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‘Tis the Season: 10 Christmas Horror Movies You Should See

'Tis the Season: 10 Christmas Horror Movies You Should See

by Jessica Gomez on December 12th, 2018 | |

Christmas time is officially upon us, and what better way to get into the spirit of the holidays than to celebrate with yuletide cheer – and a bunch of Christmas-themed horror movies, of course. From old slashers to new Krampus warnings, here are our favorite Christmas horror movies.

1. To All a Good Night (1980)

A group of college kids throw a small party at school during Christmas break. Though dated and featuring some lackluster acting, To All a Good Night still holds up in many ways – and it gets special props for being the first movie ever to have the killer dressed as Santa Claus. The musical score is used effectively, only gracing the screen when danger lurks nearby. The film has a very April Fool’s Day vibe with kill scenes similar to Halloween, with a dash of Friday the 13th mixed in. You can watch the entire movie right here, right now!

2. Body (2015)

Cali brings two friends to her uncle’s empty mansion to party during Christmas – or so she tells them. It’s only a matter of time before things go horribly awry. Body is a tale about the human condition and the lengths some will go to for self-preservation, with heart-wrenching results. Alexandra Turshen’s stellar acting sets this one apart from other small indie flicks. At just over an hour, this is a quick watch with a big punch.

3. Black Christmas (1974)

There’s no Santa to speak of in the classic Black Christmas, but no matter – it’s made creepier by the unknown killer calling himself Billy who’s been making obscene phone calls to a sorority house. A group of girls stay at their house during Christmas break until Billy starts picking them off one by one. In the vein of When a Stranger Calls, this cult favorite is one of the first slasher films ever made, and it’s a great horror film to watch any time of the year. One of my personal favorites. Watch the full movie right here!

4. Krampus (2015)

Young Max is upset when his family can’t get along on Christmas. Krampus, the demon who, in folklore, punishes bad children, is summoned with the boy’s disheartened outlook causes him to rip up a letter to Santa. It’s a horror film with a sweet message – don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas, and appreciate your loved ones – or Krampus will come to torture you.

5. Home for the Holidays (1974)

Jessica Walter and Sally Field star in this impressive TV movie that, although set at Christmas time, uses stormy weather to set the mood. Four sisters return home for the holidays to care for their sick father, who is so convinced that his new wife is trying to poison him that he asks his daughters to take care of business. He is brushed off at first, but a series of strange events begin to unravel, and it soon becomes apparent that someone really is trying to harm their family. Watch the entire movie right here!

6. Santa’s Slay (2005)

If you’re looking for some comedy with your horror this season, Santa’s Slay is raunchy, gross, and utterly insane. Santa is evil in this flick, and he’s on a killing spree murdering people all through town – I’d venture a guess that this movie provides the most Santa kills, and most of them include rock music, adding to the absurdity. How can you pass up a horror movie that includes Fran DrescherChris Kattan and WWE star Bill Goldberg, and ends with Santa taking off on a Zamboni?

7. Jack Frost (1997)

bad jack forst horror snowman

This is the One

I remember walking by Jack Frost at my local Blockbuster as a child and wanting to see it while simultaneously being scared of the cover – which cracks me up now that I’ve seen it. (Not to be confused with the heartwarming film featuring Michael Keaton of the same title (and same plot..?) that came out the following year.) This hilariously bad straight-to-video snowman killer thriller is about a man who is on his way to death row when he gets into a car accident, somehow transforming him into a snowman – but with the same deviant mind, hell-bent on revenge. You’ll die laughing at the ultra low budget and campiness of it all with some truly terrible one-liners, but you’ll still get some effective gore with the murder scenes. The best of both worlds.

8. Christmas Evil AKA You Better Watch Out (1980)

A boy is forever scarred when he sees “Santa” getting naughty under the Christmas tree with his mom. What results is a psychopath who becomes obsessed with being Santa Claus, even going so far as to keep a list of names – except his list contains notes on all of the bad things people are doing. Let’s just say the bad list gets more than a lump of coal. In Christmas Evil, we watch as a man descends into madness, and although the ending is truly bizarre, the entire film keeps you on edge. This one should be on everyone’s list this year – it’s chillier than a snowy Christmas night. Watch the full film right here, right now!

9. A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

William Shatner narrates Christmas anthology A Christmas Horror Story as we see tales of Krampus, sinister ghosts, crazed elves, and a murderous Santa. Some parts are truly terrifying, and others are a bit ridiculous, but I did not see the ending coming, and it was a huge payoff. This one is a lot of fun while still having tense and scary moments, and it probably has the best SFX on this list. The re-watchability factor is high, which makes this a Christmas favorite that can be enjoyed every year.

10. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

A man witnessed his parents’ murder as a boy by a thief dressed as Santa, and was then abused by a nun at his orphanage, where he learned that sex is a sin. When he sees a couple having sex, he is triggered and completely snaps, leading him on murderous rampage dressed in Santa Claus garb.

Silent Night, Deadly Night is a cult classic, mainly for its infamous reputation – even Siskel and Ebert had a problem seeing Santa wielding an axe, and parents throughout the country tried to stop its release. It’s disappointing that they didn’t see that the themes in the film were actually ahead of its time, taking on the Catholic Church and the abuses and psychological damage that it caused in its orphanages. Their resistance was futile, only adding to the notoriety, and now generations years later are still watching the most notorious Santa killer movie of all time.

These are our favorite films to keep our blood pumping through the ice-cold, but there’s always more to share…what are some of your favorite Christmas horror movies? Comment below, and from all of us at AllHorror, have a very scary Christmas!

All Horror Contributor

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