Best New Horror Movies for 2022
Our horror movie nerds bring you fresh blood for your October screenings.
Hey, horror fan. Have you burned through all of the classic horror movies? Are you craving new blood like a vampire with cottonmouth? Stop your creepy panting, and peek out from your coffins ’cause our horror movie nerds rounded up nine new spooky flicks for you.
With Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 88% or higher—and all the shivers, creeps, and blood you can handle (plus some you probably can’t)—these are some of the best new horror movies of the past year.
Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It | Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
We caught this twisty Kazakhi action/comedy/horror film at the 2021 Telluride Horror Show, and it had the audience roaring.
An expectant father with a very pregnant and unusually emasculating partner sneaks off on a fishing trip with two friends. Along the way, the trio witnesses a mob hit and has to run for their lives. Escape, however, won’t be easy as a creepy family and a supernaturally gifted ninja-farmer complicate matters for the friends and their pursuers.
That’s all we can say without spoiling the whole movie. We’ll leave you with this: Sweeties, you won’t believe what a good time you’ll have with this film. Rent it if you can, though, ‘cause the ad breaks throw off the film’s brisk pacing.
The Sadness | Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
We were gonna watch The Sadness at the Telluride Horror Show last year. We decided to wait because the story about a virus that makes people crazy (understatement) hit a little too close to current events.
Six months later, The Sadness finally debuted on Shudder—and we gave it a shot. We scoffed at the pre-roll gore warning, thinking it was a gimmick. It wasn’t.
You’ve seen a lot of movies like The Sadness—it’s a zombie movie. We’re talking about the fast zombies from 28 Days Later or Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake. But in The Sadness, the zombies bite—but they don’t (always) eat you. They break, burn, chop, gouge, peel, shoot, stab, taunt, twist, and more—while wearing big smiles. Then they play in the mess.
Fortunately, there’s a decent story to keep the film from being boring gore-nography. It still hits pretty close to home, pandy-wise, but we can handle it now.
Hatching | Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
A Finnish pre-teen, Tinja, lives with her “perfect” family, led by her cuckolding, self-absorbed YouTuber mom. One day, after her mother kills a raven in their house, Tinja finds an egg outside in the bird’s nest and takes responsibility for it.
Like the negative feelings inside Tinja, the egg grows and grows. Finally, it hatches into a creature that, unlike Tinja’s mother, has her best interests at heart—but a strange way of supporting the child.
Stream Hatching free on Hulu.
Mad God | Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Calling Mad God a straight-up horror film isn’t entirely accurate. It’s dark, it’s disturbing, and it’ll scare most children. But director/VFX artist Phil Tippett and crew’s stop-motion film is also visually stunning and nearly empty of dialogue. You’ll probably be too busy staring slack-jawed and trying to follow the narrative to be frightened.
Maybe we’re overselling Mad God? Nope. If you enjoyed Tippett’s visual effects work in Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and other major films, imagine what Tippett did with an entire movie—and 30 years to work on it.
Actually, don’t imagine. Just watch Mad God, get lost in it, then do it again. If it scares you, consider it a bonus.
Prey | Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
How do you inject new life into a long-running sci-fi horror franchise? I dunno. Send it back in time?
Settle down, McFly—there’s no time machine in this Predator prequel. There are just indigenous Comanche folks contending with greedy fur traders, wild animals, and an invisible alien assailant.
Setting a sci-fi story in the past isn’t an original move, but it freshens up the Predator canon. Instead of the same old burly mercenaries for protagonists, we follow a young Native American woman, Naru (Amber Midthunder). To the shock and scorn of most male tribe members, Naru takes on the Predator as a rite of passage into adulthood.
Predictably, Naru succeeds where her peers, and even grizzly bears, could not. But despite Prey’s predictability, the film is still fresh and exciting. So much so that it will renew your enthusiasm for the Predator movies.
Stream Prey free exclusively on Hulu.
X | Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
In Ti West’s X, five twentysomethings rent a cabin in the woods to shoot a porno. The present flesh and pheromones make their eldritch, elderly landlady feel some kind of way.
Meemaw proceeds to drive the equally prehistoric Papaw crazy with her needs. Since their bedroom’s been dead for decades, Papaw thinks he’ll die from the effort (or worse, be unable to perform).
All that frustration needs an outlet, so the couple gets stabby with the renters—and grindhouse fans will love all the grainy, gruesome gore.
A prequel, Pearl, is available on video-on-demand (VOD) now, and a sequel, MaXXXine, will someday complete the X trilogy.
Buy Pearl on Amazon Prime Video (link below).
Saloum | Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
This gorgeous Senegalese film is more than a horror film. It’s packed with action, thrills, and twists—the horror is almost an afterthought.
Three mercenaries help a Mexican drug lord escape to Africa, but one of the trio has a side errand. The unscheduled stop leads to revelations, then to murder, then to all hell breaking loose in the form of freaky, almost formless, bee demons.
If it sounds simple, it’s because we’re protecting you from a spoiler. Once you learn it, you’ll have a knot in your gut to go with the action.
Hellbender | Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
At first, Hellbender looks like it might be about Munchausen syndrome by proxy or narcissistic parents—but it’s the opposite.
A teen girl, Izzy, lives with her mother in seclusion. They do everything together, including playing in a (seriously good) metal band. Izzy wants to make friends and play gigs, but Mother doesn’t let her leave the forest because of Izzy’s supposed autoimmune disease. And, if anyone comes poking around, Mother ensures they never leave.
It turns out that both women are Hellbenders—essentially witches—but Izzy doesn’t know this. When she finds out, things get scary.
Made during the pandemic by a multitalented family of four (Dad directs, while Mom and two daughters act) and featuring songs from their real-life family band H6LLB6ND6R, Hellbender is an impressive—and freaky—film. ™
The Innocents | Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
The Innocents is a coming-of-age and innocence-lost tale that meditates on the power of younger generations and the consequences of putting our needs before theirs.
The film explores the lives of four Norwegian children: Two sisters (one nonverbal autistic, the other resentful and abusive), an empathic South Asian girl with facial vitiligo, and a troubled boy with telekinesis.
One day, the children discover they share a psychic link. At first, they play games with their powers. Eventually, one child uses their gifts for violence, and the other three resist, putting themselves in extreme danger.
The Innocents is incredibly well-acted, with a taut, suspenseful plot and an ominous message: The children are our future—but if we don’t teach them well in the present, we’ll spell our doom.