I started looking at my list of movies for 2022 in search of the Gomer Award winner. The Gomer, named after Gomer Pyle whose catchphrase was ‘Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!’, goes to the film that was the biggest surprise of the year. A film that came out of nowhere… a film that I expected to hate… a film that transcended the viewing experience.
The Gomer for the Biggest Surprise
Previous Gomer Award Winners: The Gift, Ferdinand, Edge of Tomorrow, We’re the Millers, The Campaign, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Bumblebee, Crawl, Greenland, Free Guy
As I was going through the films, I realized that my notes were filling up. I wound up with 19 films as possible Gomer winners. That was huge! This was easily one of the most surprising years on record.
There are a ton of awesome movies in this category and it was difficult to narrow it down to a winner.
Honorable Mentions: So the Netflix film Slumberland had such a low Rotten Tomatoes score that I did not expect much and yet I had a good time with it. Both The Menu and Violent Night I approached expecting to enjoy them because of the word of mouth, but they made this list because of how much I loved both of them. They are both in consideration for the top ten films of the year. As is RRR, another film that I had no expectations on liking. I disliked the original Top Gun film so I was surprised with how much I enjoyed Top Gun: Maverick. I have never been much of a fan of Adam Sandler so any film he is in that I enjoy is a surprise. This year it was the basketball film, Hustle. The trailers for the film Dog starring Channing Tatum were so overplayed that I had no interest in the movie and yet, it was really quite good. Hulu’s horror film Fresh was one of the most unexpected films of the year. Another film with no expectations was The Outfit, which was so good. There was no way that I was going to like the Minions: Rise of Gru with how much I hated the last Minions movie. And yet I did, who thought it was possible? Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris was another film that I had heard good things about, but I never thought it would interest me. The historical biopic Till featured a powerful performance and left me with an emotional theater experience. The mockumentary When the Screaming Starts followed a serial killer before he became a serial killer. Really funny and dark at the same time. Superman and Batman: Battle of the Super Sons was a DC animation that really engaged me with a couple of characters (Damien Wayne and Jonathan Kent) that I had never cared for much. How could a sequel of a film from 40 years ago be any good? Well, A Christmas Story Christmas pulled it off. The reboot of the Fletch series was great with Confess, Fletch starring Jon Hamm. Barbarian I went into blind and had a great time. Finally, Beast had no chance to be anything good, and yet it was so great with Idris Elba battling a killer lion.
So with all of that, the Gomer Award for 2022 goes to….
There was no way this was going to be good, but with some of the most clever writing of the year, Deadstream took aim at the YouTube culture of live streaming and the reactors that populate the web. Them Deadstream was legitimately funny and frightening. I loved this film from Shudder and the unexpected pleasure of a film that surprised me from the start.