Movies

Scare Yourself Silly With the Top 7 Horror Movies of 2022

Scare Yourself Silly With the Top 7 Horror Movies of 2022
Image credit: Legion-Media

Don't say we didn't warn you: the top horror movies of 2022 will haunt your nightmares.

Barbarian

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A woman goes to a small town for a job interview and rents a house to stay overnight. It turns out the house has been double-booked, and a young man has already moved in. The male guest doesn't pose a threat: there are more dreadful things to be afraid of in the house.

Barbarian is one of the most uncomfortable and ghastly horror movies recently released. Like Men, It (2014), and The Babadook, the film by Zach Cregger looks at the nature of human fear and how psychological trauma can ruin a person's life — in particular, it serves as a peculiar parable about what a messiah complex can lead to if you don't get proper therapy for it. The claustrophobic story will appeal to all those viewers who feel apprehensive about Airbnb rentals. Another reason to watch Barbarian is to enjoy the performance by charming Bill Skarsgård, who plays the other guest at the accommodation.

Pearl

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In 1918, a young woman named Pearl lives on a farm with her parents, waiting for her husband to come back from the front. Unfulfilled dreams of a glamorous life awaken the uncontrollable cruelty in Pearl — so now, she sets out to take revenge on everyone she hates.

Pearl is a prequel to Ti West's retro slasher X, set in the free-spirited 1970s, which captivated viewers with the old-school aesthetics and elegant references to Boogie Nights. The prequel is no less spectacular than X and tells the backstory of the farm owner played by Mia Goth (in the original movie, she portrays both aging Pearl and her younger "replacement" Maxine). Pearl is a heart-wrenching story of the failed actress living in isolation with her family who doesn't like or support her — and her attempt to escape the drudgery and despair, which leads to bloody consequences. The character has been dubbed the female (and more violent) version of the Joker. In terms of its style, Ti West's movie is both a vintage slasher and an original reimagining of The Wizard of Oz with numerous references to Psycho. It's one of the year's best horror films that's sure to surprise you.

Smile

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Psychiatrist Dr Rose Cotter is haunted by a demon she has "contracted" from one of her patients — a smiling monster who forces people to kill themselves. Now, Rose must confront her troubling past to get rid of the curse.

Smile is the debut work of director Parker Finn and one of the highest-grossing horror films of 2022. Sometimes likened to Mirror and The Ring, this film is extremely edgy and creepy, with some of the scenes you'd want to forget as soon as you see them. Despite the abundance of jump scare moments and graphic content, Smile delivers an important message that we need to take care of our mental health and support our loved ones when they are going through hard times. Smile's unsettling, almost unbearable, atmosphere and a dark detective line will keep you enthralled until the very last scene — if you dare watch it till the end.

Watcher

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Aspiring actress Julia moves with her husband to Bucharest, where she finds she is being stalked by a stranger. No one believes Julia, thinking that the actress' imagination is playing tricks on her, but the woman only gets more fearful.

The Sundance horror movie explores the theme of stalking as one of women's greatest fears. Chloe Okuno's Watcher is a paranoia-inspiring, disturbing film that projects the character's anxiety onto viewers, making them constantly look over their shoulder, waiting for an invisible threat to strike. Maika Monroe's character is watched by a mysterious stranger who follows her every step — which feels strange and unnerving, although it's something that happens to many women every day. In this respect, Watcher is much more meaningful than any standard horror film about monsters and ghosts. As the character's suffocating fear erases the line between reality and phobia, the audience remain perplexed and captivated by the story right until its violent climax.

Speak No Evil

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A Danish family spends a vacation in Italy, where they meet a nice Dutch couple. A while later, the new friends invite them over for a weekend, but their sweet reunion turns into a nightmare as the Danes try to stay polite in the face of harrowing misunderstandings.

Speak No Evil is another must-see horror film from the Sundance festival. The Scandinavian psychological thriller is terribly uncomfortable and relevant in today's society as it inspects the excessive patience and politeness that lead to no good. There are no monsters or mysticism in the movie, no aliens or life-threatening demons — only the ordinary passive aggression and sadism. As the feeling of horror and violence builds up with each scene, the end brings another unnerving plot twist that turns the whole story upside down. Christian Tafdrup's double-bottomed movie is one of those pictures that leave your psyche disturbed and broken for a while after you watch it.

Bed Rest

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Julie, who once lost a child, is pregnant again. She and her husband move into a new house, where she starts to suspect the presence of supernatural forces that, Julie believes, may hurt her baby.

The psychological horror film, starring the new Scream star Melissa Barrera, is perfect for those who always close their eyes during scary (or not so scary) scenes or are simply tired of predictable horror plots. In Bed Rest, the monsters are the ghosts of the past and the main character's post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the loss of her child. The movie is based on real psychological conditions, such as postpartum depression and bereavement, which are viewed through the prism of the supernatural horror genre. Bed Rest is a very subtle and personal horror story that shows what may happen to a woman who's left alone with her unsettling trauma.

Men

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After the tragic death of her husband, Harper flees London to recover in a rural landscape. In the idyllic English countryside, the woman begins to be haunted by men with identical faces.

The A24 film has topped the lists of the best 2022 horror movies, earning praise from critics, watchers, and film media. Alex Garland's psychological horror film echoes The Watcher — but exhibits much more symbolism and evokes more anxiety than Chloe Okuno's production. It explores the same common theme of women being stalked and feeling unsafe because of their partners' control disguised as affection and care. Men uses metaphors that anyone can understand (such as the Marilyn Monroe mask) to unleash fears that may trigger uneasy memories in some viewers. Overall, it's a deeply emotional and truly scary story that you may find hard to watch.