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Friday, December 30, 2022

A Year of Terror: The Top Ten Scariest Scenes in 2022 Horror Movies

Endless things draw us each to horror, scares ranking high among them. Luckily, fear takes many forms. The thrill of a well-crafted jump scare, visceral chills, or an atmospheric scene that instills deep-seated dread all keep us coming back for more—the year’s horror releases delivered on all fronts.

2022 offered several memorable scenes of unrelenting dread and spine-tingling chills. Scenes that stood out and sent shivers down our spines and occasionally tested our gag reflexes. 

Here are the ten scariest scenes of the year.

The Black Phone – Gwen’s Whipping

(from left) Terrence Shaw (Jeremy Davies) and Gwen Shaw (Madeleine McGraw) in The Black Phone, directed by Scott Derrickson.

Ethan Hawke’s creepy turn as the Grabber, a child kidnapper and murderer, ensures Scott Derrickson’s latest is packed with dread and tension. Protagonist Finney Shaw (Mason Thames) coping with multiple interactions with the menacing Grabber and a slew of ghosts contributes significantly on the scare front. But the scene that unsettled audiences the most wasn’t the ghostly scares or the Grabber, but the whipping of Finney’s younger sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) at the hands of their drunk, abusive dad (Jeremy Davies). Dad’s rage is palpable, and the act’s sound makes it more harrowing. The scene proved so emotionally intense that Derrickson was asked to cut it before release.

Smile – The Entity Revealed

scariest scenes Smile

For much of Parker Finn’s feature debut, the entity that torments Rose (Sosie Bacon) assumes the guise of those around her. Only the telltale grin cues her into the truth, and a potent jump scare often accompanies it. The final act escalates to an unexpected degree when Rose returns to the childhood home where her mother died, afflicting lifelong trauma upon young Rose. There, the entity uses Rose’s mother as an avatar, then grows to a monstrous version over seven feet tall as it stalks her through the house. When Rose has nowhere to run, the entity rips its face off to reveal a fleshy, bloody nightmare, and ghoulish grins upon grins

Master – Freshman Nightmares

Mariama Diallo’s feature debut introduces Jasmine (Zoe Renee), a college freshman assigned to the dorm room where a former student once committed suicide by hanging. The death is linked to the ghostly curse of Margaret Millett, a woman accused of witchcraft and hung for it. That curse comes to fruition when Jasmine finds herself haunted by Margaret, both in her dreams and waking life. It builds to a potent scare when the gnarled hand of Margaret reaches out for her from under the bed.

Deadstream – Mildred Attacks

– Deadstream – Photo Credit: Shudder

Whereas most horror comedies embrace humor over scares, Vanessa and Joseph Winter ensure both get equal attention. Shawn’s plan to win back his sponsors and viewership means constantly testing his resolve when the paranormal activity increases. He’s relieved to have a companion in Chrissy (Melanie Stone), a fan who showed up after tracking his location. But Chrissy starts behaving erratically, increasingly annoyed by Shawn until she attacks. Shawn stabs her in the neck and then retreats to his safe room. It’s when he finally musters the courage to leave that the ghost of Mildred Pratt attacks, confirming what viewers already suspected- that Chrissy is Mildred- while scaring us all silly in the process.

The Cursed – Dreams of a Scarecrow

Writer/Director Sean Ellis’ period gothic horror movie unleashed a werewolf curse upon the ruthless land baron and cohorts responsible for slaughtering the Romani clan that disputed their land ownership claim. Seamus Laurent (Alistair Petrie) and his men dismember the clan leader, then erect him as a scarecrow over the grave they used to bury his mother alive. It’s meant as a warning to others, but it winds up sparking the curse instead when the scarecrow haunts the dreams of the village children. It’s hands down the most terrifying scene of the entire movie.  

Nope – Gordy’s Home

scariest scenes nope

Jordan Peele creates an effective fake-out scare for protagonist OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) when he ventures into his barn at night and discovers a trio of alien pranksters. But that scare sequence has nothing on the full reveal of the tragedy that struck the sitcom Gordy’s Home set. Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun) recounts the tale of his chimp co-star snapping thanks to a balloon popping with the reframed lens of Hollywood sensationalism, but his flashbacks reveal a much more traumatic truth. How Peele stages the violence, right down to the blood-dripping fist bump – combined with Terry Notary’s primal motion capture performance as Gordy – solidifies this moment as unforgettable.

The Innocents – Ben’s Mother

Ben (Sam Ashraf) establishes his penchant for shocking cruelty early in Eskil Vogt’s unnerving film with a prolonged sequence of cat torture and subsequent death. It’s the precise type of callous and sociopathic curiosity that leaves your stomach in knots. Throughout the film, Ben’s path to villainy evolves, and so does his tumultuous home life. It builds until he finally snaps; his mother chastising him for laughing at her burned finger pushes him to drop a heavy pan on her skull telekinetically. Her fall causes the pot of boiling water to pour all over her body, leaving her in agonizing pain on the floor and unable to move. Ben appears remorseful for a moment but then leaves her to die slowly as he ignores her pleas for help. It’s bone-chilling.

Satan’s Slaves 2: Communion – Elevator of Death

Joko Anwar’s follow-up to the spooky Satan’s Slaves deepens the mythology, expanding the details behind the Satanic pact that sees Rini Suwono (Tara Basro) and her surviving family members plagued by supernatural events. It’s not just the backstory that gets expanded but the body count. Anwar culls the playing field while limiting escape routes with a suspenseful sequence that sees the apartment building’s dodgy elevator give out most brutally. Panic mounts within the packed elevator while unsuspecting children gather coins below, unaware they’re in danger of getting crushed. Anwar coils the tension tight, only giving reprieve in the bloodiest way possible when the elevator crashes, sending those inside and below it to a bloody demise. This suspenseful as hell sequence gets further mileage when its corpses get employed to terrify our survivors later.

Barbarian – “Something bit me.”

scariest scenes Barbarian

Keith (Bill SkarsgĂ„rd) dismisses Tess’s (Georgina Campbell) pleas to leave the Airbnb after discovering the hidden basement, wanting to see the horror for himself. He receives far more than he bargained for when he ventures further into the dark depths. Tess ignores her fears and heads into the tunnels after hearing his screams. She finds him utterly terrified. He barely has enough time to utter “something bit me” in between screams, just as Mother (Matthew Patrick David) comes rushing out of the darkness to end Keith’s screams permanently.

The Sadness – Missing Eye

scariest scenes the sadness

Few characters elicit chills and utter repulsion like the Businessman (Tzu-Chiang Wang) in Rob Jabbaz’s boundary-pushing debut. The infected Businessman becomes obsessed with Kat (Regina Lei) and fellow subway passenger Molly (Ying-Ru Chen) after a violent encounter on the subway that left Molly without an eye. Kat succeeds in bringing Molly to the hospital, only to find it in complete chaos thanks to the outbreak. Kat escapes but unwittingly leaves Molly vulnerable. Enter the Businessman once more, who decides to infect Molly in the most repugnant possible way by using her eye cavity. Jabbaz mercifully keeps the heinous act primarily off-screen, but Molly’s screams, the implications, and the aftermath of it all ensure that it’s graphic enough to make us queasy.

The post A Year of Terror: The Top Ten Scariest Scenes in 2022 Horror Movies appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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