It’s getting late! Do you have your present for your horror fan family member or friend? If you’re looking for some unique and well crafted horror themed items, The Scariest Things has some fantastic ideas for you.
If you’re anything like me, you will have procrastinated on Christmas gifts this year. The Pandemic threw my game off, and the ability to get to the retailers I used to visit. Plus, I am finding I need to mail my presents rather than see much of my family in person. So, for those of you with horror fans in your life, here are some great last-minute ideas to try and get something cool, surprising, and well made. Esty is a great place to find creative artists who are producing for fans of the genre. But, there are a lot of fair-to-middling artists also out there, so I went hunting for what looked like the best horror themed gifts that would thrill most horror fans.
I found a selection ranging from the very affordable to the centerpiece present for those of you present hunters out there. I hope you find some great scary stuff to gift!
The Old Warhorse has rebranded itself as a high-end premium format publication. Gone is the thin-stock paper, and in is a lot more content, big glossy (and gory) pictures, and upping the content production quality significantly. The books come out less frequently now, but you get a much better product. And for fans of the magazine, it still does a fantastic job of getting you hyped for the upcoming horror features, showing you some of the more grisly and messy bits that you won’t pick up from a trailer, plus all the behind the scenes interviews that connect you to the creators we have come to know and love. $79.99 a year.
If you’re looking for some really cool prop replicas, and are looking for a main present for a specific horror fan, the various Phansasm killer spheres produced by Nightmares Unlimited are really slick, and highly polished like mirrors. No… they don’t fly, but they sure look the part! Polished stainless steel, not painted plastic… it’s the real deal. This Etsy shop also has some really cool Freddy Kreuger gloves, if you are a Cosplayer or a collector. $150.
Is there anything more horror appropriate than a horror kitchen knife? The staple of the slasher movie, and the terror of final girls the world over? Jason, Michael, Leatherface, and even Sam from Trick R’ Treat! You can also request a villain of your choice, but please note that these knives are hand done by request, so at this time, this will be a promisory gift, or one that you just decide to indulge for yourself. I wouldn’t advise using these for cooking. These are a great deal at just $26 each!
Two big trends have been happening over the past ten years. The return of the movie poster as an art form, thanks to Mondo, who teamed with the Alamo Drafthouse and treated movie posters like rock promo posters and launched a massive poster collecting hobby. The movie studios turned movie posters into head-shots, but Mondo turned the posters into art pieces once again. The other trend is the popularity of enamel pins, for kids and adults. Combine the two? Original takes on our favorite films on enameled collectible pins. The great news? Even though they are little limited edition works of art, they only cost $7.00.
Liz reviewed this book series recently along with a little video that you might want to check out. Alan Robert has created intricate and gorgeous line drawings for you to fill in. Book IV focuses on movie monsters, so it will go over well with any horror movie fan. Get yourself a good set of Prismacolor pencils or markers, and enjoy a nice rainy day with a coloring book full of your favorite horror moments. An inexpensive ($13.99) and fun treat for any horror fan, and you can get it quickly from Amazon.
On the stocking-stuffer end of things are these cool keyrings that feature iconic horror movie locations, including Motel Hell-O, The Dolphin Room 1408, The Bates Motel Room 1 (Psycho), The Overlook Hotel Room 237 (The Shining), Camp Crystal Lake Cabin 3 (Friday the 13th), The Winchester Tavern (Sean of the Dead), and the Slaughtered Lamb (An American Werewolf in London). And, they’re inexpensive: $3.99-$5.99.
“OK, We’ll do Palmer next.”
We all know what happens next! This series of glass Petri dishes with blood samples recreates the iconic blood test scene from John Carpenter’s The Thing. There are a couple of other Etsy artists who do this, but as soon as I saw it, I realized that I might have to get this one for myself. $57 for Palmer, $113 for the whole crew.
This is a four person (And you really do need four people) tactical cooperative shooting horror/science fiction game. Even for veteran video game players this game has built up a reputation for being HARD. And it it is. I play this every Sunday, and our progress is very slow, but the game is so immersive, and so addicting that even repeated restarts are met with… OK let’s do it again, but better! The game feels like you are playing Aliens, armed to the teeth, but health and ammunition are valuable commodities. The game is legitimately scary at times, and the graphic presentation is absolutely stunning. The game is still in early access, so the game gets updated a bunch. It’s inexpensive, at only $27.99 for countless hours of entertainment. This has been a pandemic entertainment life-saver for me and my gaming buddies. Find three other friends, and set a schedule, it will reward you with a great game experience.
Here’s a pretty fantastic prop to use for the next time you get a chance to go to a comic convention (if we ever get those again!) This amazing bit of costumery is available through Etsy…. but you’d better hurry only ONE left! $131.66
Are you a fan of trippy cosmic horror? Friend of the Podcast, Dave Correia has a style full of dark and creepy whimsy. His work has charm and dread rolled into imagery that will have you staring at the abyss… but amused while doing so. His work can be had for as little as $25 for his prints, and on occasion he will have original work available for purchase. He also has gotten into the pin game, and has some fun enamel pins for sale as well.
OK, this one you can probably get by Christmas since it’s available from Amazon. This game is an homage to the great Universal Monsters, and the game is simple but tactically engaging. Each monster has a different challenge level, and the local villagers are trying to deal with the monstrous threats before they kill all the civilians. Good looking production values and right now the game is available at a great price. $23.99 on Amazon. On the other end of the spectrum is the massive and complex board game Nemesis, which is as close as you’ll get to be playing Alien, the board game. It is pressure packed, thrilling, and the components are amazing. There’s a potential traitor (think Ash) in your midst as well. It is also expensive, at $135, but TOTALLY worth it. Check out our previous list of horror-themed board game recommendations.
OK, if you are a horror fan, you should already have this. But, if you are trying to make a horror movie disciple, (as we here at TST try to do), you can give someone who is just getting into horror a subscription! It’s $4.75 a month or $57 a year, with the first month free. They have an excellent mix of classic horror from the ’60s forward, and are one of the biggest distributors of independent horror on the market. They also are beginning to produce their own original content, which is really exciting. Get on it, horror fans!
Feed me, Seymour! This wonderful little prop of the famed Little Shop of Horrors man-eating plant can now be the plant you put on your office table, and you won’t have to worry about feeding her. Just remember not to give her any blood. That will be an issue. Handcrafted prop miniatures available on Etsy in two different sizes. $53 to $167.
Nobody does a deep-cut movie reference better than Last Exit to Nowhere. And the shirts are really well made and DURABLE. I’ve got at least twelve of their shirts and hoodies. Some of their designs get discontinued, so jump on the ones that you want before they disappear. This is an English company, so if you are going to try and beat the Christmas deadline, I suggest an online gift certificate.
Are you eating it, or is it eating you? Larry Cohen’s classic satire about human commercial consumption is now available… for your consumption! There are a few crafters on ETSY who are creating these fun vessels. You should store whipped cream or yogurt in this for the right effect.
Liv Rainey-Smith, one of my favorite genre fine artists in Portland makes some stunning and provacative wood-block looking screenprints on wood veneers. On many of these prints, you can pick your choice of maple, aspen, cherry or cedar. Prices for prints range from $25 to $240. She also has a bunch of stickers available for stocking stuffer type of small items. The themes might seem anathema to Christmas, but there are a number of Krampus themed pieces that would be great for the holiday.
It is amazing how fast the COVID mask industry just exploded with designs. Somebody is making some bank! The horror genre gets a lot of room to play here, and the really cool thing is that these are CHEAP! Most of these masks are between $8 and $10 through Redbubble. I picked some of my favorites, and I think the coolest one is the Dead Alive mask, though I’m not sure if that’s something I’d want to wear in public. Hopefully we won’t need these much, after 2021, but for now, it’s part of daily life.