As the weather gets colder and the holidays approach, horror fans sadly have to wave goodbye to their favorite day of the year: Halloween. What they don’t realize is, Christmas can be scary too. Some prefer watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or the Santa Clause series to get in the Christmas spirit, while others would rather watch Freddy Krueger haunt his victims’ dreams. If you want horror during the holidays, this list is for you. Here are five creepy Christmas Horror movies you need to watch.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Although it’s not a horror movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas has plenty of scenes that are super creepy. Jack Skellington is the king of Halloween Town, which is a fantasy world that is completely built on Halloween. Jack Skellington is bored of celebrating only Halloween and decides he’s going to head on over to Christmas Town, which he had never heard of. Skellington ends up loving Christmas and decides he wants to take over the holiday himself. But he turns a merry Christmas into a scary one, terrorizing all the kids.
Packing both Christmas and Halloween into one movie somehow worked, creating one of the most visually striking animation movies ever. It’s creepy, artistic and has a unique story that can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages. Whether you’ve seen it or not, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a must-watch this holiday.
Jack Frost (1997)
1997’s Jack Frost is a hilarious low budget horror movie that has developed a cult following over the years. Notorious serial killer Jack Frost is being driven to his execution in the middle of a snowstorm. As he is being transported, the truck carrying the murderer crashes into an oncoming vehicle. This vehicle just so happens to be a GCC genetic research truck. I mean really, what are the chances?
When the accident catches fire, dangerous chemicals explode onto Jack Frost, mutating him into…wait for it…a killer snowman! Before long, Jack starts killing again, this time, in a chilling new body. The plot of this movie is outrageous and the kill scenes are hysterically-cheesy. Jack Frost shows that low budget movies can be great too! It should be on every horror fans watch list this season.
Krampus is a Comedy-Horror-Christmas extravaganza. The story begins with a hilariously-relatable family Christmas get-together. Nobody really wants to go, but everybody shows up because it’s Christmas, they are a family, and that’s what families do. One of the characters, a boy named Max, loses the hope and spirit of Christmas because Santa couldn’t fix his parents’ relationship. Max now thinks that Santa must be a phony, so he destroys the letter he wrote to the bearded man this year. To say this was a mistake is an understatement.
The destruction of the letter triggers the release of Krampus, a creepy minotaur-man with hair from head-to-toe. It also brings upon a massive blizzard and turns all the Christmas gifts into little demon toys. This movie stands out because it has the perfect balance of comedy and horror. The plot is an epic story of survival and the cast is charismatic and comical, sometimes reminding me of my own family.
Black Christmas (1974)
Black Christmas is a slasher horror movie, and we must say, it’s a damn good one. Sorority girls are celebrating Christmas with their friends in their college home. The phone rings and there’s a mumbling voice on the line. The caller starts screaming and cursing, so one of the girls takes the phone and starts teasing them. Bad move. The caller snaps back, claiming he would kill her. Yikes. The girls didn’t realize that this was a real threat, and that the caller was closing in. When a local adolescent girl is found dead and one of the sorority girls goes missing, it becomes clear that this isn’t just a prank.
The camera angles and musical score in Black Christmas create enough suspense to make even the biggest horror fans tense up. The small bits of humor throughout the movie calm the viewer down just enough to completely catch them off guard with the next scare. Some credit Black Christmas for inspiring the large amount of slasher movies that proceeded it. If you want a real scare this holiday, watch this horror classic from 1974.
Gremlins isn’t just one of the best Christmas movies, it’s one of the best horror movies of its time. The main character, Billy, is given an early Christmas gift from his dad who just returned from a trip in China. Billy receives a cute but mysterious new pet called a Magwai, which he names Gizmo. There are three rules to owning a Magwai – Never expose them to light, never expose them to water, and never feed them past midnight. What do you think happens? All of it. Ugh, Billy! As a result, a gang of gremlins are born and they try to destroy the city on Christmas Eve.
Despite a creepy plot and some violent jump scares, Gremlins also manages to be insanely funny and an all-around good time. In particular, there’s a scene where the gremlins overrun a bar, and proceed to drink beer, smoke cigarettes, watch sports and play pool. They might be monsters but they know how to party. The ending scene in the department store is as thrilling as any horror scene I can recall. We’d tell you about it, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise!
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