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Summer of Screams: Best Scary Movies of 2022

Hollywood plans to lure audiences back into theaters this summer the old-fashioned way…by traumatizing them. Here are the best scary movies to watch summer 2022.

Best Scary Movies to Watch This Summer

Nope

A lot of guys nearing 40 decide, “I’m going to try something new!” Usually, this leads to public humiliation and divorce proceedings. For Jordan Peele, the result was a Best Original Screenplay Oscar and hundreds of millions of dollars—2017’s Get Out, a small-budget horror flick from half of a two-man sketch comedy team, achieved instant classic status and earned a fortune. (It’s as if Laurel left Hardy and turned into Alfred Hitchcock.) Then Peele did something equally amazing: He lived up to expectations with 2019’s Us, another huge hit. Which brings us to film three: Nope. Since Covid, movies that don’t feature Batman and at least one Spider-Man often struggle to lure people into cinemas. Will they come out for mysterious goings-on at Hollywood’s only Black-owned horse training ranch? That’s about all we know about the plot, but why bet against Peele? As a bonus, Peele again works with Daniel Kaluuya, now owner of his own Oscar for Judas and the Black Messiah. In theaters July 22.

Watcher

The feature directorial debut of Chloe Okuno, Watcher offers an unsettling premise: An American (Maika Monroe, above) moves to Bucharest to join her significant other. Unable to speak the language and isolated, she becomes convinced a neighbor is tracking her. Are there reports of a serial killer in the area? One who preys on women roughly our heroine’s age? Have you seen a movie before? In theaters June 3.

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Frank and Penelope

Rebel Without a Cause meets Charles Manson. That’s the elevator pitch for the directorial debut of actor Sean Patrick Flanery (you know, the Boondock Saints brother who didn’t go on to star in The Walking Dead). It’s the classic man finds love at a run-down strip club story—that dancer totally was into you!—only the afterglow is spoiled when they wind up battling a cult leader. Limited release June 3.

Vengeance

Can a comic actor turn celebrated horror director…again? Blumhouse Productions damn sure hopes so. They gave Jordan Peele his shot; now it’s B.J. Novak’s turn. Ryan the Temp from The Office heads a cast including Issa Rae and Ashton Kutcher in the tale of a man investigating his girlfriend’s murder and, presumably, longing for simpler days at Dunder Mifflin. In theaters July 29.

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