So, you're about to hang stockings by the fire and put up that epic Christmas tree that's sure to outdo the neighbors pitiful effort. December is usually a very festive month as we get closer to the big day of eating presents and opening turkey (scratch that, reverse it). However, if you're like me then you get a bit tired of the usual re-runs of A Wonderful Life and Home Alone (don't get me wrong, they are good movies) and start to look for something with a bit more edge. Well, you're in the right place, as I've compiled a list of 8 Christmas #horror movies/TV shows that will help you get through the holidays without resorting to a full on Jack Nicholson from #TheShining family massacre — well, maybe. Let's begin:
8. 'Christmas Evil' (1980)
In #ChristmasEvil, a mentally scarred toy factory worker has a nervous breakdown over Christmas (how unlikely) and dons a Santa suit to go find out who's been naughty and who's been even worse. One of the first of the "Santa-goes-on-killing-spree" sub-genre that seems to be even more popular today strangely. Watch the full movie here.
7. 'Twilight Zone': Night Of The Meek (1985)
Part of the first season of the '80s revival of the now-legendary Rod Serling series #TheTwilightZone. In fact, it's a remake of the same-titled story, which revolves around a drunk department store Santa who gets fired on Christmas Eve. All he wants to do is give presents to EVERY needy child in the city and when he comes across a magical never-ending sack of toys it looks like his wish is granted. A quaint little gem and worth seeing if you've never caught it before. Watch it here.
6. 'Silent Night, Bloody Night' (1972)
When a man inherits his father's mansion that was formerly a mental institution, he stirs up an unsolved murder and secret that the town has tried to hide for a long time. A creepy, atmospheric movie that really shocked audiences on release, see it here.
5. 'Jack Frost' (1997)
No, its not the Michael Keaton family favorite, but a true Christmas-nasty. Basically, a serial killer dies and comes back as a homicidal snowman intent on getting revenge against anyone who convicted him. I don't need to tell you its a cheesy, low-budget monstrosity that combines bad acting with a cheap snowman prop. Hell, I don't just recommend seeing it — I want you to show all the family. See it here now.
4. 'Elves' (1989)
Anyone on here like puppets? Well if not, you'll hate this crazy-plotted flick. Basically, a left-over Nazi plan to create a race of supermen is triggered in modern day with the use of an evil elf creature hell-bent on bringing back the master race. I'd love to see a documentary exploring this film and what they were thinking during the shoot. See it here.
3. 'Tales From The Crypt': And All Through The House
An early episode from the anthology horror TV show #TalesFromTheCrypt that gave me nightmares when I was a kid. When a money-grubbing wife murders her husband on Christmas Eve, complications to her plan arise in the form of an escaped mental patient who just happens to be dressed as old St Nick. A fun little TV treat that was formerly adapted in the '70s with Joan Collins being harassed by the evil Santa. Watch this version now.
2. 'The Woman In Black' (1989)
Now you might point out this isn't exactly a Christmas-themed horror film, BUT it did debut on Christmas Eve 27 years ago and it certainly taps into the autumn/winter time frame. When a young solicitor is sent to an old manor house in the country he falls afoul of a supernatural presence that threatens to destroy his sanity for good. I wrote a full article (here) on this movie's impact on an unsuspecting audience, watch it here now.
1. 'Black Christmas' (1974)
#BlackChristmas is one of the best Christmas slasher movies of all time and it unbelievably beat #JohnCarpenter's Halloween by a full four years. During the Christmas break, a group of sorority sisters are menaced by a series of disturbing phone calls from a psychopathic killer. Genuinely creepy and original, it got a decent-ish remake in 2006's Black Xmas. See the true classic here.
Watch my quick-fire review of all those festive treats in my Christmas Special video below:
You Guys Give Up? Or You Thirsty For More?
Well if you're still here and simply want more #XmasHorror then stick around a little longer as I round up a few decent Independent short-film efforts for your consideration.
When Christmas trees are ripped from mother Earth and humiliatingly covered in colorful tinsel they begin to hatch a plan to kill everyone who enslaved them. Fun little short from cult director Jason Eisener of Hobo With A Shotgun, V/H/S/2 and ABC's of Death fame. Only watch if you don't want to associate Christmas trees with murder.
'The Phone Call' (2015)
An animated #creepypasta story from the Mr. Nightmare #YouTube channel. Two teens get a phone call from their uncle, but after receiving the same call again they realize that someone else is on the other end. A staple horror tale in the urban legends vein, check it out.
'Deathly Presents' (2015)
From the Bloody Cuts YouTube team comes this frightful festive treat. All you need to know is a small boy receives a Christmas present from something much older and darker then Santa Claus. You've got to love these filmmakers and if you haven't seen their work before then you're missing out, visit their official YouTube channel here.
'Christmas Presence' (2015)
Taking a last minute babysitting job on Christmas Eve, a girl starts to wonder if she's completely alone in the house. Extremely well shot with some terrific production value this shorts a fun must-see, if not a little predictable.
'Mr. Frosty Man' (2012)
Fantastic claymation music video from the mind of Lee Hardcastle, director of the ABCs of Death: T is For Toilet segment. I'm saying nothing, just watch it and you won't regret it.
'All Through The House' (2014)
A truly creepy Christmas nightmare, all shot from the perspective of a little boy on Christmas Eve. Stylish, well shot and genuinely surprising, this one will leave you breathless.
'Lights Out: Christmas Story' (1937)
A retro audio-horror tale here from the days when you had to sit around a radio and use your imagination a little bit. Frankly I can't get enough of old school audio dramas and I'd highly recommend YOU getting into them.