[With 2022 all wrapped up and we’ve had time to let the previous year sink in, it’s time for our fifth annual Golden Cages Awards! Over the next two weeks, the staff at Flixist will be announcing the winners in sixteen different categories that range from all different genres and categories before ultimately revealing what our best film of 2022 was. So sit back, relax, and come join us as we take one final look at 2022 and see the notable movies the year had to offer.]
The category of “Best Horror” had a bit of a debate for the staff of Flixist. There were a ton of great horror films last year, but to some, Nope isn’t quite horror. The film mixes in the same type of sociopolitical commentary you’d expect from a horror film, has suspenseful moments, is loaded with outstanding cinematography, and routinely scares you with either directly repulsive imagery or disgusting implications, but some don’t see it as horror.
To those people I say, you’re wrong (sorry Matt). You’re as wrong as Ricky “Jupe” Park trying to control a force he barely understands just to make a quick profit from unsuspecting bystanders.
Nope may not be the textbook definition of the horror genre, but it most certainly qualifies as a horror film. Stacked up against the rest of the releases from 2022, it’s also heads and shoulders above them too. X and Pearl carved out their own niche, and Barbarian was certainly a thought-provoking piece of film, but Nope is on another level.
The themes of man trying to control nature, the erasure of black people from Hollywood’s history, and the spectacle of filmmaking elevate this beyond merely having shocking jump scares or queasy gore. To me, the most horrifying thing in Nope was the reporter from TMZ callously throwing his own life away just to get a picture of Jean Jacket. Society really has devolved to the point where a literal monster can be in the sky and CEOs will only care about the money it can make them.
While Nope might not stand up against Jordan Peele’s previous work on Get Out and Us, it was still far and away the best horror movie of 2022. We were just blessed to be in a year that gave us multiple horror classics.