JAMES DEPAOLO’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2022

This list was such a great time for me. As a whole, I loved 2022 much more than the last few years combined. Sadly, I did not get to see certain movies like “ Mad God”, “ Soft and Quiet”, “ Violent Night”  or “ Nope”, that I feel may have made the list. This year for me, horror and thrillers felt more personal than they have in ages. I am so grateful to have experienced so many films this year that I felt connected with me in such a deep and personal way.

10. Resurrection

I will admit, I flip flopped on this one. “ The Sadness” and “Hellraiser”, could have been here as well. What made me choose this film was how ludicrous the premise is. When a film bends reality in a way that you think it’s absurd, till you see how it plays out and you are floored. To see Tim Roth and Rebecca Hall play off of each other felt like Clarice and Hannibal in “ Silence of the Lambs”. This film asks the question: “ What is truly our breaking point in life”? This film is as shockingly absurd as it is fascinatingly intense.

9. Terrifier 2

“ Terrifier 2” is not so much a sequel as it is a starting point. “ All Hallow’s Eve”, introduced us to Art the Clown. A decade plus later, we have had two films that are building a legacy for him. This film though, opens the door for what the future could bring. Where the first film was a flat out splatterfest, this one builds upon supernatural elements that I feel is trying to branch us out. This film at 2 ½ hours is a lot to ask of fans to sit through, but it does deliver a story and gore that I feel fans will be into.

8. Sissy

Talk about an invitation into madness. This film on the surface is so calm. You think everything is going to be ok. Then, the rubber band snaps and this film shows its true heart. This film is disturbing. The last ten minutes of this film are such a shock out of left field that you are left speechless.

7. The Reef: Stalked

When I first heard the news that Andrew was directing the sequel to his “ The Reef” film, I was stoked. The first trailer hit, and I was in. This film was much like the first film in terms of how it lays down the story and suspense. If the rumors of a “ Jaws” reboot are true, how is this not the director to do it? The two “ The Reef” films are proof that he understands the genre and knows how to deliver a great shark film.

6. A Wounded Fawn

“ Barbarian” was a decent horror film. “ A Wounded Fawn” should have that “Barbarian” talk. Talk about a film that starts off one direction and goes there for a good half hour, and then switches gears into something unknown. I thought the film was genius and creative. The way the ending credits play out with the ending sequence will stick with me. This film was as dark as it was intense. Now, that I know the ending, I have to watch it again with others.

5. Smile

I loved “ It Follows” a lot. This film reminded me so much of it. This is a film that lives and dies by the jump scare. I was entertained by this film for the simple fact that it kept me at the edge of my chair for the whole time. There was not one moment in this film that made me want to look away or pick up my phone.

4. Scream

You can say the same thing about the next one at 3. A franchise that became a joke, and was on its last legs. “ Scream”, I loved the original and also part 2. After that, it just became a parody of itself. In 2022, the rebirth showed that this film when done correctly can still work. This film was not only satisfying as a horror fan but also sad as a person who grew with the franchise to watch certain aspects leave. This could be called my biggest surprise of the year. I did not expect this film to be so fun and make me excited about ghost face again.

3. Prey

A Predator film that is a prequel. No theater run. Labeled a whole new take on the franchise. Color me shocked, but this film delivered in a very big way. This has to be the best in the franchise since part 2. The film starts off with a tribe that you can clearly tell will not have the firepower of previous films to fight off an attack. This film builds the tension in such a smart way, that when the shit hits the fan it is much more impactful. 

2. X / Pearl

Ti West has returned in a major way. “ X” was the middle child. “ Pearl” was the birth, and in 2023 “ Maxxxine” is the end of this trilogy. 2022 is the year of Mia Goth. Talk about a woman that deserves an oscar nod. “X” was an old school 70’s horror in such a fun and exciting way. “ Pearl” was such a depressingly amazing film. To watch the descent of someone that has to come to terms with her insanity. Mia Goth playing Pearl will grab your heart and rip it out by the end. How can you not feel for her?

1. Everything Everywhere All At Once 
Daniels has such a creative mind. If you thought his film, “ Swiss Army Man” was insane. This film is what the last “ Matrix” film wished it was. This film is obnoxious and non stop. When you think you figured the film out, it changes in a different direction. By the end of this film, I was not only mentally exhausted but I was so stoked about watching it again. Touching as it is enthralling, this film is just that once in a lifetime science fiction event that cannot be missed.