The Paramount Network and its streaming platform Paramount+ are keeping it simple this Christmas with new horror offerings. Every new genre film is dropping at the very beginning of December, with no new announced additions (so far) for the entire rest of the month. With a good mix of the classics and a few franchise horror installments, however, there are enough titles to make them worthy of inclusion on your end-of-the-year Yuletide terror list.
Understandably, Paramount+ seems a little more preoccupied with expanding the cowboy universe of Taylor Sheridan with season 5 of Yellowstone and the new prequel series, 1932, starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. Maybe if Sheridan ever created a television series about an Old West ghost town, the powers-that-be over at ViacomCBS would be a little more open to the genre we all know and love.
Starting with a few standouts debuting this month on Paramount+, the selections below should help you rediscover a late ’60s classic, reevaluate a ’90s remake, and remember a subterranean action horror adventure from the mid-2000s.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Kenneth Branagh’s version of the Frankenstein legend was unjustly maligned when it came out in 1994. Casting Robert De Niro as The Creature felt anachronistic and out-of-place. Branagh’s interpretation is a little bombastic at times, making Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein feel like a Shakespearean tragedy instead of an homage to James Whale’s original 1931 masterwork.
De Niro and Branagh do imbue The Creature with a lot more self-awareness and thoughtful introspection, though. There’s an existential crisis happening within that feels more in line with Mary Shelley’s original manuscript before her husband, Percy, started meddling.
This is definitely a film I’ll be sure to revisit on Paramount+ to try and give it another chance. (Right after I watch the new episode of Tulsa King starring Sylvester Stallone, of course.) The streamer is also premiering Branagh’s solid, horror-adjacent psychological thriller Dead Again. That film features Emma Thompson back when the two performers were a real-life couple.
Speaking of real-life couples, Mia Farrow was supposed to star alongside Frank Sinatra in the crooner’s 1968 film The Detective. When the shoot for Rosemary’s Baby ran way over schedule, Farrow had no choice but to stay in the role that would make her a star.
Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby gets better with age. The demonic tale about giving birth to the antichrist is also about the anxieties of motherhood, patriarchal control, and the horrors of the elderly.
Hopefully, more casual audiences that usually gravitate to more modern fare will finally have a chance to find out what’s really lurking in that baby infant’s cradle. The ability to scroll through titles on Paramount+ may help new viewers land on a true landmark in horror that truly changed the game.
If you’ve already seen it, watch it again!
Whether you’re a flyover fan or a coastal elite, Cole Hauser’s portrayal of the rough-and-tumble Rip Wheeler on Yellowstone is one of the best characters on television, bar none. 2005’s The Cave gave Hauser one of his first starring roles as a daredevil deep sea diver and spelunker named Jack McAllister.
The razor-thin plot centers around some ancient creatures that accidentally get discovered in a forgotten underground ecosystem. Naturally, everyone has to go and hike down to the bottom to check it out. Get the microwave popcorn out, prop your feet up, and dive into this ridiculously entertaining monster romp from the mid-aughts.
Found Footage, Stephen King, Michael Myers, and Jason Voorhees
What else is coming to Paramount+ in December, you ask? Before The Batman, director Matt Reeves turned heads with the Kaiju-inspired found footage thriller Cloverfield. Produced by J.J. Abrams (Mr. Mystery Box, himself), the shaky-cam disaster epic made people sick in theaters way before Terrifier 2. Now that Cloverfield is on a smaller screen, it should help Paramount+ subscribers hold onto their lunch.
One of the best Stephen King adaptations not directed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) is now up on Paramount+ as well. 1989’s Pet Sematary is a tragic cautionary tale about a family who loses their cat. Then, they lose their kid who comes back as an undead problem child wielding a sharp razor. Start humming the theme song from The Ramones again on your ill-conceived hike to that ominous Indian burial ground.
Also Read: Revisiting the Saga of the ‘Halloween H20’ Mask
Michael Myers is represented as well in the post-Scream school slasher Halloween H20. Revisit the curse of Thorn (if you dare) in Halloween VI: The Curse Of Michael Myers starring Paul Rudd as Tommy Doyle. The version on Paramount+ will not be the famed Producer’s Cut, for better or worse.
Friday the 13th also appears to now be available (again), bringing the first four films in the series together. Just kidding! It looks like Sean Cunningham’s original is the only title in the series on Paramount+ right now. Previously, Part II, III, and Part VI: Jason Lives were available. (Jason X is still not on any current streaming services to the dismay of many in our community.)
It also seems like a few Screen Gems titles that were previously available on Epix are making their way over to the new streamer.
Full List of New Horror on Paramount+
Friday The 13th (unclear which version)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Halloween VI: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
Pet Sematary (1989)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Shutter Island (2010)
The Cave (2005)