Unwrapping the Unhappy Holidays collection on Shudder

Photo: Deadly Games.. Image Courtesy Shudder
Photo: Deadly Games.. Image Courtesy Shudder /

As a Shudder subscriber, I always look forward to their Unhappy Holidays collection in December, and this year is no exception. Although there are a lot of “repeat performers” in the collection, there are also some great new additions.

I took a look at the Shudder collection on December 1, and here is what is currently showing up. I say “currently”, because there are some winter / holiday themed films still coming up this month, including the highly-anticipated The Sacrifice Game.

The titles marked with an asterisk (*) are not listed within the collection, but I included them here because they are definitely holiday-themed. Since most of these have been covered by 1428 Elm in the past, the descriptions will be brief.

I hope you enjoy watching these great holiday horror films as much as I do!

A Very Ghoul Log Christmas – Perfect for those of us who love Christmas, but aren’t quite ready to let Halloween go yet! This is a play on the traditional Yule Log videos, with a crackling fireplace and a lit jack-o-lantern.

Eugénie Derouand as Eva – The Advent Calendar – Photo Credit: JEAN-CLAUDE LOTHER/Shudder /

The Advent Calendar – If you want the opposite of a jolly holiday horror film, check this one out. A Shudder Original, it’s a French film that isn’t afraid to explore a holiday “be careful what you wish for” theme.

All the Creatures Were Stirring – I can’t give you much guidance on this Christmas horror anthology film, because I haven’t see it yet. But it’s definitely on my list!

Await Further Instructions – This is a sci-fi/horror film that includes a dysfunctional family who find themselves surrounded by a black membrane that gives them instructions on a tv screen.

Better Watch Out – A favorite of mine, this has been part of the Shudder collection for a few years now. Luke and his babysitter Ashley are being menaced by a killer outside of the house. There are some clever twists to this one.

*Black Christmas – It’s very likely that John Carpenter’s Halloween may never have existed were it not for this absolutely perfect 1973 slasher. Sorority girls are menaced by a killer known as Billy.

*Black XmasBlack Christmas was remade in 2006, and again in 2019. While I steer people away from the 2019 version, the 2006 film was good, gory fun.

Christmas Evil – Another favorite, Brandon Maggart’s portrayal of killer Santa Harry makes you actually sympathize with the character.

A Christmas Horror Story – William Shatner stars in this brilliant anthology film as a drunken DJ. The stories are nice and dark, and there is even a Krampus story.

A Creepshow Holiday Special – Shudder series Creepshow rolled out this Christmas episode a few years ago. As opposed to a regular episode, there is only one story included in the special, Shapeshifters Anonymous.

A Creepshow Holiday Special. Image courtesy Shudder /

Christmas Presence – A group of friends gather together to spend Christmas in a secluded lodge, but it doesn’t turn out to be a jolly holiday. One of them disappears, and the others begin to realize that dark forces are at large.

Deadly Games – Another longtime resident of the Unhappy Holidays collection is this 1989 French gem, featuring Thomas, a kid with a genius-level IQ. When a criminal dressed as Santa invades his home, Thomas must protect himself, his dog and his grandfather.

There’s a brand-new Christmas horror film available exclusively on Shudder

*It’s a Wonderful Knife – Brand new to Shudder, It’s a Wonderful Knife enjoyed a brief theatrical run before it became available for subscribers to watch. The town of Angel Falls was saved from a violent killer a year ago, thanks to Winnie. But a year later, her life sucks and she wishes she didn’t exist.

*P2 – On Christmas Eve, a young business woman is trapped in a parking garage with an obsessed (and possibly homicidal) security guard.

*Silent Night Deadly Night 2 – While the first forty minutes or so is simply a re-telling of the events that happened in the first film, this sequel is actually more popular than its predecessor.

*The Children – A deeply unsettling horror film, The Children takes a family into the snowy wilderness, then afflicts the kids with some sort of virus that makes them become murderous.

*To All a Goodnight – I haven’t seen this 1980 slasher yet, but it tells the tale of a group of students who decide to stay on campus over Christmas break. Two years earlier, a girl was killed, and now a murderer dressed as Santa stalks the students.

Next. Holiday horror viewing guide: 20+ movies to stream this holiday season. dark