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Monday, December 20, 2021

Stay Home, Watch Horror: 5 Grim Christmas Horror Movies to Stream This Week

Christmas is already upon us, which means this week, it’s time to kick the holiday horror viewing into overdrive. This week’s streaming picks explore darker holiday-themed horrors, and many go for the jugular. These five movies aim to spread holiday fear, from bleak downers hidden by holiday cheer to brutal explorations of humanity.

Here’s where you can stream them this week.

Silent Night – AMC+

For the most part, writer/director Camille Griffin’s feature debut, Silent Night, plays like many comedies set around holiday gatherings. It features typical awkwardness that comes from a large makeshift family coming together during one of the most stressful times of the year, attempting to cast aside grudges, secrets, or bad manners for the sake of yuletide cheer. But it becomes clear there’s something quite sinister bubbling beneath the surface of forced merriment, and Griffin’s debut slowly evolves into a harrowing horror story rife with tragedy. The ensemble cast brings the laughs and tears in equal measure.

Inside – Criterion Channel

Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s debut is one mean sucker punch of a movie. It’s a ruthless entry in home invasion horror that doles out punishment and pain, a peak of New French Extremity. The plot sees a very pregnant but depressed woman forced to fight off another woman determined to claim her unborn baby at any cost. It’s grim and gruesome, and it happens to be set over Christmas. Does Inside get into the holiday spirit beyond a few tell-tale signs of setting? No, but you’ll be too busy holding your breath to notice.

A Christmas Tale – Plex

Before horror director Paco Plaza broke onto the international horror scene with the first three entries in the beloved [REC] franchise and Netflix’s Veronica, he married an Amblin-like kids story with yuletide terror in the made-for-TV movie A Christmas Tale. It follows five twelve-year-old friends in 1985 who come across a pit in the woods, with an unconscious woman dressed as Santa Claus at the bottom. The friends are divided on whether to help or use her for gain, leading to grisly horror for all. It’s a mean little tale that separates the naughty from the nice.

Anna and the Apocalypse – Kanopy, Pluto TV

This charming horror musical sees its characters contending with teen problems followed by a zombie apocalypse at Christmas. Director John McPhail embraces the holiday spirit in a big way while painting the snow red with zombie carnage. The transition from adolescence into adulthood gets sobering fast thanks to unexpected losses, ensuring that there’s nothing at all fluffy and trite about this seasonal delight. An early song’s lyrics sums it up best here: “There’s no such thing as a Hollywood Ending.”

Cronos – HBO Max


Guillermo del Toro’s feature debut reframed the vampire mythos at nearly every turn. Antique dealer Jesús Gris discovers a strange mechanical scarab hiding within a statue. It stings him, injecting Jesús with a solution that restores his youth, increases his energy levels, and instills a powerful thirst for blood. Throw in a dangerous businessman that’s been after the scarab for years, and Jesús’s newfound vampirism causes a wake of destruction. While vampires are often portrayed as romantic figures of eternal life, del Toro centers his story around an aging grandfather. It also happens to be set over Christmas and New Year’s Eve. If you need a more uplifting pick, this is the one.


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Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

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