Underrated Horror Movie Performances From 2022 That Deserve Way More Attention



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Vote up the actors or actresses that deserve more recognition for their 2022 performances.

2022 was a banner year for the horror genre, and one that was brimming with top-tier horror performances left and right. But with so many great turns and stand-out achievements in the field, it's easy for supporting players to get lost in the shuffle.

These are the performances from 2022 that either flew under the radar because the movies came and went, or because other folks in the cast stole the spotlight. From sweet-as-pie sister-in-laws to unhinged psychos to wannabe adult film stars, here are the underrated performances of 2022.

Warning: Spoilers

  • Laura Galán As Sara In 'Piggy'
    Photo: Filmax

    Piggy is not only a highly underrated horror movie from 2022, its lead actress Laura Galán gives one of the most engrossing and pathos-inducing performances in recent horror memory - on par with Sissy Spacek in Carrie, another film about bullying and its resultant monstrousness.

    Galán is particularly adept at acting without dialogue, conveying nuanced emotions with baleful eyes, terrified whimpers, and chill-inducing screams. Viewers feel her character Sara’s agony on a gut level and can completely sympathize with her desire for revenge against those who have teased and tormented her.

    42 votes
  • Filmmaker Parker Finn’s debut feature Smile went from a Paramount+ original to a bonafide theatrical hit, thanks in no small part to a viral marketing campaign that included planting creepily grinning actors at baseball games.

    The movie features an incredible performance from lead actress Sosie Bacon, but equally incredible is Caitlin Stasey as Laura Weaver, the first onscreen victim of the trauma-fueled smile monster plaguing Bacon’s character throughout the film.

    Stasey played the same role in Finn’s short film "Laura Hasn’t Slept," the precursor to Smile, which the actress carries all on her own. Her haunting visage graces the Smile poster and Blu-ray release, and while her contorted beaming is indeed unnerving, too little has been said of Stasey’s acting chops. Her Laura is manically desperate, painfully distraught, and she sets the horrific tone for the rest of the narrative to come.

    84 votes
  • Brittany Snow As Bobby Lynne In 'X'
    Photo: A24

    It's easy to get lost in the riveting film X. Directed by Ti West, the ‘70s-set slasher was a cultural reset for the hicksploitation genre, as it paid homage to Texas Chainsaw Massacre and helped make household names out of Mia Goth and Jenna Ortega. Britanny Snow as veteran adult film star Bobby Lynne shined just has bright as any of her co-stars. It’s just that her glimmer got lost in the madness.

    Sporting a Southern accent and gumption for days, the sultry Snow takes a hard turn from the Pitch Perfect franchise that made her famous and holds her own in a large cast about wannabe stars looking to make pornography in the Deep South.

    Bobby Lynne might seem bright-eyed and innocent, but she's been around the block, as she teaches her co-workers a thing or two about the business… before having to fight for her very life. The very definition of a bada**, Bobby Lynne brings humor and humanity to X - that is, before it brings the blood.

    57 votes
  • Daisy Edgar-Jones As Noa In 'Fresh'
    Photo: Hulu

    Hulu's Fresh was an entry into the horror genre that seemingly came out of nowhere. Starting off as a romantic comedy, the lengthy intro begins as a typical meet-cute between Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Steve (Sebastian Stan) as they chat each other up in a grocery store.

    Just as the audience starts swooning for the couple, poor Noa swoons herself thanks to a drugged cocktail. The unsuspecting horror movie goes from 0 to 100 and depends heavily on its two stars to lead the charge of its unhinged story.

    Though most auds know what to expect from Stan, Edgar-Jones is a delightful surprise as a hostage to a man with horrific appetites and hobbies. Throughout the tale, she must remain upbeat and chipper despite her frightful circumstances. As she talks to unseen cellmates or tries to get into her captor's good graces, all eyes are on Noa as the deranged feature takes viewers on one hell of a rollercoaster ride.

    It's a big task for the actress, and one for which she doesn't get enough credit.

    24 votes
  • 5
    23 VOTES

    Jessie Buckley As Harper In 'Men'

    Jessie Buckley As Harper In 'Men'
    Photo: A24

    As nearly the only woman in a film called Men, Jessie Buckley probably didn’t have to work so diligently to stand out. But she went there anyway, and it's her performance as Harper that pulls the film up from mediocrity.

    Men, the third feature film directed by scribe Alex Garland following Ex Machina and Annihilation, received mixed reviews upon release, mainly for its nebulous and arguably unsatisfying “plot.” But Buckley’s mix of exhaustion and mounting terror as a mourning widow alone in a strange place makes it worth the watch, and it's good enough to keep viewers on board to the (very weird) end.

    23 votes
  • 6
    35 VOTES

    Dakota Beavers As Taabe In 'Prey'

    Dakota Beavers As Taabe In 'Prey'
    Photo: 20th Century Studios

    Amber Midthunder doesn't just walk away from the unexpectedly phenomenal Predator prequel as a full-blown action star, she practically struts out of the movie carrying an alien hunter's head like a trophy. She's a worthy heir to Arnold Schwarzenegger at his most Schwarzeneggerian and deserves every bit of praise she gets; it's her movie, but the whole thing doesn't work without a stunning performance from Dakota Beavers.

    As Taabe, the older brother to Midthunder's Naru, Beavers has a tough, tough role. He's the fiercest, most skilled hunter and the presumptive War Chief of their Comanche tribe. He's basically everything Naru aspires to be, and like any cool older brother, he casts a long shadow. He's hard on his sister, representing the tribe's frustrations with her ambitions, even as he advocates for her and makes space for her to shine. When she fails, he's hard on her, and it's quietly devastating.

    Taabe comes through when it counts, though, and by the time French fur trappers are using the siblings as bait, Beavers pulls out all the stops for an earnest, legitimately cathartic passing of the torch in which Taabe makes it clear he knows Prey is really Naru's movie.

    The moment lands beautifully, all thanks to Beavers's thoughtful, nuanced performance. Oh, and he goes up against a Predator in a brawl for the ages, so Midthunder isn't the only one who proves her action-star bona fides.

    35 votes