The Holidays are here again, and this special time of year just isn’t complete without a marathon of Christmas Horror Movies to get your blood pumping. While the list you’re about to see isn’t exhaustive, these do happen to be the only Christmas Horror Movies we feel are worth your time. Not included because they’re anthologies that only partially deal with the holiday: the Tales from the Crypt movie and, later, the HBO series’ season one premiere. In both cases, the filmmakers adapt “And All Through the House,” a famous story from The Vault of Horror comic magazine. They are equally excellent, though significantly different adaptations. Now on with the list!
6. Black X-Mas (2006)
Black X-Mas is a really bad remake but that doesn’t keep it from being a fun horror film. This time around the smart direction and storytelling of Bob Clark’s original is traded in for blood and guts and one really creepy killer. (There are two in the film, and no, that isn’t a spoiler, but only Agnes is unsettling.) The kills are gruesome and over-the-top. The backstory is silly and drains the original of its mystery. Still a good time, though, and very festive.
5. To All A Good Night
Not as slickly made as Black X-Mas, but it gains something in the recent Blu-ray release, which is the first time this 1980s slasher has seen a legit release since the early days of VHS. Nothing much to know beyond that. Just a killer in a Santa costume offing college coeds one-by-one.
4. Silent Night
A bit too stylish and slickly made for my tastes, but it does deliver the gruesome goods, and it’s a pretty well-acted yarn that has more than enough Killer Santa to keep hardcore slasher fans interested. One improvement over the original: putting Santa in a mask. Much creepier look.
3. Silent Night, Bloody Night
If we were going by smart, this would be No. 2 on the list instead of No. 3 with the new Nos. 3-6 way, way behind. Silent Night, Bloody Night is a great old school horror film with enough blood to keep the gorehounds interested but enough story and superb acting (for a horror movie) to engage viewers, who are more into mystery than horror. It’s a murder mystery tied to a dark, desolate house. A real atmospheric chiller.
2. Silent Night, Deadly Night
No. 4 on this list of Christmas Horror Movies is actually a remake of this film, which tends to revel in its blood and gore and nudity. If that’s how you like your horror films, then you won’t be disappointed here, even three decades after it was made. A boy witnesses his father’s murder and his mother’s brutal sexual assault and murder. He and his younger brother are sent to an orphanage, where he is sternly disciplined and terrorized with thoughts of Santa Claus. (Oh, by the way, his parents’ killer was wearing a Santa suit.) On Christmas Eve night, something sets him off, and he goes on a rampage. Hotly protested at the time of its release, and we can definitely see why, though that makes us love it even more.
1. Black Christmas (1974)
Creepiest phone calls ever! Also the first to pioneer the “killer is in the house” motif for film. Director Bob Clark, who would go on to direct A Christmas Story and Porky’s, has plenty of humor in this feature as well, though it never overshadows the sinister atmosphere and claustrophobic suspense.
Those are our favorite Christmas Horror Movies. What are yours? Share in the comments. And for more movie fun, check out our 6 Flicks That Celebrated The Holidays With A Bang.