It’s the holiday season. It’s a time to put up a tree and sing catchy Christmas tunes. A time to bake cookies and write letters to Santa. A time to shop for presents and for snow to fall. A time to spend with loved ones and watch plenty of heartwarming holiday movies. If you are like me, you like to mix it up a little bit. There are so many Christmas-themed horror films out there. A lot of bad ones but there are definitely some classics and gems that deserve a holiday viewing. These are some of the best Christmas horror movies.
Black Christmas (1974)
Over Christmas Break, a group of sorority girls gets picked off one by one by a killer who may be closer than they think.
In my opinion, this is not only the best Christmas-themed horror film but one of the better horror films of all time. The movie is chilling as we see almost everything from the killer’s point of view. We don’t really know who he is but we always know where he is. When we see what he sees and hear his breathing, it truly is uncomfortable.
The movie also has a great cast that consists of Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, and John Saxon. It is also directed by Bob Clark. A man who many say directed two of the best Christmas movies of all time. One is this one and the other is A Christmas Story. Yep. The man who made one of the most beloved Christmas movies also made one of the scariest. Black Christmas is a tense horror film that is not to be missed.
Gremlins is a Christmas classic but it also has some horror moments for sure so it makes this list. Mogwai can be great pets. Never expose them to sunlight. Never get them wet. Never feed them after midnight. Billy doesn’t listen and hell breaks loose in the town.
Gizmo is cute and cuddly and the gremlins can be comedic but let’s not forget that these gremlins commit plenty of murders. Zach Galligan, Dick Miller, and Corey Fieldman make up a likable cast. Pheobe Cates though has what is probably the most horrific scene in the film. Randomly she tells the tale of why she hates Christmas. It all had to do with the death of her father long ago. It is an uncomfortable place scene but Gremlins as a whole feels out of place in the best way.
It’s a horror film. It’s a comedy. It’s a Christmas movie. It’s a little bit of everything and a great time.
Anna and the Apocalypse
It’s Christmas time and Anna and her friends have to make it through a zombie apocalypse. They make their way through the town and toward the school in order to save their loved ones.
I cannot recommend this movie enough. When I heard a gory horror comedy featuring zombies and musical numbers was coming out, I knew I had to see it. It sounded insane. I just had no idea how good it was actually going to be. The writing is great and the tone is consistent. When it’s time to be comedic, the movie nails it. When it wants you to feel something, it nails it.
The songs are insanely creative as well and catchy. This one has definitely become on my yearly viewing list.
Thomas is a boy who is obsessed with action films and gadgets. A deranged man dressed like Santa breaks into the boy’s house wanting to harm everyone inside. Thomas has to defend his family now at any cost.
This is a french film that is very similar to Home Alone if Home Alone was even more messed up. The director even claimed that Home Alone remade his movie. It is possible since this one came out first.
This movie is such a bizarre fun time. Booby Traps are everywhere and if you are tired of seeing Home Alone all the time, give this horror alternative a shot.
A pregnant woman is alone on Christmas Eve when a psychotic stranger tries to break in. Will she survive the night? What does this stranger want?
This is a brutal movie. It isn’t your typical heartwarming Christmas film but it is memorable and it will stick with you. The second french film on this list and it definitely deserves its spot here. The movie is suspenseful from beginning to end. Horrifying every minute and really character-driven with fantastic performances. Truly one of the most creative horror films of all time.
Once upon a time, Santa lost a bet to an angel and because of it, he had to spread Christmas cheer for 1000 years. 1000 years is up now though and Santa can go back to his evil killing ways.
Just that premise alone should pique your interest. The fact that Santa has been pretending to be nice for all these years is hilarious. Bill Goldberg who people might know from WCW and WWE plays Santa and it is as wild and silly as you can imagine. It is full of gore, and Christmas puns, but overall it is a harmless good time.
Killer Jack Frost is set to be put to death but when a strange accident turns him into a snowman he escapes. Now he is after the town and sheriff who put him away.
You thought that the last movie on this list was silly. This is silly. It is a killer snowman flick. What more can you want? It is definitely corny as can be but everyone looks like they are having a good time. Seeing a snowman chase and kill people in multiple ways is wildly entertaining. We also get to see a young Shannon Elizabeth here.
Silent Night Deadly Night
Billy as a kid witnessed his parents being murdered by a man dressed in a Santa outfit. Years later Billy works in a toy store and seems to be doing well until something triggers his memories and sends poor Billy on a killing spree.
This is another one that should be for Christmas viewing annually. Yes, the movie has cool kills and a fun plot but it also has a sympathetic main character. Billy is traumatized and he tries to live a normal life but he is doomed to fail. For an 80’s B movie slasher, the film has some very good cinematography. Scream queen Linnea Quigley also makes an appearance in what makes the most memorable kill of the movie and the best kill to involve antlers.
The Christmas Tale
Five kids discover a woman dressed like Santa stuck in a pit in the woods. They believe her to be a criminal who has stolen money. Instead of helping her out of the pit, they leave her there and try to find the money. Once she escapes though, the children are going to wish they didn’t mess with her.
This Spanish horror film is a twisted one that is highly entertaining. There are a lot of cool ’80s references in this one as it is set in the 80s. You never really know where the movie is going next. It starts off as just an 80s-themed kids’ movie. It turns into a hostage film. Next a slasher film and eventually a zombie film. Yes, I said a zombie film. You also root for the kids but once they try to get the money for themselves you root against them. This movie has a little bit of everything for the holiday season.
These are just some of the many Christmas horror films that are out there. How many have you seen? Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments.