The Scariest Things Podcast Episode 159: The Top 10 Horror Films of 2022

ATMOSfx! Woo!

What a year for Horror! We admittedly have had a minor lull in both the quantity and quality of films due to the influence of the Great and Awful Pandemic. But now, like a weary champion prize fighter, the industry has gotten off the mat and is throwing haymakers again, feeling as robust and ferocious as ever.

That’s not to say there haven’t been good films in 2020 and 2021, there just weren’t as many, and not as many truly original films. In 2021, we had a consensus winner, The Feast, that was a head and shoulders above the competition, in our minds. But really, it also indicated that the competition wasn’t yet fully engaged.

This year, by stark contrast, each of the Scariest Things critics had a different #1 film. And, that’s not to say there wasn’t some agreement amongst the team, but each of us was able to find something that we found super compelling. We have a few consensus films. Ones that most of us really liked. Joseph, as usual, has been our stalwart independent film chaperone. It seems as if there isn’t a single horror film festival who he doesn’t have contacts or has been a reviewer for. But… he doesn’t have access to the major studio release films, and so his list tends to skew heavily to the indies.

This was a very good year for the big studios. Smile was a surprisingly big hit for Paramount, attracting audiences largely through word of mouth (pun intended) and a snappy media campaign. A24 found great success with X, this year, to go along with the non-horror smash Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Menu, Fall, The Black Phone, Barbarian, Violent Night, and Nope all impressed us with their originality and impact.

Interestingly, some of the most anticipated movies failed to make a big dent, and have to be considered duds. Scream, Morbius, and Halloween Ends all fell flat and failed to live up to the expectations. It was pretty damning that even a die-hard Halloween apologist like Mike Campbell was disappointed with the largely Michael-less Halloween Ends. If you want to know how to do a proper reboot? Ask Hulu! Both Hellraiser and particularly Prey managed to breathe new life into floundering franchises.

If Marvel decides to dip their toes into the horror genre, it would be wise for them to follow the path that Werewolf by Night showed, rather than the dreary and uninspiring Morbius produced. Let the monsters be monsters, and the heroism comes from the strength of the character not a forced plot move.

If you want to see the individual critic lists, we have been posting them to the site for your review and recommendations. It was a year when cinemas seem to be back at full stride, and the audiences are coming back. It’s sure good to be able to be back in a packed house of horror fans!

Thank you to all of our loyal listeners for a fantastic year. Episode 159 is EXTRA LONG, because we had to cover potentially 50 movies instead of our usual 9 films… so we went to overtime for this one. Enjoy the recap, and we’ll see you on the other side of the New Year!

Yes, we are making a Top 10 list, but just to show you how many good horror movies were out there, here is the collection of the five Scariest Critic lists:

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