The best horror movies of 2022 so far have been a truly terrifying treat. After a sluggish 2021, the genre has fittingly returned with a vengeance in 2022.
The year kicked off with the brilliant return of Scream after an 11 year absence and things have only got better since then. We’ve had dark comedy horror, found footage nightmares, trips to the countryside that just don’t go as planned, and horror heavy hitter directors like Ti West and Scott Derrickson have come back to the genre with fresh meat.
And it’s not over yet, Jordan Peele’s Nope is still to arrive in the UK and a new Predator movie, Prey, hits Disney+ on August 5th. Don’t worry though, you’ve still got time to catch up. Feeling brave? Here are the best horror movies of 2022 so far. You’ll find them lurking on a streaming service near you.
Where to stream: VoD
Officially, this is Scream 5 but when it comes to meta-obsessed requels in 2022, who’s even counting anymore? Numbers clearly aren’t fashionable but regardless, this year’s Scream is a smart return to the referential delights of Ghostface outings of yore. This is all down to team Radio Silence, the collective talents of writer and directors Tyler Gillett, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Chad Villella who worked on Ready or Not together and understand exactly what made the originals work so well.
A fresh cast of unwitting Gen X lambs to the slaughter combine perfectly with the old guard as Sidney, Gale, and Dewey return to Woodsboro to hunt down the masked killer. Tense, hilariously knowing, and surprisingly gory, Scream earns the sequel that’s coming in 2023.
where to stream: VoD
X is House of the Devil and Innkeepers writer and director Ti West’s return to horror and was absolutely worth the wait. Sweatily Texas Chainsaw Massacre-influenced, X takes us into the rural wilderness with a group of young filmmakers who want to find somewhere quiet to shoot their porn movie. The response of the local elderly couple…? Well, it’s not altogether welcoming.
With Mia Goth in a frankly astonishing double role and pointed themes around the relentless cruelty of age, X is much more than just mindless murder. There’s even a prequel coming soon that was shot at the same time.
where to stream: Disney+ (UK), Hulu (US)
To say too much about Fresh is to ruin the fun of this razor sharp dating satire but just know that one of the best horror movies of the year is sitting happily on Disney+ and Hulu.
This definitely isn’t one to watch with dinner, or on a train where fellow passengers can rubberneck, but if you’re a fan of twisted and dark comedy, the trials and tribulations of Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) as she thinks she’s finally found the perfect man is a delicious treat. Plus, the assured confidence of Fresh means that debut director Mimi Cave is absolutely one to watch in the future.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Where to stream: Netflix
Go into this sequel knowing that it’s impossible for a film to be as excruciatingly terrifying as the original and you’ll have a perfectly good gory time. The youth journeying into the Texas wilderness premise has been updated with Gen X gentrification as a group of well-meaning individuals arrive in a ghost town to build a brunch utopia.
It’s no surprise to say that their activities drag Leatherface out of retirement and original Final Girl Sally Hardesty rocks up to finally settle the books. There are plenty of nods and winks to the original with some knowing camera angles and references as well as a ludicrous body count and a particularly vindictive tone. A solid three star horror, perfect for a Friday night with friends.
where to stream: VoD
If you’ve checked out our best shudder movies, you’ll probably be aware of Zoom-based horror Host. If you haven’t seen it – and you should change that – it’s officially considered the scariest film ever according to science and Dashcam is what the same filmmakers did next.
You won’t find the same level of scares here but following a repellent online streamer on the worst night of her life amidst the Covid pandemic is an unhinged journey of relentless found footage horror. Ludicrous and darkly and gorily hilarious, this is a surreal nightmare from start to finish. Watch on a laptop for peak reality melting.
Where to stream: Netflix
And if you want to stay in the found footage genre, don’t miss this Taiwanese horror on Netflix. When a young woman is reunited with her daughter after years apart, she documents the beginning of their new life.
It just so happens that the reason they were separated to begin with was a horrific curse…. Truthfully, Incantation is a little too long at one hour 50, but there’s some really good frights and tension in here and inventive use of handheld footage. Add in some creepy imagery and genuine heart in mouth moments and this is absolutely worth your time.
The Black Phone
where to stream: Coming soon to VoD
If you took a look at the other entries in the science-based scare chart linked above, you might have noticed Sinister sitting at number two. This means that the expectations lurking around director Scott Derrickson’s latest horror, The Black Phone, were high.
It doesn’t quite hit the monumental scares of Sinister but this adaptation of a Joe Hill short story is an atmospheric ’70s period piece as the children of a neighborhood fall prey to the masked Grabber. With great performances from the kids – especially Madeleine McGraw – and Ethan Hawke on scenery chewing psychopath duties, it’s an entertaining chiller with some fun scares. It might tie up a little too neatly for some but stands as a solid addition to the 2022 horror lineup.
Where to stream: Shudder
Straight off, we can’t stress enough that Mad God is not a Friday night with friends horror movie. Go back to Texas Chainsaw. If you try this one, they might not be your friends by the end of this 85 minute sensory overload of grim. Stop motion superstar Phil Tippett has worked on effects for movies like Star Wars and Jurassic Park but this stop motion literal trip to hell is his own work and has a firm adults only rating.
20 years in the making, this is a surreal but searing horror. As a man descends into the abyss, he meets creatures so diabolical that there are scenes in Mad God that almost defy description. Every frame burns with originality and vulgarity as a world of unimaginable horrors make themselves known. mad god is a masterpiece. Just not as you know it…
where to stream: shudder
If you’re looking for something with a somewhat slower pace and more angsty teenage emotions, you don’t want to miss the latest movie from The Adams Family. No, not that one. Note the missing extra ‘d.’ In Hellbender IRL mother and daughter Zelda Adams and Toby Poser portray a significantly more supernatural version of their real life relationship.
Even though these two witches in a remote woodland cabin have their own metal band, young Izzy (Poser) grows restless with their isolation and awakens a dark force that’s lurking in her body. This is a fascinating and unnerving horror that just oozes atmosphere.