Welcome back! A couple of days ago, I published a partial list of my favorite horror performances of 2022, and I had some more I wanted to talk about. As I already stated, some of these performances were not even in my favorite horror films of 2022; but, some actors manage to give GREAT performances in films that are just ok.
*Remember that there are some spoilers included in these descriptions, so be wary.
Libby Ewing and Evan Dumouchel (When I Consume You) – This film very nearly made my top ten of 2022, mostly due to the performances of Ewing and Dumouchel as siblings Daphne and Wilson, who basically keep one another together emotionally. Victims of a tough childhood, Daphne is a recovering addict and Wilson suffers from near crippling anxiety and low self esteem.
The two are united in their love for one another, and in their resolve to do away with the frightening stalker who has been terrorizing Daphne. When it turns out the stalker isn’t really human, and Wilson has to buck up and fight without the physical aid of his sister, Daphne exhibits some tough, yet inspiring love.
Even thinking about this movie right now has me wishing I had put it in my top ten. Do yourself a favor, and watch it, especially if you like emotional slow burn horror.
Some of the best horror performances in 2022 came from kids
Madeleine McGraw (The Black Phone) – Speaking of heart, McGraw was all heart, salty vocabulary and ferocious energy as Gwen, a young girl who just wants to find out where her brother Finny is being imprisoned by a serial child abductor known as The Grabber. So strong was her performance that there were several times I felt as if I were actually in her skin.
When Gwen jumps on the bullies beating up her brother, knowing she is not strong enough to defeat all of them, I felt it. And that scene where her alcoholic father is spanking her with a belt? Wow. Her tears seemed real, and when she later quietly puts her head on Finny’s shoulder, I felt my heart break a little.
And talent runs in the McGraw family; younger sister Violet appeared as young Nell in Mike Flanagan’s acclaimed Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. Violet is also appearing in M3GAN, and judging by the trailers, it looks like another strong acting performance.
Mia Goth (Pearl) – Oddly, X made my Top Ten of 2022 list, while Pearl did not. However, I could not deny the awe-inspiring performance Goth gave in the second film. As a tightly wound young woman yearning for the freedom to escape her domineering mother and invalid father, the movie screen practically crackled when she was on it.
We watch with dread as Pearl gets closer and closer to snapping, and when she finally does, she goes all out. Much has been said about Pearl’s lengthy final monologue, but that desperate toothy smile she holds for what seems like hours…yikes.
Ruth Codd (The Midnight Club) – Mike Flanagan’s 2022 series for Netflix did not exactly bowl most fans over, but anyone who watched it had to agree the acting performances were uniformly strong. Flanagan seems to build great rapport with his actors, and the young performers in particular did a great job in The Midnight Club.
But, one actor stood out among the rest, and that was former Tik Tok star Ruth Codd, who played Anya. Anya was an amputee, and so is Codd, who had her right leg removed below the knee when she was only 15 years old. Although she is actually in her mid-twenties, she totally made me believe she was an angry, bitter teenager.
You know how I keep talking about the heart in these horror films? Anya WAS the heart in The Midnight Club, and Codd was equally good playing up Anya’s anger, sarcasm, sadness and fear. Oh yeah, did I mention that this was her very first acting gig?? Mike Flanagan must have been impressed too, because he has cast her in his next series for Netflix, The Fall of the House of Usher.
Well, there you have it, my complete list of favorite horror performances from last year. I am really looking forward to seeing where horror takes us in 2023!
Now that our list of favorite horror performances of 2022 is complete, we want to know about yours! Tell us about it in the comments section.