Underwater is a 2020 science fiction horror film directed by William Eubank. The story follows a group of scientists and engineers working at a deep sea drilling facility, who are stranded on the ocean floor after an earthquake destroys their station. With limited resources and time, they must journey through the dangerous depths of the ocean to reach safety at a nearby research facility. Along the way, they encounter terrifying creatures and must fight for survival while dealing with the psychological stress of being trapped in a hostile environment. The film stars Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, and John Gallagher Jr.
M3GAN is a sci-fi horror film from 2022, directed by Gerard Johnstone and written by Akela Cooper. James Wan and Jason Blum also produced the film. Starring Allison Williams and Violet McGraw, the movie tells the story of an AI doll named M3GAN, who gains self-awareness and turns on anyone who threatens her bond with her human companion. Amie Donald performs the physical role of M3GAN, while Jenna Davis provides the voice.
In order to fully appreciate this list of the Best Cosmic Horror Films of All Time, it is vital to have read our article – Cosmic Horror Tropes – where we described this horror genre as a subgenre of horror fiction that emphasizes the terror and insignificance of humanity in the face of an incomprehensible and uncaring universe. The genre often features themes of cosmic entities, ancient deities, and otherworldly beings that are beyond human comprehension and control. We also set out common tropes closely associated with this genre.
The Cursed is a 2021 gothic horror film directed and written by Sean Ellis. The film stars Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, and Roxane Duran. The film is centred on a rural 19th-century French village where a mysterious, possibly supernatural menace threatens. There is an implication that a gypsy curse is at play due to the slaughtering of a Romani clan. John McBride, a pathologist, comes to town to investigate the danger – and exorcise some of his own demons in the process.
In the Mouth of Madness is a 1994 horror film directed by John Carpenter. The film stars Sam Neill as John Trent, an insurance investigator who is hired to track down a missing horror novelist, Sutter Cane (played by Jürgen Prochnow). Trent becomes embroiled in a series of bizarre and terrifying events as he delves deeper into the mystery of Cane’s disappearance, ultimately leading him to question his own sanity. The film is known for its surreal and atmospheric style, as well as its nods to H.P. Lovecraft’s Cosmic Horror genre.
Sick is a 2022 American slasher film directed by John Hyams and written by Kevin Williamson and Katelyn Crabb. The film stars Gideon Adlon and Bethlehem Million. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2022 and was released on January 13, 2023 by Peacock. (Wikipedia)
The Menu is a 2022 American dark comedy horror film directed by Mark Mylod. It features an ensemble cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, Reed Birney, Judith Light, and John Leguizamo. The film focuses on a group of diners at an exclusive restaurant who discover the celebrity chef owner intends to kill them all before the night is over.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a 2022 American mystery film written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Johnson and Ram Bergman. It is the sequel to the 2019 film Knives Out, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as master detective Benoit Blanc as he takes on a new case. The ensemble cast includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista. (Wikipedia)
Violent Night is a 2022 American Christmas action comedy film starring David Harbour as Santa Claus, who fights mercenaries who have taken a wealthy family hostage in their home. It is directed by Tommy Wirkola, written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller, and also starring John Leguizamo, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, Cam Gigandet, Leah Brady, and Beverly D’Angelo.
Emancipation is a 2022 American historical action film directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Will Smith as an enslaved man in Louisiana in the 1860s who escapes his plantation. The film, written by William N. Collage, is loosely based on the real-life story of Gordon (named “Peter” in the film), a former slave, and the photographs of his bare back, heavily scourged from an overseer’s whippings, that were published worldwide in 1863, giving the abolitionist movement proof of the cruelty of slavery. The film also stars Ben Foster and Charmaine Bingwa. (Wikipedia)
The Banshees of Inisherin is a 2022 black comedy drama film written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film follows lifelong friends (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship; Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan also star.
The Fabelmans is a 2022 American coming-of-age drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and written and produced by Tony Kushner and Spielberg. It is a semi-autobiographical story loosely based on Spielberg’s adolescence and first years as a filmmaker, told through an original story of the fictional Sammy Fabelman, a young aspiring filmmaker himself who explores how the power of films can help him see the truth about his dysfunctional family and those around him.
Till is a 2022 American biographical drama film directed by Chinonye Chukwu and written by Michael Reilly, Keith Beauchamp, and Chukwu, and produced by Beauchamp, Reilly, and Whoopi Goldberg. It is based on the true story of Mamie Till-Bradley, an educator and activist who pursued justice after the murder of her 14-year-old son Emmett in 1955. The film stars Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till-Bradley, with Jalyn Hall, Frankie Faison, Haley Bennett, and Goldberg in supporting roles.
The Whale is a 2022 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Brendan Fraser. The film is based on a screenplay by Samuel D. Hunter adapting Hunter’s 2012 play of the same name. The film also stars Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton. (Wikipedia)
Troll is a 2022 Norwegian monster film directed by Roar Uthaug. Starring Ine Marie Wilmann, Kim Falck, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen, Gard B. Eidsvold, Pål Richard Lunderby, and Eric Vorenholt, it follows a ragtag group of people who must come together to stop an ancient troll that was awakened in a Norwegian mountain and prevent it from wreaking havoc.
She Said is a 2022 American biographical drama film directed by Maria Schrader and written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, based on the 2019 book by reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. The film stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as Twohey and Kantor, respectively, and follows their New York Times investigation that exposed Harvey Weinstein’s history of abuse and sexual misconduct against women. Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle, and Samantha Morton co-star, with Ashley Judd appearing as herself. (Wikipedia)
Wakanda Forever is the final film in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a phase which was disappointing and under-whelming both critically and commercially. The good years of 2018 and 2019 have been followed by three years of steady decline, which of course was also partly due to the devastating global pandemic. This Black Panther sequel is emblematic of all the problems facing the MCU.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is a 2022 American biographical parody film directed by Eric Appel (in his feature directorial debut), who co-wrote the script with “Weird Al” Yankovic. The film, a satire of biopics and loosely based on Yankovic’s life and career, stars Daniel Radcliffe as Yankovic, along with Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson, Toby Huss, Arturo Castro, and Julianne Nicholson in supporting roles.
Causeway is a 2022 American psychological drama film directed by Lila Neugebauer from a screenplay by Ottessa Moshfegh, Luke Goebel, and Elizabeth Sanders. The film follows a soldier who suffers a traumatic brain injury while deployed in Afghanistan and struggles to adjust to life back home. It stars Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry, alongside Linda Emond, Jayne Houdyshell, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Russell Harvard in supporting roles.
Black Adam is a 2022 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Produced by New Line Cinema, DC Films, Seven Bucks Productions, and FlynnPictureCo., it is a spin-off from Shazam! (2019) and the 11th film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines, and Sohrab Noshirvani, the film stars Dwayne Johnson as the titular character alongside Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell, Bodhi Sabongui, and Pierce Brosnan.
Moonage Daydream is a 2022 documentary film about English singer-songwriter David Bowie. Written, directed, produced and edited by Brett Morgen, the film uses previously unreleased footage from Bowie’s personal archives, including live concert footage. It is the first film to be officially authorized by Bowie’s estate, and takes its title from the 1971 Bowie song of the same name. (Wikipedia)
Three Thousand Years of Longing is a 2022 fantasy romantic drama film directed by George Miller and starring Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba. Miller wrote the screenplay with Augusta Gore, adapting the 1994 short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A. S. Byatt.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is an epic fantasy movie drama series directed by Peter Jackson, based on the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novels viz. The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King. The trilogy was released from 2001 – 2003 and was critically acclaimed and a smash hit at the box office (almost $3 billion), with the final movie sweeping the Academy Awards in 2004.
With the prequel series, The Rings of Power being – like most modern-day adaptations – highly divisive, it is probably instructional to analyse the reasons why The Lord of the Rings trilogy works in a way that seems to have eluded the folks behind The Rings of Power series. Thus, although almost everybody in the civilised world has probably seen these films, a spoiler warning is still necessary.
Nope is an American scifi horror film drama, written and directed by Jordan Peele. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott, and Brandon Perea. The film has been generally well-received and has grossed over $148 million worldwide with a production cost of about $68 million.
Top Gun: Maverick will no doubt be the highest grossing movie of 2022, with $1.38 billion worldwide box office earnings (without a China release, no less) thus far. Now, this phenomenal success caught everybody in the movie industry by surprise. After all, while Top Gun: Maverick is a sequel to a popular movie, that was 36 years ago! Would the sequel be able to resonate with modern day audiences? We all know the answer to that now but the questions remains – why did Top Gun: Marverick work?