November is here, which means it’s time for our nation’s favorite holiday. Gather your family, whip up a grand feast, look back on what this year has left you thankful for, and celebrate Pre-Christmas!
Yes, Halloween is out, and Christmas is in! The leaves are changing, which means that Santa’s elves are hard at work, preparing for a hearty Pre-Christmas dinner of turkey and cranberry sauce.
As long as we all have to accept that jingles will ring, department store shelves will be adorned with clearance decorations, and mirth will be mercilessly forced upon us, you might as well curl up by a roaring fire and put on some holiday horror. The snow shouldn’t be the only thing sending chills down your spine this Christmahanakwanzika (or you could live in San Diego like I do, where it is eternally 80 degrees and sunny).
So sit back, roast some chestnuts over that open fire, and check out the Top 5 Christmas Horror Movies to Give You Some Yuletide Chills!
1) A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
When Ebenezer Scrooge woke up on Christmas morning and threw open his window to asks what day it was, it seems foolish he didn’t just observe the zombie elves, murderous children, and birth of the Antichrist and deduce, “Why, it’s Christmas day!” I mean, if anything, the rampaging Krampus should have been a clear giveaway. A Christmas Horror Story is the perfect kind of insane, mixing myth and holiday merriment in a most subversive way. The film is a hell of a lot of fun, swapping from gory zombie action to creepy fucked-up kids without feeling bipolar. Wrap it all up in a package topped with a drunk Will Shatner radio DJ bow, and you’ve got the perfect gift to give yourself this Christmas.
2) Black Christmas (1974)
Where would we be without Black Christmas? Credited as one of the original slasher movies, it influenced titles like Friday the 13th and Halloween. The film shocked audiences when it was released, which prevented it from being a critical and theatrical success. However, the progressive level of violence and raunchy humor has earned the film a lasting cult status. On top of that, it practically created the idea of a faceless and unknown killer. There are plenty of little clues and hints, but we are never given a concrete answer. Every masked killer movie owes part of its identity to Black Christmas. If you haven’t see it, go pull it off the shelf of any horror fan.
3) A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
If you don’t think that a Disney movie can be on a horror list, then go find a single child who saw this movie and didn’t shit his or her pants over the Oogie Boogie man, and get back to me. No? Couldn’t find any? Then let’s continue.
Growing up in the 90’s, I’m confident saying that A Nightmare Before Christmas is responsible for converting more children to horror fandom than any other film. The combination of Tim Burton’s surreal visual direction and the patented Disney level of animated quality has made the film both unique and timeless. It’s a movie I can sit down and watch with my five-year-old niece, and the mixed look of dread and wonder on her face is a Christmas present in itself. You might think yourself a bit too old to check it out for the first time, but I assure you: You’re never too old to enjoy a singing bag of bugs torture Santa Claus!
4) Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
Murderous Santas have seen their fair share of screentime. These films generally involve some kind of deranged, demonic Saint Nicholas, and are 9/10 times shit. Rare Exports goes in a different direction: Santa isn’t some dude with an axe, but an animal. He’s a creature in this movie, a force of nature more akin to a wolf or gorilla than a man. Dirty, feral, and bloodthirsty, this Santa is no children’s story. As to why a feral Santa is tearing through a small Norwegian reindeer-hunting town, the film has a pretty excellent plot twist. The ending is unforgettable, injecting a serious dark comedic twist to an already macabre black comedy. If you’re a fan of naked superpowered bearded fat men ripping dudes in half, then you should definitely import this rare treat.
5) Sint (Saint) (2010)
This is probably the hardest to find film on the list. After searching my standards sources of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube, I couldn’t find a single copy that wasn’t dubbed in something other than English. If you can get your hands on it, Sint tells the “murderous Santa” tale better than most. A dark comedy through and through, that doesn’t mean that Sint is sparse on the bloodshed. Storywise, it’s a bit dumb, smacking of the “only one guy who accepts something crazy is going on” syndrome, aka “of course it’s ghosts, it’s obviously ghosts, stop saying there’s a rational explanation.” When a spectral Saint Nick starts riding across rooftops and slicing off heads, you’ll be more than happy to accept the flimsy framework. The film is a blast and good for some brainless holiday fun.
There you have it, folks… Five Frightful Films for Fireside Fun, Yuletide Yips, Holiday Horror, and Christmas Chills. If you’re looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, then you’re in luck because A Christmas Horror Story is coming to Blu-ray and DVD on November 24th, giving you a full month to contemplate ordering it, then dashing to the story and picking it off the shelf December 24th an hour before the store closes.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite holiday horror flick? Do you have any films you watch as a tradition? Let me know below!