My October 2022 Horror Watchlist
Happy November! My eighth 31 Days of Horror Challenge has ended, and I enjoyed watching horror movies so much that I think I’ll keep up with it for a little bit. Below is the full list of horror movies that I watched in October 2022…keep scrolling to read mini reviews of each film that I watched! (Warning: very long post.)
October 1: Hocus Pocus 2. Not horror, but because it’s a Halloween movie, I allowed it. I rewatched the original at the end of September to prep for the sequel. Veep alums Sam Richardson and Tony Hale were welcome additions to the cast (as was Hannah Waddingham in a small but glamorously witchy role). The movie was pretty cute, and the scene set in Walgreens, of places, was particularly entertaining. I had hoped for more of the original cast to return. Having the Sanderson sisters as well as Billy Butcherson back on screen was a good time, though.
October 2: Who Invited Them. A new horror film on Shudder starring Ryan Hansen from Veronica Mars and Party Down. The plot twist was too predictable; I saw it coming from a mile away during some early expository dialogue. However, I did like the slight Manson-inspired vibe, along with a whiff of Funny Games. Not the best horror film, but it was an okay—if uneven—watch.
October 3: Goodnight Mommy (2022). Not sure if a remake of the 2014 Austrian film was necessary. But Naomi Watts and the Crovetti twins did a good job in this English language remake. The creepy vibe was maintained, though I was less creeped out by this movie. I honestly didn’t remember the original well, and did not recall the twist until about three quarters of the way though the remake. If you loved the original film, I wouldn’t call this a must-watch.
October 4: Orphan: First Kill. What a pleasant surprise. I saw Orphan (2009) years ago and have little recollection of the details. So before hitting play on this new prequel, I refreshed my memory by reading a plot synopsis. Isabelle Fuhrman returned as the titular character, along with Julia Stiles. In no way did I see this film’s twist coming, so it felt fresh.
October 5: Cannibal Holocaust. A classic Italian cannibal exploitation film that I watched in 2020. I’ve been kinda obsessed with the soundtrack since its music was used in Euphoria, so I decided to rewatch. There’s a real argument to be made that it’s a statement about the media and journalistic ethics (“I wonder who the real cannibals are?”). But the movie also fully leans in to its cruelty and shock value. It’s not for the faint of heart…there are so many trigger warnings I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Shudder does include a warning prior to the opening credits about the film’s extreme graphic nature.
October 6: Watcher. This Shudder exclusive has Lost in Translation-slash-reverse Rear Window vibes. The film is a creepy slow burn starring Maika Monroe from It Follows. I really enjoyed the cinematography; the location (Bucharest, Romania) felt pretty desolate considering the city setting. Feels like it must have been filmed during the pandemic.
October 7: Hellraiser (2022). I watched this straight-to-Hulu reboot on release day, and I really liked it! I’ve seen the original 1987 film a couple times but didn’t remember it well so I refreshed my memory via Wikipedia. Jamie Clayton was a good Pinhead, and the updated Cenobite designs were very cool. However, the Cenobites seemed like they should be gooier and glistening, given all the flayed skin. Overall this was a fun movie with the right amount of gruesomeness, tension, and gore.
October 8: Hellraiser (1987). After watching the new version, I decided to return to the source. It’s a very weird movie, and way more gooey than the reboot. The Cenobites are the highlight, though their role in the first film is much smaller than you’d expect given how people tend to think of Pinhead when they hear the movie’s name. Personally, I find the Chatting Cenobite to be the scariest of the bunch. I think watching the reboot gave me more of an appreciation of the original than I used to have.
October 9: Significant Other. I encountered this new release while browsing Paramount Plus; I hadn’t heard of the film, and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. This was my second film this month that starred Maika Monroe, along with Jake Lacey of The Office and The White Lotus. Beautifully shot, good twists, solid acting. Good all around.
October 10: Deadstream. This new Shudder release was another fun surprise. The acting wasn’t great and the effects were low budget, but it was frequently clever, funny, and increasingly gross (a compliment). These things also describe The Evil Dead, which clearly inspired this film. Fans of that film will likely notice at least one or two references in this movie.
October 11: Spirit Halloween: The Movie. Did I rent this on its release day? Sure did! Were my expectations low? Quite. Is this movie any good? It’s fine, kinda cute, but under-utilizes the wonderful Christopher Lloyd. The most original thing about the movie is that it’s set in a real-life big box pop-up store. Maybe we’ll get Target Halloween: The Movie next year. 😛
October 12: My Best Friend’s Exorcism. A fun teen horror comedy set in the 1980’s. Naturally, I enjoyed the hair, makeup, costumes, and music. The film took its time building tension regarding what was going on with one of the two main characters. It felt fresh in that you just don’t see many comedies about demonic possession.
October 13: The Black Phone. Blumhouse horror movies’ quality has become diluted over the years due to the sheer volume of content they produce. This one, though, based on a short story by Joe Hill—Stephen King’s son—and starring Ethan Hawke in a truly nightmarish mask, was pretty good. Very fine acting by both main kids, too (Madison Thames and Madeleine McGraw).
October 14: Halloween Ends. Another Blumhouse! Of course I had to watch this new Michael Myers installment on release day. I didn’t love Halloween Kills, but this movie was better. The film at times felt like a 1980’s slasher homage, particularly during the kills. There was actual character development, though it felt compressed and therefore messy. And the ending was pretty solid, as far as major horror franchises go. Overall, a decent watch.
October 15: Dark Glasses. The new Dario Argento film on Shudder! Not the best script, but the film had Argento’s signature color, gory deaths, and fantastic music. Overall pretty average, with a couple silly scenes (water snake nest, anyone?!). And Argento apparently hasn’t gotten the memo about gratuitous topless women. I did like the premise of a newly blind woman trying to evade a killer while trying to navigate her dark new world.
October 16: They Live. My first time watching this classic “Illuminati but make it aliens” John Carpenter film. It’s horror adjacent, but with JC at the helm, I’ll allow it. This is movie encapsulates the oh-so-’80s but still highly relevant attitude about greed, wealth, and power. TBH, I feel like this movie must be popular with QAnon followers (cringe). Overall enjoyable, though (and lol @ that extended fight scene between Roddy Piper and Keith David).
October 17: The Funhouse. This Tobe Hooper film feels like a precursor to Rob Zombie’s trashy, grimy, fringe-of-society flicks. The drooling Frankenstein-masked carnival worker was giving Leatherface vibes. It’s a pretty slow slasher with a pointless side plot involving a little boy. But I did like the creepy, vintage funhouse animatronics.
October 18: Halloween III: Season of the Witch. I watched this Halloween franchise one-off for the first time in 2019. This year marks the movie’s 40th anniversary, so I decided to rewatch it. It really is weird, but in a good way.
October 19: Don’t Breathe. Wow. I’m glad I watched this movie! It’s one of the better films I’ve watched this month. Really great tension-building, direction, and cinematography, as well as a disturbing reveal. Good all around.
October 20: Curtains. Starring John Vernon (Dean Wormer from Animal House) as the ultimate #MeToo creep in this semi-gothic 1980s flick with intermittent Suspiria vibes. The video quality (streamed on Peacock) was really poor, so it was difficult to make out certain darker scenes. The curtain wipes as scene transitions added some visual flair, though. A little boring at times, but had a decent ending.
October 21: The Hitcher. More of an action thriller than slasher horror, but Rutger Hauer’s enigmatic, murderous psychopath is pretty terrifying. This movie, also starring C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh, was well-shot and full of moments that must have been rather frightening at the time (it came out in 1986).
October 22: Terror Trips. A very amateurish B-movie with a decent premise but didn’t really deliver. The writing and acting were bad, and it was pretty obvious that it was not filmed in Poland (it was apparently shot in the Midwest). I had low expectations going on, and they were not surpassed.
October 23: Sole Survivor. This slow burn 1984 movie was pretty good. Sort of like a precursor to Final Destination with a couple Suspiria-esque moments. I had never heard of this film before, but was pleasantly surprised. Bonus movie: The Crow. John and I rented the movie and watched it together for the first time. I saw The Crow in the theater when it came out and have always loved it!
October 24: The Fly. Can you believe I had yet to see this Cronenberg film?! The body horror and special effects in this movie are truly disgusting, and I mean that as a compliment. Another thing that stood out to me was the discussion of abortion in which characters actually said the word “abortion” not once, but twice. This was at a time when movies and tv shows almost always used euphemisms instead.
October 25: Barbarian. I had hoped to see this in the theater, but it just released on HBO Max so I decided to watch at home. What a fun horror movie!! And by fun I mean legit scary, gross, and wild. This would have been really enjoyable to see in a crowded theater. Also, it was nice to see Justin Long in a horror film again. I managed to avoid spoilers before watching it, and I’m so glad I did.
October 26: The New York Ripper. I’m about 99% sure I had already seen this Lucio Fulci film, but I know I haven’t watched it during any previous 31 Days of Horror. This slasher is an especially male id-driven (read: horny and sexually gratuitous) example of early ’80s giallo with a killer who quacks like a duck. And it wouldn’t be a Fulci film without eyeball gore.
October 27: The Endless. More of a sci-fi thriller than horror, this movie is eerie, well-executed, and quite unique. The film is strange and kinda mind-bending; at times it made me think of Midsommar, Nope, and Picnic at Hanging Rock. I wouldn’t place it on the same level as those films, but it was an unexpectedly cool discovery.
October 28: Where the Scary Things Are. A low-budget 2022 film with a halfway decent premise, but doesn’t deliver on script, sympathetic characters, acting, or much of anything. The best thing about it is the poster…except for the fact that the image barely even relates to the story. Not all 31 movies can be winners. Bonus: Funhouse, another B-movie but was better than my main pick of the day. It’s like if Big Brother, Squid Game, and Saw had a baby and sprinkled it with Mr. Robot and Black Mirror.
October 29: The Exorcist III. Very different from the first two Exorcist movies, and surprisingly captivating. The casting of Brad Dourif (Billy Bibbit from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as well as the voice of homicidal doll Chucky) was absolutely perfect. I loved his long, violent monologues. And a weird, brief Fabio camero? What? This film has some wild scenery chewing, especially—and often—from George C. Scott and the main hospital nurse. Bonus: I rewatched Barbarian with John because I wanted him to experience it too. Loved it the second time as well!!
October 30: Sissy. A new release on Shudder, this candy-colored Australian horror was quite enjoyable. It had a cheeky sense of humor, plenty of social commentary about wellness/self-help influencer culture, and memorable visuals (i.e. lots of intense kills and gore). A fun watch!
October 31: Bodies Bodies Bodies. A new release from A24 with a similar general premise as Sissy, but had a different vibe. There was some solid social satire of Gen Z (two thumbs up from me!), and the ending gave me a laugh. This would have been fun to see in the theater.
Horror by the Decade
Each year I do a rundown of how many films from each decade that I watched. Here’s my tally for 2022:
- 1980’s: 10
- 1990’s: 2
- 2000’s: 0
- 2010’s: 1
- 2020’s: 19
I leaned WAY into recent releases this year! I wasn’t really planning on that. But there were so many options, and I liked many of the new films quite a bit. My favorite horror movie by far this year was Barbarian, which I watched twice in one week!
- The 101 Scariest Horror Movie Moments of All Time (all eight episodes)
- Cursed Films (season 1, episodes 1-3)
My previous years’ watch lists:
I’m sure I’ll be back in 2023 with another round of 31 Days of Horror!