It’s Christmas time! It’s time for peace on Earth, good will toward men. It’s also time for stressing out over shopping, work, the economy and the family. What a better time for a horror marathon! Here are some great selections for Christmas time horror viewing. Admittedly some of these films are corny, campy or just plain bad, but all have either a Christmas setting or feel to them. Some will scare you, some will may you laugh, some will make you groan, and with some you might need to spike the Christmas eggnog to truly enjoy.
1. Black Christmas
Created by Bob Clark the director of A Christmas Story, this movie is the standard for Christmas time horror. A mysterious killer is knocking off a group of sorority sisters one at a time at Christmas. Who is the killer? Watch it and find out, maybe. One of the movies credited with starting the slasher genre, Black Christmas predates Halloween by several years, and is also one of the first “ killer is calling from inside the house” movies. It recently was submitted to the sub par remake treatment.
Chucky has became a household name, along with other killers such as Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers and a lot of people forget that he started out as a Christmas present. Possessed by the soul of murdered Charles Lee Ray the original Chucky was a vicious killer. While later movies have played up the comedic side of a possessed doll, the original is a true horror classic that often gets overlooked as a Christmas horror movie.
3. Tales From The Crypt (1972)
Watch this classic for the segment “All Through the House” that stars Joan Collins as a woman who murders her husband on Christmas Eve. She then gets trapped in her house by an escaped lunatic. This episode was remade for the Tales from The Crypt TV series with Larry Drake playing the axe wielding psycho. Both are great holiday watching.
Despite many people labeling this as children’s fare, the first Gremlins was a wickedly evil little movie. Cute little critter suddenly become homicidal when their owners don’t follow the instruction manual. “Don’t feed them after midnight” has become a iconic line in pop culture. Stars Phoebe Cates, Corey Feldman, and Hoyt Axton.
5. Silent Night, Deadly Night
The most controversial movie in the list, this movie about a insane killer dressed as Santa terrorizing Christmas had parents up in arms. Without the controversy the movie would likely have faded into obscurity. The protests did get the film yanked from theaters, but the film, honestly isn’t that good and probably would have died a quick, natural death. The protests kept it alive and to many it is considered a mini cult classic. While not a good film it is better than the sequels and worth a Christmas look, just to see what all the fuss was about
6. And All Through The House (TV series)
An excellent remake of the classic episode from the 1972 film, this made for TV effort stars Larry Drake as the axe wielding Santa out for blood. It is a faithful adaptation and Drake is wonderful in the role. John Kassir as the Crypt keeper has become a horror icon. Definitely a holiday classic.
7. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Not really a horror movie but a animated classic that does have is spooky moments, especially for the kids. The tale of Jack Skellington is a great little movie for the whole family to enjoy this Christmas. Based on a story by Tim Burton it features the Danny Elfman providing the singing voice for Jack, while Chris Sarandon provides his voice when not in song.
8. Let the Right One In
The best movie on the list is not really a Christmas movie. However the snowy landscape of the Swedish setting makes this a great movie to watch during Christmas time. Want another good reason to watch this during the holidays? It’s one of the best horror movies in years, and one of the best movies of the decade. A vampire tale, but it is also a story about friendship, pain, and discovering first love. A remake is in the works, but check out the original before you watch the American version.
9. Santa’s Slay
A surprisingly good little Christmas shocker that reinvents Santa as a demon, bound by a lost wager to do good. What happens when the bet is off? Santa is free to resume his demonic proclivities such as murder, mayhem, and just general badness. Stars former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg as a not so jolly Saint Nick.
10. Jack Frost.
A dead serial killer ( where have we heard that before?) returns as a demonic snowman. Frosty he isn’t, as Jack goes on a murderous rampage in pursuit of the Sheriff who killed him. Watch for Shannon Elizabeth, of American Pie fame, in a very memorable scene with Jack and his carrot.
Well that’s the list. Hopefully this can give you a good starting point for a holiday marathon. There are more Christmas and winter themed movies out there such as Christmas Evil, Elves and Ghost Story that you can check out for more winter fun.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas