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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

The Best Horror Films of 2022

Since we are horror obsessed here at the Lunatics Project (and we assume you are too), we wanted to see which horror films made the biggest impact last year. In order to identify the most popular horror films of 2022, we shared a Google Form across our social media accounts that allowed folks to nominate their favorite Horror films released in 2022 across the below categories.

After receiving the initial nominations, we finalized the selections and let everyone vote on their favorites. The final results are below. Scroll down to the bottom to see the overall favorite horror film of 2022.

Best Makeup + Costumes Horror fans know how important believable costumes and makeup are in order to really sell the premise. But makeup and costumes that transport us to another world can take a great film and turn it into an extraordinary one.

Finalists: Hellraiser, X, Barbarian, Crimes of The Future and Cabinet of Curiosities

Winner: Crimes of The Future

It’s no surprise that Cronenberg was able to create the best kind of disturbing, dystopian future-state world. This is a situation where the front-runner really pulled through. Everything about this movie screams Cronenberg. From the beds, to the chairs to the costumes, this movie immediately pulls you into a body-obsessed, surgically high on life society. If you can stomach it, it does not disappoint.

Best Special Effects Arguably even more important to horror than makeup, is special effects. All of the finalists had their moments, but there was one film that won by a landslide.

Finalists: Nope, Barbarian, Mad God

Winner: Nope

Jordan Peele’s third feature film was met with mixed reviews, but we loved it at the Lunatics Project. And it seems a lot of you did too. In Nope, Peele plays with effects and sound design in a way that feels fresh.

Best Slasher Film Personally, I was very excited for these results. Slasher films have a very prominent place in my heart. And I am eager to watch any new slasher film that can breathe new life into the sub-genre.

Finalists: Terrifier 2, X, Violent Night, Halloween Ends, Scream

Winner: X

One of the more split votes. X won with a majority, but all of the other films were in close second positions. I was intrigued by Ti West’s double feature type release for this franchise. I enjoy his work in V/H/S and I enjoy his work with X. Excited to see him making a splash.

Best Twist or Ending A classic horror category!

Finalists: Barbarian, X, The Menu, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies.

Winner: Barbarian

I have to say, personally I would have given this one to Bodies. But the people have spoken! I don’t think Barbarian has a ~twist~ but perhaps it has an allegory that becomes clear.

Best Kill Our most violent category, but for the fans!

Finalists: Barbarian, Terrifier 2, Violent Night, The Menu, Scream, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies

Winner: The Menu

The votes on this one were really split between The Menu, Scream and Violent Night. I was a bit let down by this category overall in 2022. For example, we got the ~finale~ to a really big horror franchise, and what should have been an iconic final kill that was sadly lackluster. I loved The Menu however, and totally think it deserves the Lunie (Luny?) for 2022 Best Kill.

Best Jump Scare Another necessary category. Though, next year I may add a category for “worst jump scare,” or “film that relied too heavily on jump scares.” I just can’t get behind a cheap and unnecessary scare that doesn’t add to the story. That being said, here are the nominees!

Finalists: Smile, Barbarian, X, The Menu

Winner: Barbarian

Another win for Barbarian that I am protesting, but I do accept the results of this democratic exercise. I don’t mean to say I hated Barbarian, but I thought there were some iconic scares from 2022 that outshined this film.

Best Final Girl An outdated category for an outdated trope.

Finalists: Laurie Strode (Halloween Ends), Pearl (Pearl), Emerald Haywood (Nope), Maxine (X), Margot

Mills (The Menu), Tara Carpenter (Scream)

Winner: Emerald Haywood (Nope)

I live for Laurie Strode and Margot Mills but I was rooting for Emerald. I loved her journey and her essence and her win.

Best Horror Score Everyone knows that horror films can live and die by their scores. I was surprised at the lack of nominations here. All centered around three films:

Finalists: X, Nope, Deadstream

Winner: Nope

The vast majority of both nominations and votes came in for Nope! Love to see it.

Best Horror Comedy The combination of horror and comedy, when done well, is such a genre-bending win. I live for films that are both truly laugh out loud funny, and truly terrifying without feeling silly or gimmicky.

Finalists: Fresh, Flux Gourmet, The Menu, Deadstream, My Best Friend’s Exorcism.

Winner: The Menu

Another overwhelming win for The Menu, coming in with just shy of 90% of the votes.

Best Science Fiction Film A sister genre to our beloved horror, and certainly one with a lot of overlap. We wanted to separately honor the best science fiction films of 2022.

Finalists: Nope, Crimes of The Future, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Winner: Everything Everywhere All At Once

A well deserved win. Everything Everywhere All At Once deserves the world.

Best Thriller Another sister genre to horror.

Finalists: Decision to Leave, Bullet Train, Black Phone, Glass Onion

Winner: Glass Onion

Super surprised by this win! What a plot twist, but people love a quirky who-done-it. I didn’t love Glass Onion as much as Knives Out, but I liked it a lot more than Black Phone…Though I think The Watcher is missing from this category.

Best Overall Horror Film The moment is here! Our highest honor. The Luny for Best Horror Film of 2022 goes to….

Finalists: The Watcher, X, Prey, Barbarian, Nope, Smile, Pearl, The Menu, Bodies, Bodies Bodies, Halloween Ends, Scream

Winner: Nope

With an unbelievable 73% of the votes! Nope is the undisputed best horror film of 2022. As voted in by you.

Best Horror TV Show To round us out we wanted to honor the best horror TV series. Especially because so much of our watching behavior (as a society) centers around streaming.

Finalists: 1899, Stranger Things, American Horror Story, Cabinet of Curiosities

Winner: Stranger Things

Again, with a vast majority of the vote. No major surprise here, and definitely the most horrifying season of Stranger Things to date.

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