Crossing the Streams is our monthly look at all the offerings hitting the big streaming services each month, and this time we’re checking out the new Shudder arrivals for December 2020. This month’s titles include A Good Woman is Hard to Find, Luz: The Flower of Evil, a bevy of giallos, and more!
The list of new arrivals to Shudder for December 2020 is below. But first, I’m going to celebrate five films currently available on the world’s best horror streaming service.
This being December — yes, the final month in this godawful year — it feels only natural that a horror-themed streamer like Shudder turns to holiday terrors. Sure, their December arrival also features plenty of other horrors including a whole collection of giallos, but it’s the Christmas-touched horror movies we’re here to celebrate. We take the subgenre pretty seriously around these parts as evidenced by our massive ranked list of Christmas horror films, so it’s no surprise that it’s the focus of this month’s Shudder guide too.
The streamer — still the best bargain online for horror lovers — is adding a handful of Christmas horror favorites to the service this month alongside other genre flicks like Anything for Jackson (2020), A Good Woman is Hard to Find (2019), and The Pale Door (2020), and new specials featuring Joe Bob Briggs and Eli Roth. Combined with the holiday horrors that they already had, the number of eligible films is now more than enough to warrant a marathon as we head towards Christmas day. Most are worth watching, but keep reading for a look at five of the best Christmas horror movies currently on Shudder.
Deadly Games (1982)
Remember Home Alone? Of course, you do, but now remember it with the two bumbling robbers replaced by a deranged man in a Santa suit intent on killing the child inside the house. Still sound fun? Well, have I got a movie for you. This holiday thriller from France beat the Macaulay Culkin film to theaters by a year, but not a damn person saw it until decades later. It’s a time capsule from the late ’80s with soft focus, mullets, and a theme song by Bonnie freaking Tyler. The kid in peril, played by the director’s own son, is a delight who uses his imagination and love of action movies to survive the night.
Blood Beat (1983)
You think you know what to expect with “Christmas horror,” but this early ’80s, Wisconsin-lensed oddity is here to prove otherwise. A family get-together over the holidays descends into chaos when a young woman becomes possessed by the spirit of a long-dead samurai from Japan. “What the fuck?” you say, and to that, I can only reply, “Yup.” Cue kills with a samurai sword, ghostly presences, supernaturally induced orgasms, and more. Classical music in the score compliments the madness in unexpected ways, and while you may not fully understand this gem that makes it no less of a memorable gift this holiday season.
Never accept an invite back to a stranger’s home in the countryside. Never. It should be a no-brainer, but for a group of hard-partying young adults celebrating the holiday, it’s a lesson they choose to ignore. Cue the odd behavior of their host, the surprising discovery of what — or who — he keeps in the basement, and some truly uncomfortable dinner table conversation. The great Vincent Cassel has never been more unhinged than he is here as their highly suspect host, and while the film goes in some truly grim directions its absurd tone makes for deceptively harmless fare (at times).
Three friends gather for an intimate party in someone else’s house — someone who doesn’t know they’ve broken in — but when an uninvited death rears its head their bonds of friendship begin to crumble. Think a lesser Shallow Grave for an idea of the tone, black comedy, and cruelty heading your way, and you’ll be in the appropriately twisted ballpark. A trio of indie faves — Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, and Lauren Molina — take the lead here and deliver intense and surprising performances. It may only be borderline horror, but it’s a delightfully dark little tale of suspense that also has the smarts to cast Larry Fessenden in a pivotal role.
Better Watch Out (2016)
Originally unleashed at festivals as Safe Neighborhood, this new holiday favorite delivers big laughs and bloody thrills as an R-rated riff on Home Alone — the second to make the list! — and its surprises continue to entertain on rewatches too. It’s a smart thriller with a babysitter and her charge in peril, and both Olivia DeJonge and Levi Miller do great work, respectively. Director/co-writer Chris Peckover delivers energy, creativity, and holiday-themed violence, and the film maintains its pace right through to a pitch-perfect ending. This is as fun as home invasion horror gets.
The Complete Shudder December 2020 List
|11/30||Blood Beat (1983)|
|Rare Exports (2010)|
|12/1||Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)|
|The Lost Boys (1987)|
|12/2||Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971)|
|A Blade in the Dark (1983)|
|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)|
|The 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)|
|What Have You Done to Solange? (1972)|
|Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972)|
|12/3||Anything for Jackson (2020)||A Shudder Original|
|Castle Freak (2020)|
|12/7||Let the Corpses Tan (2017)|
|Zombi Child (2019)|
|12/10||Eli Roth's History of Horror - Season 2|
|12/11||Joe Bob Saves Christmas||A Shudder Special|
|12/14||A Good Woman is Hard to Find (2019)|
|Let Us Prey (2014)|
|12/17||The Pale Door (2020)||A Shudder Exclusive|
|12/18||A Creepshow Holiday Special||A Shudder Special|
|12/21||Luz: The Flower of Evil (2019)|
|The Soul Collector (2019)|
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