A summer of scares is fast approaching with plenty of big new horror movies releasing May 2022. We’ve got a behemoth multiverse tale from Marvel, another Stephen King adaptation, more Shudder originals, and a promising indie production releasing almost every day. The following list narrows down the many chilling movies coming out to the 10 biggest, ordered by release date.
With so much horror unleashing on big and small screens alike in the coming months, a bonus section has been added to the end to spotlight some small indie productions you might like. So, whether you plan to go to theatres, or prefer to relax at home, there’s a new horror movie releasing in May 2022 to suit every type of scary movie fan.
Now that May has passed, make sure to check out our biggest horror movies releasing in June 2022 article, and if you’re after some more great movie suggestions, check these out:
- 5 Biggest Horror Movies Releasing April 2022
- The 10 Best Movies on Shudder
- 11 Best Horror Movies of 2021
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre Review
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Releases May 6 in US theatres.
Modern horror creatives Scott Derrickson And C. Robert Cargill departed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness over some unfortunate creative differences, but that left room for Sam Raimi to return to Marvel. More importantly; Sam Raimi got to return to horror.
Fans of the legendary Evil Dead II director have been starved for a horror film helmed by Raimi since Drag Me to Hell in 2009. Although it’s PG-13, Multiverse of Madness‘ recent BBFC rating revealed some interesting details on the type of terrors included in the multiverse movie. Looks like we’re getting a fair few jump scares, and a lot of demons. Themes Raimi is no stranger to.
Marvel movie fans are also excited to see what multiversal treats are in store for Doctor Strange, Wanda Maximoff, and newcomer America Chavez after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home and WandaVision. With lots of cameos being teased in trailers, and plenty more no doubt being kept a secret, Multiverse of Madness isn’t just one of the biggest new horror movies releasing in May 2022, it’s one of the biggest movies releasing this year.
Releases May 6 worldwide on Shudder and in theaters/VOD in the US.
Teresa Palmer reunites with her Discovery of Witches co-star Steven Cree for The Twin, the first of Shudder’s biggest new horror movies releasing in May 2022. The pair play a married couple, Rachel and Anthony, who move to Finland with their son, Elliot (Tristan Ruggeri) in the hopes of building a new life after the death of Elliot’s twin brother. Rachel soon unravels a dark truth about Elliot and the malicious forces attempting to take a hold of him.
In the wrong hands, the concept could be a clunky by-the-numbers take on the much-visited theme of loss told in modern horror films (with a creepy kid thrown in, why not?). However, the trailer escalates into a high octane thrill-a-minute by the end, and, promisingly, director Taneli Mustonen reunited with Lake Bodom co-writer Aleksi Hyvärinen to pen the script. Critics praised their previous collaboration for its positive take on the slasher genre. Here’s hoping The Twin can replicate Munstonen and Hyvärinen’s stellar work on Lake Bodom.
Escape the Field
Releases May 6 in select US theatres and VOD.
Yep, another May 6 release! If you’re not a Marvel fan, and The Twin doesn’t sound like it’s for you, Escape the Field could scratch that mindless-fun itch Hollywood does so well.
This R-rated thriller follows six strangers who awaken in a seemingly endless cornfield. Stripped of their possessions, they are left with only six items: a gun with a single bullet, matches, a lantern, a knife, a compass, and a flask of water. The group soon realize they have been plunged into a deadly cat-and-mouse game with an unknown evil. The film stars Jordan Claire Robbins (Umbrella Academy), Theo Rossi (Luke Cage, Army of the Dead), Tahirah Sharif (The Haunting of Bly Manor), and Shane West (Gotham, A Walk to Remember). Director Emerson Moore makes his feature film debut.
Escape the Field is certainly one of the biggest new horror movies releasing May 2022, but it might not be the best. It’s the kind of movie that could either be a horrible schlockfest, or a surprisingly fun watch. Fingers crossed for the surprisingly fun watch, but even bad schlock isn’t always a bad thing in the horror genre.
Releases May 6 in select US theatres/VOD.
The last of the May 6 horror movie releases gifts north American audiences with Shepherd. Those in the UK can already purchase the movie on VOD, as it was first released there last September to good reviews.
Written and directed by Russell Owen, Shepherd follows Eric’s (Tom Hughes) move to a remote Scottish island after the recent death of his wife. Eric thinks the solitude of being a shepherd on this lonely island will help him. The foreboding landscape and terrifying visions soon start to overwhelm him, however, and Eric is pushed to the brink of madness. Emmy award-winner Greta Scacchi (Emma, The Terror) also stars. The film might sound a bit of a bore to some, but if moody, introspective themes and stellar acting is what you’re after in a horror movie, Shepherd has you covered.
Releases May 12 worldwide on Shudder.
Set in Taiwan, The Sadness follows couple Jim (Berant Zhu) and Kat (Regina Lei) as they try and reunite during a viral pandemic that compels its victims to enact the most cruel and ghastly things imaginable to each other. Or, as Dan Scully summed it up in his review for phindie, “It’s absolutely revolting in every way and it rules”.
The Sadness is very much an action-horror flick with a focus on thrills, violence, gross-out visuals, and disturbing its audience. After its initial release in Taiwan last year, the movie got a lot of buzz in online horror communities. Shudder eventually swooped in to secure the movie’s premiere rights to disturb western audiences as well. It’s safe to say if violent horror isn’t your thing, you should give the film a pass.
Even if violence in movies usually doesn’t affect you, you might still want to pass. Consider this quote from Drew Tinnin’s review for Dread Central as your final warning: “Even the most hardcore horror fans may take issue with some of the abuse on display”.
Releases May 13 in US theatres/VOD.
No stranger to horror, Christina Ricci (The Adams Family, Yellowjackets) leads this creepy creature-feature dripping in 1950’s aesthetics. Ricci plays Laura, a mother who flees her abusive ex-husband with their seven-year-old son, Cody, to a beautiful small town lakeside farmhouse. The seemingly idyllic location just so happens to have a monster living in the lake who takes an interest in Cody, pushing the fragile family to their physical and mental limits. Chris Sivertson directs, with Carol Chrest providing the screenplay.
Christina Ricci and the inherent creepiness of that fake-perfect 50’s stylings are the main appeals of Monstrous. There’s also the creature itself, which gives off major The Grudge and The Ring vibes. It definitely has the potential to be a sleeper hit, so let’s hope that Friday the 13th release date doesn’t curse this movie into obscurity.
Releases May 13 in select US theatres/VOD.
What would really happen if a group of young children suddenly developed powerful abilities? The Innocents seeks to explore this inherently terrifying concept by weaving a dark and violent tale set during the Nordic summertime.
Having already made the rounds at European film festivals, there are some overwhelmingly positive reviews attached to the project, and a Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard nomination. Critics cite the directorial skills of Eskil Vogt and his excellent balancing act of displaying both the cruelty and purity of children as the high points of The Innocents. The arthouse direction might put some off, but those who like a deep dive into psychological horror with their slashers should put The Innocents on their radar.
Releases May 13 in US theatres and on Peacock.
Stephen King adaptations have always been popular, but there seem to be more now than ever. For every Carrie and The Shining, however, we get a Dreamcatcher or The Dark Tower. The original Firestarter movie from 1984 starring Drew Barrymore as the young, troubled Charlie was, unfortunately, one of these disappointing adaptations. This time Ryan Kiera Armstrong stars as Charlie, a young girl who struggles with controlling her pyrokinetic powers. Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile) also stars as her father, Andy.
What makes this iteration of Firestarter so promising is director Keith Thomas and production company Blumhouse’s involvement. It doesn’t always deliver a good movie, but Blumhouse’s track record is stellar, with hits like Happy Death Day, Get Out, and Halloween (2018) showing their range of success stories. Keith Thomas should be another welcome attachment to the project if you were a fan of his first feature film, The Vigil. It garnered a lot of critical praise for combining an eerie, supernatural atmosphere with Jewish traditions.
If the impressive cast and crew aren’t enough to convince you Firestarter is one of the biggest new horror movies releasing in May 2022, the trailers also show off some impressive pyrotechnics, environmental set pieces, and a creepy vibe from Armstrong’s Charlie.
Releasing May 20 in US theatres.
Alex Garland, most recently renowned for directing the sci-fi stories of Ex Machina and Annihilation, returns to horror with the A24 distributed Men. The English writer and director first dipped his toe in the horror genre when he wrote the screenplay for 28 Days Later. Twenty years later, Garland switches zombies for…men? Well, more like man.
Not much is known about the story, but we do know that Jessie Buckley (Fargo, Chornobyl) stars as Harper, who travels to the English countryside to help recover from a personal tragedy. The trailer shows Harper speaking with many people, but they all have the same face, even the children. Rory Kinnear (No Time to Die, Penny Dreadful) provides the face and performance of most of the creepy village inhabitants.
The trailer shows a surreal, nightmarish atmosphere, and Garland describes it in interviews as folk horror, a ghost story, and a “gut-level” film. The director/writer also wants to tackle toxic masculinity and subvert audience expectations. A tall order for one movie, but if it ticks all these boxes, Men is set to be one of the best as well as biggest new horror movies releasing May 2022.
Releases May 26 worldwide on Shudder.
A Banquet already received a limited release in theatres during February this year, but could potentially gain a much bigger audience with its quick addition to Shudder’s lineup. The movie follows widowed mother Holly, played by Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Fortitude). She receives another blow when her teenage daughter, Betsey, experiences a profound enlightenment. Claiming to be under the control of a higher power, Betsey refuses to eat anything— but she isn’t losing any weight. Jessica Alexander (Get Even) co-stars as Betsey.
It received a mixed reception with critics, but most who didn’t care much for the uneven story highlighted director Ruth Paxton’s style and the performances. Those with a Shudder subscription can see for themselves whether this slow burn horror with a focus on family is for them when it releases at the end of the month.
Indie Horror Movies Releasing May 2022
The following indie horror movies are releasing in digital format for VOD services in the US during May 2022. Some may have already had small theatrical runs, whereas others are debuting digitally.
- Glimpse: Releases May 6. Three people are up for the same job. Their lives are turning inside out under the pressure. And someone is watching the whole thing. More than one person, in fact. And someone else is watching them watch. A sorrowful and comedic examination of our fall into the surveillance culture.
- The Devil’s Tail: Releases May 10. An anthology of stories. The movie begins with a young nurse starting her shift at an old city hospital. After a strange apparition, one of the oldest nurses tells her that a patient, Mr. Moore, entered the hospital a few years ago. His body was completely burned after a fire. A bell sounding from Mr. Moore´s room begins the terror.
- Faye: Releases May 10. Still grieving the loss of her husband, a self-help author retreats to a cabin in Louisiana to gather her thoughts and work on her book. However, her trip soon turns into a nightmare when she’s haunted by something far more sinister than her past.
- Night Caller: Releases May 13. For all the Grindhouse fans out there, Night Caller is a throwback to late 70’s/early 80’s horror exploitation movies. Telephone psychic Clementine Carter is pulled into a complex web of mystery when she receives a call from a serial killer. Predicting his murders before he commits them puts her into a terrifying game of cat and mouse. Check out my Night Caller review for more details.
What horror movie are you most excited for this May? Let me know in the comments below!