We can always bank on the shriek-inducing fun of horror movies, whether they’re low-budget handheld pictures, blockbuster thrillers, or long-awaited sequels.
There’s lots to look forward to in 2022’s horror slate, from franchise expansions (“Scream,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) to new terrors (“Fresh,” “Don’t Worry Darling”). Stephen King’s 1975 novel “Salem’s Lot” is finally receiving a feature picture adaptation, while Jordan Peele, the recent horror darling, will follow up 2019’s “Us” with a new terrifying tale.
In other news, Jamie Lee Curtis will return as Esther in David Gordon Green’s modern “Halloween” trilogy’s last part, while Isabelle Fuhrman will reprise her terrifying role as Esther in “Orphan: First Kill.”
Because several of these films are still months away from release, get your pulse pounding now with Film Junkie’s top horror movie picks of 2022.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the best terrifying movies of 2022, which began in January bringing us a healthy dose of horror.
Scream (Jan 14)
“Scream,” the fifth film in the popular slasher genre, stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, and Jack Quaid, as well as a slew of newbies Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, and Jack Quaid. In the film, a mysterious new killer dons the Ghostface mask and targets a group of local youngsters once more. “Scream” is a direct sequel to 2011’s “Scream 4,” and it will be the first instalment of the franchise to be directed by someone other than Wes Craven, who died in 2015. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett direct this time, with James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick writing the screenplay.
Fresh (Jan. 20)
Mimi Cave’s directorial debut, “Fresh,” will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. “The evils of modern dating as seen through one young woman’s defiant effort to survive her new boyfriend’s strange tastes,” the logline states. Sebastian Stan, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Jonica T. Gibbs, Charlotte Le Bon, Dayo Okeniyi, Andrea Bang, and Brett Dier are among the cast members. Adam McKay, Kevin J. Messick, and Maeve Cullinane produced the film, which was written by Lauryn Kahn.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Feb. 18)
After acquiring the franchise’s rights, Legendary announced “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” a direct sequel to the 1974 original that ignores all earlier sequels and spin-offs. Melody (Sarah Yarkin), her sister Lila (Elise Fisher), and their friends Dante (Jacob Latimore) and Ruth (Nell Hudson) set out to start a new business in the small Texas town of Harlow. Their fantasy quickly turns into a nightmare when they find they are unwelcome guests at serial killer Leatherface’s house. Mark Burnham, Moe Dunford, Olwen Fouéré, Alice Krige, and Jessica Allain star in the film, which is directed by David Blue Garcia and written by Chris Thomas Devlin.
Morbius (April 1)
Morbius, a Spider-Man villain who first featured in comic books, will make his feature picture debut in 2022. The titular character, played by Jared Leto, is an ailing scientist who, in a bid to cure himself, transforms into a vampire. The film stars Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson and is directed by Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa (“Life,” “Safe House”). “Morbius” is the second instalment in Sony’s ambition to create a new shared world of Spider-Man flicks, which began with 2018’s “Venom.”
The Black Phone (June 24)
“The Black Phone” isn’t Ethan Hawke’s first dive into horror, but it’s perhaps the most thrilling. The supernatural horror film depicts a serial murderer who abducts children in a suburban Colorado community, directed by Scott Derrickson (“Sinister”) and produced by Jason Blum (“Insidious,” “The Purge”) When Finney Shaw (Mason Thames) is kidnapped by “The Grabber,” he hears the voices of previous victims guiding him to safety. Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy Davies, and James Ransone star in “The Black Phone,” which is based on Joe Hill’s short tale of the same name.
Nope (July 22)
Despite the lack of details about the picture — aside from a poster displaying a menacing storm cloud and a cast that includes Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yuen — Jordan Peele’s next foray into horror has already enthralled legions of fans on social media. Barbara Ferrera, Brandon Perea, and Michael Wincott join Kaluuya (who featured in Peele’s directorial debut “Get Out”) in supporting roles in “Nope.”
Orphan: First Kill (Aug)
In 2009, Isabelle Fuhrman frightened us to death as a violent 33-year-old acting as a 9-year-old child in “Orphan.” She reprises her role in “Orphan: First Kill,” a prequel that follows “Esther” (Furhman) as she escapes an Estonian mental asylum and impersonates the missing daughter of a wealthy family thirteen years later. Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland, and Hiro Kanagawa round out the cast. David Coggeshall wrote the screenplay, which is directed by William Brent Bell.
Salem’s Lot (Sept. 9)
While Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” was adapted into a two-part TV miniseries in 1979, the classic novel will finally be adapted into a full feature picture next year. The film features Ben Mears (Lewis Pullman), a writer who returns to his hometown to uncover a mysterious force that turns the locals into vampires. It is directed by Gary Dauberman, with horror master James Wan producing. Rather than fleeing, Ben builds a coalition to combat evil and save the village. In addition to Mackenzie Leigh, Bill Camp, Spencer Treat Clark, and Alfre Woodard, the film stars Mackenzie Leigh, Bill Camp, Spencer Treat Clark, and Alfre Woodard.
Halloween Ends (Oct. 14)
On October 14, the third and final episode of David Gordon Green’s modern “Halloween” trilogy will be released in theatres. “Halloween Ends,” which takes set four years after “Halloween Kills” in 2020, stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Storde, the lone survivor of Michael Myers’ 1978 murdering spree. Laurie will undoubtedly seek vengeance on the serial killer alongside her granddaughter Allyson Nelson after the loss of her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) (Andi Matichak). Green, Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, and Danny McBride wrote “Halloween Ends.”
Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (TBA)
Director Timo Vuorensola will take a swing at the horror brand with “Jeepers Creepers Reborn,” the first of a new trilogy set separate from the Victor Salva flicks, five years after “Jeepers Creepers 3” debuted to mixed reviews. Chase (Imran Adams) and his girlfriend Laine (Sydney Craven) attend the Horror Hound festival, where Laine begins to get mysterious premonitions and terrifying glimpses of the town’s past. Gabriel Freilich, Pete Brooke, Dee Wallace, and Gary Graham round out the cast.