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7 SFF Films to Watch Over the Holidays

We’re coming up on Thanksgiving in the U.S., and December is filled with holidays. But since a lot of us aren’t planning to travel anywhere, we’re going to have time on our hands. What a perfect time to plan your binge-watching!

Here’s a short list of sci-fi, fantasy and horror films to dive into over the next several weeks.

Warner Bros

A Clockwork Orange

Where to find it: Netflix

What it’s about:  In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn’t go as planned.

Why watch it:  This 1971 classic sci-fi is a must-see, with outstanding visuals by Stanley Kubrick, chilling performances, and reminders that true dystopian fiction is, at its best, harsh and unrelenting.

Gunpowder & Sky

Prospect

Where to find it:  Netflix

What it’s about:  A teenage girl and her father travel to a remote alien moon, aiming to strike it rich. They’ve secured a contract to harvest a large deposit of the elusive gems hidden in the depths of the moon’s toxic forest. But there are others roving the wilderness and the job quickly devolves into a fight to survive. Forced to contend not only with the forest’s other ruthless inhabitants, but with her own father’s greed-addled judgment, the girl finds she must carve her own path to escape.

Why watch it:  With indie roots, this film blends the sensibilities of a science fiction setting with the story of an Old West flick. At its heart, it’s about family, greed, and redemption.

Netflix

Alien Xmas

Where to find it: Netflix

What it’s about:  A young elf mistakes a tiny alien for a Christmas gift, not knowing her new plaything has plans to destroy Earth’s gravity — and steal all the presents.

Why watch it:  A delightful stop-motion animation for the whole family, Alien Xmas is a charming story in the Rankin Bass tradition. And it was made by the brains behind Elf and The Nightmare Before Christmas, making it a must-watch.

Atomic Cartoons, Lucasfilm, The LEGO Group

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special

Where to find it:  Disney+

What it’s about:  Rey leaves her friends to prepare for Life Day as she sets off on an adventure to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. At a mysterious temple, she is hurled into a cross-timeline adventure. Will she make it back in time for Life Day?

Why watch it:  Let’s face it—they had us at Star Wars Holiday Special. Will it be as infamously bad as the 1978 TV special? No. But it’ll be as shamelessly fun.

Twentieth Century Fox

The Underworld Trilogy

Where to find it:  Amazon Prime (2oth C fox)

What it’s about:  Selene, a vampire warrior, is entrenched in a conflict between vampires and werewolves, while falling in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

Why watch it:  First of all, there’s more than one of these films, which makes for prime binge watching. The visuals are flashy, the action is relentless, and the entertainment is light. You can easily have these playing in the background while you’re making dinner.

Warner Bros/Buena Vista

The Prestige

Where to find it:  Hulu (Warner Bros/Buena Vista)

What it’s about:  After a tragic accident, two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other.

Why watch it:  One of Christopher Nolan’s most acclaimed films, The Prestige features an ingenious storyline, stellar performances, and a moody Victorian setting that’s a little bit steampunk, a little Jack the Ripper, and a lot of nods to old-school sci-fi tales.

Gravitas Ventures

Shortcut

Where to find it:  Video on demand

What it’s about:  A mysterious creature terrorizes five teenage friends after their bus takes a shortcut on a desolate road in the wild.

Why watch it:  This film has that kitschy horror in the woods feel that a lot of horror fans crave. The cinematography is well done, and the actors do a decent job driving the action forward.

About Michele

Michele has been writing and editing professionally since 1997. In 2017, she launched full-time into her own copywriting and editing business, serving marketing firms, service businesses, nonprofits, book publishers and consulting firms, as well as indie authors. She serves as Editor of the science fiction website Recursor.tv and The Fantasy Network News. Michele is also co-founder of Writing Well Creative Writing Workshop and a partner in Three Point Author Services.

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