If you've seen Little Shop of Horrors before, then you know how it ends, or do you? There are two versions of this film, both released by accident, and both remain in circulation today. Do you remember Audrey Two eating the world, or did Seymour defeat the man-eating plant?
Everyone remembers playing the classic childhood game hide and seek. I would scour the house looking for the perfect hiding spot and plop myself in whatever cabinet or underneath whatever bed. Then, I would sit silently (as silently as any child can) and hope that no one would ever find me. Inevitably, my amazing hiding spot was always discovered, and with that came a sense of relief that I didn’t have to cram myself into the tiny space in which I’d found myself. This couldn’t be further from the truth for Grace, the lead character of Ready or Not.
As the credits roll and Pearl attempts to keep up the guise of happiness as she smiles into the camera for minutes on end, all I could think was Mia Goth is a star. The prequel to X Pearl was one of the most highly anticipated horror films of 2022, and boy, did it deliver. The film does what great all prequels should do, make the original better. By focusing on the character of Pearl, the old lady from X, the movie allows itself to delve into all of the life choices that lead her to where she ends up and helps the audience understand truly how crazy she is. From the opening frame to the end credits, the film is a master class on how to create a character study.
Despite being an Orlando native, this year was the first time I attended Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. Many are familiar with the elaborate haunted houses and scare zones that run throughout the nights of October annually. This year, there were ten haunted houses with a variety of scary yet exciting themes. My most anticipated house was The Weeknd’s After Hours Nightmare, based on the storyline of his red suit character from his eponymous album. Unfortunately, not even my love for The Weeknd could prevent the trauma I experienced. From long lines to werewolves jumping out of the darkness, my time at Halloween Horror Nights showed me that I am easy to frighten and am not, in fact, “good with scary stuff.”
Being scared is its own kind of fun, and over the decades, many children’s animated television shows understood this. What separates comedic cartoons from most horror animation is monsters. For the purpose of this list, monsters are nonhuman creatures meant to scare the characters and ideally the audience, even if the scare is played off for laughs. Animated monsters are all horrifying in their own world, and as of late, in our world too.
The year 2022 has been filled with many horror releases. While that may seem like a win for fans of the genre, it has felt like it's been filled with quantity over quality. With most of the year's horror films feeling uninspired, dull, and overall trying to mimic previous, better, films, Bodies Bodies Bodies put a fresh spin on the genre. The film takes a less traditional horror route by fusing its horror with comedy. This pairing of horror and comedy often doesn’t work well, either having the comedy overshadow the horror or vice-versa. Director Halina Reijn, however, perfectly crafted the two together.
Twisted moonlight floods an abandoned alleyway with a sickly green-blue tint. Silhouetted humanoid figures crawl along the brick roads and piles of oversized trash, following a massive car. They watch as a pulsating white bag is discarded by its unseen driver. A nauseating chord progression, played in blaring synth, repeats and grows louder as the figures draw closer to the bag, revealing disturbingly realistic human faces, digitally stitched onto furry animated bodies. The entire scene begins to spin as the creatures circle their target. Hissing sounds fill the air. The dance becomes chaotic. The closest figure raises a feline claw. The music swells to a climax. With one swift motion, he tears the bag open.