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Joseph’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2022


This year had no shortage of incredible fright-fare films, and whittling down my “best of 2022” list to 10 from 20 strong candidates was a difficult task — one so daunting that I had to have two ties, as leaving any of the following features off of my list would have been a travesty. Here is what I ultimately came up with. 

(1) Evil Eye 

★★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Rich in atmosphere, visually stunning, and loaded with fine performances and terrific set design, Mexican chiller Evil Eye — from one of my favorite directors, Isaac Ezban — is a dark fairy tale/folk horror feature about a teen girl’s suspicions that her grandmother may be a witch. It is masterfully crafted and wondrous to behold

ATMOSfx! Woo!

(2) Skinamarink 

★★★★★ out of ★★★★★

From my Fantasia review: “Writer/director Kyle Edward Ball’s Canadian feature Skinamarink is an incredible, unique, artistic slice of cinematic horror that is an absolutely hypnotic, eerie watch. It’s the type of film that glues viewers to the screen, and it does so for two main reasons: You never know quite what might happen next, and you might miss some detail because the proceedings are seemingly just out of view in multiple ways. The film taps into childhood fears and the primal fear of the dark that will make different viewers shudder for different reasons.” 

(3) Speak No Evil

★★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Director Christian Tafdrup’s Speak No Evil (Gæsterne; Denmark/Netherlands) may be the feel-bad movie of 2022, in a year with several strong contenders. The film examines social niceties while experimenting with the ideas of what horror is before delivering an absolutely harrowing third act that could well leave you speechless.

(4) The Innocents

★★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Go into this one cold, just knowing that it is a “creepy kids” chiller in ways you probably don’t expect when you think of that subgenre. The incredible performances by The Innocents’ four young stars is reason enough to watch the film, but there are so many others, too. 

(5) Hatching 

★★★★★ out of ★★★★★

This wicked, warped take on modern family drama and social media influencers boasts pitch-perfect performances, amazing creature and body horror effects, and no small amount of creepiness. The Finnish/Swedish coproduction is the sort of film that viewers need to go into as cold as possible; just know that it involves a young gymnast trying to please her vlogging mother, who wants to keep up the online idea of having the ideal family. 

(6a) Mandrake

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

This Irish chiller sees a parole officer taking charge of a case nobody else wants to touch: a woman just released from prison who the townsfolk believe to be a witch. When two children go missing soon after her release . . . well, that would be telling. From my review: “[Mandrake] is loaded with tension and shocking surprises, and [director Lynne] Davison wrings every possible bit of suspense from it, giving the film a brooding, dread-filled atmosphere.”

(6b) Fresh 

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

You’ll come for the razor-sharp social satire on current sexual politics in the world of online dating and beyond, but you’ll stay for the cringe-inducing weirdness and dead-serious horror in this tale of a date gone horribly wrong. Or it may be the other way around for you. In either case, Fresh is a winner.

(7) Bunker 

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Aficionados of the classic The Twilight Zone TV series will not want to miss Bunker, which is a tale about a group of World War I American and British soldiers trapped with a German soldier in an abandoned German bunker after a bomb blocks their exit. Filled with paranoia, cosmic horror, and jaw-dropping revelations, this independent chiller serves up some fine performances, too. Bunker is another film that viewers need to go into as cold as they can.

(8) Everyone Will Burn 

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

This Spanish fear fest has it all: Superb visuals, top-notch performances, and mind-melting set pieces. Fans of Eurohorror and supernatural horror will want to put this film — the story of a woman and a young girl who stops her from committing suicide taking on a town full of hateful people fearing an apocalypse — on their must-see lists.

(9) Barbarian 

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

I knew nothing about this film going in other than it involves a property rental gone horribly wrong, and neither should you. Avoid spoilers of any kind and go along for the mind-blowing ride. 

(10a) A Wounded Fawn 

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

From the world of high-end art to at least one of the levels of Hell, this outing plumbs the depths of a serial killer’s mind, using concepts from Greek mythology in its creepy take on supernatural and psychological horror.

(10b) The Black Phone 

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

The Black Phone masterfully combines the real-world horror of child kidnapping and murder with supernatural elements. The tension is palpable and the film is rich with superb performances.

Honorable mentions, in no certain order:

Something in the Dirt 

Resurrection 

The Civil Dead

The Cursed

Legions

Watcher

Inang/The Womb

Sisu

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