My love for horror movies started when I was in my weird and awkward tween years, but more recently, I have found more love and appreciation for the classics and newer horror movies. The classics like Friday the 13th, and Halloween, have always been great (even though the makeup and cinematography are extremely dated) but the movies have become iconic as the years go on. Happily, especially in the metal and emo scene of music, my favorite band, Ice Nine Kills, has combined horror movies with the music as they released their album the Silver Scream in 2018, but this album is still one of the best in the scene now. Luckily, the singer for the band, Spencer Charnas, decided to take his favorite Christmas horror film, Silent Night, Deadly Night, and turn it into a festive but edgy metal song entitled, Merry Axemas. With this song, it made me realize how there actually are scary and gruesome horror movies that have the common Christmas images like Santa Claus and reindeer.
Being a fellow fall and horror movie lover, Christmas movies are always too happy for me sometimes. With that being an increasingly controversial opinion for all of the Christmas lovers out there, horror movies have always had a special place in my heart. Luckily, the cinema geniuses of Hollywood have blessed this world with Christmas themed horror movies!
I have compiled my list after binging many, so here is my list of top Christmas horror films!
1. Krampus (2015)
Derived from the creepy Central European lore about a half-goat, half-demon creature, who specifically punishes naughty children during the Christmas season. This horror movie was a hit when it went to theatres. I vividly remember going out of my way to the movie theatre to see this film as it was one of the first horror movies that seemed not “recycled” to me. This story has a central theme of how losing your Christmas spirit can determine your fate for the next year, and with the horror movie twist, it can make your life so difficult and scary. This film is one that everyone should see at least once. You can watch this film on the streaming service Hulu, with a premium subscription.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Not technically a horror movie in my eyes, but I love this movie, along with many other Tim Burton films. This movie combines the musical aspect that many families want to keep their children intrigued in the movie, as well as, the breakthrough animation aspect that this film has become iconic for. With an even mix of Halloween and Christmas in this film, this one is a must-see since Jack and Sally are one of the most memorable fictional animated characters that everyone knows and uses for decorations during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. You can watch this movie on the streaming service of Disney+.
3. Silent Night, Deadly Night and the Sequel (1984/1987)
The best way to describe this movie would be to say that, this movie is a must-see due to the nostalgia factor of 1980s slasher films, and how this is the movie that put Christmas horror movies on the map to Hollywood. This movie is about an orphan who was raised by nuns, who decides to become a toy-store Santa Claus and a killer at the same time. You can watch this movie on YouTube for $1.99 or you can listen to the hit song by Ice Nine Kills, if you like metal, and get an explanation of the story through the song.
4. Black Christmas (2019)
This movie seemed to be extremely stupid to me when it came out, but it has its moments and was way better than I expected it to be. This movie takes place on a college campus, in a Sorority house, over the Christmas break. As the sisters prepare for seasonal parties that they will be throwing, murders start to happen on campus, by a mysterious cloaked figure. This movie has its ups and downs, but is mostly just an average horror film, with some interesting Christmas aspects that you would never see coming. You can watch this movie with a subscription to HBOMax.
5. Better Watch Out (2016)
This film is one of the best recent horror films, especially Christmas ones. Though it may be 4 years old by now, it still is a great film to watch to get into the horror movie spirit around Christmas. Over the break, the main character, Ashely, must go to the suburbs to babysit a family’s son as they travel for the holidays, but unwelcome intruders announce their arrival. You can watch this movie on Tubi.
6. The Children (2008)
This British horror film is one of the scariest of its time of release. Two families decide to spend their holiday together and go to an upscale and expensive estate, but when they arrive in late-December, one of the children become extremely sick and the rest of them become erratic. The children contract a disease that turns them into cold blooded killers, but the parents realize too late. You can watch this film on HBOMax with a subscription.
7. Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
With the name of this movie being extremely straightforward, this movie is about Anna, and her group of friends, trying to survive during a zombie apocalypse during Christmas time. This movie is a musical, but it has some funny moments. You can watch this movie on Hulu with a premium subscription.
8. Christmas Evil (1980)
Alongside Silent Night, Deadly Night, this movie has the same 1980s slasher movie nostalgia that people love and keep going back for more of, and ironically enough, they have a similar story line. This movie is about a toy-maker who suffers a mental breakdown after his toys are met with hypocrisy and being cynical that he decides to go on a killing spree. You can watch this movie on Vudu.
9. Saint (2010)
With a solid combination of horror and comedy, this movie tells the story of when Santa Claus comes to life under a full moon and terrorizes Amsterdam by killing children. This story is morbid but it is a great horror movie to watch. You can watch this movie on YouTube for $2.99.
10. Santa Claws (1996)
Being one of the best slasher movies, Santa Claws is about a woman who is struggling through her marriage and her neighbor has started to stalk her and will do anything to make her happy again. His mental health begins to deteriorate and he then starts dressing up like Santa and killing people with a claw. You cannot unfortunately stream this movie anywhere.
I hope you guys like this list and can love two of the best holidays at once like I do. Happy Holidays!