Welcome to Horrorscope, a monthly column keeping horror nerds and initiates up to date on all the genre content coming to and leaving from your favorite streaming services. Here’s a guide to all the essential horror streaming this December:
Well, boils and ghouls, we made it. It’s the end of 2020. And as the days grow shorter and the snow piles higher, it’s going to be more important than ever to keep those spirits up. Luckily for many of us, a good horror flick is as comforting as mulled wine. Served in a skull, preferably.
We’re now entering an incredibly fun stretch of spooks, scares, and spectral encounters. After Halloween, Christmas is far and away the most populous holiday when it comes to seasonally-themed horror fare. Sure, you can watch Child’s Play, Black Christmas, and The Exorcist III whenever you want. But in the December stretch, these ho-ho-horror films slap harder. That’s just a fact.
So, come all ye fearful and hark, for I come bearing gnarly, grotesque gifts. Namely: a series of recommendations on what to prioritize as you plan your December streaming. Make your watchlists and check them twice for a glorious group of candy-red giallos, speedy Alaskan bloodsuckers, a desolate dystopia, and one of the most bananapants films about Santa Claus you’re ever likely to see.
Be sure to peruse the complete list below, calendar in hand, for a full picture of what horror flicks are coming and going from your favorite streaming services this December.
Pick of the Month: Deep Red (1975) and the rest of Shudder’s Holly Gialli Christmas Collection
Synopsis: During a drunken stroll home, a jazz pianist witnesses the brutal murder of a famous psychic. Finding himself drawn into the mystery of the psychic’s death, he teams up with an intrepid reporter to crack the case while the unseen killer tries to keep them away from the truth.
When you look up “giallo” in the dictionary, the illustrative example is sure to be Deep Red. It’s Dario Argento‘s giallo masterpiece. Through all the twists, turns, and revelations, the film keeps the thrills coming fast with striking visuals, inventive kills, and a stellar Goblin score.
This is a must-watch for giallo initiates and grandmasters of gore alike. Before you dive into the unthinkable butchery of Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper or the frantic beauty of Luigi Bazzoni’s The Fifth Chord…you need to pay your respects. Deep Red is the giallo gateway drug that opens doors to even more giallo. And, thanks to its opening flashback (pictured above), we can confidently claim it as a Christmas movie.
The rest of Shudder’s Holly Gialli collection consists of A Blade in the Dark (1983), Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971), The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972), The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973), Death Laid an Egg (1968), The Editor (2014), The Fifth Cord (1971), New York Ripper (1982), The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971), The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972), Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971), StageFright (1987), Torso (1973), Trauma (1978), Your Vice is a Locked Room (1972), and What Have You Done to Solange? (1972).
Those new additions join these already-streaming titles (including Deep Red): All the Colors of the Dark (1972), The Cat O’Nine Tales (1971), Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972), Knife + Heart (2018), Phenomena (1985), The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971), and Tenebrae (1982).
Available on Shudder December 2nd.
An icy (and underrated!) vampiric tale from the north
Synopsis: Every year, the isolated town of Barrow, Alaska, is plunged into a month of polar darkness. This year, as the sunlight slips away, a gang of vampires emerges from the shadows to dine out on the townsfolk. Barrow’s only hope for survival is an estranged but wildly determined husband/wife team.
David Slade‘s 30 Days of Night simply does not get enough love. Were the people not ready for a film this ferocious to be so patient and restrained? Did they confuse bleakness for a mean spirit? To think something with this much style could have no substance? This is an eerie, unconventional, feral, and intentionally ugly vampire flick. You know, the kind worth losing your head over! Cold, unforgiving, and positively frigid, 30 Days of Night is one nasty piece of seasonally appropriate survival horror.
Available on Hulu December 1st. Leaving Hulu December 31st.
An achingly relevant eco-dystopian gem that’s much more than its famous twist
Synopsis: It’s the future and the earth is overpopulated. Everything must be rationed, including the revolutionary pastel food bricks known as “soylent.” (I hear the green kind is the most delicious!) But when an intrepid, sweaty New York police detective stumbles across some shady dealings surrounding the much-needed meal replacement, he feels compelled to go with his gut and investigate.
Sci-fi of the 1970s has a particularly horrific gait to it. Not because it is especially gore-filled, but rather, because it is so arrestingly desolate. It reeks of nihilism and a hopeless resolve that the human race is destined to self-destruct. Which is why, in this horrible year, I firmly believe ’70s sci-fi is the scariest thing you can watch.
In October of last year, the Criterion Channel hosted a marvelous collection of essential ’70s sci-fi. And this December, HBO Max appears to be sneakily resurrecting something similar, with titles like Logan’s Run, No Blade of Grass, Omega Man, THX 1138, and Westworld hitting the service on December 1st. Of the bunch, Soylent Green was the easiest to smuggle into a horror-centric streaming guide. Its final, infamous twist is oppressive and visceral in a way that more than qualifies its cross-genre status.
However, if you’ve long-dismissed this flick because you already know the ending, rest assured; it’s so much more than that. Its real power lies in its uncanny resonances. Least of all the callous reality that the rich and the powerful are more than willing to justify the sacrifice of “disposable” groups in the interest of a perceived greater good. It’s painful and it’s prescient, like all good ’70s sci-fi.
Available on HBO Max December 1st.
Santa’s ding dong merrily on high
Synopsis: It’s Christmas Eve in the Lapland province of Finland and things are about to get weird. Joulupukki, a Finnish folk figure that inspired modern-day Santa, has been unearthed at an ancient burial mound, and local children are starting to disappear. Young Pietari and his reindeer-hunting father capture Father Christmas and attempt to sell him back to the nefarious corporation who dug him up. But Santa’s butt-naked elves have another plan: to free their master.
Our resident Santa-themed horror scholar, Rob Hunter, put it best: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is like a dark, dong-filled Amblin film. Which is to say this gem’s got warmth and spooks in equal measure. Have you really lived until you’ve seen a herd of naked elves running across the tundra? My vote is hell no. Rare Exports is a devilishly strange, silly, and joyfully fresh take on holiday horror. It deserves a spot on any Yuletide syllabus.
Available on ARROW December 1st.
Streamable Horror Incoming This Month
|Amazon Prime||Anaconda (1997)||December 1|
|Amazon Prime||Full Moon High (1981)||December 1|
|Amazon Prime||Priest (2011)||December 1|
|ARROW||The Bloodhound (2020)||December 1|
|ARROW||Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)||December 1|
|ARROW||Bloody Birthday (1981)||December 1|
|ARROW||Children of the Corn (1984)||December 1|
|ARROW||Doom Asylum (1987)||December 1|
|ARROW||The Chill Factor (1993)||December 7|
|ARROW||The Deeper You Dig (2019)||December 7|
|ARROW||The Wind (1986)||December 7|
|ARROW||Trapped Alive (1988)||December 7|
|ARROW||Shogun’s Joys of Torture (1968)||December 7|
|ARROW||The Violent Years (1956)||December 11|
|ARROW||Scary Movie (1991)||December 11|
|ARROW||Microwave Massacre (1979)||December 21|
|ARROW||Lake Michigan Monster (2018)||December 21|
|ARROW||The Happiness of the Katakurisis (2001)||December 21|
|ARROW||The Stuff (1985)||December 21|
|ARROW||Zombie for Sale (2019)||December 21|
|ARROW||Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988)||December 21|
|HBO Max||Annabelle: Creation (2017)||December 1|
|HBO Max||The Bay (2012)||December 1|
|HBO Max||The Crow (1994)||December 1|
|HBO Max||The Crow: City Of Angels (1996)||December 1|
|HBO Max||The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)||December 1|
|HBO Max||Final Destination (2000)||December 1|
|HBO Max||Final Destination 2 (2003)||December 1|
|HBO Max||Final Destination 3 (2006)||December 1|
|HBO Max||The Final Destination (2009)||December 1|
|HBO Max||The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)||December 1|
|HBO Max||Misery (1990)||December 1|
|HBO Max||Shaun Of The Dead (2004)||December 1|
|HBO Max||Soylent Green (1973)||December 1|
|HBO Max||Spawn (1997)||December 1|
|Hulu||30 Days of Night (2007)||December 1|
|Hulu||The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor (2008)||December 1|
|Netflix||U-Turn (2020)||December 1|
|Netflix||Incarnate (2016)||December 16|
|Shudder||Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)||December 1|
|Shudder||The Lost Boys (1987)||December 1|
|Shudder||A Blade in the Dark (1983)||December 2|
|Shudder||Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971)||December 2|
|Shudder||The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972)||December 2|
|Shudder||The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973)||December 2|
|Shudder||Death Laid an Egg (1968)||December 2|
|Shudder||The Editor (2014)||December 2|
|Shudder||The Fifth Cord (1971)||December 2|
|Shudder||New York Ripper (1982)||December 2|
|Shudder||The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971)||December 2|
|Shudder||The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972)||December 2|
|Shudder||Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971)||December 2|
|Shudder||StageFright (1987)||December 2|
|Shudder||Torso (1973)||December 2|
|Shudder||Trauma (1978)||December 2|
|Shudder||Your Vice is a Locked Room (1972)||December 2|
|Shudder||What Have You Done to Solange? (1972)||December 2|
|Shudder||Anything for Jackson (2020)||December 3|
|Shudder||Castle Freak (2020)||December 3|
|Shudder||Let the Corpses Tan (2017)||December 7|
|Shudder||VFW (2019)||December 7|
|Shudder||Zombi Child (2019)||December 7|
|Shudder||Eli Roth’s History of Horror (2020)||December 10|
|Shudder||Joe Bob Saves Christmas (2020)||December 11, 9pm ET|
|Shudder||A Good Woman is Hard to Find (2019)||December 14|
|Shudder||Let Us Prey (2014)||December 14|
|Shudder||The Pale Door (2020)||December 17|
|Shudder||A Creepshow Holiday Special (2020)||December 18|
|Shudder||Luz: The Flower of Evil (2019)||December 21|
|Shudder||The Soul Collector (2020)||December 21|
|The Criterion Channel||The Extraordinary Life of Rocky (2010)||December 1|
|The Criterion Channel||The Reflecting Skin (1990)||December 11|
|The Criterion Channel||The Silent Partner (1978)||December 15|
|The Criterion Channel||Bell, Book and Candle (1958)||December 18|
|The Criterion Channel||I Married a Witch (1942)||December 18|
|The Criterion Channel||20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)||December 19|
|Tubi||28 Weeks Later (2007)||December 1|
|Tubi||A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)||December 1|
|Tubi||Anaconda (1997)||December 1|
|Tubi||Bent (2018)||December 1|
|Tubi||Beyond the Woods (2016)||December 1|
|Tubi||Down a Dark Hall (2018)||December 1|
|Tubi||Eat Brains Love (2019)||December 1|
|Tubi||Hostage (2005)||December 1|
|Tubi||Reasonable Doubt (2014)||December 1|
|Tubi||Red Riding Hood (2011)||December 1|
Horror Titles Expiring from Streaming Soon
On Their Way Out: These films have one foot in the grave—bump ‘em to the top of your December 2020 queue while you can!
|HBO Max||Lights Out (2016)||December 10|
|HBO Max||Constantine (2005)||December 31|
|HBO Max||Friday the 13th (2009)||December 31|
|Hulu||The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again (2016)||December 8|
|Hulu||30 Days of Night (2007)||December 31|
|Hulu||Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)||December 31|
|Hulu||House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)||December 31|
|Hulu||Interview With the Vampire (1994)||December 31|
|Hulu||My Bloody Valentine (1981)||December 31|
|Hulu||Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (2007)||December 31|
|Hulu||The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor (2008)||December 31|
|Netflix||Anaconda (1997)||December 31|
|Netflix||Hostage (2005)||December 31|
|Netflix||Priest (2011)||December 31|
|Netflix||Zodiac (2007)||December 31|