Fans of horror movies are always on the lookout for their next good scare – a task that is, sometimes, harder to achieve than it should be. The sad truth is that, for every blockbuster thriller like NOPE or HALLOWEEN ENDS that receives nearly universal attention, there are plenty of other little gems that tend to go overlooked.
For instance, the unrated version of THE INVITATION – which is now available on VOD – is just one of a handful of horror movies released in 2022 that did not acquire a particularly huge “body count” during their initial run at AMC Theatres. However, you can give these recent, freaky flicks listed below a chance by checking them out from home…if you dare.
The Invitation (Unrated)
Gothic romance is a genre that has been explored for as long as cinema – especially horror cinema – has existed. Director Jessica M. Thompson and writer Blair Butler resurrect it for a modern audience with a few stylized twists, while still honoring its more traditional elements, with THE INVITATION.
Nathalie Emmanuel of the FAST AND FURIOUS franchise plays a young woman who, following the death of her mother, takes a DNA test to explore her ancestry and finds she has family in London, where she travels to meet them on the weekend of a wedding. However, she soon discovers that there is a sinister purpose behind her presence at this event in this aesthetically dazzling thriller, which has an unrated cut that is now available on VOD.
Some of the most effective horror films are the ones grounded in real-life terrors and common fears that haunt individuals on a regular basis. For instance, if you are one of the many people who suffer from acrophobia – which is defined as a fear of heights – you are certainly in for a spine-tingling experience if you choose to watch FALL on VOD.
Co-writer and director Scott Mann’s heart-racing thriller stars Grace Caroline Currey as a young woman, still traumatized by a personal tragedy, who is convinced by Virginia Gardner, as her daredevil best friend, to face her fears by climbing a 2,000-foot radio tower. The death-defying stunt soon becomes a deadly struggle for survival after a complication leaves them stranded at the very top with unreliable cell phone reception, a low supply of resources and a dwindling sense of hope as they try to figure out a safe way down.
The 1980s are often credited as the definitive era of the slasher movie, but the more primitive and experimental days of the subgenre involving people struggling to outrun those with homicidal tendencies can be traced to the mid-to-late 1970s. It is this specific period – the origin point of franchises like THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and HALLOWEEN – that inspired indie horror hero Ti West to write and direct his most thematically complex and “eye-popping” effort yet.
Set in 1979, the A24-produced X follows a group of youthful people who set out to make their dreams of stardom come true by discreetly shooting an adult film at a rural Texas farm, but find themselves fighting to survive a living nightmare after their elderly, married hosts catch on to their dirty secret. Before you see its acclaimed prequel, PEARL, in theaters – if you have not already – be sure to check out its bold, brutal, and morbidly cheeky predecessor on VOD.
Bodies Bodies Bodies
Each of the slasher genre’s various evolutionary periods have been defined by a certain unifying element and, for today’s era, that element has been a potent dose of darkly humorous social commentary. One of the more cleverly funny and topically relevant horror films in recent memory – and, especially, in 2022 – is BODIES BODIES BODIES.
In the sophomore feature-length effort from director Halina Reijn, a weekend get-together for a group of young, wealthy friends goes horribly wrong when they decide to play the titular party game and someone – or possibly one of them – begins to take it to a far too literal level. Featuring a star-studded cast including Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova and Pete Davidson, this A24 thriller holds a mirror to our current generation, smashes that mirror and uses the shards to produce a truly bloody good time on VOD.
With the obvious exclusion of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW or LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, a breed of horror movies that often go unjustly overlooked are the kind that combine horror with rock ‘n’ roll, such as 1986’s TRICK OR TREAT or New Zealand import, DEATHGASM, from 2015. Thus, it is easy to see why STUDIO 666 became one of the more overlooked horror flicks of 2022, even with a band like Foo Fighters starring as themselves.
Dave Grohl actually came up with the idea for this fictionalized account of the making of he and his bandmates’ tenth album – the biggest change to the story being that the house they record from is haunted by a malevolent entity that possesses the frontman. Imagine if one of alternative rock’s most popular groups were the stars of an EVIL DEAD movie and you have this funny, freaky blast that any fan of both music and horror should check out on VOD if they missed it in theaters.
It has been a while since the horror genre has been blessed with a year of consistent quality like 2022 has proven to be. Be sure to catch yourself up on the ones that flew under the radar by checking out these spooky VOD releases.