Well, after my part 1 went up I went on a long spree of watching more Halloween/Horror films from this year, and it would appear that I saved the worst for last. There were definitely a few that I really enjoyed, but I must admit, half of this list leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, as with all movies, this is completely subjective: there are definitely some films high on my list that would be extremely low on others’ and vice versa. Also, these are only films—there were many great horror shows this year (The Midnight Club, Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, and Dahmer to name a few) and I would definitely recommend checking out some of the fantastic streaming shows that have come out this year. With that out of the way, here are 12 more Halloween/horror films ranked.
12. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise is, in my opinion, one of the worst horror franchises out there. The original film from 1974 is phenomenal, but from there, all the other entries are awful. Netflix’s newest attempt falls among the worst films in the franchise. With a severe lack of original ideas, a laughably stupid third act, and absolutely no fear or dread to be found, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) is one to be filed under “Why does this exist?”
11. Prey for the Devil (2022)
Between The Conjuring universe, The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), and many others, I love exorcism movies. So, I was super excited for Prey for the Devil as it looked to be 2022’s main offering for that brand of horror. Unfortunately, my excitement was misplaced. This film is annoyingly paint by numbers is all aspects: the story, dialogue, scares, effects, I’ve seen it all before, and done better. A horror film just being conventional is passible in and of itself, but this film decides to go a step further. The pro-life message of this film is continuously bashed into your head to the point where I couldn’t look past it and it became a massive stain on an otherwise okay movie. If you are a pro-lifer and like B-level horror, then I would say you would thoroughly enjoy this film, but if you don’t completely fall into that demographic, this is a groan inducer to get through.
10. The Munsters (2022)
I think it’s fair to say that EVERYONE thought this movie was going to be utter garbage when the first trailer released, and to be honest, we weren’t far off. Rob Zombie is a director that I very rarely enjoy, so I my expectations were incredibly low. While this is a truly horribly made movie, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t somewhat enjoy it. The way Zombie made this film, I think it would have been significantly better received if he cut it into quarters, made it all black and white, and released it as a mini-series. Watching this, I realized that it just felt like I was binging the original 1964 sitcom, and then it became clear that was what Rob Zombie was going for. While I think Zombie succeeded in recreating the show and it’s style, the lack of modernization outside the use of color really dated The Munsters. The story is drawn out and awful, the pacing is all over the place, it’s cringe to a fault, but I oddly like it? While I disbelievingly kind of liked it, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
9. My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022)
All of the streamers really leaned into horror this year, and a streaming service whose originals I normally really enjoy is Amazon. So, I went into My Best Friend’s Exorcism with hope… this film is something. Throughout this movie there were several moments where I thought I was really enjoying it, but too often, these good moments were undercut by a character being incredibly stupid or a failed attempt at humor. This was clearly intended to be a dark teen comedy for the Halloween season, but I only chuckled twice and the rest of the jokes fell extremely flat. Personally, I would not recommend this to anyone unless you are a massive fan of Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story, Scream Queens) brand content because this very much feels like it would have been made by him on a bad day at the office (it wasn’t).
8. Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)
This may be a bit controversial, but I am not a big fan of the original Hocus Pocus (1993). I always watched it when it came on Disney Channel when I was a kid, but that was usually only because Halloweentown (1998) was coming on after it. So, I sat down with a tempered mind towards this film, and it was better than I was expecting it to be. The story and pacing are very clearly “made for television” and if you’re not a fan of the first film, you probably won’t like this one. Personally, I feel like Hocus Pocus 2 is more like a Halloweentown sequel, if it was produced by Hallmark. If you love the original, or are looking for something to watch with the whole family, I can definitely recommend this Disney+ original. That said, its Hallmark-esque quirk is definitely not for everyone.
7. Choose or Die (2022)
Netflix is notorious for its massive range in quality when it comes to their original films. Horror films are already a hit-and-miss genre and pairing it with Netflix is always a gamble. However, the premise for Choose or Die (a video game that curses you) definitely peaked my interest as it seemed like an extremely original idea. While Choose or Die opens really strong and intriguing, the film slowly unravels. By the time the movie finished, I was left thinking that the creators didn’t know the limits to their own premise because it got more and more ridiculous as it went. The film does have some great performances and great moments, but the film’s great moments and premise are completely overshadowed by the mind-numbing clunkiness of its execution.
6. Halloween Ends (2022)
I loved 2018’s Halloween and absolutely hated 2021’s Halloween Kills, so I was very conflicted about whether or not I even wanted to go see this movie. With the mixed audience reaction, I figured I might as well go and watch the final entry in the Laurie Strode/Michael Myers saga and, surprisingly, I actually really enjoyed it. To be fair to all who are talking ill of the film, this was not well marketed for what it is. Much like Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), the main villain in this movie is not Michael (he is in this one though) and I think that threw a lot of people off. In fact, I would say this movie is the least “horror” of the entire franchise as most of the movie feels more like a drama. While this film does have several problems (one-dimensional characters, pacing issues, a few instances of bad dialogue to name a few), I would contend that Halloween Ends is a significant improvement over Kills and is a fitting conclusion to the Halloween franchise.
5. Terrifier 2 (2022)
I have not seen any of the other Damien Leone films/shorts that feature the disturbing Art the Clown, but after hearing the stories of people fainting and vomiting after seeing Terrifier 2, I figured I needed to see what all the fuss was about. I can handle blood and guts quite well, but even I must admit that this film made me queasy. This movie is two and a half hours of absolute brutalization and it is not for the faint of heart. That said, if you can stomach it, I would highly recommend this movie. Leone has created one of the most terrifying horror icons in the demonic mime Art and every scene in this movie is filled with dread. The extremely relatable characters make every kill more horrifying and keep the stakes high while still keeping a sense of heart. It is also worth noting that this movie was made with a $250,000 Kickstarter budget, so almost everything in this film is made practically (lots of raw meat and watermelons were likely used to make this film happen) and it all looks too real. This film definitely could’ve shaved about twenty-five minutes off and cleaned up the final act, but overall, Terrifier 2 is a bloody good time.
4. The Batman (2022)
I originally wasn’t going to include The Batman in my Halloween list as it’s not really horror, but I figured if I rank Die Hard (1988) among Christmas movies, I might as well. The Batman follows Robert Pattinson’s take on the caped crusader as he tries and track down a serial killer version of The Riddler (played by Paul Dano) during the Halloween season. Much of this film is inspired by the comic Batman: The Long Halloween, and this adaptation of Batman is phenomenal. Leaning into the psychological thriller and detective aspect of Batman is one of the best things that director Matt Reeves could’ve have done, and it definitely leads to a more tense and suspenseful Batman flick. This movie is easily among my top 5 favorite films of the year so far, so if it’s between this and all the other films I have listed before it, I would definitely recommend this as a Halloween watch. However, I am listing it lower on this list as it is a bit of a cop out to include it.
3. Wendell & Wild (2022)
From the director of Coraline (2009), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and James and the Giant Peach (1996), Wendell & Wild is Henry Selick’s latest Halloween stop-motion adventure. Partnering with Jordan Peele’s production house, Monkeypaw, and Netflix, Selick once again delivers a delightfully grim family adventure for the holiday. I don’t think this film is quite as special as his other films and the story is overstuffed, but characters are really fun and memorable and command your attention. This film definitely has a lot more adult themes than his other projects and the runtime is definitely felt towards the end, so this may not be the watch if you’re with small kids. However, Wendell & Wild definitely earn their place among other Halloween must-watch films.
2. Hellraiser (2022)
Much like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, I am not a big fan of the Hellraiser films. However, since Hulu managed to revitalize my excitement for Predator films with Prey (2022), I decided to give their newest Hellraiser (2022) a chance. I am still shocked at how much I liked this movie. This is a movie that’s not for everyone, but I personally loved it. I thought the performances were strong and the sense dread was ever present. While the story is simple, the disturbing imagery and lore brought in this installment make this movie soar, and the Hellraiser franchise has never felt more invigorating. In my opinion, this is definitely the best film in the franchise to date.
1. Fresh (2022)
Fresh is another Hulu horror film that I slept on. I remember it releasing and getting good reviews, but for whatever reason I put off watching it. That was a massive mistake on my part—the movie is incredible. Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan both deliver stunning leading performances in this dark look at modern dating. Filled with dark humor, strong twists, and a wicked atmosphere, Fresh delivers on all fronts and is easily one of the best horror films to release all year. While this cannibalistic film isn’t for all, I would definitely rank this up there with Barbarian as a much watch this Halloween season.