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It’s been an incredibly robust and busy year for horror, which also extends to its physical media releases. The good news is that shopping for the holidays is more manageable than ever. The bad news is that the sheer selection available can be overwhelming, to say the least.
To help, here’s a Bloody Disgusting Gift Guide for some of the year’s best horror releases, from brand new 4K upgrades to must-have collector’s editions and beyond. All are packed with extras and special features to make the discs worth adding to your collection.
These 20 releases are perfect for gifting (or receiving), from deep cuts to new releases.
All About Evil (Special Edition Blu-ray)
“When a mousy librarian (Natasha Lyonne) takes over her late father’s struggling movie theater, a series of grisly murders caught on camera will transform her into the new queen of indie splatter cinema.” Thomas Dekker, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Noah Segan, Mink Stole, and drag legend Peaches Christ co-star.
Not only does this release come packed with special features, from commentaries to short films, but it also includes a soundtrack CD. There’s nothing barebones at all about this collector’s edition.
Angel Heart (4K UHD/Blu-ray Steelbook)
“Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke), a down-and-out Brooklyn detective who is hired by the mysterious Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite on an odyssey that will take Angel through the desperate streets of Harlem, the smoke-filled jazz clubs of New Orleans, and the swamps of Louisiana and its seedy underworld of voodoo in this cult thriller that is at once eerily thrilling, darkly sensual, and completely unforgettable.”
Writer-director Alan Parker’s haunting and twisted psychological noir horror-thriller finally arrived on 4K earlier this year, bringing with it a slew of special features housed in a stunning Steelbook.
Black Christmas (Scream Factory Collector’s Edition 4k UHD/ Blu-ray)
“The college town of Bedford is receiving an unwelcome guest this Christmas. As the residents of sorority house Pi Kappa Sigma prepare for the festive season, a stranger begins to stalk the house. A series of obscene phone calls start to plague the sorority and it becomes clear that a psychopath has more than merriment on his mind. As the police try to trace the phone calls, they discover that nothing is as it seems during this Black Christmas.”
Get into the holiday spirit with this insanely loaded release. If the multiple discs worth of extras isn’t enough, Scream Factory offers a deluxe bundle with a limited edition enamel pin set.
Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (Visual Vengeance Collector’s Edition Blu-ray)
“Trapped inside a haunted house, a body builder must save himself from a gruesome ghost hell-bent on revenge.”
This is the first ever North American release of the cult film alternately known as the “Japanese Evil Dead.” It includes new commentaries, interviews, outtakes, sticker sheets, a mini poster, and much more.
Cure (Criterion Collection Blu-ray)
“A string of shocking, seemingly unmotivated murders—each committed by a different person yet all bearing the same grisly hallmarks—leads Detective Takabe (Koji Yakusho) into a labyrinthine investigation to discover what connects them, and into a disturbing game of cat and mouse with an enigmatic amnesiac (Masato Hagiwara) who may be evil incarnate.”
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s dread-soaked horror movie helped pave the way for the rise of J-horror, making this gem a no brainer to get a Criterion release. The disc includes new interviews and an exclusive essay.
Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (50th Anniversary 4K UHD)
“Five young kinky actors and their artistic director come to a desolate and nearly forgotten burial island, complete with a morbid history of MURDER, RAPE, CURSES and DEMONS. Alan (Alan Ormsby), the brilliant but bizarre Director of the company, has brought them to this foreboding place to dabble in witchcraft; specifically to dig up a fresh corpse and use it in a ritual ceremony which is supposed to raise the dead from their graves.”
The 50th Anniversary edition comes with a brand new video introduction, commentaries, interviews, a tribute to the late Bob Clark, music videos, and more.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (25th Anniversary 4K UHD)
“After an accident on a winding road, four teens make the fatal mistake of dumping their victim’s body into the sea. But exactly one year later, the dead man returns from his watery grave, and he’s looking for more than an apology.”
This 4K release comes with a slew of interviews, never-before-seen deleted scenes and an alternate ending.
Nope (4K UHD/Blu-ray)
“Residents in a lonely gulch of inland California who bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery”
The physical release of Jordan Peele’s latest brings multiple featurettes that’ll help you unlock the film’s imagery and symbolism.
Satan’s Little Helper (Synapse Limited Edition Blu-ray)
“Nine-year-old Douglas Whooly (Alexander Brickel) is obsessed with the handheld video game ‘Satan’s Little Helper,’ and annoyed that the attention of his big sister Jenna (Katheryn Winnick) is being distracted by her new boyfriend Alex (Stephen Graham). These two concerns collide on Halloween, when Douglas witnesses a serial killer in a devil mask (Joshua Annex) posing his victims like outdoor All Hallow’s Eve displays. Not comprehending how real the carnage is, Douglas becomes this Satan’s little helper—and that’s very bad news for Alex, for Douglas and Jenna’s mom Merrill (Amanda Plummer), and ultimately for their entire town.”
Keep the Halloween spirit alive over the holidays with an uncut release filled with extras.
Smile (4K UHD/Blu-ray)
“After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.”
In an era where new movies get barebones physical releases, one of the year’s biggest sleeper hits packs its disc with a feature commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, and the short film that started it all, Laura Hasn’t Slept.
Tales to Keep You Awake: The Complete Series (Severin Special Edition Blu-ray)
“Though he made two feature films – the legendary WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? and THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED – the ultimate legacy of writer/director Narciso ‘Chicho’ Ibáñez Serrador remains his groundbreaking 1966-1968 Televisión Española series HISTORIAS PARA NO DORMIR. Serrador wrote, directed and introduced every episode, adapting stories by Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Bloch and his own material under the pseudonym Luis Peñafiel, shocking Franco-era audiences with black humor, macabre themes and sharp social commentary while inspiring generations of Spain’s greatest genre filmmakers as well as a 2021 reboot.”
The 2-disc set includes the complete original series, the 1974 special, and 1982 miniseries, with special features.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Vinegar Syndrome 4K UHD / Blu-ray)
“Leatherface, the Cook, Grandpa, and company are back, proving that ‘the family that slays together stays together,’ in Tobe Hooper’s follow-up to his 1974 shock classic. Dennis Hopper plays a deranged ex-lawman who teams with a late-night DJ (Caroline Williams) to track down the cannibalistic brood, who are prowling the prairie for ‘fresh meat.’ With Jim Siedow, Bill Moseley, and Bill Johnson as Leatherface.”
Vinegar Syndrome overstuffed this epic release, making it a must for fans. While they’ve removed their catalog this month to spotlight their partner labels, you can grab a copy through Amazon or DiabolikDVD.
The Company of Wolves (Collector’s Edition 4K UHD/Blu-ray)
“Director Neil Jordan’s stylish shocker, a horrific revamping of the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ fable, chronicles a young girl named Rosaleen’s (Sarah Patterson) dream of life in England in the 18th century. There, the tale of Rosaleen encountering a werewolf as she travels through the forest to her grandmother’s house is told, as well as several other tales of terror recounted by various characters. Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Stephen Rea co-star.”
A gorgeous Scream Factory release with commentaries, interviews, and a stunning new scan.
The Green Knight: Collector’s Edition (4K UHD/ Blu-ray)
“An epic fantasy adventure based on the timeless Arthurian legend, The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger.”
A24 unleashes a deluxe edition of David Lowery’s fantasy epic just in time for the holidays. Aside from the loaded extras, the release includes a 62-page interior booklet, and the printed disc-pack comes enclosed in a vegan leather-grained paper slipcase.
Coraline (Limited Edition 4K Steelbook) – December 13
“Coraline Jones is bored in her new home until she finds a secret door that leads into a world that’s just like her own, but better! But when this fantastical adventure turns dangerous and her “other” mother tries to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness and bravery to get home.”
Shout Factory’s limited edition release of Henry Selick’s stop-motion animated favorite offers up a rare look behind the scenes, and much more.
ParaNorman (Limited Edition 4K Steelbook) – Releases December 13
“From the makers of Coraline comes the story of Norman, a boy who must use his ability to see and speak with the dead to save his town from a centuries-old curse. In addition to spooky zombies, he’ll also have to take on mysterious ghosts, wily witches, and, worst of all, clueless grown-ups. But this young ghoul whisperer will soon find his paranormal abilities pushed to their otherworldly limits.”
A gateway horror movie for all ages gets a stunning new release courtesy of Shout Factory. It’s not just the Steelbook that makes this worth grabbing, but the featurettes, mini-book, and more.
Ghostwatch (Collector’s Edition Blu-ray) – December 13
“The BBC gives over a whole evening to an ‘investigation into the supernatural’. Four respected presenters and a camera crew attempt to discover the truth behind ‘The most haunted house in Britain’, expecting a light-hearted scare or two and probably the uncovering of a hoax. They think they are in control of the situation. They think they are safe. The viewers settle down and decide to watch ‘for a laugh’. Ninety minutes later the BBC, and the country, was changed, and the consequences are still felt today.”
Do not miss the opportunity to snatch up this often hard-to-find movie. It includes multiple commentaries and brand-new featurettes.
The Evil Dead Groovy Collection (4K UHD/Blu-ray Set)
“This new collection brings The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and all three seasons of “Ash vs. Evil Dead” to 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray in one massive box set that’s dripping with the red stuff.”
While this massive set released late 2021, you can now grab it for a fraction of the price if you hurry. It’s a loaded set.
“In 2012 Kier-La Janisse published House of Psychotic Women, billed as “an autobiographical topography of female neurosis in horror and exploitation films.” It soon became one of the most “vital” (Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog) and “astonishing” (Daily Grindhouse) genre tomes of all time. To mark the book’s 10th anniversary, award-winning writer/programmer/filmmaker Janisse (WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED) now presents four of the strongest and strangest explorations of onscreen delirium and hysteria, all on American Blu-ray for the first time: Elizabeth Taylor stars in 1974’s IDENTIKIT (aka THE DRIVER’S SEAT) as a hostile woman who travels to Rome to find the most dangerous liaison. In the surreal 1986 Polish horror-comedy I LIKE BATS, a female vampire discovers that love may be the cruelest curse of all. Florinda Bolkan stars in the startling 1975 amnesiac giallo FOOTPRINTS from the director of THE FIFTH CORD. And British screenwriter and radical theatre icon Jane Arden directs 1972’s harrowing THE OTHER SIDE OF THE UNDERNEATH.”
This special curated box set is filled with special features and deep cuts.
“For the first time in one complete set, all 7 terrifying PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies come together, including—exclusive to this box set—the latest thriller PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: NEXT OF KIN and the definitive documentary UNKNOWN DIMENSION: THE STORY OF PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.”
A massive 9-disc set makes this one a must for the found footage fan.