ByDean Round, writer at
Fan of good ol' slasher films. Love me a bit of Jaws too!
Dean Round

What's so scary about an old man in a red jumpsuit...breaking into your the middle of the night...while you're asleep...carrying a sack....?

OK, I see it now. Santaphobia is the fear of the great man himself, Santa Claus. But is there any one part of this phobia that stands out in particular? Is it his size? Is it the beard? Is it a combination of the both?

Perhaps this list of films that feature Santa Claus can answer that question. These films feature Saint Nick in all his murderous glory! And don't forget to sound off in the comments section below!

Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984)

Don't Open Till Christmas is a 1984 horror/mystery film.

The movie follows a mystery assailant who has very little Christmas spirit. Going on a mass killing spree in a Santa suit, detectives from Scotland Yard have the unenviable task of stopping the assailant before he makes his murders an annual tradition.

You can watch the trailer here.

Sint A.K.A. Saint Nick (2010)

Sint (released as Saint in Europe and Saint Nick in the United States) is a 2010 Dutch horror film where the 5th of December is a date to remember.

Back in 1492, Niklas (a former Bishop) and his gang, are murdered by villagers who have had enough of their constant violence and looting. The murders took place on the 5th of December, but whenever there is a full moon on this date in the future, the gang return as vengeful, murderous ghosts.

Until now, the last time the murderous gang appeared, was in 1968. Slaughtering hundreds of people, a young boy named Goert was the only survivor of his family after they succumbed to the onslaught. Now a police officer, Goert is concerned about the looming 5th of December, but the authorities believe there is nothing to fear.

Goert's predictions come true, and on the 5th of December 2010, the murderous ghosts return, killing hundreds of villagers. With the ghosts being immune to firearms, is there any way that they can be banished...forever?

You can watch the trailer here.

Satan Claus (1996)

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,

Thy leaves are so unchanging

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,

Thy branches are made from dead bodies.

Ah what a lovely lyric... and such an apt one for the 1996 horror film Satan Claus.

On Christmas Eve, a serial killer decides to don a Santa Claus outfit, travelling the streets of new York in search of blood.

If that wasn't bad enough, he then adorns his Christmas tree with the body parts of the victims.

But can a rag-tag group of people, including a police officer, her boyfriend actor and a woman who deals in voodoo, stop him before the death toll rises?

You can watch a clip of the film here.

Psycho Santa (2003)

Psycho Santa (2003), is a horror anthology with inter-winding stories with linking segments.

Whilst driving to a Christmas holiday party, a young man called Ron, reveals to his girlfriend the story of a psychopathic Santa with an ax to grind. Stalking the backwoods region for years, Ron continues to describe three urban legends regarding the homicidal maniac.

But what Ron is saying is make believe, right? He'll soon find out!

Santa Claws A.K.A. 'Tis the Season (1996)

Santa Claws is a 1996 horror film directed by the great John A. Russo (The Return of the Living Dead, 1985 and Night of the Living Dead, 1990).

The film revolves around an actress called Raven, who is famous for her horror movie roles. Following the failure of her marriage, she gains custody of her daughters and decides to raise them by herself. Luckily, her neighbor, Wayne, is on hand, and he offers great emotional support as well as providing baby-sitting duties.

But is Wayne everything that he seems to be? Course not! When he was younger, Wayne was involved in a few murders, and his new target is Raven.

Building a shrine to Raven, which includes photographs and a mannequin resembling the actress, Wayne starts to get jealous of Ravens co-workers, particularly the attention they seem to be showering her with.

As his jealousy gets stronger, Wayne starts to murder Raven's co-actors whilst dressed as Santa, using his favorite weapon, a claw.

You can watch the trailer here.

Tales From The Crypt, segment 1 "And All Through The House” (1972)

Tales from the Crypt (1972) (segment 1: And All Through The House) stars Joan Collins (Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism, 2015 and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, 2016) as Joanne Clayton, a woman who kills her husband in order to get her hands on his life insurance.

Following on from the murder, Clayton hears that the police are looking for a serial killer who is dressed up in a Santa outfit. But what can she do when the man knocks on her door? She can't call the police, as the husbands corpse is still in the house.

Locking all the windows and doors, she goes in search for her daughter...but a lethal surprise awaits her.

Tales From The Crypt, “And All Through The House” (1989)

Directed by Oscar winning Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, 1985, The Walk, 2015), this story retreads the plot of the film above.

You can watch the trailer here.

All through the house (2015)

All Through the House is a 2015 horror film, which acts as a homage to some of the great slasher films of the 1980's.

Fifteen years ago, in Napa, California, a five year old girl was abducted from her bedroom, where there has been no trace of her since.

In the present day, Rachel Kimmel is celebrating her Christmas break, only to find that the neighborhood has been struck by terror.

A psychopathic killer, who hides behind a Santa costume, has started to leave a trail of bodies behind him. Could Rachel be the one to stop him?

You can watch the trailer for the film here.

Christmas Cruelty! (2013)

Christmas Cruelty is a 2013 film from Norway.

The movie throws the viewer straight into the action, showing a bound and bloody family succumbing to a Santa-clad sadistic psychopath.

Later, we see the villain target his new victims, a group of teenagers who are looking for a few thrills themselves.

Will the teenagers survive? Or will Santa deck their halls with blood?

You can watch the trailer here.

To All A Good Night (1980)

To All a Goodnight is a 1980 horror/mystery film directed by horror icon David Hess (The Last House on the Left 1972, House on the Edge of the Park 1980, Swamp Thing 1982 and Cabin Fever 2002).

On the two year anniversary of a young girl being killed during a prank, a party is being planned at the Calvin Finishing School for Girls. Smuggling in their boyfriends, the party is ready to start...apart from the unwelcome guest dressed in a Santa Claus costume, who decides to murder the couples one at a time.

Can these events have something to do with the death of the young girl two years earlier?

Yule Die (2010)

Yule Die is a 2010 horror film which focuses around a young girl named Emily.

Emily, as with so many of these Christmas films, has a severe phobia of Santa Claus, freezing with fear at the slightest mention of his name. She has a good reason for this, however, as a year prior, Emily was almost abducted by a man named Jack Winter. Luckily though, good guy Nick was on hand to disarm Winter, and he was sent to prison.

When they discover that Winter has escaped from prison, Emily and her mother are offered the opportunity to go and stay with Nick at his deserted....cabin in the woods (yep!).

When Emily's father discovers that they have gone away with Nick, plus Jack Winter on the loose, their retreat may not be one they will live to tell.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a 2010 fantasy/horror film from Finland.

During an archaeological dig on Christmas Eve, a scientist and his team uncover a sacred grave. One problem though, the resident of the grave is Santa Claus, and he isn't dead.

Not long after him being unearthed, reindeer are killed and children start to disappear. It soon comes to light that the Santa Claus that they discovered is an alien being who doesn't care about bringing presents to the good children. His motto is to punish the bad!

A father and son team decide to capture Santa Claus with the agenda of selling him back to the scientists who discovered him.

But there is one thing they didn't count on...Santa's elves!

You can watch the trailer here.

Silent Night Zombie Night (2009)

Silent Night, Zombie Night is a 2009 horror film by Sean Cain.

Starring Vernon Wells (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 2016) and Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, 1983), the film centers around a viral outbreak which turns the population of L.A. into zombies.

This happens a week before Christmas too. Typical!

You can watch the trailer here.

Santa’s Slay (2005)

Directed by David Steiman (Rush Hour 2, 2001), Santa's Slay is a 2005 comedy, fantasy, horror film starring Douglas Smith (Terminator Genisys, 2015) and Emilie de Ravin (Once Upon a Time 2011– ).

When Santa Claus becomes the giver of toys and happiness at Christmas time, it's only because he lost a bet with an Angel. But after the bet is off, Santa goes back to what he was before... a demon!

You can watch the trailer here.

Nixon and Hogan Smoke Christmas (2010)

Imagine Santa Claus turning into a brain-eating zombie after smoking a dangerous batch of marijuana. Well, that's exactly what happens in the 2010 film Nixon and Hogan Smoke Christmas.

The film takes place on Christmas Eve, and follows the characters Nixon and Hogan. The two stoners only have one thing on their Christmas list: a nice, fresh bag of Columbian marijuana.

Good old Santa Claus is happy to help the duo, but by mistake, he grabs the wrong stash from Sasparilla the Weed Witch. This is a big mistake, as the stolen stash turns poor Mr. Claus into the undead.

Desperate to deliver all the presents to the expectant children, he has to enlist the help of Nixon and Hogan to help ensure that Christmas has a happy ending.

You can watch the trailer here.

Christmas Evil (a.k.a. You Better Watch Out) (1980)

Christmas Evil is a slasher film from 1980, which was originally released under the title of You Better Watch Out.

The film centers around a young man called Harry, who witnesses his mother being groped by his father, who is dressed up in a Santa Claus suit.

As an adult, Harry works in a toy factory, but it soon dawns on him that his colleagues constantly exploit his bigheartedness. This constant exploitation causes Harry to have a nervous breakdown, and soon he is convinced that he truly is Santa Claus.

Deciding on who has been naughty and who has been nice, Harry goes about wielding an ax in true Christmas fashion!

You can watch the trailer here.

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Silent Night, Deadly Night is a 1984 slasher film directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr. The story follows a young man called Billy, who, at five years old, witnesses the murder of his parents by a robber dressed in a Santa Claus costume.

Put into an orphanage with his younger brother Ricky, a man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit comes to visit the children on Christmas day. Naturally, Billy is terrified and ends up punching him in the face.

When he is 18, Billy leaves the orphanage and gets a job at a toy store, but Christmas is looming, and he is forced into dressing up as Santa on Christmas Eve. Big mistake!

Billy snaps, and donning the Santa outfit, he goes on a killing spree.

The film has gained a somewhat cult-following and has spawned five sequels, and a remake.

You can watch the trailer here.

Silent Night (2012)

Silent Night (2012) is based very loosely on the film mentioned above. It was directed by Steven C. Miller (Under the Bed, 2012 and Extraction, 2015) and stars Malcolm McDowell (TripTank, 2014– ) and Jaime King (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 2008–2015, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, 2014).

The film follows a revenge-seeking madman, dressed up as Santa Claus. With the small-town sheriff and his deputy in hot pursuit, they try and locate him before a massacre really starts.

They manage to locate him, unfortunately though, the annual Christmas parade is in full swing, and this naughty Santa can now easily blend into the crowd!

You can watch the trailer here.

So, with all that blood and guts, I hope this Christmas is one that you will all remember (for good reasons, obviously).


Do you prefer Santa Claus to be portrayed as a good-guy or a villain?


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