Tag Archives: Scream

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:


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

A Horror Retrospective – Ghostface And His Generational Influence

Effective horror lingers with its audience long after the credits roll. The images (or messages) take root deeply inside our psyche and not only leave lasting impressions to fuel our nightmares but make common everyday things something dreadful. That’s a sign of great horror and only the masters of the genre can manage it. 

Scream 3 (2000) Directed by Wes Craven Shown: Ghostface

They turn the mundane into malevolence, and, to the peril of their audiences, suddenly the shelter of the everyday norm is stripped away and our world of comforting shelter is no more. Some examples include: Psycho violated the private safety of a common shower making it no longer a safe and intimate place. After Jaws premiered family outings to the beach were something turned suddenly macabre. No one wanted to step into the water.

Jason scared people away from camping out and Freddy met us in our nightmares to slaughter us like pigs. Ah Hell, Stephen King made cornfields scary and Clive Barker turned a music box into a doorway to Hell.  

In like manner, Ghostface made answering the phone dangerous. To emphasize the malicious effect this slasher had on society after Scream’s blockbuster success the rate of people getting caller ID increased astronomically. All of a sudden people had a reason to fear who was on the other line. After all how well do you know that other person?

The chance that a stalker – or serial killer – was waiting on the other end was always a great possibility. Something Scream exploited brilliantly. 

Not being the first horror movie to make crank calls something to fear (Black Christmas, When A Stranger Calls) it certainly gave the concept its own grisly twist and introduced Ghostface as a new horror icon whose spectral visage has now haunted generations of horror fans. 

Part of the character’s violent success is the unique fact that – unlike his big brothers Jason, Michael, or Freddy – anyone can be behind that ghostly mask. There is no repeating Ghostface murderer from movie to movie. The only thing shared between each of them is the iconic mask.  

With each succeeding film, new serial killers don the mask and cloak and busy themselves by both revering the established standards of the past while carving a new grisly legacy of blood in the flesh of new victims. Bottom line no one knows what sick maniac hides behind the ghost’s face … but it’s probably someone you’re closest to. Just saying. So the victims of the franchise are always on edge and never know who they can trust. 

Scream 3 (2000) Directed by Wes Craven Shown: Ghostface

That’s the scariest side of Ghostface: who is he or she? The clever script of the first film had us all on the edge of our seats trying to figure out who in the Hell was guilty? Was the lead girl pulling the strings behind the whole thing or was she an innocent trapped in a violent game? That’s the hook, that bloody mystery and classic slasher motif of ‘who done it’ the subgenre was originally built on.

Bottom line is we all know who Jason, Freddy, Chucky, and Leatherface all are. We don’t know who’s behind Ghostface, at least not until the final reveal in the third act of each movie. 

Final Thoughts

Admittedly Ghostface is not as readily adored as much as his older brothers of the slasher genre. Possibly because the Scream franchise went on to inadvertently inspire a long list of copycat films and parodies that made it tough for some horror fans to take the franchise seriously. And that’s too bad because this really is a fun series with plenty of scares and kills to keep people coming back. 

One phenomenal achievement Scream can claim is reviving the horror genre when it was clearly on life support and rapidly losing the battle. Long gone were the days of the ‘60s when Hammer ruled the box office or the ‘70s that gave us groundbreaking terror like The ExorcistThe Hills Have Eyes and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And the entire decade of the ‘80s was ruled by horror. We grew up on the teats of the Beast and just expected each year to produce a brand new Jason movie or Freddy film. It was the decade of slashers, zombies, and splatter! 

Then… nothing. Like bones left out to bleach under a desolate sun, horror seemed to have outlasted its usefulness and many fans left the genre completely. Then came Wes Craven’s little meta-horror film (that manically embraced what it was) sparked a hellish flame among audiences and they came out in droves just to see what all the fuss was about.

Holy shit! Scream (1996) didn’t disappoint either. 

You could call it sensational. I call it a ‘90s phenomenon. Scream became a hit and people – as aforementioned – were scared of ringing phones. Everyone was a suspect (in the movie) and the simple formula of mystery and murder pumped new life into the genre and horror was back on its feet. The Beast was awakened with a new scent of blood on its maul and was taking no prisoners.  

There are today horror podcasts who readily admit they would not be into the genre if it weren’t for the black magic of Scream’s howling success. It stabbed deeply into the cultural psyche and left an oozing mark. 

I look around my writing space here and see all the Scream Factory and Severin Blu-Rays I own; a pantheon of horror icons line my shelves thanks to the brilliant work of NECA’s beautiful renditions of Jason, Pennywise, Chucky, and many, many others. I’ve spent hours playing the Friday the 13th game on PS4 and the list of my collection (and obsession) can go on and on. So I’m left wondering if any of these things I love would have been possible without the success of Scream

Our younger readers might think this to be over-exaggeration but those of us who know simply know. Horror was almost lost because no one wanted to invest in the genre. Scream changed a lot of corporate minds and suddenly there was money to be made in well-written and smart horror movies.

That’s not to say there weren’t any good scares or genre flicks happening at the time. There were movies like Cape Fear and Silence of the Lambs that both came out in 1991 and scared the shit out of people. But these movies were placed under the moniker of Thriller. There was an obvious attempt being made by studios to do everything in their power to not let their sophisticated movies be called a ‘horror film’ as if the term would taint their project.

Among the rise of thrillers also came the romantic gothic remakes of classic monsters with titles like Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1993) and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994). Both movies were elaborate projects sporting big-name actors, stunning set pieces, and performances of a lifetime. Wolf (1994) also joined the fray and reworked the classic werewolf story into a more modern setting. But these movies were not being called horror movies but were gothic romances instead. Hell, I still loved them.

 But Scream made being a horror fan something to be admired. All of a sudden all of us horror geeks were like part of a clandestine order, holders of dark knowledge and be sought. It was a game-changer and wasn’t afraid to be called a horror movie. It wore the title proudly. Both it and The Blair Witch Project (1999) helped re-evaluate the genre in the minds of many, many people.

As of writing this article the franchise’s fifth movie is in theaters now – and enjoying good reviews. So Ghostface is back and, after seeing the movie, I say make a big deal of it. Watch all four previous films – or at least the original trilogy – and lead into seeing Ghostface up on the big screen again.

This is certainly the most violent of the whole franchise (no complaints from me, I love that kinda stuff) and really got me excited about the Ghostface killer all over again. If you’ve not seen the series yet you owe it to yourself – as a horror fan – to go watch the first movie at least. See the movie that made future movies like Hereditary possible at all.

Every Horror Movie Referenced In “SCREAM” 1996

It was December 20th, 1996, and a couple of friends and I carpooled to our local movie theater. You know, the kind of theater you don’t see anymore these days with the brick wall lining on the interior and movie titles proudly displayed on a marquee. Excitement was abound in our group as we were headed for a double feature of two highly anticipated movies of the holiday season: Beavis and Butthead Do America, and Wes Craven’s SCREAM, as they were simultaneously released on the same day. So we figured a little brainless comedy paired with a new horror movie was the best way to kick off our Christmas break.

As a matter of fact, this is the exact theater, thanks to cinematreasures.org for posting these pics that are making me ooze nostalgia from every orifice in my body.

After almost puking from laughing with Beavis and Butthead, it was horror’s turn as we shuffled into the theater room next door for SCREAM; and it was an experience much different than the aforementioned. One that only a horror fan would understand. It was goddamn glorious.

Spanning over 25 years, Wes Craven’s Scream has slashed its way into the hearts of horror fans becoming a beloved franchise entry into the Kingdom of Horror Legends. Spawning now four sequels, with SCREAM 5 being released this week, I figured what better time to go back to the original that was heavily influenced by the prior 20 years of phenomenal horror films; of which many are referenced in Scream themselves.

Obviously, I had to go back and rewatch the original so as not to miss any references here, but it’s possible I did anyway- and if so, make sure to comment down below what my dumb-ass didn’t catch the first few 100 times.


It goes without saying John Carpenter’s Halloween is pretty much the gold standard for slasher films, and here is no exception as not only is the movie used as a set-up for one of horror hero Randy’s rants but mentioned several times throughout the film as well.


Is that the one where the guy had knives for fingers? I liked that movie. It was scary– Ghostface
Yeah, the first one was but the rest sucked. – Casey

I would have felt bad for Casey had she not made that statement. Did she not ever see Dream Warriors or The Dream Master? Pfft…


“Corn syrup. Same thing they used for pig’s blood in Carrie.”- Billy

I appreciate that kind of attention to detail when planning the crime scene.


We all go a little crazy sometimesAnthony Perkins, Psycho.” – Billy

And umm, yeah he certainly did.


1996’s SCREAM did a fantastic recreation of the 1979 horror where the movie’s babysitter is tormented by a mysterious caller until she discovers the calls are coming from inside the house. In all fairness, it’s also an old urban legend, but one that never loses its edge.


“Name the killer in Friday the 13th?” -Ghostface

I’d say that was a dirty trick, but for anyone that knows better, it really isn’t. Sorry Casey.


“I was home watching television. The Exorcist was on. It got me thinking of you.” – Billy

Now if that ain’t a red flag that your boyfriend ain’t right in the head, I don’t know what is.


“What’s that werewolf movie with E.T.’s mom in it?”– Random Video Store Customer

Even though Randy gave the wrong title, it’s still a fun little Easter egg.


“If they’d watch ‘Prom Night,’ they’d save time!” – Randy

Seriously, always listen to the horror movie nerd in a real-life murder scenario, OK?

Added Jamie Lee Splendor; THE FOG/ TERROR TRAIN

“‘The Fog,’ ‘Terror Train,’ ‘Prom Night’… How come Jamie Lee Curtis is in all of these movies?”– Sydney

Because like Randy answers, “She’s the Scream Queen.” The end.


“What’s Leatherface doing here?” – Randy

Once again, Randy wasn’t too far off on this one.


“Cute. What movie is this from, ‘I Spit on Your Garage’?” – Tatum

You wish, Tatum. Unfortunately, you won’t get revenge like in the referenced film.


“Look at this place. It’s the town that dreaded sundown.” -Sydney

I really love that reference more than almost anything on this list. Perfect placement.


I’m afraid I’ll turn out just like her—the Bad Seed or something.” – Sydney

A fear we all have as teenagers Syd.


It’s like Jodie Foster in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ when she keeps having flashbacks of her dead father.”– Billy

Ironically, a sociopath manipulating his female counterpart is something Billy and Hannibal have in common.


Oh, you mean after you branded him the Candyman? No, his heart’s broken.” -Stu

Good. Fuck you, Billy.


One of the oldest horror films in the genre, and respectively, the one that paved the way for so many on this list, Frankenstein can be seen playing at Randy’s video rental workplace in the background.

Welp, I think that about covers it. And in case you need a refresher on how to survive a horror movie, listen to wise Randy here. No one else did and all this bullshit could have been avoided had they done so. We salute you, Randy.