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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Stay Home, Watch Horror: 5 Hidden Holiday Horror Movies to Stream This Week

Somehow, despite this year stretching itself to feel like five years passed since March, the holiday season has arrived. That means that it’s time to induce a sense of normality by packing our watchlists full of holiday cheer – in horror form, of course.

By now, you’ve likely seen the requisite holiday horror movies dozens of times over the years. Yuletide favorites old and new alike, from Silent Night, Deadly Night to Anna and the Apocalypse (currently on Hulu). This week’s streaming picks get festive by highlighting some underseen holiday horror films worth checking out this month.

These five hidden holiday gems are available to stream this week, from naughty children misbehaving to Satanic plots on Christmas Eve. Here’s where you can find them.


The Children – HBO Max

The killer kid trope gets a gory, holiday-set facelift in The Children. When families decide to vacation together at a remote country home, their idyllic snow-filled holiday gets interrupted by a mysterious illness that transforms the children into homicidal maniacs. Director Tom Shankland infuses this standard-sounding story with a ton of suspense and shocking violence for both parents and children alike. The kids get downright monstrous, and Shankland isn’t afraid to put anyone and everyone in gore-filled peril. The Children exemplifies a well-trodden trope made to feel new again by its refreshing approach. It’s technically New Years horror, but the setting and family-focused celebrations apply to the entire season.


A Christmas Tale – YouTube

Before horror director Paco Plaza made a name for himself on an international scale with the first three entries in the beloved [REC] franchise and Netflix’s Veronica, he married an Amblin-Esque kids story with yuletide terror in the made-for-TV movie A Christmas Tale. The plot revolves around five twelve-year-old friends in 1985. They spend their days biking around their small coastal town, hanging out in clubhouses, and obsessing over a B-horror movie titled Zombie Invasion– clips of which open the film and are interspersed throughout, adding both context and fun to the overarching narrative. The gang’s usual routine is interrupted when Moni comes across a pit in the woods, with an unconscious woman dressed as Santa Claus at the bottom. The kids learn that she’s a wanted criminal and choose to torture her for their gain. Plaza’s Christmas tale gets very, very dark, with naughty children facing punishment for their misdeeds in unexpected ways. It’s available on YouTube here.


The Day of the Beast – Tubi

Alex de la Iglesia’s work tends to be both grim and darkly funny and typically defies easy categorization. His underseen Christmas horror-comedy is no exception. Set on Christmas Eve, a Catholic priest teams up with a metalhead and a television occult specialist to stop the Antichrist’s birth, which will trigger the apocalypse. The lengths the trio is willing to go to thwart the end of the world really brings the laughs, but the humor is equally matched by the horror, too. This film is so all over the place it shouldn’t work, but it does. De la Iglesia will creep you out one moment and have you spit-taking your beverage in laughter the next. A sort of spiritual cousin to the earlier works of Sam Raimi but with de la Iglesia’s unique sense of humor, this should have a bigger audience than it does. The Day of the Beast also made evil goats trendy long before The Witch. If you have trouble finding this one on Tubi, search for its original title, El Día de la Bestia.


Dead End – Tubi

It’s late, and Frank Harrington (Ray Wise) still has a long way ahead of him to get to his in-laws on Christmas Eve. His eyelids are growing heavier by the mile; Frank decides to try a shortcut in the middle of nowhere. After narrowly avoiding a car crash, Frank’s detour proves to be a nightmare when he and his family become haunted by paranormal activity and a strange hearse. For those in the mood for the traditional Christmas ghost story, this is for you. Expect a bit of a twist on that tradition here. Dead End is a small, quiet little haunter with a great cast. Lin Shaye plays Frank’s wife, with Alexandra Holden as Frank’s daughter.


Deadly Games – Shudder

Also known as 36.15 code Père Noël and Dial Code Santa Claus, this French horror film was doomed to obscurity as it was only available on hard to find bootleg VHS until recently. It follows young computer loving Thomas, a boy stuck at home alone with his grandpa on Christmas Eve. It’s a quiet evening until a twisted, bloodthirsty Santa Claus crashes through the chimney. Released a year before Home Alone, there’s an eerie similarity in the plot as Thomas booby traps his house to ward off the intruder. The critical difference, though, is that Deadly Games leans hard into horror, bringing the pain and bloodshed that Home Alone wouldn’t dare. One creepy Santa, some surprising peril for its young lead, and a heavy lean into the holiday setting makes for an unexpected new holiday favorite.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3643055/stay-home-watch-horror-5-hidden-holiday-horror-movies-stream-week/

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