I have watched tons of films in 2022. Some good, few great. However, the majority of films were just barely passable as entertainment, let alone being in the mix for the Oscars. Still, it is my hope to at least give the cast and crew of some of these films a little spark. So, with that being said, I present you with my #HauntLife movie awards for the year.

Unlike traditional awards (best actor, best director, etc.), these will be my own awards. There will be no generic, boring categories. Just fun and thoughtful titles that will be sure to generate a conversation or two.


Written, filmed, produced and directed by Phil Tippett, this stop-motion animated horror film was released on Shudder this past June. In a hellish underworld, we follow an assassin attempting to plant a bomb, only to be captured. What follows is a nasty series of torture and mutilation, killing the assassin and leaving behind some sort of infant creature that is later ground up into a liquid used to restart the world.

And yes, you read all of that correctly. Mad God gave me the idea of trying my hand at making a stop-motion movie with my daughter using her Play-Doh. But after only 10 minutes, we both were like, “Wanna go play Fortnite?”

NOT ENOUGH WRESTLING IN THE ROLE Award: Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam

Do you smell what The Rock is cooking? Probably not, if Black Adam was the only film of his you saw this past year. It’s the story of a slave from ancient times who attained god-like powers. Unfortunately, Black Adam didn’t get the “with great power comes great responsibility” memo. This led to an action-packed film, but one that relied on too many punches and kicks.

When I go to see a movie starring Dwayne Johnson, I wanna see a wrestling clinic, not one or two moves that look like they were taught at the NXT training school. All he had to do was hit the “Rock Bottom” on the final boss and all would have been good. Still, the film was only mediocre, so the likelihood of seeing Johnson donning the skintight black suit is not looking good.

WISHING HE WAS STILL HARRY POTTER Award: Daniel Radcliffe in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Back in the early 2000s, the hottest young stars in cinema were the main cast of the Harry Potter series. Lead amongst them was Daniel Radcliffe. Hollywood was all over this A-plus celebrity. Flash forward to 2022, and we find Radcliffe in a “Made for Roku TV Movie” about the legendary parody singer, Weird Al Yankovic. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is a tongue-in-cheek faux documentary about the life and rise to fame of Yankovic. The movie was loved by critics, including me, giving it high praise. But let’s be fair: Daniel Radcliffe should be making Hollywood blockbuster films, not comedy films that will disappear from our memories as soon as Roku changes the monthly content.


Glass Onion did not live up to the hype and legacy that its predecessor, Knives Out, had achieved. It felt rushed, with so much of the story being laid out to the audience that it quickly became apparent who the perpetrator was. But while the movie was lacking in the suspense department, one thing shined out to me: Dave Bautista. Yeah, I know, I have a soft place for any former wrestling star who breaks into Hollywood. And I have been critical of him in some of his previous roles, such as My Spy and Army of the Dead, but he was the shining point of the film for many, not just me.

His character of Duke Cody played up to the “macho jock” stereotype that a man of his size and background exudes. He was cocky, arrogant and somewhat of a dunce, but he still could break every bone in your body with a flick of his pinky finger (much like his top-notch role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy). Rian Johnson did Dave a huge favor by playing up to his strengths, and that is why Glass Onion deserves this award.


She may not be a household name yet, but I can pretty much guarantee you have seen a movie with Anya Taylor-Joy in the cast. This British-American actress has already been in some well-known films. She was attacked by a coven of witches in The Witch. She took on a man suffering from multiple personalities in Split. She even became a superheroine in the underrated The New Mutants.

With more than 29 roles on her resume since 2014, Anya really has a rocket strapped to her back. It’s hard tracking down a single film to credit as her “best” role each year. But for me, that movie is The Menu. In it, Anya plays Margot, a woman who is the last-minute date for a guy to an exclusive dining event on a remote island. The movie was not great in my book, as it was missing some elements that make a great horror/suspense film, but Anya was the saving grace, delivering quite possibly her second-best performance to date (my personal favorite was the 2021 film, Last Night in Soho). So, when you think of the fastest-rising Hollywood actress, keep an eye out for Anya Taylor-Joy.

BEST CRAZY (NICOLAS) CAGE MOVIE Award: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

If you have followed me for any period of time, you should know that I have a thing for the man, the myth, the legend: Nicolas Cage. And every single year there seems to be an abundance of films starring the 59-year-old actor. I have been enthralled with weirdly satisfying flicks such as The Pig, Willy’s Wonderland, and heck, even Ghost Rider. But this year, Cage took on his greatest role ever. He played… himself. In The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Cage (going by his real name of Nicolas Kim Coppola) is a Hollywood actor at the back-end of his career. After encountering a super-fan, Cage finds himself channelling some of his greatest character performances to save himself, all while helping the CIA take down some bad guys.

You can’t find another movie, ever, where Nicolas Cage plays such a powerful, kick-ass role. And this award is an icon of that great achievement.

THE WHIPS AND CHAINS EXCITE ME Award: Jamie Clayton in Hellraiser

Hollywood seems to be out of ideas. Every year we get a ton of remakes of previous box-office hits, and every year they seem to get further and further from the formula that made the originals so good. That is exactly why many horror fans let out a collective groan when Hulu announced its Hellraiser remake. But those groans soon turned to moans (Just me?) when we finally got a chance to see Jamie Clayton take on the iconic role of Pinhead. She not only brought a unique mystique to the Cenobite, but also successfully updated the look and feel as well. While Doug Bradley will forever be my first thought when I hear the name of Pinhead (complete with his leather and chains), Jamie Clayton is a breath of fresh air to the persona and deserves the highest of praise for being able to make such a well-known character her own.

And finally:

THE #HAUNTLIFE PERSON OF THE YEAR Award: Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin

Colin Farrell has had a great decade of films. From the Total Recall remake of 2012, all the way to The Batman in 2022, very few actors have been able to pull off the wide range of characters that the Irishman has to his credit. No matter what role he is given, he has made it work. But probably his best for 2022 would be the drama The Banshees of Inisherin. In this film, Colin plays Pádraic Súilleabháin, a simple man who one day finds his best mate is ignoring him. Grasping for an explanation, Pádraic goes to great lengths to get his friend to speak with him, making himself a nuisance to a degree.

Normally, this type of character would annoy the blue hell out of me, but Farrell’s portrayal of someone I would despise in real life actually made me somewhat side with him. I actually felt bad for him over the course of the film, even though my initial inclination was just to write him off as unlikable. Colin Farrell is up for many awards for this role, but he has won the most important one here: my personal best award!

So, those are my awards for this year. Feel free to make your own lists and send them my way. I would love to hear what you all have to say. But until next year, these have been the #HauntLife Film Awards for 2022.