Trending horror films such as Terrifier 2 and Barbarian prove that 2022 has been a great year for horror fans, but more importantly, it has delivered a range of quirky and well-known characters, from good guys to terrifying bad guys who have the potential to change the current horror scenario.
As usual, horror protagonists often go through extensive character development in the face of brutal atrocities and chilling events. 2022 has many types of protagonists to offer, from unreliable anti-heroes to innocent children, which really breaks new ground in the genre.
10/10 Finney (The Black Phone)
The Black Phone is one of the most popular horror releases of the year, starring Ethan Hawke as the terrifying “Grabber”, a peculiar serial killer who sees his method begin to fall apart after he removed Finney, who is able to communicate with ghosts from Grabber’s previous. victims.
The Black Phone is one of those horror films where a secondary character steals the show every time it’s onscreen, with Finney’s sister Gwen Blake standing out as the film’s moral MVP. However, Finney isn’t that far behind, especially considering his changes throughout the film from a quiet, shy boy to a young man who can hold his own and fight for his life. .
9/10 Pearl (Pearl)
If Pearl weren’t so special, she wouldn’t have a movie just for her. Arguably one of 2022’s most terrifying villains with her role in X, she returns as the main character in the sequel Pearl, where viewers can finally witness the violent origin story of how Pearl is. gone from an innocent rural girl to a ruthless serial killer.
Different from X, viewers can’t help but root for Pearl, regardless of her obsessive desire for success and impulsive motivations to kill. More importantly, Mia Goth gives herself body and soul to this character, which makes Pearl so terrifying and unique.
8/10 Dr. Rose Cotter (Smile)
Dr. Rose Cotter is one of the easiest horror characters to love in a long time. Although haunted by the traumatic events of her past, she is a skilled doctor and caring wife, but becomes the target of an evil curse with devastating consequences. Rose wastes no time in denying the entity tormenting her, quickly using her quick wit to figure out the curse and find a way to counter it.
After countless victims of the Curse of Smiles, Dr. Rose has come the closest to defeating it for good, after a relentless fight against her own mind. Unfortunately, she faces an inescapable fate at the hands of the film’s terrifying entity.
2022 is a great year for Anya Taylor-Joy, ranging from her mystical role in The Northman to witty Margot in The Menu, a comedy horror that escalates into barbaric mayhem. In the film, a small group of wealthy guests travel to a remote island to enjoy a sumptuous menu at an exclusive restaurant, where a renowned chef has prepared some shocking surprises for each guest.
Margot is such an easy-to-love character because, alongside the film’s main antagonist, played brilliantly by Ralph Fiennes, she seems to be the only person among the guests with even the slightest trace of personality. Among the stupidity of the rich, Margot is the first to suspect that something is wrong, and the only one capable of turning the game against the Chief.
6/10 Maxine (X)
At the start of X, Maxine says “I won’t accept a life that I don’t deserve”, and she totally lives up to those words. A budding actress surrounded by fans, she stands out as the most talented member of the group.
After all of her friends are murdered by the hosts of their filming location, Maxine is the only one who manages to get the better of the aging couple who threatened them. She takes advantage not only of her mind but also of her body, a gift and a curse that ignited in Pearl her unattainable desire to be young again. The protagonist versus antagonist confrontation is priceless, especially considering how they mirror each other.
5/10 Laurie Strode (Halloween Ends)
Laurie Strode is one of the most recurring horror protagonists of all time. In different decades and over 10 movies, she ran away from Michael Myers, ultimately killing him in the process, or died trying, then coming back, etc. In Halloween Ends, Laurie Strode returned for a final face-off against her nemesis, played by the iconic Jamie Lee Curtis who gave the character soul.
After a series of gruesome murders by Myers, one of the victims being his daughter, Laurie finally gets the better of the serial killer, slashing him several times and throwing his body into a metal shredder. Last but not least, it’s also great to see Laurie finally lead the peaceful life she deserved, definitely one of the year’s horror MVPs.
4/10 OJ & Emerald (No)
No, there are two incredible protagonists and the truth is that one cannot live without the other. Emerald and OJ are two close yet completely different siblings: Emerald is a budding budding entertainer with enough energy to light up an entire city. On the other hand, OJ is a reserved and cautious breeder and the first to notice something nasty going on around his family ravine.
The two have unique chemistry and contrasting qualities that together are essential in battling Nope’s terrifying villain, a bloodthirsty alien creature. Emerald is the bold one, always ready to put herself in harm’s way in direct confrontation, while OJ is the watchful warrior, observing and analyzing the creature’s behavior to understand its weaknesses. Together, the two defeat a seemingly invincible and unknown force.
3/10 Noa (Fresh)
Noa is the soul of Fresh, an unexpected thriller guaranteed to make viewers’ stomachs drop. She is painfully relatable; a vulnerable yet intelligent young woman seeking a meaningful relationship in an age awash with useless dating apps and awkward dating.
It’s unfair to blame her for falling for the wrong guy, as almost everyone would have fallen in love with Steve’s enchanting ways, unaware that he’s actually a sadistic cannibal. Noa looks like an innocent, fragile woman on the surface, and she uses that in her favor to turn the tables on Steve and free other victims from his evil captivity.
2/10 Tess (Barbarian)
All Tess wanted was a peaceful stay in Detroit while she looked for a job, but instead she found herself trapped in an underground maze of dark hallways inhabited by a gigantic woman who stalked her. taken as her baby.
From start to finish, Barbarian makes it clear to viewers that Tess isn’t safe in this house, first hinting at Bill Skarsgård posing a threat, but then revealing a far more deadly threat. Tess does her best to help those around her and ends up being used and thrown away like nothing, though her kind heart indirectly causes her to develop a bond with the film’s “monster”, and mutual understanding and respect between them. end up saving Tess’ life.
1/10 Naru (Prey)
Naru is arguably the horror MVP of the year, starting with Prey as an inexperienced hunter and evolving into a deadly woman who can think quickly and take advantage of all the weapons at her disposal to fight off the many enemies who threaten her and her tribe.
In the end, Naru manages to outsmart the Predator, an evolved alien creature with a deadly arsenal, turning the game against him by adapting to his predator’s abilities and behavior and proving that he is no longer harmless prey. In the process, she faces the threat of foreign invaders and learns important lessons about family and unison, ultimately saving most of her tribe from the dangers that surrounded them on all sides.