Shudder is amping up their holiday horror in December with two original Christmas films, alongside some classic seasonal offerings.
November’s schedule was rather sparse, but it looks like we have a decent number of December titles waiting for us, so let’s take a peek inside and see what Shudder is gifting us this Christmas.
It’s a Wonderful Knife – Fresh off its brief theatrical run, this Shudder Original will be available to watch very soon. A young woman named Winnie saved her town from the clutches of a serial killer last Christmas Eve. But she doesn’t feel like her life has changed for the better, and wishes she had never been born…not a good idea. When her wish is made true, she finds that life in her town is considerably worse than it was with her there, and she has to find the killer to get back to real life. You know it’s gonna be a bonkers movie if it features Justin Long!
The Children – Elaine and Jonah take their three kids on a holiday trip to visit family. Adding to the family tension is the fact that the children begin to fall ill, and start acting exceptionally violent. I know that plotline sounds sparse, but this is a surprisingly scary, violent film.
Black Christmas (2006) – The 1974 original remains the best version of Black Christmas, but this one is pretty solid – and much better than the cringy 2019 reboot. This time around, we get Billy’s back story, which is pretty bad. Abused and neglected as a child, Billy got revenge on his mom in a decidedly holiday-centric way, and was institutionalized. When he escapes on Christmas, he returns to his home, which is now a sorority house.
P2 – Angela (Rachel Nichols) is an attractive business woman working on Christmas Eve in Manhattan. When leaving work to join her family’s party, her car won’t start, and she asks parking garage guard Thomas to help her. He’s kind of creepy though, and Angela ends up locked in the garage with him…not a good situation, especially since it turns out he’s a teeny bit psychotic.
Night of the Comet -In this fun 1980s classic, sisters Reggie and Sam (Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney) take refuge at a radio station and a shopping mall during a zombie apocalypse. Seriously, this is a delightful flick, and it’s always fun to watch Kelli Maroney get sassy while wearing her iconic cheerleader uniform.
To All a Goodnight – Originally released in 1980, To All a Goodnight uses the trope of a group of students stuck at school during the Christmas break. Naturally, the teens decide to throw a party, and naturally, the fun is wrecked by a crazed killer in a Santa suit.
The Sacrifice Game – In this Shudder Original, Samantha and Clara are boarding school students who aren’t able to go home over holiday break, so they are stuck on campus when a group of cult killers shows up. Set in the 1970s, The Sacrifice Game was written by Jenn Wexler (Shudder’s The Ranger) and Sean Redlitz. It made its debut at Fantastic Fest this year, and the website describes it as:
"“A touch of ritual murder to go along with the presents and lights.”"
Wendigo – George, wife Kim and their 10-year-old son Miles go away for a little winter retreat (having not learned the horror movie lesson about staying in a remote cabin in the woods), only to find that there seems to be a foreboding presence hanging around. According to a local shopkeeper, a Wendigo is responsible for the dark atmosphere.
Devil’s Pass – In this found footage film, five college students are on a mission to explore what may have happened in 1959, when nine hikers died mysteriously in the Dyatlov Pass incident. In true ff form, we are told that the five disappeared, and only their film footage was found.
I Trapped the Devil – Matt and Karen pay an unexpected visit to Matt’s brother Steve during Christmas, and find that the always troubled man has seemingly gone off the deep end. He has a man locked up in his basement, and claims it is actually the devil.
Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas – Shudder staple Joe Bob Briggs, along with Darcy and The Last Drive-In crew are back with a holiday special. Join the gang for a double feature of holiday horror, along with the annual auction, benefitting worthy causes (to be announced). The special will premiere live on AMC+ TV and Shudder TV on the 15th, and will be available on demand as of December 17th.
Shudder gives us a bevy of Bava in December
Bay of Blood – Mario Bava’s 1971 giallo slasher is considered one of his most violent, bloody films. A wheelchair-bound countess is murdered, and when an unscrupulous real estate agent tries to take over the estate, a series of murders take place.
Baron Blood – Another Bava film, this one tells the story of the evil Baron Otto Von Kleist, who was said to have been cursed by an angry witch. As part of the curse, the Baron is said to be able to rise from the dead so the witch can continue to take her revenge throughout eternity. When family members seek to bring the Baron back to life, it doesn’t go well.
Black Sunday – Another Mario Brava film available on Shudder this month is his official directorial debut. When a witch is put to death by her own brother, she comes back from the dead to take over the body of her descendent Katia (who just happens to look like the witch).
Kill, Baby…Kill! – This time Brava takes us to a Carpathian village, which is haunted by the spirit of an evil and murderous little girl. In response, a medical student and a coroner start to investigate, and a witch sets out to protect the terrified villagers.
Lisa and the Devil – Brava released this one in 1974, and it is often seen as a “clone” of The Exorcist. Lisa (Elke Sommer) is a tourist who gets separated from her tour group, and ends up entangled with a creepy butler, who strangely resembles the depiction of the Devil that she observed during her tour.
The Evil Eye – Brava also directed this 1963 giallo, in which Nora visits her ill aunt in Rome. That night, the aunt dies, and Nora is mugged while walking to the hospital to report the death. When she witnesses the aftermath of a murder, she finds herself caught in multiple other murders.
The Gingerdead Man – In this campy horror/comedy, Gary Busey stars as the title character, a creature created by mixing a cremated serial killer’s ashes with gingerbread spice. When the animated cookie goes after the girl whose testimony put the killer in the electric chair, gory hilarity ensues.
Barbarians – When a group of friends gather at a house in the country for a dinner party, they are subjected to a home invasion by masked intruders.