2022 horror movies list

Horror movies in 2022: The Ultimate Guide (Updated Monthly)

Looking for an overview of all horror movies in 2022? You clicked on the right link. Here’s a monthly-updated guide with a fresh portion of new scary movies from Netflix, HBO, and other streaming platforms, as well as gems from movie festivals. The stuff all horror buffs love the most.

Still from Speak No Evil (2022) - Danish/Dutch horror film

Speak No Evil (2022)

Directed by: Christian Tafdrup

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival 2022

One of the highlights of the Sundance Film Festival 2022 lineup was Christian Tafdrup’s Speak No Evil (2022) – a thriller that’s much more disturbing and asphyxiating than many horrors out there. Despite its lack of paranormal themes, the consistently ominous tone and unnerving build-up that leads to a crushing finale secured a spot on this list. Speak No Evil (2022) isn’t classically scary, but under-your-skin creepy and bizarre.

The movie follows a couple of Danes – Bjørn and Louise – who spend a lovely time in sun-bathed Italy with a Dutch family. In order to relive the pleasurable experience, the couples meet again, this time in The Netherlands. However, the weekend getaway quickly becomes very uncomfortable for Bjørn and Louise. Their patience and pleasant attitudes are put to rather rough tests as Patrick and Karin – the Dutch hosts – push the boundaries of unpleasantness to extremes.

Speak No Evil (2022) takes the perspective of helpless people who spiral into the abyss because they are shackled by the rules they were grown in. Christian Tafdrup’s direction has a very consistent structure, laser-focused on inciting anticipation of where this calamitous weekend will eventually lead.

Read the full review of Speak No Evil (2022) here.

Still from Sundance horror hit Fresh (2022) starring Daisy Edgar and Sebastian Stan

Fresh (2022)

Directed by: Mimi Cave

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival 2022

Following its premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2022, Fresh (2022) by Mimi Cave gained traction prior to its Hulu premiere. While the film’s general appeal will satisfy a fair chunk of the horror audience out there, Cave’s flick as a whole sum is less than the value of its separate parts.

Fresh (2022) opens to a promising start that is as far from a horror movie as one can be. After presumably countless encounters with dudes met online, Noa decides to put her untitled love project on indefinite hold. Then one day, she accidentally meets Steve. The two immediately hit it off, and before Noa wraps her head around the bucolic filter applied to her life, the blossoming love turns rather gross when Steve reveals his true intentions.

Fresh (2022) serves well its main star Sebastian Stan, who marvels as the sociopathic boyfriend of Noa. Whenever Steve gets his own freaky screen time, one cannot un-see the unhinged smile that’s so remindful of Christian Bale in American Psycho (2000). Stan’s co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones crafts an equally engaging role – the talent accumulated in those two helped the rather stretched-out runtime stay afloat.

Nonetheless, there are moments when Fresh (2022) submerges against the weight of its ambitions. Mimi Cave avoids hideous scenes or too much gratuitous violence (though the film’s finale’s slightly off this direction), and while the whole endeavor is a curious jab at online dating as a phenomenon that comes with its share of both pros and cons, Fresh (2022) eventually underdelivers on its promise. The sense of threat is barely fulfilled visually, meanwhile, the dilution of the narrative in the third act blunts the climax.

Read the full review of Fresh (2022) here.

Piggy (2022) screenshot

Piggy (2022)

Directed by: Carlota Pereda

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival 2022

For what it’s worth, Piggy (2022) by Carlota Pereda is a hilarious movie. Not that it was intended though, because Pereda’s hopes for a serious mix of heartfelt drama and a slasher are written all over the movie. Well, maybe next time.

Sara, a chubby Spanish girl, is mocked for being an outsider in a local town. She is, obviously, an easy target for the group of bullies who make fun of her family’s butcher shop, and her appearance. When the town’s shocked by a terrifying discovery in the village poolside, the protagonist is the only one who happens to know what actually went down – and who is responsible.

For an entry of the Midnight Madness section, Piggy (2022) takes an awful lot of time to arrive at its first scary moment. Developed from a short feature – which, by the way, feels enough for this story to work – the narrative is filled with harebrained ideas that mask the lack of actual substance to work with As the plot meanders away from horror, Pereda paints Sara’s problem with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Scene after scene, the director reminds us of the unhappiness, and hardship, but without ways to lay the foundations of character development. Nothing keeps us intrigued, even though Sara gains our sympathy. That stands only until the story derails completely, going for a laughing stock of a slasher that’s in line with any B-movie flick from the 2000s-2010s era. Yeah, it’s probably a pass.

Noomi Rapace in You Won't Be Alone (2022)

You Won’t Be Alone (2022)

Directed by: Goran Stolevski

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival 2022

Potentially the most ambitious horror film in 2022, You Won’t Be Alone (2022) by Goran Stolevski will have all A24 fans cheer. This is raw talent in the spotlight out here.

Set in the desolate highlands of Macedonia, You Won’t Be Alone (2022) invites the audience to a world where witchcraft is very much present and directly impacts the lives of regular people. The story follows a girl born in the 19th century, in a remote village. The day she comes to this world, a witch claims her soul and despite the best efforts of her real mother, the malefic entity comes to take what’s been promised. We then witness a spiritual journey during which the director ponders the most salient aspects of what it means to be a human. You Won’t Be Alone (2022) horrifies and provides food for thought in equal measures.

Stolevski directs with passion, and he understands the appeal of films such as The Witch (2015) or Midsommar (2019). This is a sublime example of how horror and drama threaded together to yield a unique type of film cloth. The frights in You Won’t Be Alone (2022) range from body horror to occult themes, with a few disturbing images that guarantee a bunch of sleepless nights for the faint of heart.

Read the full review ofYou Won’t Be Alone (2022) here.

texas chains massacre (2022) still of leatherface holding a cut-off face

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

Directed by: David Blue Garcia

Premiere: Netflix

Marmoreal acting, preposterous social commentary concerning gentrification, and a whole bunch of cheap thrills – that’s the legacy of Tobe Hopper’s ingenious horror film from the 70s.

Honestly, Leatherface hasn’t had it easy the last few times he turned the chainsaw on. After joining the pantheon of the most iconic horror movie sadists, Leatherface’s initial appeal has been misunderstood in every consecutive entry of the saga. But none of the previous appearances were as asinine as the Netflix-made rehash of the series entitled Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022). This, by the way, seems to ensure there’s a chance some people will watch this atrocity by mistake, mixing it with three or four movies from the series.

Although we have seen Leatherface’s origins just a few years back, David Blue Garcia makes a very loose connection with the previous films. As loose as the fact that Leatherface existed in some random Texan town, where a group of wealthy 30-somethings decided to revive the ghastly, forgotten town. Little do they know about the locals though, thus the plot proceeds in line with the likes of The House of Wax (2005), one of my favorite guilty pleasures ever. I bet none of the members of the cast of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) went the lengths that Elisha Cuthbert did – gluing her lips for real – so you tell me who made the real effort.

Leatherface reemerges, wreaking havoc, slashing, chopping, and gashing – basically having the time of his life. Unfortunately, we don’t share the joyful experience, because Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) fails to establish any sense of danger, while its gore moments lack proper build-up. It’s probably the most repetitive and uneventful horror reboot in years.

Deadstream 2022 - mildred ghost still

Deadstream (2022)

Directed by: Vanessa Winter and Joseph Winter

Premiere: SXSW Film Festival 2022

The SXSW horror film, directed by Vanessa Winter and Joseph Winter, packs all the treats we – fans of scary movies – love the most. Deadstream (2022) manages to make you laugh and tremble, thanks to the refreshing approach to the withered found-footage subgenre.

Vanessa Winter and Joseph Winter came up with this idea of a fallen-from-grace influencer who desperately needs a shot at regaining following. So, as many desperate influencers would do, Shawn Ruddy decides to push the envelope, and offer his fans what he calls “a revolutionary streaming experience“. What was supposed to be a break-the-bank night at a haunted house turns into a true survival test for a man whose life has been lived as the Internet told him.

Deadstream (2022) effortlessly mixes hilarious moments on the verge of the Scary Movie franchise with practical horror effects that outrank many flicks with a much more extensive budget. Joseph Winter, who stars as Shawn, balances the unlikability of his character with the drawing-attention chutzpah. No matter how stupid he is, there is a commendable dedication that glues to the screen. The spirit of The Blair Witch Project (1999) has never been so alive.

Read the full review of Deadstream (2022) here.

still from soft & quiet (2022)

Soft & Quiet (2022)

Directed by: Beth de Araújo

Premiere: SXSW Film Festival 2022

Soft & Quiet (2022), though rooted in a very plausible menace and subject, is likely to attract flocks of horror moviegoers. Beth de Araújo directed a palpable, nightmarish ride to hell that unravels in real-time, within a single shot that spans over blood-curdling ninety minutes.

Where Soft & Quiet (2022) gains its initial poll position in the race is the uncanny source of danger. There are no sociopathic killers, running around and killing people. Beth de Araújo sets her story in a quiet neighborhood, and intentionally builds the sense of threat by making the main character a teacher. Emily, a true breakout role for Stefanie Estes, organizes an innocent gathering to talk with like-minded women about the plague of immigrants who began to populate their quiet – and very white – town. Not only does it open doors for political messaging in the film, but also establishes a very inflammable point of where does the freedom of speech and opinion end.

Racism takes an extreme form in Soft & Quiet (2022); it’s sometimes a too intense experience, strengthened by the hideous, violent claims that turn into acts. Beth de Araújo visibly drew inspiration from no-holds-barred thrillers like Funny Games (1997) by Michael Haneke or Green Room (2015) by Jeremy Saulnier. The director also grounds the story, avoiding the danger of a wild-goose chase. De Araújo captures the details and mechanisms that exist within extremist groups – innocent beginnings, doubting of leadership, the inciting nature of their acts, the simmering anger that seeks an outlet. It left me angry and scared too, and I believe that’s the combination the director aimed for.

Read the review of Soft & Quiet (2022) here.

still of elisha cuthbert starring in the cellar (2022)

The Cellar (2022)

Directed by: Brendan Muldowney

Premiere: SXSW Film Festival 2022

The Cellar (2022) has a promising concept to explore – a haunted house trope with an Insidious-type (2010) twist – but the execution by Brendan Muldowney fails on every possible front.

The story follows Keira who moves into a spacious manor with her family. Right from the start, there seems to be something inherently wrong with the cellar, and the presumption quickly becomes a fact. Keira’s daughter mysteriously disappears, and the only lead – a phone call – leads back to the basement. Uncovering the secrets of the cellar incurs consequences for the whole family – a debt that they will all have to pay.

Muldowney operates within a known perimeter. The Cellar (2022) is, by all means, a haunted house story, despite no ghosts appearing as they walk in the dark corridors, James Wan-style. The premise intrigues with danger looming from the depths of the below-ground level of the manor, and that danger slowly gains shape (although Muldowney never lets us admire the work of his special effects department). The anticipation isn’t sustained though, because The Cellar (2022) has little surprises to fill in the whole runtime. Apart from a few jump scares and – a berserk finale that hardly makes sense – the only reason to tune in to this flick is to see Elisha Cuthbert’s return to her horror genre motherland.

Read the review of The Cellar (2022) here.

still from Sissy (2022), Australian revenge thriller

Sissy (2022)

Directed by: Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes

Premiere: SXSW Film Festival 2022

Since influencers attack us from every app, tv commercial, show, and even movie out there, it’s only natural that filmmakers embrace them as subject matters. There are ace-in-the-hole shots – like Deadstream (2022) which appears on this list too – but sadly, most end up unforgivably humdrum as La Veronica (2019) or Sissy (2022), directed by Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes.

Leading a two-faced life – one that of a yoga-inspired influencer and the other of a, well, regular, pizza-devouring individual – Cecilia exists in her own bubble. By sheer accident, she one day meets a friend from the past, who invites her to a bachelorette party. The ten-year gap since their last encounter provides plenty of memories-mining, however, the party-filled weekend turns dark when Cecilia realizes her childhood nemesis Alex is also attending the getaway. A series of smack-talks and denigrations that pile up cause Cecilia’s complete – and dangerous – meltdown.

At the center of Sissy (2022) stands a pretty unlikeable character that constantly fails to connect and elicit mercy of pity among the impartial witnesses of the mayhem. It’s one thing when slasher films settle on their typical survival-of-the-fittest trope and bless Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes for challenging that. Yet Cecilia’s redeeming traits are inexistent, a fact that causes the whole endeavor to feel rather pointless. While the protagonist’s actions are simply despicable, the victims seem to lack reasons to root for them. Horror fans also won’t find Sissy (2022) particularly scary, so… why bother?

Bitch Ass (2022) movie poster

Bitch Ass (2022)

Directed by: Bill Posley

Premiere: SXSW Film Festival 2022

Bitch Ass (2022) exists without a purpose or an audience that might appreciate its atrocious quality. This isn’t me carping – Bitch Ass (2022) fails every vibe check imaginable.

As it is announced in the prologue of the film, the titular Bitch Ass boasts quite a paramount career as a serial killer. He gets an opportunity to boost his numbers when a group of rookie gang members accidentally break into his house. Each of them gets to play one of his sadistic dead-or-alive games, but don’t get your hopes up – it’s neither as inventive nor gory as Jigsaw’s works.

Read the review of Bitch Ass (2022) here.

the whole cast of X (2022) directed by Ti West

X (2022)

Directed by: Ti West

Premiere: SXSW Film Festival 2022

A24’s dossier grows bigger in 2022, with solid genre features, such as Alex Garland’s Men (2022) and Robert Eggers’ Northman (2022). Yet the dark horse of this year’s race turns out to be Ti West’s X (2022).

The director’s throwback to the grindhouse era reverberated strongly among critics, reaching a whopping 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes at 194 reviews. Fans cheered too, for a few reasons. X (2022) combines the joy of a garage-quality adult movie in the making, ornamented with thick accents and lots of fake moaning, with a deliberately over-the-top slasher. Sounds as dumb as Hostel (2005), and yet the script employs the intellectually barren bunch in a way that makes them look improbably bond-able. The performances of Brittany Murphy as the Marilyn Monroesque type with a drop of the pin-up girl style, as well as the self-proclaimed macho producer played by Martin Henderson are simply brilliant.

That’s the bright side. On the other hand, the movie overpromises the genre-bending extravaganza, because the scares aren’t really deep-cut types, while the subliminal message concerning the everlasting beauty of being young leaves no space for interpretation other than the one intended by the director. West serves a well-seasoned steak, crispy on the outside and rare on the inside, but the whole dish still lacks the finesse that the raving reviews heralded.

Still from Netflix horror film Choose or Die (2022)

Choose or Die (2022)

Directed by: Toby Meakins

Premiere: Netflix

Unless you have watched every mediocre horror film on Netflix – that should constitute about 80% of the category by the way – there is very little reason to tune into Toby Meakins’ utterly dreadful Choose or Die (2022). For a film that makes an attempt at capturing the perils of technology going beyond its initial use, Choose or Die (2022) fails to establish any meaningful scare factor. The movie’s central terror’s derived from an obscure video game called Curs>r. The word terror might be an overstatement though, for most of the film’s scary moments are mildly entertaining for a horror greenhorn, let alone someone who watched a few decent genre titles.

Read the review of Choose or Die (2022).

Siiri Solalinna starring in Finnish fantasy horror movie Hatching (2022)

Hatching (2022)

Directed by: Hanna Bergholm

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival 2022

Here’s one delirious body horror to remember.

A film that follows a teenage gymnast who finds an egg in the forest, hatches it and experiences the most bonkers coming-of-age story. Tinja’s life is a living hell wrapped in the pastel colors of her house, and her blogging mother’s trumped-up videos that supposedly depict the life of an ordinary Finnish family.

If that wasn’t enough, Hatching (2022) is packed to the brim with allegories that stretch from living in a dysfunctional family which nurtures its pathological constructions neatly and carefully, to the very visceral representations of becoming a woman as seen through a hybrid of man and crow. Director Hanna Bergholm operates in a multitude of genres, skilfully shifting the mood from a touching drama to blood-soaked body horror. If you’re game for all things Cronenbergian, you’re gonna have a blast watching Hatching (2022).

Read our take on the symbolism of Hatching (2022).

Still from Men (2022) by Alex Garland

Men (2022)

Directed by: Alex Garland

Premiere: Cannes Film Festival

Alex Garland’s uncompromising third feature might as well be his most polarizing and – at least in my opinion – his career-best. Men (2022) finds a young recently-widowed woman Harper (Jessie Buckley) who rents a commodious manor in the English countryside. Leaving behind the traumatic marital memories isn’t a no-sweat task, but the retreat gets all the more heart-rending when Harper’s followed by a creepy exhibitionist after a stroll in the woods.

The strange man’s appearance marks the beginning of a series of disturbing events that push Harper to the edge of mental stability. Paradoxically, Men (2022) is both the least and the most “Garlandian” film in the director’s dossier. True to the genre of psychological horror, the movie captures trauma and grief as the source of evil and fright. Harper’s sense of security and comfort gets shattered into pieces as Alex Garland crafts more and more twisted and warped haunts that come to torment the woman. It’s a brilliant study of one’s challenging path to making peace with the past, as well as an awe-inspiring showcase of the Cronenbergian horrors that reside in Alex Garland’s imagination.

Read the analysis of Men (2022).

Still from Korean Horror Film Umma (2022)

Umma (2022)

Directed by: Iris K. Shim

Premiere: Regular distribution / streaming

The story follows a recluse single mother who raises her daughter out on a scenic ranch. Umma (2022) discusses an overprotective relationship, where the motherly traumas are projected on the girl, fueling the parental torment that’s transferred to the next generation.

Although anchored by a dedicated performance from Sandra Oh, Umma (2022) would wind up more crystallized and consistent if the horror aspect relied less on predictable jump scares. Sadly, Iris K. Shim finds it hard to glue the genres together. Neither frightening, nor complex enough to deliver a full-fledged character study, Umma (2022) dissolves in one’s memory.

Samir Smallwood starring in Rounding (2022)

Rounding (2022)

Directed by: Alex Thompson

Premiere: Tribeca Film Festival

Returning after a memorable debut Saint Frances (2019), director Alex Thompson ventured into a mixbag of horror and character study in Rounding (2022). Hardly ever does the film catch a rhythm that breaks through the noise of the “too many ideas in the pot” problem.

The plot follows a medical resident who transfers to a rural facility after a nervous breakdown. The man lives in the progressing state of prostration, while a chance for healing is sought in the treatment of a young asthma patient. Despite his Samaritanian intentions, the resident spirals into a self-destructive maze where his dedication grows into a full-on investigation.

Thompson manufactures a collage of hard-to-follow scenes, that lack an orderly pattern to leave a lasting impression. Even though Rounding (2022) has a few cool things going on, this whole exercise wraps up too abruptly, without the patience to build anticipation.

Read the review of Rounding (2022).

A WOunded Fawn (2022) Tribeca Horror Movie Still

A Wounded Fawn (2022)

Directed by: Travis Stevens

Premiere: Tribeca Film Festival

A Wounded Fawn (2022), directed by Travis Stevens, tells the emancipated tale of revenge that oozes a mysterious aura of surreal horror.

A tightly-packed festivity of creative force – despite the limited budget at hand – manages to scare and entertain in equal measures. The plot’s resemblance to Fresh (2022) is uncanny because A Wounded Fawn (2022) also follows an unsuspecting woman lured into a deadly trap by a charming serial killer. Alas, the narrative proceedings are predictable, Travis Stevens excels in the art of practical effects and surreal imagery that create quite the nightmare.

Even when the story draws near to unnecessary contrivances – like the convenient moment when the victim realizes something’s fishy going on – A Wounded Fawn (2022) never derails thanks to the joint effort of Sarah Lind and Josh Ruben. The two actors share intricate chemistry, and it’s the final payoff that turns Stevens’ movie into a cult horror classic.

Here’s the review of A Wounded Fawn (2022).

What were your favorite horrors in 2022? Blast off in the comments.

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