So long, 2022 – you dirty rotten egg! Oh, but wait! 2022 wasn’t all bad. Yeah, we still had the Covid around – and Trump still exists – and Bob Saget died…….but in my opinion, it was a great year for horror movies! Here’s my Top 3, followed by my ‘honorable mentions’:
3. Terrifer 2
Oh, Art The Clown…..your zaniness is extremely violent and charming all at the same time. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting to have this one in my Top 3. I liked Terrifier for what it was, and the runtime for Terrifier 2 scared me (138 minutes). But alas, this sequel was quite the sequel beast and surpassed it’s predecessor in every way possible. Let’s start with David Howard Thornton though and his ridiculous skill of making Art so much more than just another ‘killer clown‘ in a horror movie. The Halloween shop scene alone is enough to recommend the movie (sunflower sunglasses for everyone!), or the hilariously overlong death of Allie, or the mashed potatoes scene, or the…..well you get the point. Me and the ghoulfriend had a blast with Terrifier 2 seeing it on the big screen, and isn’t that what the magic of movies is all about?
2. X / Pearl
Finally, Ti West is getting the recognition and praise that he deserves! Been a fan for a minute now (The House of the Devil is still in my rotation), so it’s lovely to see him get some due credit with not one, but two movies this year! First up was X, which I honestly enjoyed because it reminded me of something I would rent from my local video store in the 90’s. And Mia Goth toting duel roles (Maxine AND Pearl) only made it more fun. Did someone say Mia Goth? Because in West’s second movie in this trilogy (Maxxxine is coming – teehee – next year) Pearl, Goth goes above and beyond what anyone would expect in a horror movie. And give the girl an Oscar nom for it already! Pearl to me edged out X overall (again, it was Goth’s performance) but both are worthy of being near the top of my 2022 list.
I bet you’ll never look at a baby bottle the same again after seeing Barbarian. But here we are – my favorite horror movie of the year! I eluded to it earlier, the magic of movies, and this one fits snug as a bug in that category. First off, genius move by writer/director Zach Cregger to go the route of not giving away too much in the trailer (or really anything at all), because it really made my initial viewing of Barbarian that much more special. The first half is tense, unnerving, and it ends with a glorious crescendo……before coming to a screeching halt and allowing the audience to catch their breath……and then ramping it up to full blown icky zaniness for the rest of the movie. Barbarian knows what kind of movie it is – and it knows the kind of horror movies that it’s paying homage to. It does it so freakin’ well, that you really just have to step back and admire it. And please, no sequels. Just let it breathe and live on.
Smile: I liked this way more than I thought I would, but probably would have liked it even more if they didn’t show so much in the damn trailer! (take notes from Barbarian)
Fresh: Since I haven’t seen Bones And All yet, this will be my ‘cannibal’ movie that makes the list. I dug the dark comedy in it, but did wince like a child during the ‘pasta scene’.
The Black Phone: I realllllly wanted to like this more than I did, but as it stands it’s a really fun (albeit somewhat sad) flick that just needed more of Ethan Hawke’s character. Perhaps we’ll get a standalone movie for The Grabber at some point.
Nope: A horror movie? Maybe not entirely, but while some hated this…..I actually enjoyed Jordan Peele’s third offering. It could have been bigger and badder, but I had fun with it – especially on my second viewing when I knew where my expectations were.
Orphan First Kill: I’m putting this on here only because I was pretty much blindsided by the twist in this prequel, and just for that alone it deserves a little praise.
The Sadness: Technically released in 2021, but for the US in 2022 on Shudder – this one was a doozy. The crazy thing is that it could have gone even further. Kudos to the makeup effects in this one, and for eye sockets becoming orifices.
And now……THE WORST:
Firestarter: Not that I hold the original 1984 movie in that high of regard, but jesus this remake was terrible. Not even Zac Efron could save it! And we all love Zac Efron!! But seriously, this movie stinks. Firestarter….more like Firefarter, am I right? Ok, I’m done.
Terror Train / Terror Train 2: What’s that? Oh, you didn’t know that there was a remake of Terror Train out? Oh, and you didn’t know that there is also a sequel to that remake? Well, I’ll save you some time. They’re both shit. And can we please stop with the ridiculous CGI blood? Just use ketchup packets for God’s sake like Lloyd did in Dumb & Dumber.
Halloween Ends: Ohhhhh…..you didn’t think you were getting away, did you? Before I begin my rant, if anyone has this on their ‘Best of 2022‘ list, then please never speak to me again. Or if I don’t know you, please never speak to anyone else again. This movie. I really wish I could have been in the writer’s room when they pitched the idea of NOT having Michael Myers be seen much, let alone do the majority of the killings. I kind of have no words. But here are a few more. Don’t give me that whole “But Jamie Lee Curtis is in it!” crap either. Go watch her in Everything Everywhere All At Once instead, you dummies. Please just let this franchise die. I beg you. This franchise dies tonight! It’s funny because I used a line from the also terrible Halloween Kills movie.
Onward and upward to 2023! See you freaks there.