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  • Writer's pictureKatelyn Salyers

Mother Knows Best: 4 Holiday-Themed Horror Movies

As far as true horror, becoming a new mother is the most frightening thing I have ever done. With pregnancy, your body goes through extreme change: skin stretching, body parts spreading and enlarging, vomiting, swelling. 

Not to mention birth; whether it be a gruesome delivery or cutting your abdomen open while you're wide awake. I will never forget seeing the medical student who had helped with my cesarean throw his elbow-length bloodied gloves in the trash and promptly say, “Well, I’m off to lunch!”. 

I don’t really think the fear ever truly goes away. You’ll always be afraid of failing your child. Check out this list of my favorite Mother's Day horror films to give you a fun scare for a change:

Mother’s Day (1980)

Dir. Charles Kaufman

If you love trashy, backwoods hillbilly sleaze and depravity, then look no further. Directed by Charles Kaufman, brother of Troma Entertainment’s President Lloyd Kaufman. In this film, we follow three women as they get together for their yearly girl’s trip. Little do they know, they are about to become prey to a sadistic pair of brothers eager to please their Mama.

Streaming for free on Tubi, PLEX, and Pluto TV.

Inside (2007)

Dir. Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury

Inside is a French extremity following a heavily pregnant woman named Sarah who lost her husband in an accident four months prior. On Christmas Eve, the night before she’s set to be induced, an unknown woman invades her home and she has to fight for her and her baby to survive. I will not give away too many details, but I watched this film when I was newly pregnant and it is the only film that's truly disturbed me to date. It's gory, shocking, and straight-up brutal. It’s the kind of movie that makes you hold your breath all the way through.

Streaming for free on Tubi and the Roku Channel.

Grace (2009)

Dir. Paul Solet

Grace is a beautiful and haunting film. After two failed fertility treatments, Michael and Madeline finally conceive their baby girl, Grace. Unfortunately, they get into a tragic car accident and Michael passes away. Seemingly, so does the baby. The midwife allows Madeline to carry to term. Miraculously, the baby is alive. But Grace wants something more sinister than milk… This film perfectly captures the desperation of motherhood and how lonely it can feel. It also makes you question what lengths you are willing to go for your child. 

Streaming for free on Tubi.

Serial Mom (1994)

Dir. John Waters

Serial Mom is a true cult classic directed by John Waters. Beverly is the perfect mother, except for the fact that she commits gruesome murders. Most of the time, she does it out of love and respect for her husband and children. Even after killing someone, Beverly still has a perfect appearance and dinner on the table when her family comes home. The cast is stacked and the humor lands just right. It’s the perfect Mother's Day comedy for horror fans.

Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

Honorable Mention

Ginger Snaps (2002)

Dir. John Fawcett 

As a strange teenage girl, Ginger appealed to me the most because of the allegory for puberty, and how the change from girlhood to womanhood can feel kind of supernatural. In this case, Ginger is slowly morphing into a werewolf. In the meantime, she’s also pushing away her little sister. It’s a beautiful story about sisterhood and the changes our bodies go through when we hit puberty. I watched it for the millionth time shortly after I gave birth to my daughter, and I noticed something...

Throughout the entire film, their mother is desperately trying to make a connection with her daughters, even though they keep pushing her away. Even when she suspects her daughters of doing unthinkable things to their classmate, she doesn’t hesitate to tell them she will cover it all up and they can leave everything (including her husband) behind. It could’ve been the post-partum hormones, but it moved me to tears. A mother’s love truly knows no bounds. 

Streaming for free on Tubi, Pluto, and Peacock.

Motherhood can look different in a lot of ways. It can look like providing for your child, bathing them, or packing their lunch. It can also look like killing for your child, covering up their crimes, or doing anything you can to keep them safe. The thing that remains consistent is a mother’s love. It persists eternally. Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who calls themselves a mom!



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