2022’s Top 10 Highest Rated Theatrically Released Horror Films

Horror films had something of a resurgence in 2022, and it’s been a thrill to see. Not only were there a refreshingly high number of successful, theatrically released scary movies, but many of them were received well by critics and audiences alike. Unfortunately, the best horror film of the year, David Gordon Green’s Halloween Ends, received a rather lukewarm response due to people’s expectations getting the better of them, but keep an eye out for a reappraisal of the film as a lowkey masterpiece in 2032… but I digress. Here are the 10 highest-rated chillers that had critics and audiences on the edge of their seats this year.

10. The Black Phone, directed by Scott Derrickson

83% critics score, 88% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer’s previous victims. (via IMDB)

9. Terrifier 2, directed by Damien Leone

86% critics score, 80% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to the timid town of Miles County where he targets a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night. (via IMDB)

8. Watcher, directed by Chloe Okuno

87% critics score, 67% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

A young American woman moves with her husband to Bucharest, and begins to suspect that a stranger who watches her from the apartment building across the street may be a local serial killer decapitating women. (via IMDB)

7. Pearl, directed by Ti West

91% critics score, 82% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

Trapped on her family’s isolated farm, Pearl must tend to her ailing father under the bitter and overbearing watch of her devout mother. Lusting for a glamorous life like she’s seen in the movies, Pearl finds her ambitions, temptations, and repressions all colliding in this origin story of X’s iconic villain. (via IMDB)

6. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, directed by Jane Schoenbrun

91% critics score, 24% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

Alone in her attic bedroom, teenager Casey becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game, wherein she begins to document the changes that may or may not be happening to her. (via IMDB)

5. Hatching, directed by Hanna Bergholm

92% critics score, 61% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

A young gymnast, who tries desperately to please her demanding mother, discovers a strange egg. She hides it and keeps it warm, but when it hatches, what emerges shocks them all. (via IMDB)

4. Barbarian, directed by Zach Cregger

92% critics score, 71% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

In town for a job interview, a young woman arrives at her Airbnb rental late at night only to find that the house has been mistakenly double-booked and a strange man is already staying there. Against her better judgment, she decides to stay the night anyway, but soon discovers that there is much more to be afraid of in the house than the other house guest. (via IMDB)

3. You Won’t Be Alone, directed by Goran Stolevski

93% critics score, 68% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

In an isolated mountain village in 19th century Macedonia, a young girl is kidnapped and then transformed into a witch by an ancient spirit. (via IMDB)

2. X, directed by Ti West

94% critics score, 75% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives. (via IMDB)

1. The Innocents, directed by Eskil Vogt

96% critics score, 72% audience score (via Rotten Tomatoes)

During the bright Nordic summer, a group of children reveal their dark and mysterious powers when the adults aren’t looking. In this original and gripping supernatural thriller, playtime takes a dangerous turn.

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