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The Scary Good Movies of 2022
You're Entitled to One Good Scare...
Now playing in theaters, Zach Cregger’s BARBARIAN is everything I look for in a horror movie. It’s funny at wildly inappropriate times, deeply unsettling, and completely deranged. Georgina Campbell stars as Tess, a young woman who travels to Detroit for a job interview. She secures a rental home only to discover that the rental is double-booked and someone else (Bill Skarsgård) is already staying there. That’s all I’ll say about the plot to this one — the fun in watching BARBARIAN is experiencing the descent into madness alongside the characters.
Chloe Okuno’s WATCHER stars Maika Monroe (IT FOLLOWS, THE GUEST) as Julia, a young actress who moves to Romania with her husband. As a serial killer with a penchant for decapitating women stalks the city, Julia becomes increasingly paranoid about the strange man across the street from her apartment. A spiritual sibling to IT FOLLOWS and REAR WINDOW, WATCHER is an eerie, atmospheric psychological horror film with an excellent performance by Monroe.
RESURRECTION is one of the weirdest, most fucked up movies you’ll see this year. Rebecca Hall (THE NIGHT HOUSE) stars as Margaret, a successful businesswoman and single mother whose life spirals out of control when she has a run-in with David (Tim Roth), an abusive man from her past. Bold, intense, and absolutely bonkers, RESURRECTION tackles challenging, potentially triggering material in a way that will leave you wondering what the fuck you just watched.
Mimi Cave has directed one of the best, and perhaps most aesthetically pleasing, horror films of 2022, with bits and pieces of HANNIBAL, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, AMERICAN PSYCHO, and CREEP. With two great performances from Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones, top-notch production design by Jennifer Morden, and the elegant yet unnerving cinematography of Pawel Pogorzelski, FRESH is the rare horror comedy that lives up to its name.
WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR
Written and directed by Jane Schoenbrun, the visually haunting WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR stars Anna Cobb as Casey, a lonely teenage girl who becomes immersed in “The World’s Fair Challenge,” an online roleplaying horror game. Cobb’s arresting performance and cinematographer Daniel Patrick Carbone’s anxiety-inducing camera angles propel this experimental film about losing (or finding) one’s identity in the digital age.
Dan Trachtenberg’s PREY is the best PREDATOR movie since 1990’s PREDATOR 2. Amber Midthunder stars as Naru, a Comanche warrior striving to prove herself as a hunter. She finds herself having to protect her people from a technologically advanced alien that hunts humans for sport. Like the original 1987 film, it’s lean, mean, and action-packed, anchored by a terrific lead performance and some outstanding creature effects work.
Other POP ‘N’ PIZZA Reviews
Ti West’s X is “a celebration of two genres that, to the mainstream, should never be celebrated: horror and porn — delivering Blood & Guts™ and Tits & Ass™ in equal measure. To paraphrase Baby from Rob Zombie’s HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, this movie is about people who like to fuck and do fucked up shit.”
THE BLACK PHONE
Scott Derrickson’s THE BLACK PHONE “feels like the B-side to SINISTER. There’s haunted technology, ghostly children, grainy home video footage, not to mention Ethan Hawke and James Ransone’s involvement. And while it isn’t as scary as Derrickson’s 2012 film — it’s more of a thriller than a horror movie — it does offer up a major league creep in The Grabber who, like SINISTER’s pagan deity Bughuul, has a predilection for kidnapping and murdering children.”
Jordan Peele’s NOPE is “an intense, anxiety-inducing slow burn punctuated by genuine moments of awe and dread, with excellent performances, gorgeous cinematography, a nerve-shattering score by Michael Abels, and outstanding special effects.”
ORPHAN: FIRST KILL
“Like Mike Flanagan’s OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL, or even Tobe Hooper’s THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2, ORPHAN: FIRST KILL plays with the audience’s expectations and subverts them gleefully, delivering something truly unexpected. It knows it can’t replicate the twist of the original, so instead, it turns the whole thing on its head by dropping Esther into a truly insane situation where her adoptive family is more fucked up than she is.”
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