Best Horror Movies of 2022, So Far – MovieWeb

Get ready for the Halloween season by watching one of these terrifying horror films released in 2022, as it is never a bad time for a good scare.
Summer is over, and with pumpkin spice back and Halloween decorations replacing back-to-school supplies in stores, it is safe to say the spooky season has officially begun. While October is traditionally associated with horror movies, all throughout 2022 there have been a string of successful horror movies to entertain and scare audiences available in theaters and streaming exclusives. These films have shown human horrors, iconic slashers, and alien threats from beyond the stars.
While the big horror event of 2022 is Halloween Ends, set for theatrical and streaming release in October 2022, there has certainly been no shortage of great horror entries that might even stand above the final showdown between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode by year's end. As it will soon be time to look for something to watch to get into the Halloween spirit, here are the best horror movies from 2022 so far.
The prequel to the 2009 surprise hit Orphan, Orphan: First Kill seems like an impossible task. Not only is Isabelle Fuhrman reprising her role now being 25 and needing to look younger than she did in 2009, but also the initial twist of the first film is known going in, so how can a new film be exciting? Luckily Orphan: First Kill manages to solve both problems, solving the first issue by using clever film techniques to make Fuhrman look younger with no CGI de-aging used.
The movie also uses the audience's knowledge of the first film twist to lull the audience into thinking they know how this will play out, before swerving with another twist on top of this origin capturing the spirit of the original film. Orphan: First Kill received positive reviews from critics, and took Paramount by surprise as, while it was originally set to release on Paramount+ exclusively, they underestimated the love the first film had grown over the years and the film was performing well in the limited release it began to expand out more in following weeks.
Released by A24, X follows the cast and crew of an adult movie in 1979 who are filming on an elderly couple's rural Texas property, and eventually find themselves picked off one by one. X in many ways was the perfect antidote for the disappointing Netflix sequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre which was released two months prior to X. Ti West's film captures the tone and spirit of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, a grimy, dirty looking slasher film that concerns a group of young people being killed by a group of older individuals in the Texas summer.
X was a success of sorts, earning $14 million against a $1 million budget and earned rave reviews from critics. While filming X, director Ti West and star Mia Goth filmed a prequel titled Pearl which is set for release on September 16, 2022, making for a great double feature for audiences this Halloween season.
2022 has earned Jenna Ortega the title of modern Scream Queen, with the back-to-back releases of X and Scream. Released 26 years after the original and 11 years since Scream 4, Scream marks a return for the franchise and riffs on the recent array of legacy sequels that have become popular in Hollywood. With an emphasis on a new cast of characters, for the first time since Scream 2, the returning characters of Sidney Prescott, Dewey Riley, and Gale Weathers all seem in danger. The movie also tackles dark themes of toxic fan culture, building off the themes of the previous four entries in the franchise.
Related: Scream 5 Cast: Character Guide and Who Returns in Scream 6Scream was a box office hit when it was unclear if Spider-Man: No Way Home was a fluke for the post-pandemic box office, and proved audiences were looking to return to the movies. Scream also was the first in a long line of successful Paramount Pictures releases that put the studio back on track. Scream 6 has recently wrapped filming and is set for release on March 31, 2023.
The Black Phone was Scott Derrickson's film following up his departure from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The movie is an adaptation of the short story of the same name from author Joe Hill, the son of legendary horror author Stephen King. Fittingly, The Black Phone feels very much in the spirit of many classic Stephen King adaptations like Carrie, It, and Salem's Lot.
Related: The Black Phone Review: Coming-of-Age Gets Scary in a Great, Violent Thriller
The film follows a young boy in the 1970s who has been abducted by a masked villain known as the Grabber who holds boys captives and psychologically tortures them before murdering them. While The Black Phone might lack jump scares, it makes up for it in an early atmosphere and an unsettlingly terrifying performance by Ethan Hawke.
Bodies Bodies Bodies was another A24 horror film and a late summer surprise. The movie centers on a group of young 20-year-olds who gather at a mansion to wait out a hurricane, and when they decide to play a party game things go bad as deep-seated resentment rises to the surface and one of them turns up dead.
Led by an incredible cast that includes Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha'la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson, Bodies Bodies Bodies is a great satire both about and for Gen Z, while also making for a captivating mystery with enough turns to leave the audience guessing till the very end.
The latest entry in the Predator franchise, Prey has been a big shot in the arm the series needed. The original Predator was an action-horror movie hybrid, and later entries in the franchises tend to up the action but Prey steers more into the horror genre focusing on a Comanche warrior in 1719 encountering a Predator. The film highlights both the horror of the alien threat with also the human threat of colonist fur traders.
Related: Prey: How the Movie Would Have Performed at the Box Office With a Theatrical Release
The great open landscape makes for both beautiful images but also a feeling of isolation, highlighting the horrors beyond the vast unknown. For those who wish the Predator franchise was a little scarier, Prey is the perfect entry in the franchise.
While most people associate horror movies with low budgets, Jordan Peele's latest film Nope harkens back to the grand horror epic. While most people associate the summer blockbuster with films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was in fact the horror film Jaws that truly launched the blockbuster era. Nope has many similarities to Jaws, flipping a man-eating shark in the water with a predator of the sky from another world. Nope is a horror film on a massive epic scale.
Nope is also a commentary of the notion of spectacle, needing to capture it at any cost be it tabloid culture, filming viral videos no matter the cost or the people's space one intrudes on, or even blockbuster movie making needing to always go bigger to impress audiences. Nope is a film Jordan Peele had been building up to, and just like Get Out and Us, Nope just gets better the more times one watches it.
Richard Fink is a writer who graduated from Arizona State University in 2016 with a degree in Film and Media Production. He loves the finer things in life, like cold Diet Coke on a hot summer day. Richard is a fan of all things Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and Film History.


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