After a great year for horror cinema in 2021, 2022 proved to be a good year for horror enthusiasts. Most of the horror movies released this year, which are on my list, are truly terrifying. After years dominated by action and drama mixed with horror, 2022 shows that the horror genre is returning to its old atmosphere.
Not only as a horror film, but also in a general sense, The Menu is one of the most successful works of the year, unfortunately not receiving the recognition it deserves. Starring names like Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, and Ralph Fiennes, the film takes place on an island and narrates the strange events that happen to a group of people attending a special dinner. With its story and editing standing out, the film maintains its excitement until the very end, making it a delightful experience.
Full Review: The Menu – Film Review
Originally produced in 2020, Post Mortem traveled through numerous festivals throughout the year before being released in its home country of Hungary in 2021. However, it gained international recognition in 2022. Post Mortem can be considered one of the most successful horror films made in recent years. What sets it apart from other examples is its bold style and the constant presence of horror, whether it’s day or night, in crowded or deserted places. A non-stop roller coaster ride from start to finish, Post Mortem will leave viewers mesmerized.
Full Review: Post Mortem – Film Review
You Won’t Be Alone
Witches are one of the most popular elements in the horror genre. However, many films portray this iconic character in the same way. You Won’t Be Alone is a horror film with a strong dramatic element, revolving around a witch with the power to possess different bodies. She sequentially tries out being a woman, a man, a child, and even animals, attempting to understand what each one feels. Although the film lacks a strong sense of fear, I believe its story makes it worth watching.
Watcher, starring Maika Monroe, tells the story of a woman who is disturbed by a man in their new apartment. Julia, becoming panicked as she sees the increasing number of women’s murders in the news, starts to frighten herself, mistaking the mysterious man who constantly watches her from the opposite apartment and roams around her building as a killer. Is this mysterious man truly a killer, or is Julia under the influence of what she has read?
Speak No Evil
Joining the list from Denmark, Speak No Evil focuses on the strange events that occur in the house of a couple visited by a family with children. The family, disturbed by the odd behavior of the couple they visit, wants to end their visit early, but it won’t be that easy. The film, using the alleged insincere positivity of some Northern Europeans as a weapon, emphasizes that excessive kindness can be exploited by those with ill intentions and that well-intentioned people may not have the ability to recognize it.
Don’t Worry Darling
Despite having some prejudice while watching Don’t Worry Darling, which managed to create a sensation even before its release with its production process and on-set events, I must say that it is one of the most beautiful works of the year, even with Harry Styles. The film, adorned with Olivia Wilde’s surprisingly excellent directing, creates a psychological thriller by using women trapped in the 1960s as a source of fear. Of course, one of the secrets of the film’s success lies in having a wonderful actress in the lead role: Florence Pugh.
Full Review: Don’t Worry Darling – Film Review
When I wrote about The Last Matinee, a Uruguayan production, last year, I said that horror cinema is trying to return to its 80s spirit. Terrifier 2 is an exquisite B-grade horror film that perfectly embodies this spirit. I hope to see more directors like Damien Leone and an increase in films with this mindset. At the same time, we need more stars like Lauren LaVera. Sequels usually fall short compared to the original films, but Terrifier 2 is definitely a blood feast.
One of the best things about 2022 is that it has proven something to us: the audience no longer wants the excessively stretched-out sequels of classic horror series or the cliché films with huge budgets. The audience wants films that invest in their script and performances, such as Terrifier, Smile, and Barbarian. The film focuses on the door found in the basement of a woman who rents out her place on Airbnb and successfully keeps us engaged throughout the entire film with its creatively terrifying elements behind that door. What’s even better is that they have now mastered the art of frightening the audience as well.
Smile is likely the biggest winner of the year. Despite its low budget, the film achieved massive box office success and garnered interesting advertising campaigns for a long time. We started seeing people laughing hysterically in basketball games, football matches, and shopping malls. I find these kinds of marketing efforts successful, and their effectiveness is evident. Smile, which can be called the 2022 version of It Follows, tells the relentless struggle of a woman trying to escape an interesting entity that kills its victims by making them laugh to death within a week. The film, featuring Sosie Bacon’s brilliant performance, has also opened the door for possible sequels.
Unfortunately, the remakes of classic horror films like Halloween, Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Freddy, and many others have ended up being major failures. I don’t think any of them, except for Halloween, managed to make an impact at the box office. They all felt like forced releases. However, Hellraiser may be the first decent adaptation I have seen in a long time. It is clear that David Bruckner and Hulu have put effort into exploring the concept and attempting to create a good remake. Of course, it can never surpass the original, but it is still a horror film worth watching in 2022.
Full Review: Hellraiser – Film Review
An interesting alien story with Maika Monroe in the lead role. The film portrays the strange events that happen to a girl while camping in the forest with her boyfriend, and it truly manages to deceive us with its twist in the middle of the film. The adventure, which also includes elements of comedy, maintains its excitement until the very end. The radical decision at the end also possibly paves the way for a potential sequel.
The last time we watched a werewolf film was in 2020 with The Wolf of Snow Hollow. The Cursed returns to the classic werewolf theme, but adds a curse that lingers from the past and unleashes it upon us. I generally don’t enjoy slow-paced films, but The Cursed managed to capture my interest. While it resorts to clichés in a few places, the film keeps you engaged with curiosity from beginning to end.
Five strangers seek refuge in a rest stop after an incessant snowfall that seems to halt everything. Among them, one has committed a shameful crime, but no one knows about it. However, there is someone suspicious. Is this person truly guilty, or are they an innocent citizen? No Exit, which takes place in a single location, is a highly successful film that explores how far people can turn into monsters in order to save themselves. It is one of the surprises of the year, in my opinion.
The Sadness enters our list from Korea. Set in a pandemic where people transform into savage creatures due to their sadness, the film pushes the boundaries of brutality and is one of the bloodiest films in recent years. It stands out as one of the most captivating zombie films in terms of horror and suspense, depicting how those infected with the disease strive to fulfill their most perverse desires.