(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: Oh joy, December! A month where winter’s icy clutch sends shivers up spines, which is why I now live in Los Angeles where Jack Frost would melt. F*#k snow, keep the slushy mess it leaves behind and leave the peppermint schnapps for my cocoa while you go skiing. Why venture into frozen tundras when you can stay inside, light a roaring fire, then press play on some streaming horror movies? Sounds like the superior cozy-comfy decision to me! Allow me to thaw out some suggestions.

Chris: Rather than limit ourselves to “Christmas horror” (and also because we already did that), we’re launching into December with winter horror movies. Snow, cold weather, mittens – you get the picture. The holidays are here, and what better way to get through them than by kicking back with some violent horror movies? 

The Head Hunter

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Those of you who watched Thankskilling based on our last collection of picks, I *dare* you to try The Head Hunter. Your mind will be blown to find out Jordan Downey is responsible for both films, the latter a Portugal-filmed medieval quest with an estimated budget of $30K. Astonishing, quite frankly, as Downey sets the golden standard for maximized production value on a below-average indie budget. It’s like watching a Skyrim character carry out one arduous sidequest, but I mean that as a compliment. A barbaric warrior trudging through snow, down mountain passes, to reclaim vengeance on the monster who killed his daughter. All prop-work and set dressings completed by Downey, co-writer Kevin Stewart, and producer Ricky Fosheim. Dare I wonder what Downey could accomplish with generous funding?

Chris: I dug how effective this movie is with such a low budget. Think of it like Medieval Dead.

Deadly Games

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Shudder has rescued your new favorite Christmas rewatch from international distribution hell. René Manzor’s Deadly Games (aka Game Over aka 36.15 code Père Noël aka Dial Code Santa Claus) is a home invasion blast making its stateside debut after releasing internationally in 1989. Think Rambo meets Home Alone (although Deadly Games came first), but with a toy-obsessed child squaring off against one deranged Santa. It’s as heartwarming as it is hide-and-seek dangerous, while one child’s imagination is tested by his unhinged pursuer. Infectiously enjoyable, splendidly acted by child star Alain Lalanne (Manzor’s son), and downright criminal to have been hiding from worldwide audiences for so long. Where else can you hear a Bonnie Tyler song repurposed multiple times thanks to minimal rights acquisitions or some knockoff “Eye Of The Tiger” knockoff pump-up jam with Christmas lyrics? Truthfully, Deadly Games is a gift to humankind.

Chris: I mostly enjoyed how inventive and stylish this was, but the dog also dies, which means it loses points. 

Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: If you’ve seen Silent Night, Deadly Night, then you’ve seen roughly 45% of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. No joke. We meet Ricky Caldwell (Eric Freeman) in a mental institution, where he recounts his brother Billy’s crimes in “flashback” form – except we rewatch entire original scenes. Director Lee Harry thinks nothing of recycling footage at baffling lengths, but then Ricky gets his own massacre spree that includes every horror fan’s favorite franchise line: “Garbage day!” I’ve already written about why Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is the best worst Christmas horror movie, so if you need convincing check out that wtf-ery. Still, to this day, I’ll never understand how producers okayed such a blatant repurposing of product (that my trashy sensibilities deeply adore).

Chris: Garbage day! 

The Shining

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: You all rewatched The Shining before seeing Doctor Sleep, correct? I did! Fun fact, that was also my first ever watch of Stanley Kubrick’s legendarily regarded Stephen King adaptation (to everyone but King). All work and no play may make Jack Torrance a dull boy, but Jack Nicholson’s performance is anything but bland. Shelley Duvall harnesses the Overlook Hotel’s damned auras as her character flees from the man she once knew and loved, now a psychopath waving an axe. While the source literature’s author may not agree with the changes Kubrick implemented, I’m of the camp that The Shining is an impossibly dreadful isolation study plunged into madness like few other horror films. Catch up on a classic this winter, just make sure you’re not snowed inside an evil architectural entity with the intent to destroy lives.

Chris: Never heard of it. (This is a joke.) 

Anna And The Apocalypse

Now Streaming on Hulu/Amazon Prime

Matt: IT’S HERE! IT’S FINALLY HERE! I cannot recommend this impossibly excitable Christmas-themed horror comedy musical about a Scottish zombie outbreak enough. A little bit High School Musical, a little bit Shaun Of The Dead, and enough holly-jolly singalong charm to thwart the undead. Anna And The Apocalypse hasn’t received its stateside due (much like Deadly Games) since only releasing theatrically, never on Blu-ray, and was hard enough to find on VOD platforms. Opening up to Hulu and Amazon Prime will hopefully spark a resurgence of love for John McPhail’s impressively balanced mix of choreography, bloodshed, and pop-catchy musical numbers destined for any December holiday playlist. A miraculous, performative treat that unites audiences with a multi-headed genre beast of an olive branch.

Chris: I loved the first half of this movie, but the second half lost me a bit. No matter: it’s fun, and the songs are delightful. And holy shit, I just realized I’ve seen every one of Matt’s picks. 

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