To most people Christmas is about spending time with friends and family, shopping for that perfect gift for a loved one, or perhaps making the perfect Christmas Dinner for special guests. That all sounds like a lot of fun, but if you are a Horror fan it is also about sitting down to watch a few serial killing Santa Clauses, little green cackling Gremlins, and maybe even a homicidal Snowman.
Check out my Top Ten Christmas movies to get you into the Christmas spirit…
10. Jack Frost (1996)
On the way to his execution, Serial Killer Jack Frost is killed when his transportation truck crashes. Jack is resurrected and turned into a Snowman by a chemical spill. Let’s face it Jack Frost is a really terrible movie, but it is also pretty funny. The deaths are really creative and over the top especially the bathtub scene with Shannon Elizabeth. Besides what says Holiday Cheer more than a homicidal serial killing Snowman!
9. Dead End (2003)
On Christmas Eve a dysfunctional family decide to take a short cut in order to get to their relatives house a little faster. Instead they end up living the nightmare before Christmas on an endless road to nowhere. A Lady in White appears and slowly the family is killed one by one. Then a mysterious driver in a large black antique car takes them away. Dead End is very creepy and effective Thriller. Dead End is a low-budget film that is well written with a fantastic cast including Lyn Shaye.
8. Santa’s Slay (2005)
A not so jolly Old Saint Nick is out for revenge against an angel that beat him in a curling contest long ago so he slays everyone and anyone he comes in contact with. It is a rare and magical thing to find a movie that is so bad that it is actually good. I am not saying that it is a great movie by any means, but it is a good bad movie! There are many flaws but a movie where Santa burns and drowns Fran Drescher can’t be all that bad!
7. Don’t Open ’till Christmas (1984)
Who doesn’t love a good cheesy slasher from the 80s? Don’t Open ‘Till Christmas has all the typical 80s slasher components…bad 80s hair and fashion, an 80s synth score, nudity, and bad acting. From the makers of Pieces, Don’t Open ‘Till Christmas won’t let slasher fans down. It is filled with lots of good gory deaths…14 in fact, including a Santa Claus castration!
6. Christmas Evil (1980)
Christmas Evil AKA You Better Watch Out is about a young boy that gets traumatized by seeing santa Claus and his mother sharing more than just a kiss on Christmas eve. For whatever reason this triggers him to become obsessed with all things Christmas. He even keeps a Naughty and a Nice list of the neighborhood kids. Harry eventually goes off the deep end and leaves a bloody trail behind him on his Christmas rampage. Yet, somehow you still feel a little sorry for Harry, because he just wants everyone to be as crazy about Christmas as he is!
5. Tales From the Crypt (1972)
Joan Collins plays the disgruntled housewife that kills her husband in cold blood on Christmas Eve. Little does she know that an escaped homicidal maniac in a santa suit is on the loose! Amicus anthology movies are always enjoyable and Tales From the Crypt does not disappoint. All through the House is the first story in the anthology. Also Tales From the Crypt TV Series did a gorier and more comedic remake. Both versions are just right for the Christmas Season!
4. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
An archeological dig turns up the long-lost “real” Santa. This isn’t the Jolly Old Elf in a red suit but the darker and more sinister Krampus that kidnaps naughty little children and eats them. Rare Exports is a very dark Comedy set in Finland that is definitely not intended for the kiddies. It is definitely one of my new holiday favourites!
3. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Next up is another Evil Santa that was traumatized by what he saw as a small child. He witnesses his family being brutally slaughtered by a madman dressed as Santa Claus. When Billy grows up he goes crazy and kills people with his axe at Christmas time. Silent Night Deadly Night was blasted by the media when it came out in 1984.
The Parent Teacher Association condemned it and outraged parents protested the movie because it depicted Santa killing people even though Christmas Evil did the same thing. Check out the famous review of SNDN from siskel and Ebert…
2. Gremlins (1984)
So anyone that has seen Gremlins knows the 3 rules for keeping a Mogwai as a pet: don’t expose them to sunlight, don’t get them wet, and whatever you do don’t feed them after midnight! of course rules were meant to be broken and the consequences are Gremlins wreaking havoc all over town. Gremlins has become a christmas tradition in our house. I even have Gremlins as decorations at christmas. Who can resist Gizmo when he makes the pouty face?
1. Black Christmas (1974)
Black Christmas is by far the scariest movie on this list. A group of Sorority Sisters are being harassed by a series of strange phone calls over the Christmas Season. After most of the girls go home for the holidays, the remaining girls are picked of one by one by a heavy breathing Maniac named Billy. Black Christmas was the first in a long string of 70s and 80s slashers, Halloween followed 4 years later and became the most famous of them. Black Christmas is full of suspense and genuinely creepy. The remake from 2006 was gorier but had none of the charm of the older version and the addition of a back story for Billy ruined it for me.
So… with a list of Christmas movies like this, how can you not feel in the mood for a little eggnog and roasted chestnuts? Have a very Merry Scary Christmas!