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The 17 Most Anticipated Horror Releases To Watch For The End Of 2022

Fall isn't just the favorite season for those who detest summer's broiling heat. It's prime season for horror film and television released strategically in time for Halloween. One film on this list is about "Halloween," and you've no doubt heard all about it. But what about other releases appearing in theaters, on streamers, or under the radar? From films about iPhones that communicate with the dead to live streaming haunted houses to horrific restaurants and casual cannibalism, there's truly something for every taste this fall. That's no cliche — there are millions of horror fans out there, with a million specific and unique interests. The projects that succeed, however, require a certain willingness to transcend genre, push boundaries, and show us something we've never seen before. In other words, to scare us silly.

Stephen King is back. So's Mike Flanagan, and the acclaimed team of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Films from Japan and Spain are here. Horror houses Blumhouse, Dark Sky, Dark Star, and XYZ Films have new entries, which is always reason for hurrahs. A-listers like Timothee Chalamet, Anya Taylor-Joy, Naomi Watts, and Christian Bale are here to bask in genre madness. Stars of yesteryear like Mia Farrow, Virginia Madsen, Mena Suvari, Leslie Uggams, and others are back for some slash 'n' burn, perhaps hoping for a career resurgence. 

One thing's for certain — we're in for a hell of ride. So buckle up, buttercup. These filmmakers are pulling out the stops.

Mr. Harrigan's Phone (October 5)

You think your iPhone is creepy? Just wait 'til you get a load of Craig's, which has much more to offer than "Candy Crush" and access to TikTok. Craig's phone, you see, can communicate with the dead. To be more specific, it can communicate with the late octogenarian billionaire Mr. Harrigan. That "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" is based on a story by Stephen King, Craig is played by "It" standout Jaeden Martell, and Harrigan is played by veteran Donald Sutherland lends serious cred to this Netflix project, written and directed by John Lee Hancock. If that's not reason enough to watch it, then perhaps this supernatural coming of age tale isn't for you. But after their success with two prior King properties, "Gerald's Game" and "1922," Netflix is willing to bet you're already salivating for more. Jason Blum and Ryan Murphy are both credited as producers, which makes "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" a behind-the-scenes merging of horror universes. 

Deadstream (October 6)

Picture it: you get to spend the night in an infamous haunted house and live stream the whole thing. Surefire bet, right? Followers, fame, the whole nine yards. If you're disgraced YouTuber Shawn, it's not just a great opportunity — it's your last chance to return to prominence. Only problem — someone, or some things, don't want you there. A hit at SXSW — though it premieres on Shudder on October 6 — the found footage horror comedy "Deadstream" is the feature directorial debut of husband-and-wife team Vanessa and Joseph Winter, with Joseph starring as Shawn. The whole affair sounds like a hoot, drawing praise from Meagan Navarro in her review for Bloody Disgusting: "The paranormal activity begins small, enough to instill rooting interest for its human characters, then ramps up with increasing splatstick energy. It spirals into a gonzo horror-comedy full of bodily fluids, gore, and ghostly creatures that would make Sam Raimi proud." The vibe here is distinctly "Evil Dead 2" with a modern, tech-savvy spin.   

The Midnight Club (October 7)

After 2018's celebrated miniseries "The Haunting of Hill House" and its underappreciated follow-up "The Haunting of Bly Manor" on Netflix, director Mike Flanagan delivered "The Shining" sequel "Doctor Sleep" (approved by the master himself, Stephen King, unlike its predecessor) and "Midnight Mass," also on Netflix. Now, Flanagan's back with "The Midnight Club." Based on Christopher Pike's 1994 novel of the same name. "The Midnight Club" includes a cast of young up-and-comers, including Iman Benson, Igby Rigney and Annarah Cymone, and Aya Furukawa, many of whom will appear in Flanagan's next project, "The Fall of the House of Usher." "The Midnight Club" also has an ace up its sleeve in the casting department — horror icon Heather Langenkamp, who achieved immortality with her turn as Nancy Thompson in 1984's genre staple "A Nightmare on Elm Street," plays the founder and doctor of Brightcliffe Hospice, Georgina Stanton.

The Watcher (October 13)

"The Watcher" is a whodunnit from the ubiquitous Ryan Murphy, whose deal with Netflix has been hit-and-miss thus far, churning out such fare as "The Prom," The Politician," "Hollywood," and most recently, "Dahmer." For "The Watcher," Murphy and perennial co-writer Ian Brennan have assembled a starry cast, including Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Coolidge, Margo Martindale, Mia Farrow, Christopher McDonald, and more. Directors attached include Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who can count "Paranormal Activity 3," "Nerve," and "Project Power" among their prior endeavors. The series follows the true story of a married couple (Watts and Cannavale) who, after moving into their dream home in (of all places) New Jersey, are harassed through letters signed by a stalker named The Watcher. Incredibly, it's based on a true story. See The Cut's 2018 article for the whole bizarre tale. And don't mistake this movie for "Watcher," the Chloe Okuno film that came out earlier this year.

Piggy (October 14)

Oh, to be a teenager again. Wait. Back that up. Peer pressure, body changes, school stress, cliques, and status ... Okay, maybe it's not all it's cracked it to be. For the overweight Sara (Laura Galán), life is hellish enough to want to take a stand against those who bully her mentally and physically. But after a sweltering afternoon at a pool, her tormentors are themselves attacked, and Sara's left with a choice — leave them to their own devices, or save them from a serial menace. 

Set in Southern Spain, "Piggy" may be brutal, but it's heartfelt, with writer-director Carlota Pereda taking a sympathetic stance towards Sara, whose experience at home is no easier than at school. Based on Pereda's original 2016 short, "Piggy" was an official selection of both the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, for which it was the first film chosen. An XYZ Films release, look for it at Alamo Drafthouses on October 7 before it hits VOD on October 14.

Halloween Ends (October 14)

Taking place four years after the second film in David Gordon Green's "Halloween" trilogy, "Halloween Ends" takes into account some IRL issues that ground it in today's world. As Green told Uproxx, "Where we're leaving these characters on Halloween 2018, the world is a different place. So not only do they have their immediate world affected by that trauma, having time to process that trauma — and that's a specific and immediate traumatic event in the community of Haddonfield. But then they also had a worldwide pandemic and peculiar politics and another million things that turned their world upside down." What has us even more intrigued is that Laurie Strode herself, Jamie Lee Curtis, told NME, "It's going to make people very angry and it's going to be shocking because it asks a lot of questions." Alrighty, then.

In "Halloween Ends," Laurie's living with her granddaughter (Andi Matichak), writing her memoirs and starting to emerge from the daze Michael Myers left her in for so many years. But then the trouble starts. A young man (Rohan Campbell) is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, and all bets are off. Will Patton, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle, and Kyle Richards reprise their roles from "Halloween Kills," and the film's screenplay is written by Green, Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, and Danny McBride.

The Accursed (October 14)

Coming off the Nicolas Cage comic shocker "Willy's Wonderland," director Kevin Lewis returns with "The Accursed," featuring Mena Suvari, Sarah Grey, Alexis Knapp, and Meg Foster. According to Lewis in Variety, it's as if "Sam Raimi and Dario Argento had a love child and James Wan was its uncle." We can appreciate a director who sets a high bar for himself.

In the film's confusing albeit creepy (and somewhat comedic) trailer, Elly (Grey), a young woman grieving the death of her mother, takes a job caring for an old woman, Ms. Ambrose (Foster), who lives in a rural estate looked after by the very stern-looking Alma (Mena Suvari). Ambrose clearly has something to do with Elly's late mother, although it's not clear exactly what. The film wears some influences on its sleeve — demonic signposts recall various possession flicks, and the petrified look on Ambrose's face is reminiscent of the dead woman in Mario Bava's "Black Sabbath."  Things don't get any less spooky when Ambrose intones, her voice as raspy as sandpaper, "He is darkness ... he is whispers ... he is REAL," and flies (and other organic matter) come streaming out of her mouth. Tropes they may be, but in Lewis' hands, we're surely in for a heck of a ride. 

There's a little confusion as to when this film will arrive, but Rotten Tomatoes and several other sites have it as October 14.

V/H/S/99 (October 20)

Do not adjust your tracking. Analog is back in all its gory glory.

In the early- to mid-1980s, most American families started acquiring video cassette recorders. For a while, watching in-home entertainment meant a trip to the video store, then returning the tape (rewound, of course) 24 to 48 hours later. That nostalgia fueled the horror anthology "V/H/S" (2012), the sequel "V/H/S/2" a year later, then "V/H/S/Viral" in 2013; there was an eight-year break before "V/H/S/94" brought the series back to life, and now, Shudder presents "V/H/S/99," the latest in the found footage franchise. Set at the end of the '90s (obviously), this entry captures the anxiety about the new millennium — but unlike the previous films in the series, it focuses on one tape only. 

Again, talented writer-directors are involved, including musician-filmmaker Flying Lotus, Maggie Levin, Tyler MacIntyre, Johannes Roberts, and Joseph and Vanessa Winter. From the film's TIFF synopsis: "Complete with some deeply felt textures of the era, including a riot grrrl musical number, and a pitch-perfect homage to the Nickelodeon game show "Legends of the Hidden Temple," 'V/H/S/99' is a horror hound's delight that's all that and a bucket of blood."

Sinphony (October 21)

Know about Dark Sky Films? If you're a horror fan, you should. Founded in 2008, Dark Sky works with emerging talent and has represented films by some pretty talented folks, including Ti West's "The House of the Devil" and "The Innkeepers." The production company's also put out "Broadcast Signal Intrusion," "Frankenstein's Army," and "Wake Wood." "Sinphony: A Clubhouse Horror Anthology," Dark Sky's latest, is a unique collaborationconceived of and curated on Clubhouse, the audio-based social media platform. Dark Sky apparently has high hopes for the film, claiming, "With a built-in audience and a sequel already in the works, 'Sinphony' will deliver a treasure trove of fresh voices and compelling stories."

Like "V/H/S/99," "Sinphony" features a gaggle of international filmmakers exploring characters coping with supernatural tragedies. Choice tales include a contractor who inhales spores that lead to murder, a couple dealing with the fact that one of them is a ghost, and a dance craze that goes horribly awry.

Feed Me (October 27)

Like Dark Sky, XYZ Films has also acquired a rep for being a purveyor of high-quality horror, and its latest pushes the gross-out bar about as far as it will go. The cannibal movie "Feed Me," directed by Adam Leader and Richard Oakes, and starring Neal Ward, Christopher Mulvin, Hannah Al Rashid, and Samantha Loxley. According to XYZ's synopsis, "Following the death of his wife (Loxley), a broken man (Mulvin) spirals into an abyss of night tremors and depression and finds himself in the home of a deranged cannibal who convinces him to take his own life in the most horrific way imaginable." Which is to say, allowing himself to be slowly eaten to death.

In the press release, on Screen Anarchy, XYZ's James Emanuel Shapiro remarked, "This is a horror film for the real sickos out there, myself included. ... This is not a brooding horror drama about grief and the human existence. 'Feed Me' is a rollercoaster ride full of thrills, laughs, and screams, and it brings buckets and buckets of gore and grime to the table." Sounds delicious.

Prey for the Devil (October 28)

In "Prey for the Devil," school is in session. Specifically, the St. Michael the Archangel School of Exorcism, opened by the Catholic Church In response to a global rise in demonic possessions. While only priests are trained in the Sacred Rite, a young nun, Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers) wants in, making her (in the eyes of this film, anyway) the first female exorcist. Recognizing Ann's gifts and her own sad experience with possession — her mother fell under Satan's spell years back — a professor, Father Quinn (Colin Salmon), agrees to train her. Soon, Sister Ann and fellow student Father Dante (Christian Navarro) are battling for the soul of a young girl whom Ann believes is possessed by the same demon that tormented her mother. Is it a trap? Does Old Scratch have Sister Ann in his sights? And why does the idea of a global demonic pandemic sound eerily familiar?

Proving you can never oversee too many exorcisms, "The Last Exorcism" director Daniel Stamm helms "Prey for the Devil," which also features Oscar nominee Virginia Madsen, who horror heads will recognize from the original "Candyman."

Missing (November 4)

With a chilling premise recalling the Dutch horror classic "The Vanishing" and body horror staple "Audition," Dark Star Pictures has teamed up with Chicago-based Bloody Disgusting and Japanese writer-director Shinzô Katayama for the thriller "Missing." The film hits theaters November 4 before arriving on VOD on November 18.

In "Missing," sad sack widower Santoshi (Jirô Satô) attempts to resolve his financial problems by capturing a serial killer referred to as "No-Name" (Hiroya Shimizu) and collecting the reward money. Santoshi disappears shortly after embarking on his quest, and it's up to his middle school-aged daughter Kaeda (Aoi Ito) to track down her dad and — assuming he's no longer alive — exact her revenge on No-Name. Ping-pong is played, sharp objects are brandished, and a downbeat ending is more than hinted at.  

Following screenings at the Busan International Film Festival, Fantasia, and Fantastic Fest in Austin, "Missing" is drawing raves. In Film Threat, Bobby LePire opined, "Katayama directs with pure confidence, knowing the absorbing plot will only be bolstered by equally great visuals." And in Daily Dead, Michelle Swope called the film "Cinematic excellence... mind-blowingly genre-bending," a film that "plays a brilliant game of cat and mouse with the audience."

Something in the Dirt (November 4)

Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson have delivered some of the most mind-melting films of the last decade. Starting with the hilarious two-hander "Resolution" in 2012, moving on to the American-abroad-falls-for-a-monster film "Spring," the psychedelic time-looper "The Endless," and the bigger-budget time-looper "Synchronic," the friends have consistently developed films that defy genre and convention. Their TV work, as well, has consisted of some of the more celebrated and confounding series of the last decade, including "Twilight Zone," "Archive 81," and "Moon Knight," and they are slated to contribute to "Loki" Season 2. All of which makes the occasion of a new Benson and Moorhead film cause for celebration. Like their earlier work, "Something in the Dirt" is a DIY affair starring the directors themselves, and plot details are sparse. The XYZ Films synopsis doesn't give us a lot to go on — "When neighbors John and Levi witness supernatural events in their Los Angeles apartment building, they realize documenting the paranormal could inject some fame and fortune into their wasted lives" — but a little mystery certainly won't hurt us. In its review from Sundance, SlashFilm said, "Once again, Benson and Moorhead prove that they can produce a stellar, original film with a tiny fraction of the budget of bigger Hollywood filmmakers. The movie landscape is a far better, weird, and beautiful place with them in it. 9/10."

Expect "Something in the Dirt" to arrive in theaters in limited release starting November 4, with a VOD date sometime in late November.

The Menu (November 18)

Skewering the lives and pretensions of the rich is something of an obsession for Adam McKay ("The Big Short," "Vice," "Succession"); it therefore stands to reason that McKay would lend his time and talent as producer of "The Menu," in which (according to Searchlight's exhaustive production notes) "a couple, Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), travel to a coastal island in the Pacific Northwest to eat at an exclusive restaurant, Hawthorn, where the reclusive, globally celebrated Chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) has prepared a lavish tasting menu for select special guests." Watching the trailer, "shocking" seems to be a bit of an understatement; there is definitely something sinister afoot, with the guests of the Hawthorn slowly realizing they're not just there for dinner, but in a fight for their lives.

"The Menu" director Mark Mylod is best known for helming episodes of "Game of Thrones" and "Succession" for HBO; the screenplay comes via Seth Reiss, who's written extensively for The Onion and "Late Night with Seth Meyers," and Will Tracy, who's also known for his work on "Succession."

Nanny (November 23)

"Nanny" isn't the first horror film to weave social commentary, or babysitters, into its framework, but it's the first to feature a Senegalese lead under the direction of George Mason University film professor Nikyatu Jusu, who also wrote the script. According to the Blumhouse-Amazon synopsis, "Nanny" is a "psychological horror fable of displacement," in which Aisha (Anna Diop), a recent emigree, is hired to care for the daughter (Rose Decker) of a well-off NYC couple (Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector). Hoping the gig will afford her the chance to bring her young son to the U.S., Aisha becomes increasingly freaked out by the family's volatile home life. That's when things start to go haywire, and per the synopsis, "a violent presence begins to invade both her dreams and her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together."

In its Sundance 2022 review, The Hollywood Reporter raved, "With 'Nanny,' Jusu crafts a contemplative, thematically rich story that deftly explores the emotional and spiritual costs of leaving your homeland behind for an uncertain future in a strange land."

If you don't manage to catch "Nanny" during its limited theatrical release on November 23, don't worry — it hits Amazon Prime Video on December 16. 

Bones and All (November 23)

Reuniting director Luca Guadagnino with his long-term screenplay partner David Kajganich and "Call Me by Your Name" breakout star Timothée Chalamet, based on the 2015 novel of the same name by Camille DeAngelis, "Bones and All" is a truly unique blend — it's a cannibal story, a family story, and a first love story rolled into one. The film also features Taylor Russell alongside Chalamet and Mark Rylance, and the score is by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

In its review from Venice, where the film received a 10-minute standing ovation, The Playlist raved, "”Bones and All' is one of those rare examples of everyone singing off the same hymn sheet. As the resident king of Gen Z, Chalamet will no doubt be the conversation driver, but god, what an impeccable ensemble we have ... But then, for all of the blood, guts, and gore, for all of the stomach-cramming gluttony, here's a story brimming with extraordinary romanticism."

The Pale Blue Eye (December 23)

Following their collaborations on "Out of the Furnace" and "Hostiles," director Scott Cooper and Oscar winner Christian Bale are reuniting for the Gothic thriller "The Pale Blue Eye," based on the Louis Bayard novel of the same name. The project follows a series of murders at West Point in 1830. Bale is a detective investigating the crimes who receives help from Edgar Allan Poe during his misguided pre-lit career stint in law enforcement. The exquisite cast includes Harry Melling as Poe, along with Gillian Anderson, Robert Duvall, and others.

Cooper, whose last project was the 2021 horror film "Antlers" told Deadline, "This is my attempt at a large-canvas whodunit, with a serial killer at its center. I want to make films that push me into a different, maybe uncomfortable space, but I am glad to have Christian go there with me. I've wanted to make this for over a decade and fortunately for me, Christian has perfectly aged into the lead character."

The film arrives in select theaters on December 23 before landing on Netflix on January 6, 2023.