Holiday Horror: the Scariest Movies & TV Shows that Came out in November & December
Updated: Jan 22
2020 is officially behind us but let's take a moment to reflect on all of the spooky TV shows and films that came out this holiday season. If you're looking to cozy up with a scary movie or spooky new TV series in 2021, here's a list of the scariest new releases from November & December.
November 3, 2020 - "Mother" (Netflix) 🎞 🇯🇵
Shuhei’s erratic mother feels threatened when he starts to awaken to a world beyond her distorted control, sending the family hurtling towards tragedy in "Mother."
Writer/Director: Tatsushi Ohmori
Writer: Takehiki Minato
Cast: Masami Nagasawa, Sadao Abe, Halo Asada
November 3, 2020 - "Possessor" (VOD) 🎞 🇨🇦
"Possessor" is an arresting sci-fi thriller about elite, corporate assassin Tasya Vos. Using brain-implant technology, Vos takes control of other people’s bodies to execute high profile targets. As she sinks deeper into her latest assignment Vos becomes trapped inside a mind that threatens to obliterate her.
Writer/Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tuppence Middleton, Sean Bean
November 5, 2020 - "Paranormal" (Netflix) 📺 🇪🇬
Refaat Ismail, a cynical hematology professor with a dark sense of humor, has his world turned upside down and his lifelong scientific convictions questioned after he begins to experience paranormal activities. Along with his university colleague Maggie, they enter the paranormal world and try to save their loved ones from the immense danger that surrounds them. "Paranormal" is based on the best selling thriller novel series with the same name by Ahmed Khaled Tawfik.
Directors: Amr Salama, Majid Al Ansari
Writers: Amr Salama, Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, Mahmoud Ezzat, Dina Maher, Omar Khaled
Cast: Ahmed Amin, Reem Abd El Kader, Samma Ibrahim
November 6, 2020 - "Triggered" (VOD) 🎞 🇿🇦
In "Triggered", nine friends, all harboring a dark secret, go camping in the woods. After a wild night of partying, they wake up with suicide bombs strapped to their chests, all with varying times on their countdown clocks. They decide to work out how to disarm the bombs or find help - until they discover they can 'take' one another's time by killing each other.
Director: Alastair Orr
Writer: David D. Jones
Cast: Reine Swart, Sean Cameron Michael, Liesl Ahlers, Russell Crous
November 6, 2020 - "The Dark & the Wicked" (VOD) 🎞 🇺🇸
To help their mother say goodbye to their father, siblings return to their secluded family farm in "The Dark and the Wicked." It doesn't take long for them to see that something's wrong with mom, though - something more than her heavy sorrow. Gradually, as their own grief mounts, they are tormented by waking nightmares and a growing sense that something evil is taking over their family. I had the chance to review Bryan Bertino's latest feature for Fantasia Festival this past August and it was absolutely the scariest film I covered there.
Writer/Director: Bryan Bertino
Cast: Marin Ireland, Julie Oliver-Touchstone, Michael Abbott Jr., Michael Zagst, Xander Berkeley, Lynn Andrews
November 6, 2020 - "Kindred" (VOD) 🎞 🇬🇧
In "Kindred" mother-to-be Charlotte collapses upon receiving the news that her boyfriend has died suddenly in an accident. She wakes up in his family home, a crumbling manor in the middle of nowhere, and starts suffering from hallucinations. Soon she suspects her boyfriend's family has intentions for her unborn child.
Writer/Director: Joe Marcantonio
Writer: Jason McColgan
Cast: Chloe Pirrie, Fiona Shaw, Jack Lowden, Edward Holcroft
November 12, 2020 - "Lingering" (VOD) 🎞 🇰🇷
Seeking support as the guardian of her younger sibling, Yoo-mi returns to a small hotel, run by a family friend in "Lingering." As bizarre incidents creep up in her mother’s old room, Yoo-mi will have to unravel the supernatural mystery and discover the truth before it’s too late.
Writer/Director: Yoon Een-Kyoung
Cast: Se-young Lee, Ji-young Park, So-yi Park
November 15, 2020 - "Murder on Middle Beach" (HBO Max) 📺 🇺🇸
In the docu-series "Murder on Middle Beach," a young man is determined to solve an unspeakable crime and absolve the people he loves, while looking for answers within his fractured family and community of Madison, Connecticut.
Executive Producers: Madison Hamburg, Nancy Abraham, Neda Armian, Lisa Heller, Ron Nyswaner, Stacey Offman, Toby Oppenheimer, Richard Perello
November 17, 2020 - "The New Mutants" (VOD) 🎞 🇺🇸
20th Century Fox in association with Marvel Entertainment presents “The New Mutants,” an original horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring. When strange occurrences begin to take place, both their new mutant abilities and their friendships will be tested as they battle to try and make it out alive.
Writer/Director: Josh Boone
Writer: Knate Lee
Cast: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton
November 19, 2020 - "Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist"
(Shudder) 🎞 🇺🇸
A lyrical and spiritual cinematic documentary on "The Exorcist" - "Leap of Faith" explores the uncharted depths of William Friedkin’s mind’s eye, the nuances of his filmmaking process, and the mysteries of faith and fate that have shaped his life and filmography.
Writer/Director: Alexandre O. Philippe
Cast: William Friedkin
Executive Producers: Phil Hay, Karyn Kusama, Matt Manfredi, Randy Pharo, Joey Porcelli
November 20, 2020 - "Run" (Hulu) 🎞 🇺🇸
A homeschooled teenager begins to suspect her mother is keeping a dark secret from her. Will she be able to escape mother's love?
Writer/Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Writer: Sev Ohanian
Cast: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen, Sara Sohn
November 20, 2020 - "Alien Xmas" (Netflix) 🎞 🇺🇸
In the stop-motion animated 42-minute Christmas film, "Alien Xmas," a group of kleptomaniac aliens attempts to eliminate Earth's gravity -- and only the gift-giving spirit of Christmas and a small alien named X can save the planet.
Director: Stephen Chiodo
Writers: Kealan O'Rourke, Dan Clark, Noah Kloor
Cast: Keythe Farley, Dee Bradley Baker, Kaliayh Rhambo, Michelle Deco, Barbara Goodson
November 26, 2020 - "The Flight Attendant" (HBO max) 📺 🇺🇸
"The Flight Attendant" is a dark comedic thriller series, based on the novel by New York Times bestselling author, Chris Bohjalian, tells the tale of how an entire life can change in one night. Flight attendant Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) a globe-trotting alcoholic, awakes in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed and with the wrong man -- well, a dead man -- unable to piece the night together. And the killer? Could it be her?
Creator: Steve Yockey
Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Michiel Huisman, Zosia Mamet
November 28, 2020 - "The Uncanny Counter" (Netflix) 📺 🇰🇷
In the South Korean television series, "An Uncanny Encounter," a group of demon-hunters, the Counters, search for and fight against evil spirits that have escaped the afterlife to prey on mankind.
Director: Seon-Dong Yu
Writer: Ji-na Yeo
Cast: Byeong-gyu Jo, Joon-Sang Yoo, Se-Jeong Kim
December 3, 2020 - "Anything for Jackson" (Shudder) 🎞 🇺🇸
"Anything for Jackson" is a must-watch for fans of supernatural horror. A mourning couple struggles to cope with the loss of their grandson, Jackson, and kidnaps a pregnant woman to resurrect Jackson's spirit through her unborn child...but, end up summoning more than they bargained for.
Director: Justin G. Dyck
Writer: Keith Cooper
Cast: Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos
December 4, 2020 - "What Lies Below" (VOD) 🎞 🇺🇸
In "What Lies Below" 16-year-old Liberty (Ema Horvath) returns home from summer camp and meets her mother's new boyfriend - who, as a matter of fact, is oh, so charming, intelligent and attractive. Perfect, really. Too perfect...
Writer/Director: Braden R. Duemmler
Cast: Ema Horvath, Troy Iwata, Danny Corbo
December 4, 2020 - "Freaky" (VOD) 🎞 🇺🇸
"Freaky" is a dark comedy and horror-parody all wrapped up into one about a teenage girl who swaps bodies with a serial killer.
Director: Christopher Landon
Writer: Michael Kennedy
Cast: Kathryn Newton, Vince Vaughn, Celeste O'Connor, Alan Ruck
December 4, 2020 - "Smiley Face Killers" (VOD) 🎞 🇺🇸
Loosely based on the smiley face murder theory, "Smiley Face Killers" follows Jake Graham (Ronen Rubenstein) who doesn't know if he's going insane or being stalked by something...or someone...
Director: Tim Hunter
Writer: Bret Easton Ellis
Cast: Ronen Rubenstein, Mia Serafino, Crispin Glover
December 5, 2020 - "Detention" (Netflix) 📺 🇹🇼
"Detention" is set in the 90s during the period of Taiwanese martial law, transfer student, Yunxiang Liu (Ling-Wei Lee) attends Greenwood High School and encounters the ghost of Ruixin Fang (Ning Han). Fang reveals the hidden and haunting truth of the school over the last 30 years.
Directors: I-Hsuan Su, Shiang-An Chuang, Yi Liu
Cast: Ling-Wei Lee, Ning Han
December 15, 2020 - "Breaking Surface" (VOD) 🎞 🇺🇸
A winter dive off the coast of Norway turns into a race against time when one sister finds herself trapped at the bottom of the ocean by falling rocks in "Breaking Surface."
Writer/Director: Joachim Hedén
Cast: Moa Gammel, Madeleine Martin, Trine Wiggen
December 16, 2020 - "The Ripper" (Netflix) 📺 🇬🇧
"The Ripper" is a British true crime docu-series that recounts the investigation of the Yorkshire Ripper murders that took place between 1975 and 1980 in northern England.
Writers/Directors: Jesse Vile, Ellena Wood
Cast: Alan Whitehouse, Keith Hellawell, Andrew Laptew
December 17, 2020 - "The Stand" (CBS All Access) 📺 🇺🇸
"The Stand" is a miniseries based on Stephen King's 1978 novel, when a plague wipes out 99% of the population and the fate of mankind rests on the shoulders of the few survivors.
Creators: Josh Boone, Benjamin Cavell
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Alexandar Skårsgard, James Marsden
December 18, 2020 - "Sweet Home" (Netflix) 📺 🇰🇷
Like apocalyptic horror? One troubled teen and his neighbors fight to survive when their fellow humans transform into savage monsters -- and fight to save what is left of the human race before it's too late in "Sweet Home."
Directors: Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo, Park So-hyun
Writers: Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min, Park So-hyun
Cast: Song Kang, Jin-wook Lee, Lee Si-young
December 18, 2020 - "Hunter Hunter" (VOD) 🎞 🇺🇸
"Hunter Hunter" follows a man, Joseph, and his family who live in the remote wilderness as fur trappers. But when their traps are hunted by the return of a rogue wolf, Joseph, must leave his family behind to track the wolf.
Writer/Director: Shawn Linden
Cast: Camille Sullivan, Summer H. Howell, Devon Sawa
December 18, 2020 - "Breach" (VOD) 🎞 🇺🇸
When Earth suffers an extinction level plague, 300,000 survivors are selected to board a spaceship, the Ark -- but, another threat finds its way to what's left of humanity in "Breach."
Director: John Suits
Writers: Edward Drake, Corey Large
Cast: Cody Kearsley, Buce Willis, Rachel Nichols
December 25, 2020 - "Promising Young Woman" (VOD) 🎞 🇺🇸
Traumatized by a tragic event from her past, Cassie (Carey Mulligan), seeks revenge - a chance to right the wrongs from the past in "Promising Young Woman."
Director/Writer: Emerald Fennell
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie
December 30, 2020 - "Equinox" (Netflix) 📺 🇩🇰
In "Equinox," Astrid's sister and her entire school class vanished 21 years ago. When the last remaining classmate mysteriously dies, Astrid seeks to uncover what really happened that day.
Creator: Tea Lindeburg
Cast: Danica Curcic, Lars Brygmann, Karoline Hamm
December 31, 2020 - "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" (Netflix) 📺 🇺🇸
Netflix released the fourth season of the "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" on the final day of 2020. Adapted from horror comic series, "Riverdale," half-human, half-witch Sabrina must learn to navigate her two worlds.
Creator: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Cast: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis