• Maxwell J.

September 2022 Review: The Best Movies I Saw Last Month

September 2022 was the much-needed breath of fresh air I needed for my inner horror lover. Getting to attend a fully realized Fantastic Fest where restrictions were lifted to allow full capacity theaters made seeing so many more films possible. Additionally, I picked out some gems of first time watches that genuinely surprised me this month even outside of the festival.


When all is said and done, I watched 48 films for the first time and rewatched 7 films. Here are my thoughts!


Re-Watch Highlight: Terrifier (2018); Director: Damien Leone; United States

Two college students decide to end their night of hard partying. While on their way home they decide to sober up by getting pizza before driving. Once there they meet up with a creepy but sociable man dressed up in costume. He goes by Art the Clown, but neither would know as he remains completely silent. Instead, he conveys his emotions through his animated face, exaggerated movements, and tendency to kill every person in his path. Once they realize he is a true threat, it is too late. They must evade capture by Art and survive Halloween night. When I first watched this film, I hated it. Realizing that its sequel was playing at Fantastic Fest, I decided it might warrant giving it another chance. I am pleasantly surprised at how effective it is on rewatch. Some of my criticisms remain the same. The kills are good but not great enough to distract from the plodding pacing, thin plot, boring characters, and general emptiness. It is, however, enjoyable enough when you accept that it accomplishes its mission of being a silly slasher film with an incredible lead performance in David Howard Thornton’s portrayal of the now iconic Art.


Previous Rating: 3/10

New Rating: 6/10



BEST #6) Flowing (UNRELEASED); Director: Paolo Strippoli; Italy/Beligum

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 8/10



BEST #5) Project Wolf Hunting (2022); Director: Hong-seon Kim; South Korea

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 8/10


BEST #4) Sick (UNRELEASED); Director: John Hyams; United States

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 8.5/10


BEST #3) The Menu (UNRELEASED); Director: Mark Mylod; United States

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 8.5/10


BEST #2) Barbarian (2022); Director: Zach Cregger; United States

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 8.5/10



BEST #1) The Devil’s Backbone (2001); Director: Guillermo Del Toro; Spain/Mexico

Carlos is left by his tutor at an all-boy’s orphanage in the middle of the Mexican dessert. He holds onto hope that his father will come pick him up after the war, but unbeknownst to him, his father died in combat. Accepting his station, Carlos tries to make friends with the other boys even though they are hostile to newcomers and the rations are thinning. Eventually, Carlos discovers the ghost of a boy haunting the grounds. No one believes him but the ghost gives him a grave warning that things at the orphanage are only going to get worse. The Devil’s Backbone is a refreshing supernatural tale of revenge, guilt, and coming-of-age. Strong characterization and a moody atmosphere help make this delightful Spanish and Mexican collaboration a must-watch for any horror collector. Its wonderfully dark story is amplified by its messaging on trauma and the effects it can have immediately and long-term. Guillermo Del Toro, as many know, simply has great control of his films. Much of the success of this film comes from his attention to detail and strength in creating compelling narratives. It took me way too long to see this classic, so if you are like me, you need to check this one out immediately.


Overall Score? 8.5/10

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