Favorite Movie Trailers of 2022

I’m back from a blogging hiatus and wrapping up all things 2022. 

Kicking things off, my favorite movie trailers of last year. I had this list set in December but then Lucasfilm and Paramount flexed some late great peeks at what’s to come in 2023 that it shuffled this ranking some. I can’t help it, I’m excited by the things I’m excited about. This remains my only metric for what I consider a great trailer – a preview that gets you hyped to see the final product. That’s it. Sometimes these trailers do it magnificently in a short film exercise, other times it’s a restrained tease or an epic montage that makes you want the movie NOW. There were 13 trailers in 2022 that did it for me.

Unfortunately no Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Across the Spider-Verse, or Oppenheimer mentions here because, really, I don’t need trailers for those; I’m already there. Also just wanted to shout out these Ambulance and The Northman trailers. They were on here until I noticed the date and turns out those were 2021 trailers, so my 2021 trailers list has been devastated.

Alas, let’s tie a bow on the past year so we can start looking ahead at this year’s slate. Here are my favorite trailers of 2022:

13. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4

John Wick is among the few true action franchises left in movies. And by god, Baba Yaga will shoot his way out from oblivion.

My one nitpick is that this series has gotten too big for its own good. Parabellum ripped as a crowd-pleaser, but director Chad Stahelski gets lost in the stunts sometimes and forgets that these assassins are supposed to be efficient, not gluttonous. By the third time Halle Berry set her dogs on henchmen, my mind wandered and couldn’t figure out why we were in Casablanca other than for the film history vibes. Some of the globe-trotting in Chapter 4’s trailer worries me. Not so much the Paris locale, just why are we going John Wick of Arabia here??? Qualms aside, I’ve been all in on this world since the first one reintroduced – and remythologized – Keanu Reeves. I’m a fan of this being essentially Reeves’ Jackass in which he experiences pain in a myriad of ways for our enjoyment. And of course, we got Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Sanada, AND Scott Adkins—who’s not yet been glimpsed but I’m waiting. Yeah, I’m thinking we’re back, baby.

12. 65 

Adam Driver in a schlocky sci-fi B-movie, that’s the pitch and I’m sold. He carried the Star Wars sequel trilogy on his broad shoulders and had an incredible run of back-to-back Ridley Scott films. Off the bat, I’m getting Oblivion and Pitch Black vibes from 65. This is either a black hole time travel movie where Driver is thrown into prehistoric Earth, or my guy traveled in the wrong (right?) sector of the galaxy that happens to have dinosaurs at the top of the food chain. The thing I love most about this premise? It implies that Driver hunted the dinosaurs into extinction. Is this the Dino Crisis/Turok movie we deserve? We shall see.

11. KNOCK AT THE CABIN

I’ve come around on M. Night Shyamalan. OLD is a lot of fun, and I stick up for 90 minutes of Glass. You have to know what you’re in for, and it’s clear since The Visit and Split that Shyamalan has firmly left behind the magic trick (and shadow) of The Sixth Sense. Now he’s having a blast making audacious sci-fi horror thrillers. He’s reinvented himself an auteur this way, having full control over the look, vibe, and any perceived missteps of each movie. Say what you will about the twists that don’t work for you, they are HIS—things only he’d dream up. 

While Knock at the Cabin’s second trailer gave a greater sense of scope, I prefer the self-contained weirdness in the first look we got. (Less Glass, more Split.) Dave Bautista continues an impressive streak of genre roles, and, after OLD, I want me some more Nikki Amuka-Bird. Where once Shyamalan’s name was a punchline, it’s now of a singular writer-director brand up there with Christopher Nolan, Rian Johnson, and Jordan Peele. Shyamalan was here first.

10. PEARL

I so far admire Ti West’s A24 franchise experiment more than I like it. (West’s House of the Devil remains superior imo.) X is his slasher ode to Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The ending came with a surprise preview for Pearl – a whole prequel based on the character featured in X. Where X was West scratching a HUGE Tobe Hooper itch, Pearl frolics across the technicolor lens of Wizard of Oz. This time Dorothy IS the tornado wreaking havoc on a farm. The opening scream buried beneath chicken crows is bloodcurdling, and the use of Helen Kane’s “I Wanna Be Loved By You” intercut with Pearl’s murderous carnage is genuinely unnerving. This preview establishes a pitch perfect frequency for the titular character in that it feels like Pearl cut and scored the trailer herself.

9. TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS

I try to keep these lists light on the following year’s previews, but I can’t help myself when I’m hyped. I’m a child of Beast Wars. It was my morning programming before school—and often why my parents ran late to work. Didn’t need breakfast so long as I had my daily Optimus Primal and Cheetor. Needless to say, this trailer did it for me. (Why is this leading with a Biggie song? Fuck it, who cares.) I’m hopeful, and I say this as someone who was once critical of the sequels but has come to appreciate them. Say what you will, the CGI in the Transformers movies have aged better all these years later, whereas some MCU movies don’t hold up past the summer (and are still fine-tuned through its Disney+ debut and Blu-ray release). Nonetheless, Rise of the Beasts is leading with the tone set by Bumblebee and that’s good news for everyone.

8. INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY

We’ve been here before. Nostalgia has one hell of a gravitational pull, especially when it’s Harrison Ford returning to an iconic role. This is arguably his most iconic so OF COURSE I’m hyped, all things considered. I don’t think Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is an atrocity so much as a good case for Steven Spielberg to hand off the reins. There, I said it. (Yes, Spielberg made the OG Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park. He also made Temple of Doom and The Lost World.) James Mangold is in prime dad movie shape following Logan and Ford v. Ferrari. He will do right by Indy. 

I like what I’m seeing – the Phoebe Waller-Bridge of it all – and what I’m hearing. The sheer crescendo of John Williams’ score got the nostalgic waterworks going. It’s hard to get a better sendoff than literally riding off into the sunset like in Last Crusade. Dial of Destiny doesn’t need to be an apology or epilogue. Another fun adventure with everybody’s favorite grump king is all we need.

7. CREED III

Where were you when these Jonathan Majors photos dropped? While I wasn’t hot on Creed II, I am game for a Creed series going the distance like parent Rocky franchise. Stepping into the director’s chair this time is star Michael B. Jordan, and boy, he ain’t messing around. He’s gunning for a good old-fashioned slugfest, with samples of training montages like you’d see in Dragon Ball Z. (More movies should have characters punching trees imo.) Jordan has been in the game since The Wire; he’s got this directing thing in the bag. Less confident, though, on whether Adonis Creed will survive this grudge match. I’m in his corner, but Majors’ Damian Anderson lookin like he’ll knock Creed’s head clean off 😱

6. HELLRAISER

I’ve only seen one Hellraiser movie in my lifetime. Yet, this remake became one of the most anticipated movies of the year for me based on this trailer alone. I was impressed with the soundscape early on, of Gothic bells tolling (and seething) for innocent souls. But I was lulled by the geometry on display—the infamous puzzle boxes foreshadowing pathways to a hellish dimension where pain is currency. And last but not least, Jamie Clayton’s Pinhead gets a thunderous, movie monster intro. The voice was perfect, the mood was sinister, and the ending scream was the blood red punctuation on top.

5. NOPE

Jordan Peele can make anything and I will watch. Which is to say I’m predisposed to the guy like I am with Chris Nolan. Peele going extraterrestrial piqued my interest, but I couldn’t have imagined how cowboy he’d go with the concept. I like bite-sized trailers that don’t spoil anything, but I’m a sucker for cinematics. The final trailer gave us some gorgeous peeks at DP Hoyte van Hoytema’s panoramas (himself a Nolan collaborator), a taste of Michael Abels’ galloping score; throw in Michael Wincott’s gravelly voice (The Crow and Metro fans know his deep baritone by heart), and Nope registered as a summer event in my brain. It’d have been so easy to follow up Us’ trailer with another sinister remix of a hit single. I’m glad Peele went with the movies on this one.

4. AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER

This teaser played before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and seeing it on the big screen was, dare I say, spiritual? You lose a sense of grandeur viewing anything on a phone, so seeing this preview in theaters made me realize how hyped I was for Avatar 2 after all. (Where once I was critical of James Cameron getting a billion-dollar budget for a franchise nobody asked for at the time, now I want Avatars 6 and 7 before Earth truly becomes uninhabitable.) The hand-wringing over Avatar’s “cultural impact” had not yet begun so this trailer felt pure and serene. Jaw-dropping visuals that made the Na’vi seem realer than ever before, and a profoundly muted score that knew what we knew deep down: we were ready to return to Pandora.

3. BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER

Phase Four left me so jaded on the MCU that I forgot Black Panther 2 was coming out in 2022. In turn, I had forgotten how good Ryan Coogler is at his job. As Fugees’ “No Woman, No Cry” bled into Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” I was brought back instantly. Wakanda Forever’s initial trailer does right by Chadwick Boseman’s memory while teasing the emerging ensemble that will carry the torch forward. It’s hard making a sequel to one of the best superhero movies ever made, even harder to honor the passing of a titan. If there was any doubt, this trailer gave all the confidence that this sprawling comic book enterprise can find its way back again.

2. M3GAN

She served, she slayed, she TikTok danced her way into our hearts. This trailer came out of nowhere and took over social media by storm. M3GAN truly became sentient in that regard. (Allison Williams unleashing a Yassified Terminator because she can’t take care of her plants? Incredible.) Akela Cooper and James Wan gave me my favorite movie of last year so they can do no wrong in my mind. The sheer audacity of this premise gave me hope that such a void would finally be filled come January. Though 2022 had plenty of Malignant successors, Akela Cooper came through with a true heir to the throne. M3GAN 👏 IS 👏 THE MOMENT 👏

1. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE

That’s right, the best trailer I saw all year played before freakin’ Top Gun: Maverick. Let’s just get this outta the way: this is a terribly edited preview. Not all of the cuts are seamless to the brash music cues, and these images one after the other don’t make visual sense. Horseback here, submarine explosion there, cars crashing everywhere, etc. It’s because this isn’t a trailer, it’s a showreel – something a producer and director will put together to prove to the studio that their investment is worthwhile (and perhaps angling for more budget dollars).

Maybe Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie were in hot water globe-trotting and charging Paramount Pictures for all their worth in making this massive two-parter. Or Paramount leaked this rough preview to soften the PR blow of this Hollywood Reporter article. Whatever the case, they got me. This Dead Reckoning preview fucking PULVERIZED my ear holes and eye sockets. It’s an epic poem in trailer form. I have no idea what the plot is and I do not care. Cruise and McQuarrie have fine-tuned the formula for modern action filmmaking and it’s Tom Cruise x Acceleration = CINEMA. If this is his final bow for the franchise, then they’re going out on a high-speed chariot of glory.

10 Horror Movies You Can Stream on Tubi Right Now

I may be on House of the Dragon mode at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I’ve coasted on the horror vibes this month. Bloodthirsty horror fans know spooky season isn’t limited to October, pumpkin spice, or Home Depot skeletons on people’s front lawns; it’s year-round babyyyyy. Nonetheless, ’tis the season. Some of you may be hitting overdrive on those horror movie marathons, so allow me to take you over the deep end.

TUBI is a free streaming service that doesn’t get recognized all that much. You’re more likely to see “Best Movies on Netflix/Disney+/HBO Max/Prime/Hulu.” I’m going against the grain. Did I mention Tubi is free? With ads, but still FREE.

Now that the big streamers are rolling out their ad plans, how about you save some money this Halloween? Less subscriptions = more candy. Here are my favorite horror movies that you can stream for free on Tubi. (A lot of these titles are on paid streaming services, yet are also available on Tubi. You do the math.)

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Favorite Horror Movie Trailers

I love a horror movie trailer! If horror movies are like roller coasters, then perhaps a 2-minute trailer exemplifies that best.

Tis the season! I’ve got some horror content I wanna spotlight throughout October. I’m currently in House of the Dragon mode so as a segue, I’m getting spooky season started on here with a little tease. Kicking things off, here are my top ten favorite horror movie trailers that I LOVE rewatching over and over—sometimes as a short film exercise, other times when I’m in the mood to rewatch the dang film. Disclaimer: this is a collection of previews I got to see and get amped for in theaters (minus one recent). So sorry, boomers, ya ain’t gonna see The Exorcist or the Alien trailer on this list 🤷‍♂️

Honorable Mention: THE NUN

I didn’t love the movie, but I dig the straightforwardness of this teaser. It opens with Valak’s scarier-than-hell portrait from The Conjuring 2. Really, that’s all the tease you need. I think this played ahead of Hereditary that summer 2018 when I saw it and set the right tone, even if the eventual movie didn’t live up to the anticipation. Regardless, I have high hopes for The Nun 2 🙏

11. FEAR STREET

If you saw a version of this list without the Fear Street trilogy trailer, no you didn’t. That makes this a top eleven. Two things that still blow my mind about this Netflix preview: they were going for the R-rating, and dropping a whole trilogy in one summer. A jaw-dropping flex a year later, and a delicious tease of the slasher horror remixes they had up their sleeve. Fear Street was the bridge for me as a grade schooler going into intermediate. I thought I had forgotten about these R.L. Stine serials all those years ago. Leigh Janiak made damn sure I’d cherish them.

10. HELLRAISER (2022)

The most recent trailer on here—and the whole reason I started thinking about a horror trailer list to begin with. Call it recency bias, whatever; I was insanely delighted with what’s on display – the look, the vibe, and confidence of the sheer hell coming our way. I have since been rewatching this trailer every single day that I’m pretty sure I’ve been put on a watchlist. It previews some awesome glimpses at a few Cenobites, and makes a thunderous movie monster entrance out of Jamie Clayton’s titular Pinhead. I went from thinking nothing of this reboot to drooling at its visceral potential in 2-minutes flat. The early reactions out of Fantastic Fest only whet my appetite even more. Can’t wait for Friday 😈

9. LIGHTS OUT

I used to be deathly afraid of the dark until I was 12. Now I cannot sleep if there’s a sliver of light in the room. You can bet that after I saw this trailer, I was sleeping with one eye open for a minute. David F. Sandberg’s original short posted on YouTube would routinely go viral every few months until the full feature was greenlit. (Sandberg would go on to direct Annabelle: Creation.) I was both excited and madly worried for my electricity bill for the month. I can wholeheartedly recommend this tight 80-minute fright fest—which does justice to a premise that 2003’s Darkness Falls wished it could. Also streaming on Hulu! (In case this already induced some night terrors, check out this parody wonderfully titled, “Lights Ouch.”)

8. THE VVITCH

The Robert Eggers and Anya Taylor-Joy collab that started it all. I think The VVitch (or probably The Babadook the year before) started us on this path of “elevated horror,” a phrase that either induces groans or raises eyebrows. Nevertheless, the raw power of this A24 trailer unnerves me to holy hell. It might pile on the pull quotes, but it was the unflinching display of horror in natural light that caught my eye and refused to let go. The early shot of the tree line as that ominous choir swells still gets goosebumps out of me. And yes, since we got an ambitious new Eggers joint this year, I still think The VVitch is his best movie.

7. IT

Few images can conjure dread quite like a Stephen King adaptation: kid in a yellow raincoat, kneeling down a storm drain, and a jump scare emerging in the darkness. This trailer knows that you know what this is, and lets the rest of the premise spook your own damn self. The tease of the projector scene is still great, and the fleeting glimpses of Pennywise are damn artful compared to how overused he’d become in the films. Chapter One, sadly, didn’t hold up for me. (I may do some venting later on Chapter Two.) Nonetheless, this trailer is an all-timer in the halls of Stephen King.

6. DOCTOR SLEEP

If we’re gonna talk Stephen King adaptations, why not talk about the best one. (Cry if you disagree.) I didn’t love the book Doctor Sleep, so this first peek at Mike Flanagan’s measured and more profound interpretation made me think it was a masterpiece incoming. (It IS.) It has a reverence for both versions of The Shining, and hints at the ways the eventual movie would reconcile the two. And it provides some assurance by using music cues from Stanley Kubrick to hair-raising results. That ending shot of Danny Torrance at the door where the terror all started… a brilliant legacy tease.

5. THE CONJURING

As much as the teaser should be here, it spoiled what could’ve been the best scare in the movie. Alas, there’s no need for consolation. The main trailer set the proper malevolent tone: a little bit of Exorcist and Poltergeist, with some X-Files vibes to top it all off. This showed the radical leap forward for James Wan, who dabbled in torture porn and creepy puppets, then found his true calling in the haunted house subgenre. The Conjuring is the mothership of modern horror that doubles as an epic throwback. While the trailer spoils the big moments, like all trailers inevitably do, it didn’t ruin the holy ghost of an experience it was in the theater.

4. HALLOWEEN (2018)

I took for granted just how familiar I was with John Carpenter’s original. Halloween (1978) is a season staple, a spooky mainstay more or less tainted (but never undone) by its inferior sequels. That did not deny how freakin’ HYPED I was once I heard those familiar keys and tune chiming in. I realized that maybe I did care about Laurie Strode’s story after all, and I just had to see what shape evil took on 40 years later. Halloween Kills notwithstanding, David Gordon Green showed how much of a Carpenter worshipper he was, and that alone was a bounce back from the guy who did Your Highness. The whole saga might be coming to an “end” in 2 weeks’ time. But if you ask me, this here was the perfect ending.

3. US

A cultural reset. The moment this trailer slowed down “I Got 5 On It” to meet Jordan Peele’s thuddingly sinister ends, we were never the same. It sparked a demand for horror remixes of popular hip hop singles that rages to this day—a task that only Peele himself can fulfill, it seems. This trailer is also just straight up frightening. The sound design matching the quick succession of shots of the “Tethered” infiltrating the house… it either made you say yes or nope come opening weekend. The shot at the 28-second mark is some diabolical foreshadowing, and the Candyman-esque figure on the beach hinted at Peele’s other horror ambitions. The inkblot diagrams were a nice touch at a time in the country when we could’ve used some introspection… or a good long look in the mirror.

2. PROMETHEUS

Ridley Scott returning to the world of Alien was all the cinephile rage back in 2012. It seemed too good to be true—and, based on the polarizing response since then, it was for some. Still, there is no denying how axis-tilting this trailer was (THEY PLAYED THIS BEFORE THE AVENGERS, YO) and the quantum leap in Scott’s filmmaking compared to his low-budget and bootstrap-y days in the ’70s. This preview was a showcase, really, for the master of sci-fi horror he’s become. Who else can one-up him none other than himself??? Alien and its anxiety-inducing trailer was before my time, so seeing the aesthetic redone here in its evolved form was plenty satisfaction for me.

1. EVIL DEAD (2013)

There has never been a better red band trailer before or since. If a movie should be given the red band treatment, it ought to be Evil Dead. (This unfortunately means I cannot preview it on here so you are spared.) Watching the green band trailer, then, was like watching a Quentin Tarantino movie on cable. Like, why fucking bother?

Remaking a Sam Raimi movie is sacrilegious in and of itself. But to do THE Raimi horror movie that spawned legions of genre filmmakers… Fede Alvarez got some brass ones between his legs. This trailer effectively silenced the doubters and naysayers; it legit looked like what Raimi, Rob Tappert, and Bruce Campbell had intended all those years ago, finally given the budget and creative license to realize this terrifying vision. Literally everyone I showed or mentioned this trailer to at the time would tell me how much they did NOT wanna see this movie. (Surrounded by wussies, I tell ya.) I think that’s the highest compliment that can be paid for any horror trailer. If the point of a preview is to simply get people to go, then this red band trailer had me gushing for the theater opening day.

‘Prey’ Review: The ‘Predator’ Franchise Reaches a New Apex

This is as far as you go.”

For a while, it seemed like the Predator franchise had reached its limit. Two movie monster fights, that one with Adrien Brody, and a confounding Shane Black reboot left the series scrambling for an identity. Back to basics, then. That’s where PREY rediscovers itself as a gnarly creature-feature and rad action movie-play on Darwinism. “No more. This is it.” No more crossovers, no Adrien Brody cosplaying as tough guy, and no need for cleverness other than the protagonist outsmarting the big trophy hunter with a thing for spinal columns. Director Dan Trachtenberg nods to the heyday of Schwarzenegger, unearths a soulful frontier through a new lead and time period, and moves the franchise needle forward, finally. PREY is just a good old-fashioned survival story; a most dangerous game of death. It’s projectiles vs. tomahawks and It. Fucking. OWNS.

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Favorite Movies of 2022 (So Far)

I’ve never done this before. I usually put out end of the year movie lists. It’s how I built the foundation of this blog and the routine I’ve stuck to year in, year out. I’ve toyed with doing a halfway list before, but I’ve never had enough to fill a top ten by summer.

Lo and behold, 2022 has been a MIGHTY year for movies so far that I find myself still buzzing high. (The fact that most of these movies are available to stream now is insane.) Whether these will make my eventual year-end list remains to be seen. I’ve been having such a good time that I just wanna stop and stare for a sec. This may be the year where I finally budge on my usual slot of ten, who knows!

These are my favorite movies in the first half of 2022.

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