. Resurrection

movie list horror 2022

A thriller based around the embodiment and repurposing of patriarchal trauma, Resurrection is far more seething and straightforward in its B-movie ambitions than other films that seek to ostentatiously elevate their horrors. Almost all of that is due to Rebecca Hall’s intense rigidity in performance. As a woman who once escaped her abusive partner, Hall unfurls the blueprints of her altered architecture. Where once we could imagine the give and flexibility that betrays our humanity, there is now inhuman structure. If Kafka’s Gregor unexpectedly awoke metamorphosed into a beetle, Hall’s Margaret painstakingly forged her own protective carapace. Writer/director Andrew Semans’ sophomore feature pulses with black-hearted humor and cruelties so odd as to be undeniably believable, but it’s Hall’s expressive transformation that drives the film’s blood into its final manic fever. Margaret is driven there thanks to the gaslighting return of David (Tim Roth), a slippery creep made entirely of need. His calculated demands sadistically dehumanized Margaret as deeply as she defensively dehumanized herself in the aftermath. And that’s not even mentioning their infant son that David claims to have eaten alive. Right. There’s a strange undercurrent to the film’s familiar outline, a dark magic that gives us a peek at the nearly supernatural power David once wielded over Margaret. He threatens to wield it again as he blows back into Margaret’s life. The prediction inherent in her daily, Terminator-like, arm-pumping runs comes true: He came for her. She’s been preparing for this moment, this man, since she made her eventful escape. And don’t worry, we hear all about it. That expository scene, like the best of them, is bundled in such bravura filmmaking (a tight, long take on Hall, capped with a bleak and gasping punchline), that you hardly recognize it for what it is. Much of Resurrection is like that, tastefully hiding its seams and scars behind stylish performances and toe-curling stress. Margaret’s warped perspective empowers Resurrection : Its minor conflicts and dire premise need logical justification as little as its balls-out bold finale; its themes work as well as they do because they’re enhanced by a nightmarish tone, one verging on the mythical.— Jacob Oller

movie list horror 2022

The boldness of Ti West and Mia Goth to script Pearl in a mere days-long quarantine window is a commendable, gobsmacking feat. The film wears its technicolor dreamcoat spiritedly well, and Goth conjures an origin performance—both on paper and screen—that’s comfortably lived-in. The problem is, there are stretches where Pearl feels like it was conceptualized on the fly so as not to waste New Zealand’s production transformation into Texas for X . While West’s sleazy ‘70s slasher remains one of my champion horror titles of 2022, Pearl is more like giddily deranged add-on downloadable content that makes for an unexpected bite-sized treat. Kudos to the accomplishment, and it’s an ax-swinging slice of bad-vibes hoedown kookiness, but there’s a particular substance missing that X oozes. Pearl is a bizarre descent into the title character’s self-obsessed fantasy world. Cinematographer Eliot Rockett reframes the opening of X by swinging open barn doors to frame our expectations—only there’s no police crime scene this time. Showtune orchestras swell, and a Crayola box of vibrant colors makes Pearl’s imagination pop against the yellowest hay bails, greenest pastures and richest crimson bloodstains. West wants you to believe cartoon birds will fly through Pearl’s window and dress her like a Disney princess, ready to be whisked away by either her husband Howard (Alistair Sewell) after his return from WWI or a tempting local theater projectionist (a studly Bohemian played by David Corenswet). Pearl is visualized through the delusional girl’s fixation on 1918’s media highlights, allowing old-school Hollywood homages to wash away X ’s sweltering slasher grime. Enter Goth, whose range spans Dorothy to Dahmer as disillusioned by neon marquee lights that might one day spell her name. She deserves mention alongside Toni Collette ( Hereditary ) and Jane Levy ( Evil Dead ) when ranking standout contemporary horror performances. Pearl is a fever dream of choreographed dancing, decapitations and Mia Goth carrying the weight of all 100+ minutes. West’s current muse is stark raving brilliant in an experimental slasher that’s a bit less meaty and fulfilling than X . That’s less a condemnation, more a note of comparison—which might be moot for some, because the films are so markedly different. Pearl ’s successes will instigate proper horror-themed watercooler talk with good reason because it’s plenty buzzworthy and bonkers, all thanks to Goth’s crazed presence. You’re here for Pearl, and she’s ready to entertain—in a diversion like this, that’s worthwhile enough.— Matt Donato

6. Crimes of the Future

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Sharing a title with Cronenberg’s second film , the latest from the body horror auteur is a return to (de)form after two decades of more dialed-back drama. Digging into the art world’s juicy guts and suturing it up as a compelling, ambitious sci-fi noir, Crimes of the Future thrills, even if it leaves a few stray narrative implements sewn into its scarred cavities. The dreamy and experimental Crimes of the Future (1970) sees creative cancers develop in a womanless world ravaged by viruses. New organs are created (and sometimes worshiped) in a broken society now run by fetishists and hurtling towards a dire, damnable biological response. While Cronenberg’s 2022 do-over on the subject of organic novelty in a collapsing society isn’t a remake by any stretch of the new flesh, it addresses the same pet interests that’ve filled his films since the beginning. Thankfully, it does so with new subtextual success and a far more straightforward and accessible text (despite the full-frontal nudity and graphic autopsies). Unlike Cronenberg’s early work, this movie has color, diegetic sound and movie stars. It embraces traditional dramatic pacing and supplements its perversion with cutting-edge effects. And at least now the characters speak to each other—in that detached, psychology-textbook-meets-FM-2030-essay style—while the camera dives deep into the guts that fascinate us. Specifically, the guts of Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen). He and Caprice (Lea Seydoux) are performance artists whose medium is the generation and removal of neo-organs. Saul builds them up, Caprice slices them out. Our destruction of the world, filling its oceans with plastic and its air with pollution, allowed this to happen. Humanity is now literally numb. People slice each other with knives at clubs, or in the street. Recreational surgery is commonplace. Many can only feel real pain while asleep. This unconscious suffering is just one of many sharpened sides of Crimes ’ metaphor. Art is evolving to meet this nerve-deadened world on its terms. Humans are too, literally. That’s why Saul’s able to squeeze out nasty new lumps of viscera and why National Organ Registry investigators Wippet (Don McKellar) and Timlin (Kristen Stewart), as well as radical transhumanist Lang (Scott Speedman), find him fascinating. The trio help narratively blend the dystopian bureaucracy and thriving, subversive multimedia generated by Cronenberg’s nihilistic predictions. When we eventually ruin things, there will just as surely be new cogs in old machines as there will be new rebels in old resistances. Erudite and exploitative, gory yet gentle, Crimes of the Future shows the new kids on the chopping block that an old master can still dissect with the best. But Crimes of the Future ’s more meaningful impact is in its representation of a trailblazer finally seeing the horizon. Cronenberg’s view of the future understands that the true death of an artist and the death of society at large result from the same tragic failure to evolve—even if that innovation is simply renovation.— Jacob Oller

movie list horror 2022

Though it begins by quoting the 26th chapter of Leviticus—“I will lay your cities in ruin and make your sanctuaries desolate and I will not savor your pleasing odors”— Mad God plays out like the Book of Revelation. Punishment and apocalypse are writ large and brown in feces and industrial run-off. Medical malpractice means more than negligence, it means quacks and ghouls elbow-deep in your guts. All is grist, everything is decay, human bodies little more than rag dolls made of shit. A so-called “She-it,” a screeching, walking tumor of hair and bared teeth, defends her beaked young against the mania of Mad God ’s wasteland, wielding a cleaver. (All while I crammed so-called “Cheez-Its” down my gullet, watching and ceaselessly consuming.) Your pleasing odors escape un-savored into the ether. And just when you think you’ve reached the bottom of Hell, convinced there are no more realms of the beyond left to unveil, you see there is always more bottom, always more beyond. You see whole universes of innocent creatures suffering behind heavy vault-like doors, within the memories of one disposable martyr after another, in the spaces yet to be born. In a series of ever-obliterating visions, Mad God reduces the human experience to cosmic chum. It’s deeply upsetting, and often just as stirring. It would be a pretty clearly nihilistic piece of work, too, were it not such a careful, frequently astounding achievement. A stop-motion film 30 years in the making—beginning with an idea sparked during a lull in shooting Robocop 2 — Mad God is mostly the work of one man, legendary animator Phil Tippett, every elaborately nauseating set hand-fashioned over the course of decades. In Mad God , life seems meaningless. Stories don’t end when protagonists die because there are only antagonists running reality. And yet, as punishing as the film can get, it’s also clearly, fully realized, as pure a translation of a remarkable man’s bodily prowess—action, reaction, sinew and muscle and bone in tandem, the heartrending inertia of all things moving toward obliteration and the patience to let that happen—as we’re privileged enough to get from someone who’s already given us so much of himself. For all the grossness, all the bodily fluids and misery and Dan Wool’s charmingly contratonal music, for all the cynicism about the nature of the human race, Mad God is ultimately hopeful. It’s an absolution, for Tippett and maybe for us too. Nothing that’s taken 30 years, and so much health and sanity, could be anything but.— Dom Sinacola

4. Barbarian

movie list horror 2022

The deceptively simple premise of Barbarian , the horror debut from writer/director Zach Cregger, is enough to induce genuine goosebumps. However, Cregger takes a creepy idea and concocts a breakneck tale of unyielding terror, giving audiences whiplash with each unpredictable revelation. When Tess (Georgina Campbell) arrives at her Detroit Airbnb on a forcefully stormy night, she finds that there’s no key in the encrypted lockbox to let herself in. After calling the host proves fruitless, she suddenly sees a light turn on through a front window. Tess frantically rings the doorbell, and the recently roused Keith (Bill Skarsgård) awkwardly answers the door. Realizing they accidentally double-booked the same rental for the next few days, Keith immediately insists that Tess get out of the rain and take the bedroom for the night (of course, he’s totally content with taking the couch). Surprisingly, she agrees. Though few viewers would likely make the same decision as the film’s protagonist, Barbarian wastes no time creating a thick sense of dread that clings until the credits roll. To divulge any further details of the film’s plot would thwart the winding, increasingly shocking narrative crafted by Cregger. With each terrifying reveal feeling fresher and freakier than the last, it’s encouraged to go into Barbarian with as little background and context as possible. Even citing Cregger’s horror references would serve to unnecessarily hint at jarring shifts in the film’s story, though comparisons to the work of fellow horror filmmakers James Wan, Tobe Hooper and George Romero are particularly apt. Barbarian offers up plenty of food for thought in its rancid banquet from hell. It’s got a biting socially-conscious undercurrent that addresses the bleak reality of existing as a woman in the U.S.—both past and present, whether residing in manicured suburbs or “shady” inner-city neighborhoods—even successfully weaving in a #MeToo subplot that doesn’t feel one-note or cursory. Even more impressive, Cregger incorporates this throughline with a heavy dose of humor, no doubt aided by his tenure as a member of IFC sketch comedy show The Whitest Kids U’ Know . Barbarian offers a fascinating take on the oft-unspoken claim men have long believed they have over women’s bodies. It does an excellent job at juxtaposing banal excuses for gendered violence with ghoulish, heinous ploys to strip women of their bodily autonomy (and their very humanity), exposing the malevolent nature of this deeply ingrained cultural misogyny. With the wounds still raw from the recent repeal of Roe v. Wade , Barbarian ’s fixation on the omnipresent threat of rape in our society hits as hard as it (hopefully) ever could. Never relishing in the very brutality that it denounces, the film has its heart in the right place. It refuses to depict sexual violation on screen, cleverly illustrating the pervasiveness of this miserable reality without exploiting it for shallow shock value. Yet, even with the best of intentions, Barbarian will mercilessly run you through the wringer, letting these fucked-up facets of America absolutely ravage the screen—and your sanity—for 102 remarkably tense minutes.— Natalia Keogan


Maika Monroe knows better than almost any actor working today how to turn her head or widen her eyes in mounting horror. The control she has over her body, the ability she has to convey realistic fear and her 2014 double-header of The Guest and It Follows made her an instant household name for genre fans. Perhaps one of those was director Chloe Okuno, who knows exactly what to do with her star in her paranoid debut feature (which follows her V/H/S/94 segment from last year), Watcher . A straightforward little B-treat, Monroe’s furtive glances out her Rear Window morph Watcher into a moody thriller elevated by its acting. Monroe plays Julia, a beautiful young housewife cooped up in an empty apartment and cooped up in an intimidating and isolating Bucharest after moving there with her husband Francis (Karl Glusman) for his work. Francis speaks Romanian. He entertains clients, makes friends, grabs drinks, chastises fresh cab drivers and translates day-to-day interactions with neighbors and landlords. Julia has none of that. No job, no friends, no real way to communicate with the world aside from her baser senses. She has her taped language lessons, which soundtrack her wistful wanderings around her lovely pale apartment and its massive window. Through that window, she sees those marking the building across the way. One of them contains a figure that also stands at the glass, looking right back. As Okuno twists the screws on the plot—Francis and Julia take a late-night stroll past police, conducting what they later learn to be a serial murder investigation—her characters unravel exactly how we want them to. Watcher flourishes as it complicates its premise beyond the unknowable and faceless desires of a shadowy silhouette. When do finally meet said suspicious neighbor (Burn Gorman), the resulting scenes are the film’s best. Monroe is fantastic alone—reacting both to intense fears and to indignation at Glusman’s fed-up patronizing—but with the always-nuanced Gorman, Watcher taps into something sharper, creepier and enjoyably ‘90s in its psychological execution.— Jacob Oller

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X is a remarkable and unexpected return to form for director Ti West, a decade removed from an earlier life as an “up and coming,” would-be horror auteur who has primarily worked as a mercenary TV director for the last 10 years. To return in such a splashy way, via an A24 reenvisioning of the classic slasher film, intended as the first film of a new trilogy or even more, is about the most impressive resurrection we’ve seen in the horror genre in recent memory. X is a scintillating combination of the comfortably familiar and the grossly exotic, instantly recognizable in structure but deeper in theme, richness and satisfaction than almost all of its peers. How many attempts at throwback slasher stylings have we seen in the last five years? The answer would be “countless,” but few scratch the surface of the tension, suspense or even pathos that X crams into any one of a dozen or more scenes. It’s a film that unexpectedly makes us yearn alongside its characters, exposes us (graphically) to their vulnerabilities, and even establishes deeply sympathetic “villains,” for reasons that steadily become clear as we realize this is just the first chapter of a broader story of horror films offering a wry commentary on how society is shaped by cinema. Featuring engrossing cinematography, excellent sound design and characters deeper than the broad archetypes they initially register as to an inured horror audience, X offers a modern meditation on the bloody savagery of Mario Bava or Lucio Fulci, making old hits feel fresh, timely and gross once again. In 2022, this film is quite a gift to the concept of slasher cinema. — Jim Vorel

movie list horror 2022

Among his most amusing directorial quirks, Jordan Peele appreciates the melodrama of a good biblical citation: 2019’s killer doppelgänger vehicle Us tirelessly invokes Jeremiah 11:11 and his latest effort Nope opens with Nahum 3:6: “I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile, and make you a spectacle.” It’s that last clause which perfuses Nope , a shrewd, tactile yarn about a brother-sister rancher duo in pursuit of video evidence of a UFO circling their home. Though Peele routinely prods at the Hollywood machine and its spectacles, here he unlades it all: Image-making as brutality, catharsis, posterity, surveillance, homage, indulgence. Six months after a freak accident killed their father, siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) have taken over “Haywood’s Hollywood Horses,” Agua Dulce’s intergenerational horse-wrangling business which specializes in equine showbiz. Working in beautiful contradistinction, Kaluuya plays OJ as stoic and reticent—the true older brother type—and Palmer’s Emerald is prodigiously magnetic and full of puckish chatter. After a series of strange happenings—blackouts, agitated horses, pained noises emanating from the canyons—OJ observes what appears to be a flying saucer gliding through the inky night sky. The next day he spots a cloud that doesn’t move an inch. Suspecting a connection between the saucer and their father’s death, OJ and Emerald enlist the help of gawky, unstable techie Angel (Brandon Perea) and renowned documentarian Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott, excellent rasp) to obtain proof of the UFO, with intent to profit off of the footage. In a sense, the Haywoods want to make a movie. This is Peele rescripting the American film canon, asking what it means to engage with such an exclusionary medium. Shot in IMAX by Dutch cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema—a Christopher Nolan regular, responsible for the slick, beautified landscapes of Interstellar , Dunkirk and Tenet — Nope configures a world of sweeping, dusty landscapes and bloodied dwellings. Steven Spielberg is less a point of reference here than he is the emotional roadmap. The Close Encounters of the Third Kind comparisons write themselves, but notionally, Nope is more like Jaws in the sky. Parts neo-Western, family drama, sci-fi and cosmic horror, Nope sees Peele balance more throughlines here than ever before: Aliens, Muybridge revisionism, undigested grief, chimpanzee carnage, a punctilious documentarian chasing the impossible. Nope is indisputably one for Peele—a spectacle in the least derogatory sense; a palimpsest of nostalgic blockbusters and Peele’s deservedly self-assured vision of Hollywood’s future; but mostly, a solution to and an undertaking of modernity.— Saffron Maeve

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The 20 best horror movies of 2022

Five images from horror films showing the lead actors.

2022, you flew by. Join Mashable as we look back at everything that's delighted, amazed, or just confused us in 2022.

Whether you're into extraterrestrial creature features, sharp social commentary slashers, or cannibal love stories, 2022 was a colossal year for horror.

The best horror movies of 2022 scared the crap out of us, but not all in the same way. Alien invasion films dominated this year, from Jordan Peele's third ambitious horror hit to Dan Trachtenberg's Predator prequel and Nyla Innuksuk's teen triumph . But slashers wouldn't be outdone. Laurie Strode took a final stab at the ending chapter of the Halloween series ; Bodies Bodies Bodies was the talk of multiple towns ; and people ate up Bones and All . If you're looking to cut right to the top horror hits of the year, rest assured: There's something weird and terrifying in here for you.

Here we go, the best horror movies of 2022.

20. Slash/Back

Two girls crouch near a garden with houses sitting in the background.

With Prey and Nope , it sure has been a monumental year for alien invasion films, but Slash/Back was an underrated highlight. The first ever feature filmed in the hamlet of Pangnirtung, Nunavut, it's set in the Inuit village of Canada's Baffin Island. Slash/Back is a creative, cheeky, and teen-led take on the genre from co-writer/director Nyla Innuksuk. Flanked with an excellent score by Michael Brook and The Halluci Nation, Slash/Back hinges on a group of teenage girls — Maika (Tasiana Shirley), Jesse (Alexis Wolfe), Uki (Nalajoss Ellsworth), Leena (Chelsea Prusky), and Aju (Frankie Vincent-Wolfe) — who are the village's best chance at eradicating the alien forms going about their body-snatching business. Seriously, the skin suits in this film are nightmare fuel. But beyond the scares, gore, and odes to John Carpenter's The Thing , Innuksuk lets our kickass protagonists be truly what they are: teens. There's always time to talk about crushes, even between tentacle-clad alien hunts. As the girls say in one killer battle-prep montage: "Nobody fucks with the girls from Pang." — Shannon Connellan, UK Editor

How to watch: Slash/Back is now streaming on Shudder. (Opens in a new tab)

A young woman sits at a desk in a library.

Ominous hauntings can't hold a candle to very real systemic racism in a predominantly white institution in Master . The feature film debut from filmmaker Mariama Diallo, the social horror-meets-supernatural thriller rolls out at an Ivy League University in New England. There, a talented Regina Hall plays Gail Bishop, the first Black professor in the university’s history to be "Master" of a residence hall on campus. With the new arrivals comes freshman Jasmine Moore (an excellent Zoe Renee), who is one of the only Black students in the hall. The film hinges on Jasmine's feelings of isolation — all while she's being haunted by visions in her dorm room. Though the supernatural elements of Master are indeed frightening, the incessant fear embedded in generational trauma, social exclusion, and racial discrimination becomes a deeper horror for the characters — to a devastating end. — S.C.

How to watch: Master is now streaming on Prime Video. (Opens in a new tab)

18. Resurrection

A man and woman sit across from each other in a restaurant booth.

There are some movies that you just can't shake. Nearly a year since I saw this psychological thriller out of Sundance , I still shudder remembering that mesmerizing and mysterious conclusion . Writer/director Andrew Semans lures us in with the story of a single mom (Rebecca Hall) who seems to have it all together, from her work/life balance to her meticulously groomed hair. But when a man from her past (Tim Roth) appears without warning, her life and sanity unravel ruthlessly. With riveting performances, mind-bending twists, and stomach-churning tension, Resurrection explores the horrors of domestic violence and psychological trauma to a deliciously horrorfying effect. — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor

How to watch: Resurrection is now streaming on Shudder. (Opens in a new tab)

A girl sits in the Australian bush holding a phone and looking distraught.

A glorious Australian horror gem from director-writers Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, Sissy brings Black Mirror energy to a slasher drenched in blood, bubbly, and social media influencer juice. Anchored in violent childhood playground trauma, Sissy is led by eponymous protagonist Cecilia (a spectacularly nuanced performance from The Bold Type 's Aisha Dee), a self-help influencer, who'd rather keep her past — and embarrassing schoolyard nickname — buried. Running into her childhood best friend Emma (Barlow), she finds herself invited to a hen's weekend away at the property of an unwelcome blast from the past (Emily De Margheriti). Cecilia struggles to maintain the facade, and frankly, isn't feeling these negative vibes intruding in her "safe space," you know? The perfect movie marathon partner to Bodies Bodies Bodies , Sissy quite literally bludgeons influencer culture with some shockingly gory sequences, the body count climbing as quickly as Cecilia's likes. — S.C.

How to watch: Sissy is now streaming on Shudder. (Opens in a new tab)

16. The Innocents

Two children stand looking serious.

2022 offered a crowd of creepy kids movies, from Hatching to Firestarter to Orphan: First Kill . But top of the class is writer/director Eskil Vogt's The Innocents , which centers on four children who learn to toy with telekinetic powers. At first, it's all fun and games, played in the woods out of sight of their harried parents. Each of the children initially feels empowered by their supernatural gifts and the psychic bond they share. But growing resentments spark vicious tantrums and unforgivable cruelty, leading to a showdown that's anything but child's play. If you're seeking something as heartfelt as it is harrowing, turn to The Innocents . — K.P.

How to watch: The Innocents is now streaming on Shudder. (Opens in a new tab)

15. You Won't Be Alone

A young woman looks up while an older woman leans over her shoulder.

Writer-director Goran Stolevski's excellent allegorical fantasy-horror may have slipped past your nets. Set in an isolated mountain village in rural 19th-century Macedonia, the film feels like a surrealist folktale, following a young shapeshifter, Nevena (Sara Klimoska). Played by multiple excellent actors (including Noomi Rapace and Alice Englert) across the film, she was made so by a witch, Old Maid Maria (Anamaria Marinca), then left to find her way through the world. This exploration is by no means gentle, with Nevena's violent struggle to assume new bodies and learn humanity's ways making for an unsettling watch. If you like this type of witchcraft folk horror, check out Hellbender, also listed here, or Mandrake . — S.C.

How to watch: You Won't Be Alone (Opens in a new tab) is now available for rent or purchase on Prime Video.

14. Mad God

If you spent 30 years making a film, you'd feel pretty connected to it. For director Phil Tippett, it was a religious experience, as he told Mashable. The making of Mad God , Tippett's macabre stop-motion animation masterpiece, has become something of a legend in itself. The film follows a masked character called The Assassin through a hellish, surrealist, subterranean world of monstrosities. You'll watch every freaky frame and wonder how long it took to assemble and shoot. — S.C.

How to watch: Mad God is now streaming on Shudder. (Opens in a new tab)

13. Halloween Ends

A masked man holds a terrified woman by her hair.

Ah, the definitive end to Michael Myers' decades-long reign of terror on Haddonfield arrived. We never thought the day would finally come: the final battle between Final Girl supreme Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and The Shape, settled once and for all. With Halloween Ends , John Carpenter's classic slasher finds peace (you know, as peaceful as any slasher can be) in Laurie and her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Their combined strength takes on Myers' seemingly supernatural abilities along with slasher-in-training and recent mentee Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell). You'll get intriguingly vague endings , slashers on slashers, and an entire town fearing for their safety from silly little creeps. What else can you ask from a modern-age horror story? — Kyle McWilliams, Entertainment Intern

How to watch: Halloween Ends is now streaming on Peacock. (Opens in a new tab)

12. Werewolf by Night

A black and white film still of a man with face markings standing in a shadowy room.

Horror films don't have to be lengthy to be effective, a feat proven by director and composer Michael Giacchino in Werewolf by Night . The 60-minute Marvel film uses every trick in the Hammer Horror book to weave an elegant, atmospheric, and witty creature feature. An ode to old Hollywood horror written by Heather Quinn and Peter Cameron, Werewolf by Night embodies the quintessentially Gothic traits of the classic run of monster movies of the '30s, '40s, and '50s. Playing monster-hunter-with-a-secret Jack Russell, Gael García Bernal strikes the perfect tone as Marvel's newest lead. Werewolf by Night is one hell of a way to spend an academically spooky hour — and a breath of fresh crypt air for the MCU.  — S.C.

How to watch: Werewolf by Night is now streaming on Disney+. (Opens in a new tab)

11. Wendell and Wild

A stop-motion animation film still showing a teen girl with green hair and a large stereo walking through a corridor filled with nuns.

Power team Henry Selick and Jordan Peele put their minds together to give us the stop-motion animated horror-comedy, Wendell and Wild , whose protagonist may steal your hearts (against her best efforts.) Kat Elliot (voiced by Lyric Ross), master of complex emotions and personal demons, sets out to rectify a loss that haunts her adolescence and lands her face-to-face with a couple of hair cream-loving, tummy-tickling demons: the titular Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Peele). Begrudgingly, Kat makes quite a few friends along her journey in dismantling her grief, deconstructing the prison industrial complex, and being a badass hellmaiden. The film is heartfelt enough to root for the misfit kids, yet just strange enough to fulfill its spooky duties. — K.M.

How to watch: Wendell and Wild is now streaming on Netflix. (Opens in a new tab)

10. Speak No Evil

Two men scream at each other.

Danish filmmaker Christian Tafdrup created a fucked-up fable for adults with this chilling film about a vacation among friends gone very, very wrong. What should have been a dreamy weekend away in the Dutch countryside creepingly and creepily transforms into a hellish nightmare, one broken boundary at a time. A grim but electric sense of humor is at play as polite guests (Morten Burian and Sidsel Siem Koch) bend over backward to make excuses for their unnerving hosts (Fedja van Huêt and Karina Smulders). But as awkward conversations give way to rude assumptions, reckless trespasses, and freaky voyeurism, Speak No Evil slips from darkly funny to uttering horrifying. It's a wicked ride that won't let go, delivering a final destination that is as disturbing as it is unforgettable. — K.P.

How to watch: Speak No Evil is now streaming on Shudder. (Opens in a new tab)

9. Crimes of the Future

A woman in a red evening gown sits beside a man in a hooded shirt lying next to a crouching woman in light blue uniform.

David Cronenberg returned to unsettle the hell out of us again in 2022 with Crimes of the Future . If you can't deal with surgical scenes on screen, do not watch this film. Cronenberg's simultaneously elegant and squeamish body horror questions what role performance art will play in the future, taking the examination of inner beauty quite literally while examining pleasure and pain — "Surgery is the new sex," is a genuine line from this script. As purveyors of the line between organic and synthetic, artists rule this disturbing society, but when ethical issues around consent and post-death surgery come into play, performance artists Saul (Viggo Mortsensen) and Caprice (Léa Seydoux) must reckon with their responsibilities. Mortensen and Seydoux are exceptional and utterly convincing in Cronenberg's foreboding future, joined by a magnificently understated performance by Kristen Stewart. The film is severely unsettling and graphic, especially when Cronenberg deploys the autopsy tech. — S.C.

How to watch: Crimes of the Future is now streaming on Hulu. (Opens in a new tab)

A girl in a red dress stands holding an axe outside a barn, holding a finger to her lips.

There is so much to love about Pearl . From unforgettable aesthetics to the sheer chaos of watching Mia Goth absolutely kill it (quite literally) on screen, Pearl is a treasure trove of everything great about horror. Despite being a prequel to another horror hit of 2022, X , Pearl stands on its own two feet thanks to impeccable characterization by Goth, who offers up this slasher’s backstory in a glitzed-up Texas Chainsaw Massacre that's equal parts anticipation and dread. She makes you both love and fear Pearl, who’s arguably already become an iconic figure of horror akin to the Bride of Frankenstein, wielding her ax into the horror hall of fame and our hearts. — Yasmeen Hamadeh, Entertainment Intern

How to watch: Pearl is now available for rent or purchase on Prime Video. (Opens in a new tab)

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7. Hellbender

A girl holds a witch-like symbol made of twigs.

As far as family projects go, Hellbender has got to be one of the most horrifyingly excellent. The micro-budget film was written and directed by married couple Toby Poser and John Adams, who star alongside daughters Zelda and Lulu. It was all shot during lockdown (Opens in a new tab) — while I was doing nothing but unnecessary fetch quests in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla . Bringing its own polished, relatable spin to the surrealist folk horror genre, Hellbender is a brutal examination of mother-daughter relationships, focused on Izzy (Zelda Adams) and her mother (Toby Poser), who live an isolated life in the woods for several (mainly witchy) reasons. Plus, they play hellish songs in their punk band together. But as Izzy branches out and meets Amber (Lulu Adams) and some fellow teens, the power dynamic shifts between the pair, and Izzy begins to rebel in more, uh, gruesome ways than other teens might. Hellbender is a truly unique, slow-burn, feminist fable with powerful performances, jaw-dropping cinematography, and a killer soundtrack. — S.C.

How to watch: Hellbender is now streaming on Shudder. (Opens in a new tab)

A woman in a bath towel looks at her reflection in a round mirror.

The mesmerizing imagery and water hypnosis simulations in Nanny may distract you from the fact that you’re watching a thriller. But the shocking ending will snap you back to the melancholic reality that director/producer Nikyatu Jusu's film effortlessly radiates. Senegalese immigrant and nanny Aisha (the riveting Anna Diop) struggles with vivid visions in the claustrophobic New York household created by her employers (Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector) — a pair whose marriage could use a bit of professional counseling, to put it lightly. The film's slow-paced tempo against a backdrop of abrupt and explosive mental displacement, from light overhead sprinkles to bedroom floods, creates a unique viewing experience impossible to compare to any other horror. — K.M.

How to watch: Nanny is streaming on Prime Video from Dec. 16. (Opens in a new tab)

5. Barbarian

A woman stands at the top of the stairs to a basement.

The beauty of Barbarian is that it's one of those rare movies during which you think you know what’s going on, but then quickly realize you don’t have a single clue. From director Zach Cregger, this freaky film starts off simple: A young woman (Georgina Campbell) and a young man (Bill Skarsgård) accidentally end up in the same Airbnb on a dark and stormy night. Like many people watching Barbarian , I quickly began yelling “GET OUT” the second Skarsgård flashed his notoriously creepy Pennywise smile . But there is much more to Barbarian ’s actual horror. The internet’s done a great job of not spoiling the big elephant in Barbarian ’s basement, where things get wild in such an unimaginable way you'll question whether or not it's the same movie you started with. From its whirlwind final act to its incredible Final Girl , Barbarian is a bombastic horror story that’ll leave you with a lingering "I can’t believe that just happened" feeling creeping up your spine. — Y.H.

How to watch: Barbarian is now streaming on HBO Max. (Opens in a new tab)

4. Bodies Bodies Bodies

Four young people stand looking scared and wearing party clothes.

Channeling the frenzied fun of the party game for which it's named, Bodies Bodies Bodies blends twisted thrills with a take-no-prisoners sense of humor. Amid the backdrop of a hurricane party turned murder mystery, this slasher comedy offers a volatile batch of twentysomethings, who wield buzzwords like weapons while they battle for survival — and relish playing the victim. It's wicked fun to watch the likes of Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Myha'la Herrold, Pete Davidson, and Lee Pace tear into each other with snarling enthusiasm. Yet amid the flashy lighting concepts , the TikTok influence , and an almost criminally hot cast, the best bit of this outrageous offering might be its, wild ending , which still has us drop-jawed. — K.P.

How to watch: Bodies Bodies Bodies is now available for rent or purchase on Prime Video. (Opens in a new tab)

3. Bones and All

A young couple sit in the tray of a pickup truck.

One of the best movies of the year , director Luca Guadagnino's Bones and All is a lush coming-of-age cannibal romance that gives us lots to sink our teeth into. Maren (Taylor Russell) is an "eater" living on the fringes of society, where she encounters fellow eaters, like drifter Lee (Timothée Chalamet) and creepy mentor wannabe Sully (Mark Rylance) — whose freaky performance alone is enough to secure Bones and All a spot on this list. Guadagnino and screenwriter David Kajganich , the team behind 2018's Suspiria remake , don't pull any punches on blood and guts and gore here. Scenes of teeth tugging flesh from the bone are terrifying and intimate in equal measure, with cannibalism mapping onto queerness and marginalization in a judgmental world. But it's Russell's quiet, self-assured performance that anchors the film. Maren's journey to understand herself, paired with the film's devastating ending, will stick in your bones long after the credits roll. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Bones and All (Opens in a new tab) is now available for rent or purchase on Prime Video. (Opens in a new tab)

A young warrior hides behind a tree as an alien stalks in the background.

All hail Prey ! This Predator prequel delivers an excellent blend of action and horror courtesy of director Dan Trachtenberg, easily cementing it as the best Predator flick since the original. The year is 1719, and a Predator terrorizes the Great Plains. However, this alien powerhouse will soon meet its match in aspiring Comanche hunter Naru, played with grit and determination by the tremendous Amber Midthunder. Between genuine scares and some of the most fun fight scenes of the year (looking at you, French trapper massacre), Prey gives us a heroine's journey for the ages. Its dramatically different time and setting give a fresh spin on the Predator films, demonstrating that the franchise still has legs — thanks to creative reinvention, that is. — B.E.

How to watch: Prey is now streaming on Hulu. (Opens in a new tab)

Three people look out of a building looking worried.

As a follow-up to Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele makes his audience utter " Nope " from the very first unsettling moments of this exceptional supernatural sci-fi horror. And we love him for it. When strange night sky appearances rattle the owners of a Hollywood horse training ranch, siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) try to get answers with the help of electronic store tech expert Angel Torres (Brandon Perea). Our leads truly run the show as polar opposites, with Kaluuya generating genuinely hilarious moments in the terror through stoic deadpan commitment, while Palmer's impeccably fun and chaotic energy balances it out. Steven Yeun's brilliant turn as their neighbour, Ricky "Jupe" Park, a traumatized former child star and Wild West-style theme park owner, and Michael Wincott as revered "get the shot" cinematographer Antlers Holst, leads to some unforgettable sequences. Is it an alien superstar (Opens in a new tab) ? You'll have to set up your cameras to find out. — S.C.

How to watch: Nope is now streaming on Peacock. (Opens in a new tab)

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Shannon Connellan

Shannon Connellan is Mashable's UK Editor based in London, formerly Mashable's Australia Editor, but emotionally, she lives in the Creel House .

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Collections, tv/streaming, movie reviews, chaz's journal, contributors, the best horror movies of 2022.

movie list horror 2022

It's been a great year for horror fans, and these are the best horror films of 2022, according to the reviews published on this site throughout the year. Every great horror film on this list received at least three stars from the assigned critic. Click through each review and find details on where to watch the best horror films of 2022 on streaming services and VOD.

movie list horror 2022

A Wounded Fawn

movie list horror 2022

Bodies Bodies Bodies

Tomris laffly.

movie list horror 2022

Bones and All

Carlos aguilar.

movie list horror 2022

Crimes of the Future

movie list horror 2022

Flux Gourmet

Craig d. lindsey.

movie list horror 2022

Brian Tallerico

movie list horror 2022

Hocus Pocus 2

movie list horror 2022

House of Darkness

Peter sobczynski.

movie list horror 2022

Simon Abrams

movie list horror 2022

Marya E. Gates

movie list horror 2022

Christy Lemire

movie list horror 2022

Odie Henderson

movie list horror 2022


Sheila o'malley.

movie list horror 2022

Glenn Kenny

movie list horror 2022

Soft & Quiet

movie list horror 2022

Something in the Dirt

The Best Horror Movies of 2022

Time to get scared.

Wow. Everyone knew 2022 was a great year for horror films, but you don't truly realize how great a year it was until you start to line them all up for a "Best of" list. After many hours, many buckets of blood, and me promising the boys that there would be no monsters under the bed or ghosts in the closet, we have finally compiled our Best Horror Films of 2022. This list made us realize that no matter how many horror movies we watched this year... it wasn't enough. Check out our list, listed alphabetically out of fairness, match it against your own, and fill in the blanks before 2023 arrives. ( M3GAN supremacy in the new year!)

RELATED: 10 Best A24 Horror Movies, According to IMDb

Barbarian is one of those films that everyone says is best to go in with no prior knowledge of. I don't know if that is necessarily true - the story is bonkers no matter what. What starts out as an Airbnb mix-up gone astray goes deeply, deeply off the rails, and strays so far from that premise that it's barely what the film is about at all. There are moments of hilarity, moments of horror, and moments of "what the fuck?" which make for a great horror film, as far as I'm concerned. Oh, and also: there is a scene where a guy has his arm ripped off, then is beaten with it. That is always cinematic gold to me. – Alyse Wax

Bodies Bodies Bodies

Who wants to play Bodies Bodies Bodies ? As you’ll discover in this chaotic horror romp, no one would want to with this cast of characters. The story centers on a group of friends who all gather at a swanky mansion for a party. Shortly after they all arrive, a storm sweeps through and traps them all there. What better time could there be to then play a game centered around murder? The only problem is that this might no longer be playing around as bodies begin to actually stack up and result in all the characters turning on each other. Misdirects and chaos abound as nothing is what it seems in this story. However, the less that you know the better as it builds to a killer final punchline that makes it all the more joyous. — Chase Hutchinson

Bones and All

Director Luca Guadagnino has a unique sensibility when it comes to romance, so it’s no wonder that Bones and All is, at its heart, a love story. The movie follows Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet as two starstruck lovers who build a life together while traveling across America. While this would be the perfect premise for a drama movie, Bones and All feels at home in horror became Russel and Chalamet play cannibals, people who urge for the flesh of the living and cannot control their unnatural hunger. Bones and All might not be everyone’s cup of tea since so much of its runtime is spent building the characters and letting them figure out who they want to be. However, Guadagnino doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to depicting the gruesome acts of cannibalism to underline how Bones and All is most definitely a horror movie. Besides that, we feel the movie deserves praise for dealing with a controversial theme with such a delicate and human gaze. – Marco Vito Oddo

Crimes of the Future

A film that provides yet more proof that David Cronenberg is the absolute King of body horror, Crimes of the Future shares a name with one of his earliest works though is a beast all its own from its heartbreaking start to its intriguing conclusion . It features the dynamic duo of Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux as two performance artists who find themselves swept up in a conspiracy surrounding people who claim to be able to consume plastic. As they are collaborators who care deeply about the body as a location of exploration and creation, this potential revelation piques their interest. The film then explores their passion for performance amidst the chaos of destruction and rebirth, creating a dynamic reflection on what it means to be an artist. For those who had been missing Cronenberg, this film makes it worth the wait as it is one of his most self-reflective worlds that cuts deeper the longer you sit with it. — Chase Hutchinson

Coming from writers and directors Joseph and Vanessa Winter , Deadstream is by far the best feature directorial debut of 2022. Holding its Creepshow and Evil Dead influences close to the chest, Deadstream presents a story that will make you laugh while still being frightened. Besides that, the Winters’ knack for practical effects gives Deadstream a level of polish that’s frequently missing from many big-budgeted productions. Finally, Deadstream does something unique with the found-footage subgenre by making the whole story fit into a single live stream. With clever camera angles and dedicated attention to continuity , the Winters keep the illusion everything in the movie happens in real-time, turning Deadstream into a filmmaking achievement that every horror fan should check out. – Marco Vito Oddo

Mimi Cave ’s directorial debut is a delicious story about a cannibal and the victims he keeps in his basement. Fresh starts just like a romantic comedy, and those unaware of what they are watching might be surprised when the movie turns into a full-blown horror movie filled with people-eating scenes that will challenge your stomach. That’s just one of the reasons Fresh is so enticing, as Cave already shows a rare domain over genre and style that elevates a movie that otherwise could crumble under the trope of the girl in the basement. Besides telling a disturbing story, Fresh is also a movie about modern dating, women's objectification, and the social power structure that allows men to get away with the horrific things they do. While Fresh mostly balances subtext and story, the third act gets a little clumsy as the movie tries to ensure people will understand its message. Even so, Fresh remains a tasty entry for horror-hungry people looking for a movie that subverts expectations. – Marco Vito Oddo

Glorious , directed by Dr. Rebekah McKendry, has one of the most curious concepts of the year. What if you found a Lovecraftian Elder God in the most unlikely place? Let’s say, a glory hole in the bathroom of a rest stop by the side of the road? Glorious is well aware of the absurd situation it presents, and that self-consciousness is what allows it to be as funny as it is. There are real stakes in Glorious , as a random man discovers he might be the key to saving the universe from total obliteration. But Glorious is ready to laugh about the idea of finding purpose in the most disgusting place in the world. And while the movie is mainly a horror-infused comedy, Glorious understands perfectly well what makes Lovecraftian creatures so scary by hiding enough information so we can fill it with our most terrible nightmares. On top of everything, J.K. Simmons voicing an Eldritch monster is almost too good to be true. – Marco Vito Oddo

Infused in body horror, the Finish horror movie Hatching reuses the old doppelgänger trope to deal with repressed emotions, family expectations, and the pressure to look perfect on social media. The story follows Tinja ( Siiri Solalinna ), a young girl who wants nothing more than to impress her rigid mother, who, in turn, is determined to build the perfect family she wants to show the world through her social media accounts. Things turn dark when the girl finds an egg, decides to hide it in her bedroom, and inadvertently hatches a gruesome creature that looks more like her each day. Hatching is not trying to be subtle, and it reveals quickly how the creature manifests all the anger and sorrow Tinja keeps locked inside while trying to please her mother. That doesn’t prevent Hatching from being a highly-effective cautionary tale about the dangers of raising a child to fit the internet’s twisted idea of perfection. Lastly, Hatching is an ode to the lasting horror of practical effects, shining even more in an era where digital creatures are shoehorned in most movies. – Marco Vito Oddo

Hellbender does a beautiful job of updating witchcraft mythology by introducing the new titular creature. A mix between a witch and a demon, a Hellbender's power comes both from innate abilities and precise rituals. That choice allows directors John Adams , Zelda Adams , and Toby Poser to freely explore well-recognized occult symbols and new images unique to their movie, with a result that’s nothing less than stunning. Besides presenting a new creature in a genre where repetition is the rule, Hellbender tells a soul-crushing coming-of-age story as mother and daughter struggle to define their identity as powerful and dangerous creatures. Finally, Hellbender is also infused with metal energy, as the film’s title is also a reference to a fictional band created for the feature, whose original songs result in one of the year's best soundtracks. – Marco Vito Oddo

Mad God is an experimental stop-motion animated horror movie that’s more concerned with form than substance. In other words, Mad God is a challenging movie that will leave more viewers confused than satisfied. Those looking for a linear story and explicit references will be disappointed with Phil Tippett ’s stop-motion horror. Still, the feature is a technical wonder that deserves all the praise it gets. With Mad God , Tippett pushes the limit of what someone can do with stop-motion, creating a nightmarish landscape where hundreds of individual pieces are moving to the will of animators, frame by frame. It’s a unique spectacle that can enthrall those who let their minds give up the need to make sense of each frame and accept they are being bombarded with hellish flashes of holy terrors. Mad God can be too demanding for some people, and that’s absolutely fine. But for lovers of the weird, Tippett’s is an achievement like no other. – Marco Vito Oddo

Mariama Diallo ’s Master , another Sundance film, is a balancing act of horror that grounds itself in both history and modern academia. At the core of this is the riveting Regina Hall as Gail who has managed to work her way up to be the "first Black woman to be the Master" at the fictional Ancaster College, an elite Northeastern university. At the same time, there is a new student named Jasmine ( Zoe Renee ) who finds herself struggling to navigate the school as one of only a few Black students in a sea of white. In many ways, it plays as a ghost story in terms of what begins to haunt the two characters and the world that they inhabit. The less that is known the better, but it provides yet more proof that Hall is an outstanding performer with the range to elevate any film she is in. In particular, one closing scene that she has is flooring where she speaks volumes with only a few lines. — Chase Hutchinson

Anita Rocha da Silveira 's Medusa follows a gang of religious women in Brazil who go after sinners in the night, beating them up and forcing them to declare their love for God. There’s a lot to unpack with this premise, as it deals with how orthodox religion frequently feeds violence and how women are the primary target of the more hostile side of organized faith. However, the movie also doubles down as a grim portrait of current Brazilian problems, where some evangelical churches have been literally training people as soldiers for a war against evil that often turns into persecution of everyone that doesn’t fit the conservative model of family. Finally, Medusa is also a clever possession movie where coming in touch with an evil spirit wakes women up instead of cursing them. While Medusa slipped through the cracks, it definitely deserves its place as one of the best horror movies released in 2022. – Marco Vito Oddo

With Men , Alex Garland explores misogyny and how women can feel threatened in a world ruled by men. Not surprisingly, Men cannot entirely escape the male gaze while telling its anti-sexism story, which can be somewhat problematic. Even so, Men is a weird and chaotic cinematic experiment that conjures some of the strangest and most disturbing images you’ve ever seen. The feature is also brutally honest, as Garland raises more questions about sexism than it can answer, bringing his own doubts to the screen. Men is not as clean and straightforward as Ex-Machina or Annihilation . But even when its story doesn't hold, it’s still a fascinating movie overflowing with style. The ending sequence, in particular, will leave a mark on anyone willing to give Men the opportunity to scar their brains with maddening imagery. – Marco Vito Oddo

With The Menu , Mark Mylod cooked a balanced meal that's highly entertaining while also cleverly discussing the meaning of art and the exploration of the working class. The Menu takes place one evening in the restaurant of Chef Slowski ( Ralph Fiennes ), a renowned cook that invited a group of select guests to taste his ultimate menu. The menu, however, is a series of political statements delivered through food, which become weirder and bloodier at each course. Soon, it becomes clear that Slowski’s guests are actually ingredients in his masterpiece, a menu that will send the world a message about the art market's brutality. There’s a lot to unpack in The Menu , as the movie has much to say beneath a simple plot cover . That’s another win for Chef Slowski, as The Menu holds strong through multiple viewings. – Marco Vito Oddo

Yet another film that premiered at Sundance, Nikyatu Jusu ’s Nanny defies easy categorization in how it blends multiple genres. While it is still very much a horror film, both in terms of its haunting visuals and the devastating truth that lies underneath them, it also is a focused drama of life in America. Specifically, it looks at the experience of Anna Diop 's Aisha who has come from Senegal to work in New York City. She hopes to make enough money to bring her son there with her, but faces down a whole host of barriers to this dream. Centrally, in working as a nanny, her employers treat her with casual cruelty and frequently skimp on paying her. She must then navigate this increasingly fraught working environment so that she can get what she is owed. At the same time, she must try to maintain a connection to her son that threatens to slip away from her when supernatural forces begin to crash into her reality. This all builds to one of the most tragic endings of the year that, while painful, couldn’t have concluded any other way. — Chase Hutchinson

Few directors can claim to be as successful as Jordan Peele . With his third movie, NOPE , Peele solidifies his position as one of the leading voices in horror, delivering another theatrical spectacle loaded with social commentary. After exploring structural racism with Get Out and political extremism with Us , Peele is now concerned with discussing how Hollywood is a predatory industry that devours innocent lives to stay alive. And that discussion becomes very literal once an eye-shaped alien starts to torment the small town of Agua Dulce, California. NOPE is all about people doing everything they can for fame and finding a bloody fate instead. But even without all the subtext, NOPE is still one heck of a crowd-pleaser, featuring a fantastic creature that has already carved its name in the history of most iconic monsters in cinema. NOPE is just as weird as it’s impressive, and it is impossible not to be mesmerized by Peele’s most ambitious film yet. – Marco Vito Oddo

Orphan: First Kill

Orphan has such a lasting effect on horror culture because of the surprise at its end and the brilliant performance of Isabelle Fuhrman . A prequel, then, sounds like a cash-grab when we are all aware of Esther’s secret, and there’s nothing else that could shock us. Fortunately, Orphan: First Kill proved us all wrong by delivering another thrilling serial killer movie with a big twist that takes the story in a whole new direction. As a prequel, Orphan: First Kill helps to flesh out Esther, played again to perfection by Fuhrman. However, the movie stands as its own self-contained tale of psychopaths doing whatever they need to get what they want. While it starts as a classic prequel, Orphan: First Kill takes Esther on a rollercoaster ride as the story twists and turns unexpectedly. In itself, that’s already a feat deserving praise, but the fact that Orphan: First Kill is so entertaining allows Esther to remain a relevant horror icon. – Marco Vito Oddo

" X is the most impressive feature [Ti West] has ever released." Says the man who has yet to see Pearl . Pearl , though a prequel to X , and shot even more secretively than X , is less a horror movie and more an ode to classic cinema itself . Set in 1918, we follow Pearl, the antagonist of X , as a young woman, left alone with her overbearing mother and her handicapped father when her husband goes to war. Pearl dreams of becoming a star, running off to become an actress or a dancer - anything to get her out of her small-time farm life. The film itself is shot like it is in Technicolor, with vivid colors permeating every inch of the screen in an almost surreal fashion. Mia Goth 's performance is truly outstanding, with some amazing long takes that would guarantee her an Oscar were this not considered a horror film. – Alyse Wax

Carlota Pereda 's Piggy is yet another indie movie that didn’t get the attention it deserves. Based on Pereda’s short film of the same name, the movie follows Sara ( Laura Galán ), a teenager who suffers daily attacks from bullies. The bullies think Sara’s weight is enough to turn her into a target for cruel pranks that become more violent as time passes. While Piggy draws from a classic revenge horror movie, it also brings something new to the table by putting Sara into a weird romantic relationship with a serial killer who kidnaps her bullies. So, the girl must decide if she wants to save the people who constantly attack her or protect a vicious killer who’s the only person to show her affection. Piggy is also elevated by gritty cinematography, brilliant performances, and perfectly executed practical effects. – Marco Vito Oddo

Returning to the basics, Prey finally explains why the Predator franchise is so often disappointing. The first Predator remains one of the best action-horror movies of all time, following the deadly game of cat and mouse between an alien carrying wondrous technology and a man fueled only by his wits and rage. Further sequels try to amp up the action by giving the Predator’s new victims more resources to work with. But while every Predator sequel is more explosive than the original, none is so gripping. Prey , however, does the opposite, taking us back to 1719. By uniting the Predator franchise with a period piece, director Dan Trachtenberg recreates everything that made the original story so enticing. Amber Midthunder shines as a young Comanche warrior, using all her knowledge to get whatever vantage she can get to beat an adversary that’s obviously more skilled and better equipped. At the same time, Prey features the scariest version of the iconic monster, making the Predator less human and more feral than previous iterations. Thanks to Prey , we can now be excited about new Predator movies instead of wondering why they are developing another entry of a quasi-dead franchise. – Marco Vito Oddo

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The Best Horror Movies of 2022, Ranked — From ‘Barbarian’ to ‘X’

By William Earl

William Earl

Crimes of the Future and Barbarian and Nope

With all of the horrors Americans are facing daily — a gun crisis, attacks on women’s rights, a Supreme Court hell-bent on legislating back to the olden days — it can be a difficult to engage with the artificial terror of scary movies.

Fittingly, many of the year’s best titles tapped into this anger and fear. Themes of environmental decay (“Crimes of the Future”), the oppression of women (“Men”), toxic internet culture (“Scream”), surveillance (“Watcher”) and sexual repression (“X”) loomed large, linking fantastical scares to very real fright.

Before the countdown, some honorable mentions:

*Parker Finn’s “Smile” is the best crowdpleaser of the year, filled with effective jump scares, a spooky score, twists and suspense that is tailor-made for date night.

*Joseph and Vanessa Winter’s “Deadstream” skewers YouTube culture with a charming and funny haunted house tale which takes several cues from the handmade charm of Sam Raimi’s early films.

*Ti West’s “Pearl” is a chilling sequel to his other film this year, “X,” and feature’s the year’s best horror performance from Mia Goth, which demands awards attention .

*Mariama Diallo’s “Master” doesn’t deliver the scares, but it’s a compelling haunting tale which explores big ideas, held together by a strong lead performance from Regina Hall.

*Toby Meakins’ “Choose or Die” has some compelling imagery and a charming throwback premise, but the killer video game script can’t sustain a feature-length runtime.

*Though overlong and in need of a script doctor to punch up the jokes, “Studio 666” is a fun romp for rock fans — and a charming showcase for the Foo Fighters’ late drummer Taylor Hawkins.

*David Blue Garcia’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was a disappointment, but featured one of the year’s best gore scenes, courtesy of Leatherface invading a party bus.


A perfectly-cast Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan star in this rom-com-turned-cannibal nightmare, which brilliantly builds a budding romance for 33 minutes before unleashing a sharp twist and a darkly comedic opening credit sequence. Stan goes wonderfully off-the-rails as a illicit salesman who is falling a bit too hard for his latest source of human meat. Edgar-Jones is scrappy as the woman trying to lead an escape, and Lauryn Kahn’s script dodges choices that would make her lead seem too gullible. “Fresh” never loses steam, even through a violent climax that doles out justice with a bitter aftertaste.

Stream “Fresh” on Hulu .

THE CURSED, (aka EIGHT FOR SILVER), front, from left: Amelia Crouch, Alistair Petrie, Simon Kunz, 2021. © Elevation Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Criminally overlooked due to a theatrical release opposite milquetoast hits such as “Dog” and “Uncharted,” this early-1900s werewolf tale remixes classical mythology with some frightening new visions. “Yellowstone” scene-stealer Kelly Reilly shifts into a different gear as the mother of a cursed son, and Boyd Holbrook is solid as a werewolf hunter with a dark past. Directed with a steady hand by Sean Ellis and taking advantage of beautiful, foggy France shot on 35mm, “The Cursed” is sure to gain an audience when it hits a key streaming service.

Stream ‘The Cursed’ on Hulu .

MEN, Jessie Buckley, 2022.   © A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection

Alex Garland’s latest nightmare is an all-too-timely fable about men controlling and gaslighting women. Effectively a two-hander, “Men” stars the brilliant Jessie Buckley as a woman vacationing in the British countryside after the suicide of her husband. Unfortunately, she’s surrounded by dozens of men who resemble a sinister Rory Kinnear, who gamely portrays nearly all of the other characters with wavering levels of hostility toward her. Although the film offers very little insight into gender dynamics, there are several indelible scenes which crank the tension up to 11. And with an incredibly divisive and disgusting final act, it’s a film designed to spur more discussion with each new audience.

Stream ‘Men’ on Prime Video.

scream 2022

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the directing duo who helmed 2019’s clever horror mystery “Ready or Not,” revived the “Scream” franchise with a better-than-expected new chapter. Legacy characters (Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell) share screen time with a sharp young cast (including Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega and Jack Quaid), with plenty of twists and red herrings along the way. By revisiting some of the franchise’s best notes without being overly beholden to the past, the meta-by-design “Scream” is able to keep things fresh and avoid potential pitfalls along the way.

Stream ‘Scream’ on Paramount+.

Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil

A comedy of manners turns into the year’s bleakest vision, as two families, one Danish and one Dutch, meet on vacation, gathering at the latter’s home in order to shake out of a stale routine. The gathering becomes increasingly uncomfortable as polite disagreements and cultural misunderstandings devolve into something far more sinister. With claustrophobic direction from Christian Tafdrup and a clever, cruel script written with his brother Mads, the tension is ratcheted and released to several breaking points, ending up at a finale guaranteed to make you cancel your next trip.

Stream ‘Speak No Evil’ on Prime Video.

X, Scott Mescudi, 2022. © A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection

One of modern horror’s most compelling auteurs, Ti West roared back to the big screen with his first frightening feature since 2013’s “The Sacrament,” and it was worth the wait. A “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remix featuring a van full of ponographers (including Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow and Scott Mescudi) clandestinely shooting their next film at the guest house of a conservative old couple, the blood and surprises comes quickly. Goth is a standout in a sneaky dual role, and West’s control of his material and ability to manipulate the audiences’ exceptions creates one of the year’s most fun rides.

Stream ‘X’ on Hulu . 

THE MENU, from left: Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, 2022. ph: Eric Zachanowich /© Searchlight Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

Mark Mylod’s pitch-black comedy about the world of foodie culture turns the screw on a dynamite cast of character actors. Ralph Fiennes is a scene-stealer as a prestigious chef who has been pushed to the brink of madness by his rich diners and designs one last meal as his artistic statement to the world. The always-engaging Anya Taylor-Joy is wonderful as Fiennes’ foil, and Mylod’s perfectly balanced tone keeps the audience consistently squirming and laughing.

WATCHER, Maika Monroe, 2022. © IFC Midnight /Courtesy Everett Collection

Eight years after her breakout in “It Follows,” Maika Monroe stars in another film where she’s constantly looking over her shoulder, in the best stalker movie since 2020’s “The Invisible Man.” Monroe stars as Julia, a lonely expat living in Bucharest, aimless while supporting her career-focused husband. She’s convinced that someone across the street is watching her and becoming increasingly bold in pursing her around the neighborhood…might it be the murderer she keeps seeing on the evening news? “Watcher” muddies the colors of a post-“Rear Window” story by writer and director Chloe Okuno and showcases the vulnerabilities of a woman living in the city. Yet Julia is no pushover, and she’s an excellent cypher for an audience destined to spend the following days peering in on their neighbors and checking around every corner.

Stream ‘Watcher’ on Prime Video.

The Black Phone

THE BLACK PHONE, Ethan Hawke, 2021. © Universal Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

“Sinister” and “Doctor Strange” creative duo C. Robert Cargill and Scott Derrickson collaborated once more on this feature adaptation of a Joe Hill short story in which “The Grabber” (Ethan Hawke) abducts children in ’70s Colorado. The film evokes the spirit of Hill’s father Stephen King’s best work, as kids grapple with supernatural abilities in order to defeat a psychotic villain. The script is sturdy enough to keep emotions swelling as much as frights, as it’s filled with the most lovable scamps this side of Hawkins, Indiana. Hawke chews all the scenery as the oft-masked Grabber, in a frightening physical performance that begs for more appearances.

Stream ‘The Black Phone’ on Peacock . 



This surreal and unnerving revenge film from writer-director Andrew Semans stars a never-better Rebecca Hall as a woman whose life starts to unravel when she begins seeing her abusive ex (a charming and menacing Tim Roth) around her neighborhood haunts in Albany. Hall’s performance — all control until she’s swiftly unmoored — is frightening in its vulnerability: How many of us could lose everything if our center of gravity was knocked just a bit off-center? While most of the movie is ice cold, a bloody and outrageous final act spins the tale into grand guignol, a devilishly literal expression of heartbreak between the leads. A devastating last shot, hazy and overlit, somewhere between dream and nightmare, will haunt viewers long after the credits roll.


Jordan Peele’s third film “Nope” doesn’t reach the sublime heights of “Us” or “Get Out,” but this ambitious sci-fi spectacle certainly advances his scope as a filmmaker. Without giving away the surprises, an oddball cast of characters (played by Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott and Steven Yeun, all excellent) contend with something that looks a lot like a flying saucer causing commotion at horse ranches. While large swaths of the film play more as an adventure than horror, there are several indelible scenes and images, including the sitcom shoot gone wrong which opens the movie, an all-time fake-out scare in the middle and a haunting shot of alien physiology. Shot beautifully by Hoyte van Hoytema, “Nope” reveals even more on repeat viewings.

Stream ‘Nope’ on Peacock .

BARBARIAN, Georgina Campbell, 2022. © 20th Century Studios /Courtesy Everett Collection

Zach Cregger’s genre debut “Barbarian” benefits from a tasty teaser trailer which doesn’t spoil any of the film’s numerous twists. Suffice to say that things don’t go too well for Tess (Georgina Campbell), who’s just trying find a safe place to stay while she’s in Detroit for a job interview. Sketch comedy alum Cregger obviously loves the genre, and knows exactly how to manipulate the audience expectations for unique scares, creating a quirky rhythm through the film’s distinct acts. By marrying modern fears with old-school horror technique, “Barbarian” will surely become an annual Halloween watch.

Stream ‘Barbarian’ on HBO Max.

Crimes of the Future

CRIMES OF THE FUTURE, Kristen Stewart, 2022. © Neon / Courtesy Everett Collection

David Cronenberg’s latest foray into body horror was, strangely, less disgusting than advertised, but far more tied to the legend’s other inhuman quirks than could have been predicted. The lightly-sketched plot involves Viggo Mortensen as a man who grows extra organs in a ruined-Earth future, where his partner (Léa Seydoux) surgically removes them for captive audiences. Things become complicated once the government starts to get involved, and we’re introduced to a world of superfans (including a wacky Kristen Stewart), assassins and children who eat plastic trash cans. Cronenberg keeps the proceedings as cold and clinical as his characters, with long stretches of dialogue accentuating the gloss of artificiality that is as fascinating as it is alienating. Those who can dip into Cronenberg’s wavelength will be richly rewarded.

Stream ‘Crimes of the Future’ on Hulu .

Bones and All

BONES AND ALL, from left: Timothee Chalamet, Taylor Russell, 2022.  ph: Yannis Drakoulidis /© MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection

Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet bring a unique electricity to Luca Guadagnino’s road trip romance, in which two young cannibals realize they can’t survive without each other. Blood flows, spurts and is the lifeblood of this film, told in startling vignettes as Russell’s Maren learns she’s not alone in the world in craving human flesh. With dreamlike cinematography setting the backdrop for unforgettable characters like Chalamet’s Lee, Mark Rylance’s terrifying Sully and a nightmarish cameo from Chloë Sevigny, “Bones and All” is an ambitious and emotional work of art that pushes the boundaries of modern horror.

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The 15 Best Horror Movies of 2022 and How to Watch Them

From cannibals to UFOs to ghost-faced killers

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2022 has been an outrageously good year for horror cinema.

The variety, complexity and volume of horror movies released this year is truly staggering; a true embarrassment of blood-soaked riches. The crop so impressive that it was tough to leave off a few really great movies (like “The Menu” or David Cronenberg’s guttural “Crimes of the Future”).

But for now, here are 15 great horror movies from this year (and where you can currently watch them). These movies are so good you’ll want to scream.

15. “Nanny”


Talk about a dynamite debut feature. “Nanny,” from first timer Nikyatu Jusu, centers on a Senegalese immigrant (the terrific Anna Diop) who goes to work as a nanny for a wealthy Upper East Side couple. (She’s trying to pay for her son to immigrate to America.) Once embedded in these peoples’ lives (the feisty wife is played by Michelle Monaghan) her situation gets stranger and stranger and, ultimately, more tragic. It’s best to go into “Nanny” knowing as little as possible and let it wash over you. This is the kind of story that is infrequently told in Hollywood and what’s more it’s told with such grace and life. And, you know, it is very scary and disturbing. (It’s a credit to Jason Blum and Blumhouse that they released a title like this, knowing how strong it was artistically and on a commercial level.) Jusu is, obviously, the next big thing in horror and already has a movie with Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw and a project set in George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” universe on the horizon. We cannot wait.

“Nanny” is streaming on Prime Video.

14. “Halloween Ends”

Halloween Ends

There were fewer horror movies as divisive in 2022 as “Halloween Ends,” the third and final chapter in director David Gordon Green’s new “Halloween” trilogy. But we found it to be the perfect way to end not only these three recent chapters but the entire “Halloween” saga (yes, there will undoubtedly be more sequels, sooner rather than later no doubt). This time around, Green chose to focus on a new character named Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) whose life was negatively impacted by the events of the first two movies and who now lives in Haddonfield as an outcast, until he happens upon Michael Myers in hiding and is somehow galvanized by the maniac (maybe emboldened is the word). Corey goes on his own killing spree while also wooing Laurie Strode’s (a returning and excellent Jamie Lee Curtis) granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Indebted as much to John Carpenter’s “Christine” as to the original “Halloween,” it felt like the “Halloween” movie Green had always meant to make: one in which characters come first, colorful side characters provide levity and texture and catharsis, no bloodshed, is the ultimate goal. A weird ass triumph.

“Halloween Ends” is streaming on Peacock and available to rend and buy on PVOD; it comes out on Blu-ray and a stunning 4K Blu-ray on December 27.

13. “Smile”


Dopey trailer aside, “Smile” is smart and effective and occasionally quite scary. A young doctor (Sosie Bacon) has a patient who kills themself in front of her, the patient wearing a very creepy grin on their face. After doing some digging, the young doctor starts to understand that the suicide is part of a larger pattern, connected to that eerie smile. Yes, this is totally a scare-kids-at-the-mall-on-a-Friday-night movie but as such it really does succeed, thanks largely to its grim tone, which channels everything from “The Ring” to “Rosemary’s Baby.”

Smile is streaming on Paramount+.

12. “Bodies Bodies Bodies”

Bodies Bodies Bodies

We nearly put “Men,” A24’s other buzzy low-budget horror movie on the list. But “Bodies Bodies Bodies ” is much more fun, more clever and more now. Essentially a Zoomer whodunnit, with a bunch of oversexed, under-worked young people (among them: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott and Pete Davidson) trapped in a house without electricity during a hurricane. As they get offed, one by one, the tension and the hilarity continue to mount. It’s both a cutting critique and a sly celebration of the current cultural moment, where victims become survivors and generational trauma gets downright deadly. Watch it with the lights off.

Bodies Bodies Bodies is now available to rent on PVOD and is to purchase on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray.

7 Movies That Inspired ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies,’ According to Director Halina Reijn

11. “Werewolf by Night”

Werewolf by Night Gael Garcia Bernal

The Marvel Cinematic Universe gets spooky. “Werewolf by Night,” a mini-movie/TV special that clocks in just under an hour, follows the title character (played by Gael Garcia Bernal), as he’s drawn to an eerie estate to hunt down a terrifying monster. What do the other hunters want with the creature? And how is he going to get out of this thing alive without them discovering his monstrous secret? Part locked-door mystery, part rousing Marvel adventure, it’s a monster mash that turns into a graveyard smash (obviously). Director Michael Giacchino, filming in black-and-white and amping up the terror considerably, makes the MCU’s first true foray into horror a blood-soaked good time. It’s enough to make you want several more specials starring Werewolf by Night and any other Marvel monster Giacchino wants to throw his way.

“Werewolf by Night” will be streaming exclusively on Disney+ on Oct. 7.

10. “Orphan: First Kill”

Orphan First Kill

What an unexpected hoot. The original “Orphan,” produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by future Hollywood heavyweight Jaume Collet-Serra, was released by Warner Bros. way back in 2009. Now, more than a decade later and in partnership with a new studio (Paramount), the prequel is finally here. For a while “Orphan: First Kill” hums along as you’d imagine. But there’s a twist a little before the halfway mark that is so bonkers that it sends the entire movie veering wildly off-course and turns the movie into a new, utterly outrageous outré horror classic. (Honestly, I prefer this to the similarly gonzo “Malignant.”) Released so inauspiciously that it was easy to miss, if you haven’t seen “Orphan: First Kill,” it’s essential Halloween viewing.

“Orphan: First Kill” is streaming on Paramount+.

9. “Hellraiser”


Various studios have attempted a “Hellraiser” remake since at least 2006, both with and without the blessing or involvement of original director (and author) Clive Barker. Finally, a new entry in the beloved horror franchise is here. And it was very much worth the wait. Instead of a straight remake of the 1987 original (which spawned more than a half-dozen follow-ups of varying quality), “Hellraiser” is a new story set within the world Barker established. The puzzle box is there, as are the Cenobites (some are new, some are familiar). And of course, Pinhead, the interdimensional ghoul with an addiction to pain, lords over all of it. (This time the character is played by the great Jamie Clayton from the Wachowskis’ “Sense8.”) Directed by David Bruckner and written by his “Night House” collaborators Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, this new “Hellraiser” follows the themes laid out by Barker (addiction, pain, trauma from the past) while contemporizing the setting. The result feels like a welcome addition to the franchise and hopefully the start of an entirely new, blood-soaked saga.

“Hellraiser” is streaming on Hulu.


Yes, most reboots are generally terrible; cynical and devoid of original ideas. But every once in a while there is one like “Prey” that is so good, so full of imagination and excitement, that it’s impossible to write off the exercise of the Hollywood reboot as totally unworthy. “Prey” is a prequel to the mainline “Predator” franchise, this time set in 1719 and following a young Comanche (Amber Midthunder) as she faces off against an early version of the Predator we know and love. Director Dan Trachtenberg (“10 Cloverfield Lane”) combines gorgeously choreographed, genuinely frightening, very bloody set pieces with a lovely coming-of-age story of a young girl who wants to prove herself … and save her entire village. (Watch as the Predator massacres a group of vile fur traders.) This is easily the best “Predator” movie since the original, one that, after years of halfhearted spin-offs and sequels, makes you excited about the franchise once again.

“Prey” is streaming on Hulu.

‘Prey’ Filmmakers Say They Pitched the ‘Predator’ Prequel as an ‘R-Rated Disney Princess Tale’

7. “Resurrection”


One of the breakouts of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Resurrection” stars Rebecca Hall as a hardworking single mother who one day is confronted by a very literal ghost from her past. That ghost is Tim Roth, who plays a controlling older man that she had an affair with years before and who committed an unspeakably gruesome act. His return into her life leads to the rest of her existence crumbling; her relationship with her daughter becomes frayed and her work suffers. But how much of the story of their relationship is true? And how much of it is just a grim fairy tale? The movie, which was happy to exist in the more psychological horror space (thanks largely to the note-perfect performance from Hall), explodes into body horror with its unforgettable, very gooey climax. What was real? What was imagined? And what does it all mean? These are just a few of the questions you’ll be pondering after the provocative “Resurrection” wraps up.

“Resurrection” is streaming on Shudder.

6. “You Won’t Be Alone”

You Won't Be Alone

Another Sundance breakout, this one is somehow even odder than “Resurrection.” “You Won’t Be Alone,” from Macedonian Australian filmmaker Goran Stolevski, concerns a young woman in 19th century Macedonia who is turned into a shapeshifting creature by a witch. The young girl assumes different forms and inhabits various peoples’ lives. (The movie takes on the sensation and shape of an anthology film sometimes as opposed to a straight linear narrative.) And as the movie trudges along, it casts a spell all its own on you. The movie is ultimately about what it means to be human and how hard that existence is. With a naturalistic style and cameo from genre legend Noomi Rapace, it is indelible and singular (its closest relative is probably Robert Eggers’ “The Witch”). If you’re looking for something this Halloween that is as scary as it is heartfelt, then this is the movie for you.

“You Won’t Be Alone” is available to rent or own on PVOD.

5. “Watcher”


And yet another Sundance Film Festival favorite! “Watcher,” written and directed by Chloe Okuno (who, fun fact, was the original filmmaker chosen for “Bodies Bodies Bodies”) follows a young American girl named Julia (modern day scream queen Maika Monroe) who moves to Bucharest with her husband (Karl Glusman). While staying in their new apartment, she becomes convinced that a man across the way (Burn Gorman) is responsible for a string of violent murders across the city. Surprise surprise, nobody believes her. As Julia’s quest intensifies, Okuno ratches up the tension to an almost unbearable degree, until it reaches its frenzied conclusion. Expertly directed, “Watcher” feels like a throwback to Brian De Palma’s 1980s output, but with a decidedly feminist bent. If that sounds like the best movie ever, you’re in luck, because “Watcher” really is that good.

“Watcher” is streaming on Shudder and AMC+.

4. “Barbarian”


Incredibly, “Barbarian” not only opened quietly over the summer and became a sleeper hit but the secrets surrounding the movie were actually kept secret. Meaning that even if you saw it weeks later, chances are that you still went in blind. (The marketing, expertly, kept things contained too.) This is all you need to know: a young woman (Georgina Campbell) rents an Air BnB in a dodgy part of town. When she gets there, she realizes the website has double-booked the house and she is forced to spend the night with a stranger (Bill Skarsgård). From there, the movie takes off. And it’s just too good to spoil. What made “Barbarian” so fun was this unpredictability; the movie veers wildly in tone and style, always making sure to maintain the squirmy uneasiness at its core. And while horror films are rarely singled out for their performances, it should be noted that what Justin Long does in this movie is devilishly inspired. This will be a late night movie classic for years to come.

“Barbarian” is available to rent or buy on PVOD or stream on HBO Max.

3. “X” / “Pearl”

Ti West X

When “X” premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival this spring, it was presented with a bonus: a preview for “Pearl,” an already-shot follow-up movie, filmed in secret and revealed, for the first time, to the Austin audience. Whereas “X” took its cues from exploitation movies of the 1970s, following a group of plucky pornographers (including Kid Cudi, Brittany Snow and Mia Goth) as they are offed, one by one, by an embittered old woman named Pearl (also Mia Goth), “Pearl” was a sweeping Technicolor melodrama that investigated Pearl’s murderous origins (Goth was back, short the old lady make-up). It was a gambit but one that paid off. Independently, these movies are terrific, with writer/director Ti West showing just how skilled a filmmaker he had become and offering sympathetic portrayals of what could have been cartoonish villains. (Also the idea that each movie takes a look at a sea change for film gives it another wonderful layer.) But taken together, the two films improve and deepen each other. It’s less about spotting the Easter eggs than it is about wholly giving into this world. Bring on part three (“MaXXXine”), coming next year.

“Pearl” is now available to rent and buy on PVOD and Blu-ray and “X” is available to rent and buy on PVOD and Blu-ray or stream on FuboTV.

2. “Bones and All”

Bones and All

“Call Me By Your Name” director Luca Guadagnino returns to horror after his painterly 2018 remake of “Suspiria.” This time, instead of witches, he’s focusing his attention on two star-crossed lovers (Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet) who embark on an odyssey across Reagan-era America. The twist is that they’re both “eaters;” cannibals that crave human flesh. That turns what could have been a picaresque coming-of-age story into a kind of slow burn, killers-on-the-run narrative with supernatural flourishes, equal parts “Badlands” and “Near Dark.” It’s an utterly spellbinding, deeply emotional experience and the young stars carry so much of the movie’s elemental power – deep down they’re just screwed up kids with something very wrong with them. (Guadagnino, coming off of his HBO series “We Are Who We Are,” is keenly observant.) “Bones and All” will not be for everyone – some will find it sluggish, while others, sensitive to the extreme violence, will deem it stomach-churning – but for me it’s a towering achievement, full of life and vitality. (Also the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and the perfectly-picked ‘80s needle drops are just outstanding.) At one point a character says, “There’s life before bones and all and there’s life after .” I agree.

“Bones and All” is currently available to rent on PVOD and is still playing in some theaters.

‘Bones and All’ Review: Timothée Chalamet Makes Sparks Fly and People Die in Cannibal Road Movie

With “Nope,” writer/director Jordan Peele set out to make “the great American UFO movie.” He did that – and then some. Ostensibly the story of a brother and sister (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, flawless) who inherit their family’s horse ranch following their father’s mysterious death and become terrorized by something lurking in the sky, “Nope” is so much more. It’s a movie about the cost of indulging in spectacle; about mankind’s relationship with animals and other marginalized, exploited groups; a classic movie-about-moviemaking; a revisionist western; a commentary on our incessant need to document our daily lives (including what lurks above); and a large-scale sci-fi extravaganza, splitting the difference between “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” And that’s only part of what makes “Nope” so special. In the way that Peele stages sequences, whether it’s the way a UFO eerily hovers above a farmhouse or the murderous attack by a killer chimp, he has upped his game as a director and, just three movies in, cemented his place as one of the most accomplished and exciting filmmakers working today. (This is to say nothing of how well he works with the actors and how great their performances are as a result.) There are mysteries that “Nope” still linger (including many sequences alluded to in early marketing materials) but that’s part of the gift of his movies – you can discuss and dissect them long after you’ve left the theater (or turned off the app). “Nope” rules.

“Nope” is streaming on Peacock, available to rent on PVOD and is available for purchase on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray.

‘Nope’ VFX Supervisor Reveals Secrets of Jordan Peele’s Horror Epic: From Gordy to Jean Jacket

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