The countdown to Creepmas continues, and it’s crunch time. With three days left remaining, it’s time to cram in as much holiday cheer and fear as possible. So, for the 3rd day of Creepmas, we’re offering up three genre-bending double feature ideas for your holiday horror watchlists. These pairings delve into action-horror or fantasy or even switch tones once the holiday spirit has been established. If you’re trapped spending the holidays with family members that hate horror, these double features might do the trick.
The 12 Days of Creepmas continues on Bloody Disgusting, this time with 3 genre-bending double features that bring the holiday spirit.
Holiday Action/Horror/Sci-fi Mashups:
Horror pairs well with everything, from holiday fare to action and sci-fi. This double feature is for those that want it all.
Director George P. Cosmatos (Leviathan, Of Unknown Origin) gives a horror spin on this holiday actioner starring Sylvester Stallone. Stallone plays tough street cop Marion Cobretti, whose tough edge and knack for rule breaking gets him assigned to protecting Ingrid (Brigitte Nielsen) from an evil cult. It’s the murderous cult, led by the Night Slasher (Brian Thompson), and the pervading feeling of paranoia as allies dwindle that infuses horror sensibilities to this survival action movie. And if the evil cult’s machinations aren’t horror enough for you, the way Cobretti eats his pizza will surely horrify you. That it’s all set over the holidays means it’s officially a holiday action/horror staple.
I Come in Peace
Also known as Dark Angel, this sci-fi action hybrid offers a holiday twist on the buddy cop movie. Dolph Lundgren stars as renegade detective Jack Caine as he’s forced to team up with a by-the-books fed agent, Larry Smith (Brian Benben), to take down a drug ring. Dealing with a bookish new partner would be enough of a hassle for Jack, but their case quickly reveals itself to be far more dangerous and weirder than anyone could’ve imagined; the perp is a merciless and violent extraterrestrial. This 1990 holiday set action hybrid retains the ’80s spirit in every way, from silly buddy cop tropes to big explosions and a wild, “anything goes” attitude thanks to its alien villain.
Christmas Fables for the A24 Fan:
This double feature delivers stylish Christmas fantasy fables that occasionally veer into horror.
Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason) live a peaceful, uncomplicated life running their sheep farm in the Icelandic countryside, though the desire for children goes unspoken between them. On Christmas Eve, an unseen, inhuman presence enters their barn. Later, Maria and Ingvar discover one of their sheep has given birth to a strange lamb/human hybrid. With a passing glance, Maria and Ingvar decide to take the lamb child, named Ada, into their home to raise it as their own. Valdimar Jóhannsson, who co-wrote the script with Sjón, relays the strange saga of Ada over three chapters. Lamb dabbles in horror briefly but stays content to spend time in a quaint little folk tale open to interpretation, making for a strange journey unlike anything else.
The Green Knight
Writer/Director David Lowery’s adaptation of the anonymously written, 14th-century poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” makes for one epic feast of a movie. Lowery deconstructs it, creating an intensely robust sword and sorcery feature thematically, visually, and narratively. The Green Knight doesn’t just ensnare you in its captivating spell piecemeal; it consumes you wholly from the opening frame. It’s an intoxicating, eerie atmosphere, whether foggy landscapes, haunted houses nestled in the woods, stately castles, or sprawling battlefields adorned in corpses. And it all begins with an invitation by Ralph Ineson’s Green Knight to play “the Christmas Game.” The holiday drives this beguiling story.
Holiday Horror-Comedies with Tragic Underpinnings
When it comes to holiday horror, warm and merry sentiments often belie tragedy. That’s the case with this horror-comedy double feature, which goes full throttle on infectious yuletide energy until it pulls the rug out from under you.
Anna and the Apocalypse
A high school-set Christmas musical collides with the zombie comedy in a surprising mashup. What should be a recipe for disaster becomes an infectious and affecting coming-of-age holiday tale that isn’t afraid to go bleak when needed. It helps that the cast is so charming, and the tunes utterly catchy. There’s no such thing as a Hollywood ending.
Director Nacho Vigalondo’s holiday entry of Hulu’s Into the Dark anthology series introduced a playful new holiday horror mascot, Pooka. Unemployed actor Wilson Clowes (Nyasha Hatendi) accepts a job to don the furry Pooka suit and portray the holiday’s hottest new toy to earn a buck. It sparks a rapid mental deterioration in the process. Wilson develops two personas: one as himself and another as Pooka. Mischief turns sinister, and a body count ensues. There’s far more than meets the eye to this twisty little tale, and the catchy jingle eventually gives way to a more somber tale.