There are many reasons why 2022 was a great year for horror movies. From the recent twisted, character study that was Pearl, to the ambiguous fright-fest that was Barbarian. Fans of more sinister, psychological horror, got the horrifically messed up Speak No Evil as well as the seriously creepy Watcher. 2022 also saw Alex Garland’s first proper feature-length foray into the horror genre as a director with the deeply metaphorical freak show that was Men.
As great as all of those experiences were, we feel that there were five particular moments in which horror really made a splash in 2022. These are the 5 reasons why 2022 was a great year for horror movies.
‘Scream 5’ Being Surprisingly Brilliant
Following Scream 3 and 4 being significantly worse than the first two and a fairly lacklustre, by-the-numbers trailer for Scream 5, it came as quite a shock to fans of the classic horror franchise that the fifth entry was actually really good. Whilst the best film in the series is still the first entry, Scream 5 proved to be a competent successor to the early days of the franchise and one of the reasons why 2022 was great year for horror movies.
‘X’ Subverting the Expectations of Horror Exploitation
SPOILERS FOR X WILL FOLLOW BELOW THIS IMAGE
X came out early in the year and was a phenomenal example of taking heavy inspiration from other classic horror films and using that inspiration to create something unique. Writer/director Ti West was clearly influenced by heavyweights of the genre such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho, however, he uses these influences to subvert audience expectations.
Also read: How X Perfects The 70s Slasher
Unlike other popular films from the horror genre, the overtly sexual character of Max ends up being the ‘final girl,’ who ends up killing the villain and escaping with her life and the two characters never seen having sex are the first two to be killed. Mia Goth is absolutely fantastic in the dual role of Max and Pearl and carries the movie past being an exploitative slasher movie to something deeper and more significant, causing the audience to question their own mortality and virility.
Nope Being Jordan Peele’s Return to Form
Before I get into this one, let me begin with a quick disclaimer; I really liked Us. I feel that if Us had been Peele’s first horror movie or had come from another director, it would have received a far better critical reception than the one that it got. With that said, it is impossible to deny that Get Out was a hard act to follow and is a superior film to Us in almost every way.
Thus, Nope was arguably a make-or-break movie for Peele as a horror director; was Get Out just a fluke, the quality of which could never be repeated? Thankfully this was not the case as Nope managed to scare, entertain and engage its audience in the same way that Get Out did. It blended classic suspense techniques seen in Jaws with the freaky sci-fi horror of Signs creating another one of the major reasons why 2022 was a great year for horror movies.
‘The Black Phone’ Showing That Stephen King’s Son Can Write Books Which Make for Great Movie Adaptions Too
The pedigree of talent which went into The Black Phone was off the charts. You had veteran of the genre, Scott Derrickson directing a screenplay based on Joe Hill’s short story, starring one of the greatest actors working today in Ethan Hawke. Luckily, this talent was able to come together and create something special.
Although The Black Phone wasn’t a perfect movie and it was an adaption of a short story, it still managed to feel like something mostly unique and it is also another one of the major reasons why 2022 was a great year for horror movies.
‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ Capturing the Over-dramatic Nature of Millennials
SPOILERS FOR BODIES BODIES BODIES WILL FOLLOW BELOW THIS IMAGE
Up until the very end of Bodies Bodies Bodies, I wasn’t overly impressed with it if I’m being honest. All of the characters were insufferable, so I was never rooting for any of them to make it out alive. The movie also never seemed to lean into the goofy side of horror as much as the film’s trailer did due to clever editing.
Up until the very end of the movie that is, when you realize that there has never been a killer amongst the group until they all turned on one another at the drop of a hat.
However, this shallow, vapid, fickle group never even considered that and immediately jumped to the conclusion that there was someone out to get them. This made for an interesting commentary on the millennial generation, (which I am part of), and mostly made up for a disappointing horror movie from A24.
And there you have it, 5 reasons why 2022 was a great year for horror movies. What do you make of our list? Are there any other examples which we should have included such as Smile or The Invitation? Let us know in the comments section below.