The best horror films of 2022 (so far) – and where to stream them

Spook yourself behind the sofa this Halloween

It’s been another killer year for those whose viewing tastes lean towards the grim and deadly, the macabre and menacing, the frenzied and bloody. Below we’ve picked a score of great scary movies from 2022 (so far). Read on for your full complement of werewolves, predators, evil children, toxic men, dangerous women and even some terrifying stuff that can’t be categorised…

Amulet

Amulet is about a homeless soldier fixing up a grotty house for a woman and her unseen but heard ill mother. It’s also about war crimes and guilt. It’s even about bonkers psychedelic body horror possession. Despite this, the styles meld intriguingly. Among a small cast, Alec Secăreanu, Carla Juri and Imelda Staunton excel.

Where to stream: BFI Player

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Crimes of the Future

When the man who popularised body horror with Scanners, Videodrome and The Fly returns to matters of the flesh? We love to see it. Director David Cronenberg’s latest sees a performance artist (Viggo Mortensen) grow new organs and make a show of their removal. Gruesome, brainy thrills, with Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart on top form.

Where to stream: Prime Video (via Arrow Video at £4.99 per month after trial) or via BFI Player (£10 to rent)

Dashcam

The team behind no-budget pandemic smash Host – director Jed Shepherd with co-writers Rob Savage and Gemma Hurley – do it again. With action shot within cars driven by outrageous comedian Annie Hardy – playing a semi-fictional version of herself – it’s impressive how hilarious and terrifying a film can be made under such restrictions. Riotous.

Where to stream: Prime Video (then rent from £4.99)

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Fall

Two young women climb a 2,000-foot decommissioned TV tower in the desert to help one get over the loss of her husband who fell from a mountain the year before and to raise the other’s online profile. Heart-stoppingly horrifying for acrophobic viewers and compelling for everyone else, this is a lean, tense survival feature.

Where to stream: Prime Video, Apple TV or Google Play (then rent from £13.99)

Fresh

Noa, played by Normal People star Daisy Edgar-Jones, goes on a bad date that takes the worst possible turn when she goes home with Steve (Sebastian Stan) in this meaty horror. Steve, actually named Brendan, kidnaps and drugs women before selling their flesh to satanists. Horrific and also the darkest, most grisly comedy.

Where to stream: Disney+

Halloween Ends

A slow-burn first 70 minutes mostly dedicated to the love story between local weirdo Corey Cunningham and Laurie Strode’s granddaughter Allyson gives way to a ferocious final act in what purports to be the last Halloween film. As Laurie, Jamie Lee Curtis is her usual pugnacious presence battling Michael Myers.

Where to stream: You can’t! See it in cinemas!

Hatching

Having discovered an unusual egg in the woods, 12-year-old gymnast Tinja (Siiri Solalinna) is keen to hide it from her fussy blogger mother. The egg hatches to reveal a bird-like creature that’s psychically connected to Alli and slowly takes on her appearance after killing a dog. Unsettling Finnish horror.

Where to stream: Not currently available in the UK, but keep an eye out!

Men

Ex Machina director Alex Garland shocked many with this gruesome folk horror. Men works as a horrifying portrait of grief and a satire of toxic masculinity and is led with typical aplomb by Jessie Buckley as a widowed woman looking for peace on a rural retreat. She finds only a sinister army of Rory Kinnears.

Where to stream: Prime Video (then rent from £4.49)

Nope

Alien abduction – or something far worse – on a rural California farm vexes siblings Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya in this sci-fi-tinged tale. An intriguing and often terrifying mix of shocks, laugh and mystery, Get Out and Us writer-director Jordan Peele makes it three bangers out of three with Nope.

Where to stream: Prime Video (then rent at £15.99)

Orphan: First Kill

A fiendish twist by way of a vicious familial secret make this Orphan prequel an unexpected delight. The first film’s basic set-up of a psychotic, murderous grown woman pretending to be a child is mined with similarly brutal results. Expect camp fun and satisfying kills.

Where to stream: Prime Video, Apple TV or Google Play (then rent from £13.99)

Prey

Who thought yet another entry in the Predator franchise could be not only watchable but one of the most exciting releases of the year? Prey sets our ugly alien antagonist on earth in 1719, where it comes up against Naru (Amber Midthunder), a fierce Comanche warrior. Breathless action, high-stakes tension and satisfying bloodletting abound.

Where to stream: Disney+

Scream

Remarkably the fifth film in the first post-modern horror franchise is the best since its first entry wowed viewers back in 1996. This clever slasher sees costumed killer Ghostface wreak terror on Woodsboro again with Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale (Courtney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette) returning. Expect vicious kills and nifty shocks.

Where to stream: Paramount+

Smile

Therapist Dr Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) witnesses a bizarre, unexplainable patient death at work and soon believes she’ll be killed too, as the bodies pile up around her. It Follows and Final Destination fans will recognise the story but it’s told with skill and great jump scares.

Where to stream: Nowhere! Catch it in cinemas!

Speak No Evil

“Beware who you make friends with on holiday,” is the message of this sensational, if savage, Danish work. A sickening feeling of creeping, intensifying dread permeates the bulk of Speak No Evil before the final act includes scenes of biblical brutality which some might find unwatchable. Deliciously unpleasant.

Where to stream: Shudder

Studio 666

Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighter bandmates get more than they bargain for when they record their 10th album in a haunted mansion where a fictional ’90s frontman took his love of the occult too far and killed his bandmates and himself. It’s immense fun as nicest-man-in-rock Grohl turns evil searching for creative inspiration.

Where to stream: Google Play (then rent from £7.99)

The Black Phone

The Black Phone is an unsavoury beast, just like the Grabber, its chief villain. Based on a story written by Stephen King’s son Joe Hill about a masked serial-killer child abductor, this 1978-set chiller has smart observations on school life and Ethan Hawke playing against type as a very bad man indeed.

Where to stream: Prime Video (then rent from £4.99)

The Cursed

Boyd Holbrook from The Sandman and Narcos stars as a pathologist who wanders into a 19th century French town beset by a werewolf in this underrated yet atmospheric picture. Director Sean Ellis proved himself with thrilling crime hit Metro Manila and this time out masters a scarier but no less exciting genre.

Where to stream: Not currently available in the UK

The Innocents

Not to be confused with the ghostly 1961 classic of the same name, this Norwegian effort is about telepathic children causing mischief on a housing estate in Oslo. Directed by Eskil Vogt, The Worst Person In The World director Joachim Trier’s regular co-writer, this has a cold, creepy feel set to make you shiver.

Where to stream: Prime Video (then rent from £1.99)

The Northman

Robert Eggers’ spectacular viking epic is a mighty beast with an all-star cast including Alexander Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Björk. Based on Norse mythology – including some of the likely source material of Hamlet – it’s got all the blood and violence of a primo slasher film. Tremendous.

Where to stream: Prime Video or Google Play (then rent from £3.49)

X

In X, a group of young people hire a barn from an elderly couple in Texas to make a porno film. Mia Goth plays wannabe porn-star Maxine and the old woman, Pearl. Horror fans will love the references to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as will anyone up for bloody thrills. Another 70s-set stormer.

Where to stream: Prime Video

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