Between the big theatrical releases of horror films like Scream (2022), Barbarian, Nope, and Smile, it was an overwhelming year to keep up with what to watch. We’ve been so busy at Dread Central putting together our best of 2022 lists, but no matter what we can never include every movie we loved from the year. So many horror films are sadly released onto VOD with little to no marketing, dooming them to languish in the digital depths of streaming libraries. That’s why we’re highlighting 15 of horror’s best-kept secrets from this year, hidden gems just begging to be discovered.
The Andy Baker Tape
“The last known footage of food blogger Jeff Blake and his half-brother Andy Baker.”
It’s the year of culinary horror and The Andy Baker Tape deserves to be discussed alongside The Menu. The chemistry between the film’s two stars makes this one of the most convincing found footage films of the last decade.
The Andy Baker Tape is streaming now on Tubi.
“Recovering addict Dylan is ready to celebrate one year of sobriety on Christmas Day. Before the clock can strike midnight, his past demons tempt him to fail, in the form of a talking golden door, his ex-drug dealer, and magic tricks.”
Director Shane Brady’s feature film debut is one of the best portrayals of addiction seen in cinema. Both tragic and funny, a drama and a sci-fi adventure, Breathing Happy takes you on a painful yet necessary journey about life as an addict.
Breathing Happy is available on VOD.
Dawn Breaks Behind The Eyes
“A couple spends eternity in a castle until their reality starts to shift, as the unknown moves into their lives.”
This is a film best experienced with no knowledge of the plot. Don’t look up anything. Just go in ready for a strange and alluring ride.
Dawn Breaks Behind The Eyes is streaming now on Tubi.
“Faye L. Ryan is a successful personal growth author mourning the loss of her husband. She retreats to a cabin on the bayou to finish her next book only to find that more than just her past will haunt her.”
Faye is a labor of love by director Kd Amond and her co-writer (and star) Sarah Zanotti. Zanotti plays the titular Faye in a stellar and demanding one-woman performance that deserves more recognition.
Faye is streaming on Prime Video and Tubi.
“Following the death of his wife, a broken man 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.”
Like I said earlier, cannibals are in this year. This particular cannibal looks like Ted Lasso in a bad wig. Feed Me is absolutely disgusting, with rotten smells practically oozing out of the screen. But under that thick layer of gore is a surprising sense of pitch-black humor that’s both demented and gleeful.
Feed Me is available on digital and VOD.
“When four troubled criminals decide to set up their drug operation in an abandoned house, they find a mysterious locked room. As the house lures them each into this secret space, it confronts them with their innermost evil and their darkest thoughts, ultimately pitting them against each other.”
This Irish horror film is a marriage of Session 9 and Kill List, a beautiful example of slow-burn story-telling with a killer pay-off. Let this one crawl under your skin.
Watch it now on Tubi.
“Monique ventures out of quarantine to visit an old friend who’s plagued by nightmares. She finds herself drawn into a hellish dreamscape where she must face her greatest fears – or risk never having existed at all.”
This is perfect pandemic horror. Both terrifying and eerily familiar, Andy Mitton delivers one of the scariest movies of the year.
The Harbinger is available on digital and VOD.
“A fateful chain of events begins to unravel after two brash insurance salesmen go knocking on the wrong door and find themselves trapped inside of a serial killer’s basement, putting their lives and their jobs on the line.”
2022 was the year of the cannibal, which is why Keeping Company deserves more love. This searing satire about capitalism and corporate greed is on par, if not better, than this year’s Fresh.
Keeping Company is available on VOD.
“The occupants of a van transporting a wounded excursionist have to avoid sitting next to her during the trip.”
Spanish filmmakers Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González Gómez go for the body horror gold in this sci-fi-horror that would make John Carpenter smile. Plus, containing a horror film almost entirely into a van is an incredible feat.
The Passenger is available now on digital and VOD.
“Tensions rise when a stripper and religious protester are trapped together in a peep show booth and must come together to survive the apocalypse in 1980s Chicago.”
Luke Boyce’s Revealer is a neon-soaked micro-budget homage to 80s horror. His take on a single-location horror perfectly illustrates pandemic horror creativity.
Revealer is available now on Shudder.
“Estranged best friends Cecilia and Emma run into each other after a decade of silence. Cecilia is invited on Emma’s bachelorette weekend where she gets stuck in a remote cabin with her high school bully with a taste for revenge.”
Sissy is a fresh take on the revenge tale told through the lens of millennial cynicism and vapid influencers. This is a slasher of a different color.
Sissy is available now on Shudder.
“When Maika and her ragtag friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny arctic hamlet, it’s up to them to save the day. Utilizing their makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge, the aliens realize you don’t mess with girls from Pang.”
John Carpenter’s The Thing by way of a coming-of-age film about young Inuit teenage girls, Nyla Innuksuk’s feature film debut is simply badass. Her young cast tackles their first roles with enthusiasm, which helps smooth some of the film’s rough edges.
Slash/Back is available now on Shudder.
“Expectant young mother Sarah is convinced she has been given the evil eye from a mysterious blank-eyed old hag while she is dining with her bullish and insensitive partner Simon. When the couple goes to visit his new-age friends Dustin and Melissa, dark forces are unleashed after an ill-advised attempt at consulting a Ouija board to allay her fears. Meanwhile, tensions grow between grad school student Rachel and her new roommate Masha after a violent incident involving a man that the strange and impulsive young woman has brought home.”
Pierre Tsigardis’ feature film debut is simply stunning. Two Witches pays homage to Euro-horror of the 1970s and 1980s while also forging its own gory path. Plus, Rebekah Kennedy’s performance is downright chilling.
Two Witches is streaming now on ARROW.
When The Screaming Starts
“When Norman Graysmith is invited into the home of an aspiring serial killer, Aidan Mendle, he believes he has the subject for the documentary that will make his career.”
This take on What We Do In The Shadowsgoes even darker as a documentary crew follows a growing serial killer family. Just when it feels like it’s leaning more into comedy, it delivers a punch that knocks you right back into horror.
When The Screaming Starts is available on digital and VOD.
You Won’t Be Alone
“In 19th-century Macedonia, a young girl is kidnapped and then transformed into a witch by an ancient spirit. Curious about life as a human, the witch accidentally kills a peasant in the nearby village and then takes her victim’s shape to live life in her skin. Her curiosity ignited, she continues to wield this horrific power to understand what it means to be human.”
Goran Stolevski‘s witchy slow burn is as much a meditation on the very meaning of existence as it is a shocking piece of body horror. Quiet and tragic, You Won’t Be Alone rewards patient viewers with one of the most emotional horror experiences of 2022.
You Won’t Be Alone is available on digital and VOD.