Sure the Holidays are about peace, love, and all things warm and bright. But, there are some of us that enjoy things just a little darker. There was a time when telling scary ghost stories was part of Christmas traditions, and maybe horror-themed Christmas movies are a continuation of that custom. Or, maybe, they just appeal to that stressful gloomier side of the winter holidays that lurks just below the surface.
No matter the reason, such movies remain popular, and a glut of them hit the theaters every December. So here is our list of some the best of them!
Getting stabbed by a unicorn head to the ghostly tune of carolers singing “Silent Night” is probably not how you want to spend Christmas Eve. This holiday slasher claims its victims in a sorority house haunted by creepy phone calls, demonic noises, bodies eerily shrouded in plastic wrap, and one perverse killer whose voice alone is enough to freeze your blood.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
This 1984 holiday cult horror tells the tale of Billy Chapmen, orphaned at five after witnessing the murder of his parents at the hands of a Santa suit-clad madman on Christmas Eve. Now eighteen and out of the brutal grip of orphanage nuns, Billy is forced to confront his greatest fear, sending him on a rampage, leaving a crimson trail in the snow behind him.
In this one, Saint Nicholas is not the good-hearted children’s friend as people think he is. In reality, he is a cruel bloodthirsty bishop who, whenever there’s a full moon on in December, will try to slaughter as many children as possible.
The 1980s “Christmas Evil,” also known as “You Better Watch Out,” has been called “a smart and clever black comedy.” Brandon Maggart plays a man who takes Christmas way too seriously. His home is filled with bright holiday decorations all year-round while Christmas carols are playing on the stereo. Santa is his role model, a symbol of all that is good and just in the world. He even works at a toy factory.
He so identifies with Santa, he takes to spying on the neighbor kids, keeping his own carefully annotated naughty and nice lists. But when he recognizes the level of cynicism and hypocrisy among his co-workers, bosses, and the people around town as the most joyous time of the year approaches, well, he goes a little funny in the head. He reaches for the suit and beard and ax, determined to reward the good and punish the evil.
A Christmas Horror Story
2015’s “A Christmas Horror Story, cleverly uses William Shatner as a radio DJ to be the connective tissue that holds together the four anthology stories that comprise the film. Parables on ghost possession, clone doppelgangers, Krampus, and zombie elves all get their due here. Furthermore, ideas like a pregnant ghost using you as a conduit to give birth to its baby is all sorts of messed up. The film also has a pretty inspired ending that actually managed to surprise me and casts the picture in a whole new light. It’s got Santa Claus fighting Krampus. What’s not to like?
The Gingerdead Man
In this deliciously, deadly, campy romp, a deranged psychopath returns from the grave in the form of a gingerbread man! When psychotic killer Millard Findlemeyer (Gary Busey) entered a small-town diner and rained a shower of lead upon the Leigh family, the only family member to survive the horrifying ordeal was devoted daughter Sara Leigh (Robin Sydney).
It was Sara’s heartfelt testimony that sent Findlemeyer to fry in the electric chair and also caused the killer’s vengeful mother to cook up a diabolical plot for the ultimate revenge. After placing an ancient curse on her son’s ashes, Mrs. Findlemeyer mixes the remains into a secret gingerbread cookie recipe and has the malicious mix sent to Sara Leigh’s bakery.
When bakery employee Brick Fields (Jonathon Chase) cuts himself while preparing the cookies and a drop of his blood spills into the mix, a twelve-inch tall terror emerges from the oven determined to finish the job that he failed to complete the first time around.
Anna and the Apocalypse
The newest release on this list, this year’s, is a true holiday delight! A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. Anna and the Apocalypse, is a kind of “Sean of the Dead,” meets “La La Land.” This holiday, zombie musical, is a feast for the senses – just don’t expect a “Hollywood Happy Ending,” (which is also one of the most endearing cuts on the soundtrack.)
What do you think of these Holiday Horror flicks? Did we miss one of your favorites? Reply in the comments below.