The final month of 2023 has arrived, bringing with it a slew of new titles on streaming. While December is dominated by holiday fare, including horror, this month brings notable new releases, unearthed deep cuts, family friendly frights, and a highly anticipated genre epic. So here’s a quick, handy guide for the standout horror titles streaming in December 2023.
These ten noteworthy horror titles will be available for streaming this month on some of the most popular streaming services out there. Here’s when/where you can watch them.
Adam Chaplin – SCREAMBOX – Available Now
Kicking off December’s streaming is one of the goriest movies you likely haven’t seen. Necrostorm’s slaughterhouse actioner hails from co-directors Emanuele De Santi and Giulio De Santi, and the film also stars De Santi as Adam. Following the suspicious death of his wife, he investigates her murder and discovers mafia boss Denny is involved. Unable to trust the corrupt police, Adam summons a demon who offers him superhuman strength and dark powers and promises to lead him to the murderer if he does everything the demon asks. Suffice it to say that copious amounts of the red stuff will splatter along Adam’s quest.
It’s a Wonderful Knife – Shudder – Available Now
This It’s a Wonderful Knife meets Scream 2 Christmas slasher comes from writer Michael Kennedy (Freaky) and director Tyler MacIntyre (Tragedy Girls). The pair plunge their central characters into a bizarro snow globe of horrors, wearing their cinematic influences on their sleeves throughout. It’s a Hallmark holiday movie for outcasts and horror fans alike, delivering no shortage of holiday cheer perfect for this time of year. MacIntyre’s latest may not quite seamlessly nail its high concept genre mashup, but with some outstanding performances and a sweet gooey emotional center, it effectively tugs at your heartstrings and captures the spirit of Christmas.
Devils – SCREAMBOX (December 5)
This gripping psychological body-swap thriller, written and directed by Kim Jae-hoon, blurs revenge and morality when an unwavering detective takes on a serial killer. Devils follows Jae-hwan, a determined homicide detective assigned to take down a ring of serial killers terrorizing the city. It becomes deeply personal for him when his brother-in-law falls victim. When the detective and the murderer finally collide, an unexpected turn of events leaves Jae-hwan waking up in the hospital – trapped in the body of the killer. It turns into a ticking time bomb to thwart the killer. Devils makes for a gripping and violent South Korean thriller you won’t want to miss.
Naga – Netflix (December 7)
Meshal Aljaser’s madcap genre thriller centers on a simple premise that sees one woman desperately trying to make it home by curfew. When she manages to hit every roadblock home, that simple quest becomes anything but. The film premiered at TIFF, where our own Joe Lipsett wrote in his review, “NAGA is an incredibly exciting, dynamic thriller featuring an assured performance from lead actress Bader.” Of the thriller’s intensity, Joe wrote: “It’s just impossible to forget what’s at stake: all of the gunplay, police violence and camel attacks pale in comparison to the danger Sara faces if she doesn’t arrive on time to meet her father.”
The Sacrifice Game – Shudder (December 8)
What begins as something all too familiar eventually gives way to something more satisfying and charming in Jenn Wexler’s sophomore feature. The Sacrifice Game may be a holiday ruiner for many of its characters, but for audiences, it’s a holiday horror treat. Three days before Christmas in 1971, the remaining students of Blackvale, a Catholic boarding school for girls, depart for the holidays. Circumstances leave teens Samantha (Madison Baines) and Clara (Georgia Acken) stuck at school with chaperones, but their attempts to make a cozy holiday get derailed with the arrival a murderous cult. Wexler’s instincts for pacing, tension building, and knowing when and where to pull the rug out from viewers elevate this holiday horror entry.
Santastein – SCREAMBOX (December 19)
What’s December without a killer Santa on the loose? Santastein tells the story of two friends with a rather peculiar hobby: they like bringing things back from the dead. When they decide to bring back the body of a man dressed like Santa Claus, Max feels it is his chance to right the wrongs of his past; having accidentally killed Father Christmas when he was six. What they don’t realize is that instead of a jolly gift giver, they unleash a bloodthirsty monster. Naturally, things go terribly awry. It’s a Frankenstein riff that decks the halls with holiday theming.
Beau is Afraid – Paramount+ (December 21)
“Nightmare comedy” is the perfect phrase to describe Ari Aster’s Beau is Afraid, a darkly funny Kafkaesque odyssey that defies easy categorization. The writer and director of Hereditary and Midsommar is back with yet another emotionally complex saga, this one his most ambitious yet. Beau Wassermann (Joaquin Phoenix) lives with constant unrelenting anxiety smack in the middle of a chaotic city. The sudden, shocking news that Beau’s mother died sends him reeling, giving him enough courage to face his fears and embark on an existential voyage home. It doesn’t just play with one genre, but all of them, and often at once.
Rebel Moon – Netflix (December 22)
Part one of Zack Snyder’s sci-fi fantasy epic arrives just in time for the holidays. When a peaceful colony on the edge of a galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious stranger living among the villagers, becomes their best hope for survival. Tasked with finding trained fighters who will unite with her in making an impossible stand against the Mother World, Kora assembles a small band of warriors — outsiders, insurgents, peasants and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. An impressive cast and Snyder’s knack for worldbuilding promises an adventure fans won’t want to miss.
A Vampire in the Family – Netflix (December 24)
Tis the season to bring horror fun for the whole family, and this Brazilian horror comedy from filmmaker Ale McHaddo looks to fill that spot. When a fainthearted ex-soccer player learns his brother-in-law is a vampire with world domination plans, he must gather his courage to save the day. Expect bloodsucking hijinks to ensue.
It Lives Inside – Hulu (December 29)
Writer/Director Bishal Dutta refreshingly gives a new spin on demonic possession for his feature film debut. Dutta uses a familiar framework of teen horror as an accessible introduction to underexplored mythology exacerbated by a cultural divide and adolescence. Sam (Megan Suri) wants to fit in at school, so much so that she’s tried to distance herself from her cultural background as an Indian-American teen. This includes distancing herself from former childhood friend Tamira (Mohana Krishnan), who’s taken to carrying a strange jar around, to avoid staring looks and hushed whispers. The jar breaks, sending both girls down a dark path of demonic horror. It can’t be overstated just how unique and cool this demon is on screen.