7 new horror movies on Netflix, Shudder, Prime Video and more in December 2023

Two girls in The Exorcist Believer look up at the sky, with carvings on their flesh and dirty, bloated faces
(Image credit: Universal)

As we head toward the end of the year – seriously, where has 2023 gone? – what better way to start to bid farewell than with an epic binge of the best new horror movies to stream? Festive!

While the holiday season often finds a deluge of sparkly Christmas rom-coms hitting the big streamers, for those who prefer their halls decked with bowels instead of boughs, you need a jolt of horror to counter the sweet confection. 

Luckily, this month is packed with treats from all the major platforms to cater to every horror fan. The brand new Exorcist sequel hits Peacock; one of the year's biggest hits, Talk To Me, lands on Australian Netflix, and Shudder scores a double whammy with two festive slashers, It's A Wonderful Knife and The Sacrifice Game. So what are you waiting for? Grab a cookie, a glass of eggnog, and kick back with the best new horrors to hit streaming.

The Exorcist: Believer (2023)

When: December 1
Where to stream it: Peacock (US), Amazon Video (UK, AU)

50 years after William Friedkin's original movie prompted cinemagoers to run screaming from the theater, we return to that world with the legacy sequel The Exorcist: Believer. Granted, trying to follow the 1974 classic or any of its beloved sequels is a tall order. How do you follow what's often referred to as the best horror movie of all time? Blumhouse tackles that quandary by installing David Gordon Green at the helm, noted for rebooting the Halloween franchise. He brings that same approach to The Exorcist as we follow two girls who succumb to the devil's clutches. Bringing in fresh talent helps support the narrative along with familiar faces in the form of Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair, who reprise their roles from the original.

The Ring (2002)

When: December 1
Where to stream it: Prime Video / Paramount Plus (US), Stan (AU), Paramount Plus (UK)

A videotape that curses anyone who watches it. As elevator pitches go, The Ring remains compelling and also scary as hell because of how the curse unravels. This American retelling of the Japanese horror Ringu is now a classic all of its own, bringing the terror of its premise to the gloomy oppressive rains of the Pacific Northwest. Naomi Watts stars in her Mulholland Drive follow-up as reporter Rachel Keller who investigates a mysterious cassette that kills people seven days after watching. This version adds a subplot involving horses and a scene on a ferry that's deeply disturbing, but the horrific flashes of Samara's victims, contorted faces frozen, are what linger long after the credits roll.

It's A Wonderful Knife (2023)

When: December 1
Where to stream it: Shudder (UK, US, AU)

Freaky screenwriter Michael Kennedy cooks up another horror comedy mash-up, and this time It’s A Wonderful Life gets the slasher treatment. In the small town of Angel Falls, Winnie Carruthers (Jane Widdop) wishes that she’d never been born  – but when her wish comes true she swiftly learns that a serial killer (Justin Long) she caught the previous Christmas was never stopped. This is prime holiday season horror viewing, with nods to both slasher and Christmas classics galore and a delightfully diverse cast of queer characters. Directed by Patchwork and Tragedy Girls director Tyler MacIntyre, It’s A Wonderful Knife is perfect communal viewing for any of your gatherings this December.

Mimic (1997)

When: December 1
Where to stream it: Paramount Plus (UK, US), rent or buy (AU)

Discussions of Guillermo Del Toro's oeuvre tend to overlook this mid-'90s gem which deserves more acclaim for its deeply creative premise. Mimic dropped amid a flurry of monster movies yet stands apart thanks to the filmmaker's distinct visual signature. The story follows Mira Sorvino's genetic entomologist Susan Tyler, who is hired by the CDC to wipe out cockroaches carrying a life-threatening disease. She cooks up the 'Judas breed', a half-termite, half-mantis to counter the effects, which is unleashed on New York City… and evolves to mimic humans. A mash-up of B-movie creature feature and urban procedural, it's a mesmeric Del Toro movie; think The Shape of Water but about a thousand times more grimy. 

Talk to Me (2023)

When: December 1
Where to stream it: Netflix (UK, AU), rent or buy (US)

One of the year's biggest horror hits arrives and is well worth the wait. From filmmaking brothers Danny and Michael Philippou, Talk To Me tells of a group of teenagers who discover that a severed, embalmed hand can let them talk to the dead, and that doing so is a hell of a high. Led by 17-year old Mia (a superb Sophie Wilde) who is in the throes of grief following the death of her mother, the movie follows the group as they dabble with forces beyond their control. There's a reason this has become one of the most talked-about movies of the year, it's a genuinely scary caper with proof that there is still something new to offer in the trauma-horror canon. The Aussie directors have already got a prequel in the can and are working on a sequel now.

The Sacrifice Game (2023)

When: December 8
Where to stream it: Shudder (UK, US, AU)

The festive slayings of this seasonal slasher have already won over critics with some heralding it a modern Christmas classic that’s sure to land on your annual watchlist. Set at an all-girls boarding school over winter break during the 1970s (a horror version of The Holdovers?) the movie follows teens Samantha (Madison Baines) and Clara (Georgia Acken) who soon discover they aren't the only ones on campus when a gang of cult killers arrive. Fun and playful, this is the newest outing from The Ranger director Jenn Wexler who summons two knockout performances from Baines and Acken. Make sure to be cautious on socials at time of release to avoid spoilers for the great final act surprises…

It Lives Inside (2023) 

When: December 29
Where to stream it: Hulu (US), rent or buy (UK/AU)

Filmmaker Bishal Dutta makes his feature-length debut with a demonic possession tale. Never Have I Ever's Megan Suri tackles the lead role of Sam, an American high schooler who has tried to shed her Eastern Indian heritage to better fit in with her peers, but has to delve into her familial background to battle a demon that takes over her best friend. This is a promising dive into features for Dutta who crafts a creepy teen chiller that contributes something fresh to the mythological horror canon. Suri’s performance elevates the movie along with its top-notch creature design.

Gem Seddon

Gem Seddon is a Seattle-based freelance entertainment writer with bylines at Vulture, Digital Spy, TechRadar, GamesRadar+, Total Film, What to Watch, and Certified Forgotten. Librarian by day, scribbler by night, Gem loves 90-minute movies, time travel romance, single-camera comedy shows, all things queer, all things horror, and queer horror. Alien and Scream are tied as her all-time favourite movie. She won't stop raving about Better Things.