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Year In Review: The Best Movies and Comebacks of 2022 and the Biggest Disappointments

2022 was a hell of a year for pop culture, the return to nostalgia, and the horror genre, and let me tell you, it was warmly welcomed after a shitstorm of 24 months of burning hell the years prior. It’s like the universe said, “You know, these humans have had enough panic attacks over the last year-maybe they deserve a bone or two being thrown at them.” Also in the same breath, the universe penalized us for being well, dumb humans, and let the likes of Rob Zombie get ahold of The Munsters franchise as sort of a punishment to our eyesockets.

So on that note, I’ve taken it upon myself to both praise, and bitch at the same time about my favorite, and most disappointing things of 2022. So let’s take a look at the best and the worst of this weird year over here at Nightmare Nostalgia!

2022 hit heavy on the nostalgic feelers by bringing back some fan favorites in pop culture. Some of it was a home run right out of the park, and some fell flatter than a picture of the Earth in a Flat-Earther’s office. But let’s start off on the right foot here.

The Best Returns of 2022

McDonald’s Halloween Buckets

I have a feeling a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one because of the lids, but hear me out first! It’s been a long time since we saw anything decent come out of a McDonald’s Happy Meal in quite some time and when the fast food giant was once considered to be the King of the Food War Holidays, this was a welcomed return to nostalgia. Was the quality the same as the ones from the 80s and 90s? Nope. Did I care? Also, FUCK NO. I was happy to have them, end of story. We had been clamoring for this return for years and we were finally heard. When the news broke in September, via my big mouth and some insider info, the world lost its ever-loving shit. Tracking them down one by one was a glorious and nostalgic moment for many and I hope McDonald’s gives us round 2 of nostalgic Halloween Pails in 2023. Perhaps the purple witch this time?

Beavis and Butthead

Any kid growing up in the 90s would agree that Beavis and Butthead were a generational byproduct of that decade and we wouldn’t be as cool without it. The original riffers of anything that sucked came back with not just a new series, but a new movie as well- and both were goddamn hilarious. It was as if Mike Judge had never left the idiotic duo behind and given these marvelous morons a purpose in 2022. With music videos making a comeback to the series and honestly, that was the best part of the show when they lent their opinions on what ruled and what was crap, the show also modernized with YouTube clips of random shit. Like a girl eating 10 Big Macs in one sitting while Beavis and Butthead fell in love with her.

Quality entertainment.

The Return of Great Music Via Stranger ThingsKate Bush/Metallica

Stranger Things is no stranger with ringing the bells of nostalgia for all to hear far and wide. But the resurgence of some fantastic 80s music going mainstream and being discovered for the first time via the series is nothing short of a phenomenon really. I’ll be the first to admit I had never heard “Running Up That Hill” prior to Stranger Things (I was born in 1982 mind you), so that was a fantastic discovery for me personally along with millions of others. Also, I’m a bit tickled that “Master of Puppets” shot up to number one on Spotify. As a Metallica fan since I first heard them in 1990, that was a satisfying feeling.

Now, the comebacks that didn’t really work out.

Crunch Tators

At first, I was pretty excited that Lay’s reignited that Gator Tater snack Crunch Tators just in time for the holiday season so we can eat junk and watch rubbish just like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone. But alas, 2 months later and I’ve still YET to find them. Most people were able to find them at their local Dollar General. However, the one I have in my vicinity only harbors rotten sewer stank within the aisles of almost expired potato chips. What a failure and a missed opportunity of a launch for a nostalgic product and quite disappointing.

The Santa Clauses Series

The series nobody asked for. Tim Allen as Santa Clause is great and all and the original 1994 movie is a blast of nostalgic fuzzies. However, this series is pretty dodgy as a continuation of that one-and-done magic. Just stick with the original film and skip this pile of shit. Hell, I’ll be generous and throw in the second one if it helps curve you away from this.

And Now, Drumroll Please… The Best and Worst Horror Movies of 2022!

I rarely talk about modern horror movies around here so here’s an end-of-the-year treat for you guys! Relish it, because it won’t happen again for at least another 6 months. Original ideas won me over in 2022, while sequels to beloved franchises and reboots barely missed the trash can.

Let’s start with the best:

Smile

I knew absolutely nothing going into Smile and that I think made it so much more delightful for me. It’s a melting pot of glorious horror ingredients that include superb acting and an engaging plot with some great jump scares and wtf moments. The monster is the stuff of nightmares. What more can you ask for really?

Barbarian

Barbarian was the biggest surprise of 2022 and I was all here for it. Much like with Smile, Barbarian had all the right elements backed by superior casting to pull off this mother of monstrosities. Also, I’m full of the belief now that if Justin Long appears in a horror movie, his chances of survival are pretty grim.

X

Another movie I had no fucking clue what I was walking into was Ti West’s X. The now-realized middle entry of what is to be a trilogy, as the prequel Pearl was released shortly after with MaXXXine coming soon, is a balls-to-the-wall standout entry in the horror genre filled with retro vibes that mirrors that of a 70s horror film. I enjoyed Pearl, but X had that X factor for me that Pearl was lacking in the way of top-notch bonkers crazy gore, and a nostalgic aesthetic of what horror movies once captured during that era. Also, a crazy horny old Pearl can absolutely give Patrick Bateman a run for his money.

Violent Night

Violent Night is the reason why I waited until the last week of 2022 to put this together because had it not been on here with the best, I would be pretty upset at myself.

David Harbour as a violent Viking turned Saint Nick is the one thing I never knew I wanted or needed but here the fuck I am. And I better goddamn get a sequel next year too! This movie has everything a perfect Christmas Horror movie could ask for. The imagery of a Christmas night filled with over-the-top gore crazy violence added with the wit of David Harbour along with adult-sized Home Alone boobie traps. I need a lot more of this next Christmas fellas.

And with the good, comes the bad.

Here come the stinkers of 2022! Well, they smelled of old Chinese food to me anyway.

Scream

Goddamn, I really hated this. I would call this the second worst out of the entire franchise right behind 4 and with Ghostface headed to New York to pull a Kane Hodder situation, I can’t see getting much better. Unless he boxes someone on a roof, then the movie might be saved. Scream (5) was so boringly predictable that it wasn’t even remotely enjoyable. Scream, in my opinion, should have ended as a trilogy. But what do I know? I’m just a dopey blogger.

Firestarter

I don’t mind reboots at all. As a matter of fact, I rather enjoy another perspective or retelling of a horror film in particular. Firestarter (1982) is definitely up there for me as far as one of my nostalgic favorites of the 80s so I was really excited to see this rendition- only to be massively disappointed by the lack of explanations and felt like an unfinished film. Which is a shame because the acting is great as far as Ryan Kiera Armstrong and Zac Efron are concerned. But good acting can’t save a rushed and shit storyline that undermines the value of a great story.

Nope

Up to this point, I’ve enjoyed the hell out of what Jordan Peele has done for the horror genre from Get Out to his twist on the Twilight Zone. But Nope, is well, a nope for me.

Maybe my expectations were too high but the worst thing you can do to a movie is make it boring. Despite solid performances, the characters’ motivations just don’t feel believable, and the story seems to take ages to set up despite the action-packed opening scene. I would have rather seen a full movie about Gordy the homicidal monkey than a weird take of War Of The Worlds with a giant tissue eating people. I understand the symbolisms and metaphors Peele uses in this film with nature and fame. But it was one of the biggest letdowns of 2022 for me. He can make it right by giving me a Gordy movie, thanks.

Rob Zombie’s The Munsters

Sometimes it’s best to leave nostalgia where it should be-in the past. The Munsters isn’t even really horror, but more of a family-friendly comedy with a gateway horror element- but it’s enough for me to bitch about it.

Rob Zombie trying to fulfill his weird fantasy of Sherri Moon being Lily Munster and we get trash like this. I can’t even talk about this too much without my blood pressure boiling over and at 40, I gotta watch that shit so I’ll say this: This is the biggest pile of dooky of 2022. Just watch the old reruns if you need a good dose of The Munsters, ok? Save your eyes from the blindage of the REAL horror of a really bad movie.

So there you have it. Nightmare Nostalgia’s 2022 year in review. What was your favorite thing this year? Let’s talk below and Happy New Year Nostalgic Nuggets!