Morbidly Beautiful

Your Home for Horror

Bloody Blog

After looking back at the best horror of 2021, the Morbidly Beautiful team looks ahead to the horror films of 2022 we’re most excited about.

Recently, our writers shared Best Indie Horror Films of 2021. Now, our team is back to gush over the 30 upcoming horror films we can’t wait to see in 2022. Will any of these make our ‘Best Of’ list for 2022? Only time will tell, but they certainly look to be more than a few promising contenders.

While we expect many more great horror films to be announced throughout the year, the following list highlights the 2022 films we are most excited about at this time.

SCHEDULED RELEASES

Listed in order of currently planned release date

1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (February 18, 2002 – Netflix)

The notoriety and impact of Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) on popular culture and the horror genre writ large are well documented. This influential indie horror also spawned seven additional films (sequels, prequels, and remakes) over the years, though certainly not as refined or respected as the Halloween or Friday the 13th franchises.

My love for shock horror is largely attributed to watching The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and its first two sequels at a relatively young and impressionable age. The unforgettably grainy aesthetic, Gunnar Hansen’s hulking, horrifying portrayal of the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, and the deranged “family” of misfits helped shape my perception of what awaited me in rural Texas counties for years to come.

After lengthy delays associated with the release of Leatherface in 2017 (its subpar box-office draw), Lionsgate and Millennium Films lost the film rights and ceased work on any additional franchise entries. Legendary Pictures acquired film rights in 2018 and began developing film and television installments. Though the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic upended the initial production schedule for Legendary Pictures’ first film adaptation, principal photography began in August 2020 in Bulgaria and was finished in March 2021 after the studio’s initial directors had been fired and replaced by David Blue Garcia.

The completed film, titled Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is a direct sequel to Hooper’s original and forgoes the various mythos created in the various prequels and subsequent sequels. The plot centers around a group of friends who travel to Harlow, Texas, with visions of starting a business venture but all hopes are derailed after encountering the now 60-year-old Leatherface. Garcia claims to have used “vintage” lenses and relied heavily upon practical effects to achieve an aesthetic closely matching Hooper’s original.

I’m definitely suspect of the film’s Bulgarian location being an amenable replacement for actual rural Texas, especially after other franchise reboots like Black Christmas (2019) and The Slumber Party Massacre (2021) failed to effectively incorporate foreign locales (New Zealand and South Africa respectively). However, there’s something to be said about the prospects of seeing an older Leatherface shredding flesh and stacking bodies in 2022.

Skipping a theatrical release, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is scheduled to stream on February 18, 2022, exclusively on Netflix.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Matthew DuPee)

2. The Cursed (February 18, 2022 – Theaters)

Oscar and BAFTA-nominated director and photographer Sean Ellis’ new gothic thriller The Cursed will open wide on February 18, 2022, in theaters. It’s being billed as a reimagining of the werewolf legend for a modern-day audience. Formerly titled Eight for Silver, the film premiered at the last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Following its debut, Ellis has reworked the film to include an enhanced score and reduced CGI in favor of in-camera effects. He also promises a more elevated story.

The synopsis is as follows: In the late 1800s, a once-peaceful remote country village is under attack — but by who or what, no one knows. Villagers spread rumors of a cursed land, supernatural forces, and even demonic creatures, as the disappearances and killings continue. Pathologist John McBride arrives to investigate the danger, only to discover something much deeper and more sinister than he ever could have imagined.

Mickey Liddell and Pete Shilaimon of LD Entertainment, the company distributing the film, said:

“We set out to make a genre film with an incredibly talented filmmaker. Sean Ellis has created a story that is so much more than that: it’s timely, scary as hell, and most importantly unique. We are thrilled for people to finally see Sean’s striking vision on the big screen.”

Early reviews for The Cursed have been impressive, and the trailer looks stunning — dark, atmospheric, moody, and exquisitely shot. I definitely have this one high on my watch list.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Stephanie Malone)

3. X (March 18, 2022 – Theaters)

Filmmaker Ti West made a big impression with 2009’s deliciously creepy 80s Satanic Panic throwback, House of the Devil, presenting him as a guy who knows how to use our fear of the unknown to ratchet up the tension and terror. While his subsequent feature films; 2011’s The Innkeepers, 2013’s The Sacrament, and 2016’s surprise Western In a Valley of Violence, weren’t quite as well-received, the announcement of West’s return to horror is still very exciting.

X looks to be another throwback, this time to the days of the grindhouse and early porn films, as a troupe of adult film actors search for a rural locale to shoot their new project, and end up getting way more than they bargained for. It’s being released by A24, the film distributors who’ve helped define “prestige horror” and whose logo incites as much anticipation among movie fans as any director’s byline.

They’ve consistently put out some of the best, most forward-thinking horror films of the past decade, so seeing them partnering with a great genre filmmaker like West is reason enough to put X on the must-see list.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Conor McShane)

4: Master (March 18, 2022 – Prime Video)

After watching Mariama Diallo’s sharp and witty short Hair Wolf, I was more than ready for her to get a shot at making a feature film. Luckily, for me and for the rest of the horror-hungry world, her feature Master is set to come out this year.

Master follows three Black women who have to navigate the elitist and privileged world of a New England college that happens to be built on a gallows hill from the Salem era.

One exciting facet of this film is that it stars the wonderful Regina Hall. Horror fans might best know Hall from the Scary Movie franchise. It’ll be interesting to see how Diallo tackles the often alienating world of academia in her first feature. If Hair Wolf is any indication, her keen sensibilities will make a film that is bold, timely, and creepy.

Having recently screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Master will land on Prime Video on March 18. While you wait, be sure to check out Diallo’s Hair Wolf on The Criterion Channel or Kanopy.

(Recommended by Jamie Alvey)

5: You Won’t Be Alone (April 1, 2022 – Theaters)

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

An isolated, foggy mountain village, homes made of straw, mud, and stone, and an ancient spirit said to roam the dark woods of 19th century Macedonia. That alone is enough information to peak interest in You Won’t Be Alone, a new drama-horror from Focus Features.

When a little girl falls victim to the spirit and is transformed into a witch, she wanders the countryside seeking out victims. But she doesn’t simply kill them, she physically inserts her body into their own in an effort to experience human existence. Such a premise sounds like a fascinating study on the loneliness of an outcast witch, robbed of her rightful existence.

Not only that, but the film also looks to explore the human experience of existing through the witch’s eyes. In addition to the intriguing premise, Noomi Rapace plays a major role in the film. Rapace is an incredibly talented actress and possesses one of the most deeply mysterious faces in film today. Her ability to make every character deeply unpredictable, both dangerous and lovable, is unmatched, and a perfect fit for a movie like You Won’t Be Alone.

Word out of the Sundance Film Festival is the film is Terrence Malick meets Under the Skin, and that is something to be excited about.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Jason McFiggins)

6: Morbius (April 1, 2022 – Theaters)

Originally set to release on the 28th of January, Morbius will now hit theatres on the first of April instead.

The latest push in a series of delays for the film seems to have been caused by the blockbuster success of Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which established itself as the most profitable and accomplished release of 2021. The screens which were reserved for Morbius are still earning a hefty sum by screening Spider-Man: No Way Home. Thus, the postponement by Sony makes sense. Though, it’s another frustrating blow for a film that was originally supposed to premiere in July of 2020 (delayed by Covid).

Morbius is inspired by the famous Marvel Comics property which has a very unique and interesting storyline. Michael Morbius is an antihero who becomes inflicted with a rare blood disease that leaves him severely ill. To escape the torment of the disorder and help others who are similarly inflicted, Dr. Morbius embarks on a risky game of chance. In the beginning, the gamble seems to have paid off, but it is soon revealed that something is not right. Dr. Morbius senses a mysterious change as his vampirism begins to take form.

Will his evil override his determination to work for a good cause, or will he be successful in resisting his developing bloodlust?

The character of Morbius will be played by Jared Leto, and the film will be directed by Daniel Espano (Safe House). Admittedly, there are as many reasons to be weary of Morbius as there are to be excited about it. The Sony property shares a lot in common with the recent adaptation of Venom (antiheroes struggling to retain humanity in the face of their own monstrosity), and the studio’s handling of a far more popular property does not exactly bode well for the lesser-known Morbius.

Additionally, star Jared Leto is undeniably talented — he even has an Academy Award to prove it. But many comic book fans were turned off by his hammy performance of the Joker in the much-maligned Suicide Squad (2016). Finally, neither director Espano nor writers Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama have a very promising track record. If the past is prologue, then Moribus may have a real uphill battle. Still, as a fan of the source material and someone excited for a more horror-focused Marvel film, I hold out hope.

The darker tone of the trailer is exciting. At the very least, Morbius promises something different; fingers crossed it can deliver. If it doesn’t, Marvel fans still have Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 6, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8, and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on November 11 to look forward to. Odds are, we’re in for a pretty stellar year.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Stephanie Malone)

7. Insidious: The Dark Realm (April 5, 2022 – VOD)

I’m excited for the fifth installment in the Insidious series because this franchise is one of the current mainstream heavy hitters for the genre, and these films are always a lot of fun. We horror fans love a franchise, so giving us more of something we’ve been enjoying just makes sense.

For me, the Insidious films have always hit every beat perfectly. When they want to get creepy, they go all in, the incredibly atmospheric score adds to the beautifully timed jump scares, and when they want to get cheesy, they bring the cheese! Add a horror icon like Lin Shaye, and you’ve got a winner.

The Dark Realm also features debut directorial duties from Patrick Wilson which excites me because he is such an integral part of the entire Blumhouse horror universe. His familiarity with the franchise and dedication to the stories being told should add something special to the latest Blumhouse blockbuster.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Peter Hayward-Bailey)

8. The Northman (April 8, 2022 – Theaters)

With The Witch and The Lighthouse, director Robert Eggers has cemented himself as something of a genre heavyweight. So,  I’m absolutely drooling in anticipation of his upcoming movie, The Northman.

I’m something of a sucker for the whole Norse aesthetic and mythology, and Eggers makes movies that are anything but predictable and formulaic, which immediately turns me on. Add to that a killer cast — including Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Bjork, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, and, of course, Alexander Skarsgård — and it’s hard not to be excited for this. I’m very much looking forward to seeing if Alexander can match, or even outdo his brother in the Viking portrayal game!

In a release calendar increasingly populated with reboots, remakes, and franchise movies, it’s so incredibly refreshing to have something that’s pretty much guaranteed to be fresh and original to look forward to.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Mike Wrigley)

9. Hatching (April 29, 2022 – VOD/Theaters)

What happens when a mother projects her own lost dreams onto her daughter, insisting on perfection in everything she does? That’s the question that sets up the story in Hatching, a coming-of-age body horror about a young gymnast named Tinja whose demanding mother showcases the family’s “perfect” life on her popular video blog. But what seems so perfect is merely camouflage for a rotting family unit, specifically Tinja.

When Tinja nurses an egg she finds in the woods, what emerges kicks off a twisted fairy tale that alters the family forever. With biting satire and a strong performance from Siiri Solalinna as Tinja, Hatching is an outstanding and grotesque body horror with fantastic puppetry and practical effects.

Entertaining, disturbing, thought-provoking, and touching, Hanna Bergholm has crafted a winner with her feature film directorial debut. Bergholm said that Finland isn’t known for its horror movies, but with output like Hatching, maybe it should be.

At the end of June 2020, IFC Midnight acquired the distribution rights to the film. The plan was to first release the feature film at a major international festival in 2022 before releasing it in cinemas and VOD platforms. It premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2022.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Jason McFiggins)

10. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6, 2022 – Theaters)

Any die-hard Marvel fan knows why this is on the list.

The original Doctor Strange dropped back in 2016, and it was a welcome change of pace for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Introducing magic and wizards into MCU canon, the film included subtle touches of horror (owing to the film’s director Scott Derrickson, who also helmed Sinister) and the most transcendent visuals seen in any Marvel movie yet. Naturally, we were itching for a follow-up almost immediately.

Now, at last, it is upon us with the fabulously titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

For those unfamiliar, the concept of the multiverse is a comic book staple in which multiple universes with different events and different versions of the same person all exist in parallel timelines. It was recently established to exist within the MCU in properties like Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The concept of dropping Doc Strange into a multiversal crisis is a dream scenario for a comic fan. Better yet, Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi takes over for Derrickson, meaning the horror thread will not only continue but expand.

This may in fact be the first true horror film in the MCU canon, and boy does that sound like a good time at the movies.

Joining Doc Strange and his mentor Wong is none other than the Scarlet Witch, hot off her character-defining run in the Disney+ series WandaVision. Also, most intriguingly, images have surfaced of some of the film’s foes: terrifying Lovecraftian void monsters. And you thought Green Goblin was creepy as hell.

All these elements will come together to make what looks to be a signature Marvel film, possibly being to this current phase what The Winter Soldier was to a previous one. All in all, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness looks to be a scary, trippy new ride.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Chris Maino)

11. Jurassic World: Dominion (June 22, 2022 – Theaters)

The Jurassic Park franchise was always a grand ferryboat in the mainstream, but that still hasn’t stopped it from capturing the hearts and imaginations of horror fans. To this very day, the most believable CGI sequence I have ever seen is in the original, when the T-Rex breaks out of her paddock.

The four sequels have all had their share of praise and vitriol. Ask a Jurassic Park fan what their favorite sequel is. Go ahead, there will be very different answers for very different reasons. I really enjoyed The Lost World, but my favorite sequel is definitely Jurassic World. I like the vibe, brightness, and vibrant color palette.

Colin Trevorrow is taking the directing reigns once again, and this time the film will feature the return of Sam Neil, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum, as well as BD Wong, Chris Pratt, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

It is recommended that the 5-minute trailer “prologue” be watched before you go to the movies, which is where the film will open on June 22, 2022.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Jamie Marino)

12. The Black Phone (June 24, 2022 – Theaters)

When it comes to Blumhouse, as well Ethan Hawke and Scott Derrickson collaborating again after Sinister, count me in!

Another excitement is that this year’s theatrical release of The Black Phone is a short story adapted from Joe Hill’s 2005 book 20th Century Ghosts. The timing of The Black Phone is parallel to our current climate of more awareness in missing persons and cold cases. After all, the notion of being abducted could happen to any one of us. One of our biggest fears is having no way out of that danger, not being seen, not heard, nor finding any assistance.

With over twenty-two million views on YouTube, the trailer has me on edge. My heart is racing as I can tell this is going to be an emotional ride on all my senses. The Grabber, played by the brilliant Ethan Hawke dawning the devil’s mask, is a stunning visual allure that will imprint on our psyches for years to come.

The main character, Finney Shaw, played by Mason Thames stands out with a promising performance as he is abducted by The Grabber. I love the connection he kinetically has to the past victims in the basement in which he is held. With the help of the innocent and departed, and his psychic bond to his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw), Shaw may just stand a chance at escaping his captor.

I can see that The Black Phone is going to examine our worst fears of captivity on a deeper level. Most importantly, the film seems to recognize just how connected we all are when it comes to tragedies and horrors. Collectively, we really do experience these human conditions together, and I’m looking forward to a wild and pensive ride this June.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Laura A. Sloan)

13: Bed Rest (July 15, 2022 – Theaters)

Lori Evans Taylor, who is writing the next Final Destination, is the writer-director behind the upcoming Bed Rest. The film will star Melissa Barrera as Julie Rivers, a pregnant woman who is moving into a new home with her husband as they embrace a fresh start. Upon being ordered to mandatory bed rest, Julie begins to slowly unravel as she suffers through the monotony and anxiety of her new constraints.

Soon, terrifying ghostly experiences in the home begin to close in on Julie, stirring up her past demons and causing others to question her mental stability. Trapped and forced to face her past and the supernatural, Julie fights to protect herself and her unborn baby.

Fans will recognize Barrera from her impressive starring role in 2022’s first big horror film, Scream (which debuted to an impressive $30.6 million box office). She also starred in the film adaptation of the musical In the Heights.

The script for the film was completed in 2015 when it made that year’s Blacklist for top unproduced screenplays, and production wrapped in December 2021. I love a good female-driven horror film, and though we haven’t seen a trailer yet, this one has me excited and hopeful.

(Recommended by Stephanie Malone)

14. Nope (July 22, 2022 – Theaters)

Few films have entered the canon of horror classics quite as quickly as Jordan Peele’s Get Out, a timely, darkly funny, deeply unnerving masterclass in sustained tension and unease. With the success of his follow-up Us, Peele established himself as one of the most hotly anticipated horror filmmakers in the game, with fans salivating for his next project.

Little is known about his upcoming third feature Nope, other than a tantalizingly strange poster and the news that it will feature his Get Out collaborator Daniel Kaluuya, alongside Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun. In an age when most movies’ best surprises are spoiled long before they’re released, it’s refreshing to know next to nothing about Peele’s next project, which only makes it more exciting.

Luckily, he’s built up plenty of goodwill from his first two films, and Nope is likely to be another beautifully written, exceptionally acted exercise in creepiness from a modern icon.

(Recommended by Conor McShane)

15: Salem’s Lot (September 9, 2022 – Theaters/HBO Max)

Having been adapted into a two-part television miniseries of the same name in 1979 and again in 2004, the Stephen King novel Salem’s Lot is once again getting adapted — this time for theatrical audiences. It’s headed our way in time for Halloween from New Line Cinema, the studio behind the wildly successful adaptation of King’s IT.

The film is being written and directed by Gary Dauberman, the man behind Annabelle Comes Home. Dauberman also wrote It: Chapter Two and the Annabelle series. Adding to the film’s street cred is producer James Wan, who needs no introduction. Wan is producing along with Mark Wolper and Roy Lee, who also produced IT, the highest-grossing horror movie ever made.

Lewis Pullman (Bad Times at the El Royale, The Strangers: Prey at Night), son of screen royalty Bill Pulman, will be playing the role of Ben Mears, the author and one-time resident of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine.

Seeking a break from his career after the death of his wife, Miranda, and a current case of writer’s block, he returns to the Lot. He decides to write about the Marsten House, at the same time developing a passionate romance with college graduate and town resident Susan Norton (to be played by Makenzie Leigh of Gotham and The Slap). Mears soon finds himself battling the powerful and terrifying vampire Kurt Barlow, who seeks to turn the Lot’s residents into more of his kind.

Salem’s Lot is one of King’s most beloved and successful books of all time, ranking third among his top releases, just behind Carrie at #2 and The Shining at #1.

Though the 1979 miniseries directed by horror legend Tobe Hooper is widely considered a landmark in the vampire subgenre, having inspired films such as Fright Night (1985) and Joss Whedon’s hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the television adaptation did take several liberties with King’s source novel. Many characters were combined or merely deleted, along with certain subplots, and the character of Barlow is vastly different in the miniseries from how he is in the novel. Additionally, because it was made for television, many of the bigger gorier parts had to be cut.

Gary Dauberman has stated he is very excited about tackling the film and making it as true to life as the book as possible. That’s something both King fans and genre fans in general should be very anxious to see.

(Recommended by Stephanie Malone)

16. Don’t Worry Darling (September 23, 2022 – Theaters/HBO Max)

Few films headed our way in 2022 have me more excited than the sophomore movie from Olivia Wilde — who wowed audiences with her sharply written and very funny directorial debut BooksmartDon’t Worry Darling. A female-driven psychological thriller with Florence Pugh and Harry styles playing a married couple in the 1950s? Yes, please!

Not only does it boast Wilde’s proven directorial talents, but it’s also penned by Booksmart screenwriter Katie Silberman. It promises to be a dark yarn in which a 1950s housewife (the always incredible Florence Pugh, who shined in Midsommar and Black Widow) comes to suspect that her husband is hiding something. The outstanding supporting cast includes the MCU’s latest recruit Harry Styles, plus Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and even Wilde herself.

This Warner Bros release is scheduled to be theatrically released on September 23, 2022, and will be streamed on HBO Max 45 days after its theatrical release.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Stephanie Malone)

17. Halloween Ends (October 14, 2022 – Theaters)

Halloween returned in a huge way in 2018 with the David Gordon Green-directed reboot. His story was continued this past year with Halloween Kills and will conclude this October with the fittingly titled Halloween Ends.

The last film may have created a rift in the fanbase, but most are still intrigued to see how the trilogy concludes. Halloween Ends will tie up the story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode that was set forth in the 1978 classic.

What is perhaps most intriguing, is the fact this will be the first time a story arc in the Halloween series will be made by the same people, meaning the story should hopefully be consistent. In comparison, the Thorn story present in Halloween 4-6 was made by different people and was incoherent and sloppy. Even if you don’t care for the rebooted sequels, you can at least rest assured that it will be a linear story.

Halloween Kills saw Michael unable to be stopped by the town of Haddonfield, getting up from a brutal beating by a mob and walking it off. The alternate ending shows Laurie deciding to go off on her own to take out Michael once and for all after he answers her daughter’s phone after presumably killing her. Halloween Ends looks to end the over 40-year-old rivalry between Strode and Myers, and this time it will be done right.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Donnie Smith, Jr)

TENTATIVE RELEASES

Films expected to release in 2022 without an official release date

Show More

18. Evil Dead Rise (TBD 2022 – Theaters/HBO Max)

Being the die-hard Evil Dead fan that I am, I’ve been so happy to see how many faces the franchise has taken on over the years. The classic trilogy gave way to Fede Alvarez’s horrifying reimagining which gave way to the glorious return of Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi in their three-season run on Ash vs. Evil Dead — perhaps the purest form the story has ever taken. Now, we have a new vision to look forward to with Lee Cronin’s Evil Dead Rise.

Much like Fede’s reboot, Lee goes back to the roots of these movies, putting his own stamp on the concept of ‘an experience in grueling terror.’ Playing like The Raid with demons, Evil Dead Rise will be a more high-concept version of the usual Evil Dead formula, in which two sisters have to fight off hordes of Deadites while stuck within a high-rise apartment complex. Simple, frightening, and just different enough to set itself apart from the rest of the pack, Evil Dead Rise promises to be a freaky good time, bringing Evil Dead back with a new face in grand and glorious fashion.

Releasing in theaters while simultaneously streaming on HBO Max, this is easily my most anticipated horror of 2022.

(Recommended by Chris Maino)

19. Nanny (TBD 2022 – Platform Unknown)

Nanny sees director Nikyatu Jusu helm her first feature-length film. The storyline will follow a young immigrant woman named Aisha (Anna Diop) who takes work as a nanny for a couple on the Upper East Side in New York City. Along the way, Aisha is forced to face truths that could quite possibly shatter her pursuit of the fabled American Dream.

Jusu’s short films have gotten tons of buzz, so naturally, it’s exciting to see her direct a feature-length film. The centering of a working-class Black immigrant woman in America will bring an interesting facet to the film and give a much-needed voice to women that are like Aisha. The film is said to use West African folklore in the plot as well, which will introduce American audiences to a type of horror that they likely have not seen before. The perspective and the premise are both captivating and pertinent.

This film is definitely at the top of my list for 2022, and I am thrilled to see both Jusu’s and Diop’s talents shine. It premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is currently awaiting U.S. distribution.

Want one more reason to keep this film high on your must-watch list? Nanny is the first horror movie to win the Sundance Film Festival’s US dramatic Grand Jury Prize. 

(Recommended by Jamie Alvey)

20: The Munsters (TBD, Likely Late 2022 – Theaters/Peacock)

The Munsters reboot is the highly anticipated ninth feature film from writer, director, and musician Rob Zombie. Although well-loved, the original series ran briefly from 1964-to 1966. Despite the failed 2012 reboot attempt Mockingbird Lane, a series pilot-turned Halloween special, one is hopeful about what Mr. Zombie brings to the table.

Based on the teaser images released, this reboot is a stylistic reimagining of the beloved 60s series while remaining true to characters that generations of those who have enjoyed the show throughout its various renderings have come to love. And one wonders what other Zombie trademarks the picture may include as well?

Will this be another violent, foul-mouthed piece, will it become a whimsical expansion of the 1999 Livingdead Girl music video, or will we receive a glimpse of another side of Rob Zombie that long-time filmgoers have yet to see? The possibilities are endless.

Rob Zombie also tends to draw allusions to other well-known genre works. Regardless, I cannot wait to see which version of The Munsters is presented. If all goes well, look for it later this year. It will be released by Universal Pictures theatrically while simultaneously being streamed on the streaming service, Peacock.

(Recommended by Kara Grimoire)

21. The Sadness (TBD 2022 – Platform Unknown)

I had a chance to see The Sadness last year on the festival circuit, and I think anyone who enjoys horror movies has to see it. The directorial debut of Canadian animator Rob Jabbaz, filmed in South Korea, The Sadness was awarded Best Picture and Best Director at Fantastic Fest last year in the fest’s horror competition.

I am not the biggest fan of zombie movies, but this one really stood out for me. The fact that it is akin to a Category B/Video Nasty film will put up red flags for some. And it’s not for anyone who shies away from excessive violence and gore. However, while the film is certainly disgusting, it will stay with anyone who sees it. Relentless, brutal, and action-packed from beginning to end, it’s everything hardcore horror fans crave.

The plot is the basic run-of-the-mill zombie flick, but it is executed in a way that is powerful. This is a throwback to when horror movies had one goal: scare the shit out of you. And it delivers in spades.

The Sadness received a theatrical release in Taiwan on January 22, 2021, and Raven Banner acquired the worldwide distribution rights to the film following its festival run. While we haven’t seen a release date officially announced yet, expect this one sometime in 2022. Whether it will be released to streaming, VOD, or theaters is unknown. But our best guess is an early VOD release followed perhaps by a Shudder premiere (fingers crossed).

TRAILER

(Recommended by Nathanial Muir)

22.  The Midnight Club (TBD – Netflix)

Ok, so I’m cheating a bit. The Midnight Club is not a film. But, for my money, any new Mike Flanagan jawn is cause for celebration.

The Midnight Club is an adaptation of a Christopher Pike novel. Many of us cut our horror teeth on Mr. Pike and no one adapts the way Flanagan does. He makes the strongest case for interpretation — finding a way to honor the text while re-envisioning it and making it into a unique and separate creation.

The Midnight Club is a sort of adolescent Flatliners and will welcome back a slew of returning Flanagan regulars. It will be exciting to see Flanagan try his hand at young adult fare (his work has decidedly avoided the “young” qualification to date) and until he gives us a reason to doubt, any and every Mike Flanagan property should be entered into with hope and enthusiasm. He is consistent, clever, and terrifying, which should shoot The Midnight Club up to the top of every horror fan’s list.

(Recommended by Kelly Mintzer)

23. Scare Package 2: Rad Chad’s Revenge (TBD 2022 – Shudder)

Having first discovered it on the festival circuit, the horror anthology film Scare Package was one of my favorites from 2020 (released exclusively on Shudder on June 18th, 2020). It was smart, wickedly funny, original, and wildly entertaining. It was also shot in my hometown of Austin, Texas, and it was such a treat to see my favorite local video store, the now-shuttered Vulcan Video (I hate you, Covid) prominently featured in the brilliant wraparound segment featuring the now-iconic character Rad Chad.

So, obviously, I was pretty psyched to receive an email from Scare Package creator and fellow Austinite Aaron B. Koontz letting me know that a sequel was on its way. The follow-up film, subtitled Rad Chad’s Revenge, is still shrouded in a bit of mystery. According to Koontz, more information will be coming early this year, including the directors and cast involved. He promises it will be unlike any Anthology ever made.

Koontz had this to say about the film in Fangoria, who premiered the teaser trailer (which Koontz says contains some important easter eggs):

“I can confirm that there is a sequel to SCARE PACKAGE. I can also confirm that this video is indeed the announcement of said sequel. I cannot confirm though that Rad Chad may or may not be enacting some form of revenge. Shit, I think I’ve said too much.”

Scare Package 2 will be another Shudder original. All the segments and core story have been shot, so now we wait for an official release date, which I’m chomping at the bit for. Prepare for this hotly anticipated release by watching (or rewatching) the original now on Shudder.

TRAILER

(Recommended by Stephanie Malone)

24. Hellraiser (TBD 2022 – Hulu)

In the dreary November of 1986, Clive Barker released a new kind of terror on the world with his novella, The Hellbound Heart. The following year, he would turn his idea into a film that would become a horror staple, Hellraiser.

Though the first and second installations of the franchise are highly regarded and widely adored by horror fans, the rest of the iterations are pretty hit or miss. As a diehard Hellraiser fan, I don’t think I’ve been able to be excited about a new adaptation in years.

Cut to the 2022 Hellraiser. I was immediately drawn in when I heard that the newest film would basically be a remake of the first, sticking close to the original novella. Considering a lot of fans’ problems with a lot of the sequels is weak scripts, it seems like we’re already moving in the right direction. Then I was over the moon when it was announced that Pinhead would be played by a woman; Jamie Clayton from Sense8.

However, the big clincher for me was that it would be directed by David Bruckner. Horror fans will remember him for co-directing 2007’s The Signal, starring A.J. Bowen, or from his contributions to V/H/S, Southbound, or his most recent flick, The Night House. Having followed his career since it started out, I’m ecstatic to see if he can make something beautiful and revive this wounded franchise.

Another big bonus of this upcoming release is that it will drop on Hulu. Though I love seeing movies at the theater, it is nice to be able to watch something at home and have access to watch it over and over again if it blows you away. As of right now, the release date is simply sometime this year, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for it to be sooner rather than later.

(Recommended by Kourtnea Hogan)

25. Hocus Pocus 2 (Halloween 2022 – Disney+)

I’ve been watching Hocus Pocus almost every spooky season since its release in the early nineties when I was a kid, and now that I’m a parent my kids love to have it on repeat every October.

I’m a big fan of family-friendly spooky films like Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, Hotel Transylvania, etc. So, the announcement that one of the very best of the genre was getting the sequel treatment got me and my entire family excited. Then to find out that the three iconic actresses that appeared in the first film will be reprising their roles as the villainous Sanderson Sisters just made the excitement grow.

This is one that will definitely be getting repeat screenings in my house this October.

BREAKING NEWS: Over the weekend, Hocus Pocus 2 producer Adam Shankman revealed two big pieces of news on his Instagram. The first is that the movie has officially wrapped shooting, which means it is now headed into post-production. The second is that the release date on Disney+ is now “Halloween 2022”, though Shankman didn’t specify if that meant Halloween day (Oct 31, 2022) or just sometime during the Halloween season (typically the month of October).

(Recommended by Peter Hayward-Bailey)

26. Terrifier 2 (TBD 2022 – PLATFORM UNKNOWN)

Many horror fans think Terrifier is the ne plus ultra of killer clown movies. And that’s quite an accomplishment, considering competing chunk blowers like 100 Tears and Stitches.

Damien Leone, the co-writer, producer, and director of the original 2016 film, has returned to deliver a monstrosity the likes of which, he claims, we have never seen before. Could this just be ballyhoo? Good old-fashioned carnival talk (haha)? Maybe, maybe not.

Terrifier 2 will also bring back to us David Howard Thornton as Art the Clown. One of the best things about the original was Art himself. He wasn’t just a pop-up-for-the-kill character. He was actually in the movie, and not just a moving prop. He interacted with the characters.

Terrifier 2 is complete and in the can, and currently being color graded: as we well remember, another remarkable thing about the original was the thick, vibrant color grading. The gore is going to be practical, tasteless, and dominant in what is rumored to be a 2 hour + movie, with the most awe-inspiring set being a massacre at a Halloween party.

No word yet exactly when in 2022 we can expect this highly anticipated sequel. However, it seems ripe for an October release. Leone has expressed a desire to release the movie “roadshow style” once it is finished, so we’ll have to see if that happens and what it means for when you can welcome Art back into your home for more terrifying thrills. All I can say is bring it, 2022! I’m hungry!

OFFICIAL TEASER TRAILER

(Recommended by Jamie Marino)

27. Where the Scary Things Are (TBD Late 2022 – Platform Unknown)

Where the Scary Things Are will be the newest offering from B. Harrison Smith, a filmmaker who is always looking for a unique angle to avoid the ordinary. His latest will be a creature feature that finds a group of outcast kids assigned a school project to make their own urban legend. The group of outcasts takes the assignment as an opportunity to go viral online, the only place where they find true validation and acceptance. (The cast of kids is excellent, specifically Selena Flanscha, a young actress brimming with talent.)

When their urban legend project leads to the unleashing of a real creature, the film explores themes such as coming of age and good versus evil that weaves a dark and timely tale about a lost generation of teens and the monsters they keep in their closets.

As in Smith’s previous films, Where the Scary Things Are features top-notch practical effects, with the bloodthirsty creature looking like the Creature From the Black Lagoon on crack. If you like a good creature feature (and who doesn’t?), keep an eye out for this smartly written film that turns the formula on its head with the question: who are the real monsters?

The film wrapped production in October 2020, so keep an eye out for it to land later this year. We expect it to release on VOD when it premieres, perhaps sometime in October.

(Recommended by Jason McFiggins)

28. Firestarter (TBD 2022 – Theaters)

Firestarter is one of my favorites of the early Stephen King novels and a great story that I felt never got the love it deserved as a film adaptation. The upcoming Blumhouse version has received an R rating, so it’s obvious that it will have much more gore and violence than the 1984 film, which starred a young Drew Barrymore right after her success on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

The earlier adaptation was not well received at the box office. But hopefully, with a bigger budget and a horror-minded production company, Firestarter as a film will live up to its potential.

King’s 1980 novel is about a little girl who develops some very powerful pyrokinetic abilities. Hunted by a secret government agency called The Shop, this group plans to misuse her powers in oh, so many ways. It is a perfect horror premise. I’m not sure I love the idea of Zac Efron in the role of Andrew McGee, but I think Ryan Kiera Armstrong, who I enjoyed in It Chapter 2 and American Horror Story, will be wonderful as the firestarter herself, Charlie McGee.

Stephen King has apparently approved this script, which rarely happens with any of his adaptations. Firestarter as a book, was very violent because fire is a brutal weapon to use against the human body. Director Keith Thomas is teasing the media that heads will be catching on fire and their faces will melt off — my kind of horror film, and much truer to the novel!

No final release date has been announced, but filming wrapped over the summer of 2021, so 2022 should be the year it debuts. Let’s hope both Stephen King and the public love this newest feature.

(Recommended by Vicki Woods)

29. Watcher (TBD 2022 – Platform Unknown)

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

There’s a lot to be excited about with the new psychological thriller Watcher from writer-director Chloe Okuno (V/H/S/94).

Recently premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, Watcher is a throwback of sorts with an old-school, slow-burn premise that finds a woman (Maika Monroe) being watched and followed by an unseen man living in the apartment building across the street from her. This takes place while a series of grisly murders are happening in the area, with all of the victims being young women.

With shades of Hitchcock and Fincher, Okuno creates a relentlessly gripping film from start to finish, slowly increasing the sense of dread and danger. Maika Monroe, who made a splash in the genre with 2014’s It Follows, excels as a woman almost frozen with fear, but curious enough to investigate for herself. But has her paranoia actually turned her into the stalker?

A suspenseful voyeuristic cat and mouse thriller that twists and tightens like a rope, Watcher should without a doubt be on your 2022 watch list.

The film is currently seeking distribution following its Sundance premiere, but we anticipate a release sometime this year, likely to VOD and theaters.

(Recommended by Jason McFiggins)

30: Orphan: First Kill (TBD 2022 – Likely Theaters and Paramount Plus)

The long-awaited prequel to the 2009 film, Orphan: First Kill explores the origin of the film’s title character. Isabelle Fuhrman returns as “Esther,” who assumes the identity of a wealthy family’s missing daughter. The father, grateful to have his daughter back, writes it off as a case of Capgras delusion. The mother (played by Julia Stiles), is not as easily deceived, leaving Esther and her victims locked in a fight for their freedom and their lives. It explores Esther’s arrival into the United States and details how she metamorphosed into the killer from the original.

From a technical standpoint, it will be interesting to see how Fuhrman reprises her role as an unaging woman trapped in perpetual childhood. Filmmakers opted out of using CGI to “de-age” her, and instead chose to use makeup and forced perspective shots to make her appear childlike. If accomplished, it would be a feat of technical excellence and a first for the industry as no other actor has returned to a childhood role where they were expected to portray the character at the same age over a decade after the original film was first released.

It’s one of the rare occasions where we know how a story ends, yet Fuhrman promises plenty of the brutal shocks associated with the first movie. It will be challenging to beat Orphan‘s infamous revelation. However, it seems encouraging that Stiles admitted that even she didn’t see the prequel’s twist coming.

Direction from horror veteran William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside, The Boy) and a story written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (Orphan, The Conjuring 2) and Alex Mace (Orphan) bring additional strength to an already promising cast and crew.

Orphan: First Kill was originally rumored to be released on January 28th, but that was later deemed to be unofficial. As of right now, no official release date has been announced. But the film will be distributed by Paramount, which means we can likely expect a theatrical release as well as a release to Paramount’s streaming platform Paramount Plus.

(Recommended by B. DeCesare)

Leave a Reply

Allowed tags:  you may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="">, <strong>, <em>, <h1>, <h2>, <h3>
Please note:  all comments go through moderation.
Overall Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.