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Top 10 Christmas Horror Movies

StewWriter . . . Comments

Sure, we all know Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, and, to some extent, gift giving and Santa Claus, but, what you didn’t know is that Christmas is also about fine cinematic horror choices. Horror on Christmas? Absolutely. Some of the genre’s finest films take place on this – our most beloved of holidays. And, this is the List Universe after all – we love to horrify, frighten, revolt and shock you! Here are ten of the best choices for your very SCARY Christmas!

10. To All A Good Night (1980)

Toallagoodnight

It’s Christmas break at the Calvin Finishing School for Girls, and the students are planning a big party while the president of the school is away. A group of boys show up and the fun begins! That is, until a mysterious killer starts bumping off couples one by one. The police show up and promise to keep everyone safe, but they prove ineffectual against the crazed psycho. Could the killings have anything to do with the girl who was killed in an initiation stunt at the school a few years earlier?

9. Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974)

Silent-Night-Bloody-Night-Movie-Poster

Wilford Butler returns home on Christmas Eve and his house had been turned into a mental institution for the criminally insane. But the day of his return, he is purposely set on fire and dies. The town’s people believe his death was an accident, and the institution-house is later closed down. Wilford leaves the house to his grandson Jeffrey in his will. A few years later, Jeffrey finally decides to sell this grandfather’s house, but the town’s people, including the Mayor, have mixed feelings on keeping people away from the house, especially when a serial killer escapes from another institution and finds refuge there. The killer makes frightening phone calls and kills anyone coming near the house. But what does the killer have in common with what happened to Wilford Butler years before?


8. Don’t Open ‘Till Christmas (1984)

Don't+Open+Til

A murderer is running loose through the streets of London, hunting down men dressed as Santa and killing them all in different, extremely violent, and quite colorful fashions. Inspector Harris has decided to take on the seemingly impossible task of tracking down the psychopath, but he’s going to have his work cut out for him. Only the suspicious reporter, Giles, seems to offer the Inspector any promising leads.

7. Jack Frost (1996)

Jack+Frost

A serial killer is mutated physically and genetically in car wreck on the way to his execution. After which, he becomes a murdering snowman hell-bent on revenge for the sheriff who caught him. Simple plot outline and an even simpler film.


6. Santa Claws (1996)

Santaclaws

A young man finds his divorced mother having sex with a man in a Santa Clause hat, and shoots them both dead. Years later, now thinking he is Santa Clause, the man develops an obsession with an erotic horror film star named Raven and begins stalking her. Incidentally, if you have not seen a Debbie Rochon movie (B-Movie actress extraordinaire) you need to see this film.

5. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Silent-Night-Deadly-Night-Movie-Poster

After his parents are murdered by a scalpel-wielding Santa, a young boy is sent to an orphanage. He ends up spying on two people having sex, and learns sex is a very naughty thing, indeed. A few years later, in a homey little department store, the kid is given the ultimate screw-up: SANTA CLAUS. After seeing two people having sex in the storage room, he has flashbacks of his parents’ murder, and ends up killing them both. He then sets off on a massive killing spree. Can he be stopped? Or will Santa deliver new presents to all the little kids?


4. Santa’s Slay (2005)

Santas+Slay

On the Christmas Eve of 2005, Santa Claus (wrestler Bill Goldberg) arrives in Hell Township killing the locals. A teenager, Nicholas Yuleson, finds that his grandfather is actually an angel that defeated the devil’s son in a bet, and the evil creature has spent the last one thousand years playing a good Santa Claus, giving toys to the children. Now that the bet is over, Santa Claus wants revenge. Nicholas and his girlfriend, Mary, decide to escape from the killer and find a way to stop him until the end of Christmas.

3. Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins.Gif

Gremlins begins with inventor Rand Peltzer trying to find a quick gift for his son, Billy, before returning home from a New York trip. He settles on a unique pet in a Chinatown curio shop–a cute, furry creature known as a Mogwai. Before he leaves, he is warned by the shop’s owner that three rules must be obeyed by a Mogwai owner: 1) Keep it away from bright light, 2) Don’t get it wet, and 3) Never, ever feed it after midnight. Despite the innocuous rules, Billy loves his adorable new pet, naming it Gizmo and taking it everywhere he goes. Unfortunately, he and his friends also begin breaking the rules of Mogwai care. When water is accidentally spilled on Gizmo, it causes him to multiply and produce a number of mischievous little brothers. Among these is the mean-tempered Stripe. Soon enough, the new Mogwai get hold of some food after midnight and this causes them to change from cute fur-balls into nasty, scaly monsters dubbed ‘Gremlins.’


2. Black Christmas (1974)

Blackchristmas

This 98-minute film is a stark and stylish horror/thriller that turns everyone’s favorite time of the year inside out. Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder star among an ill-fated houseful of sorority sisters celebrating the holiday season. Festivities turn fatal when obscene phone calls break the serenity and it becomes clear that a psychopath is stalking the house. Largely considered the ‘grand-daddy’ of holiday-themed slasher films.

1. Christmas Evil (aka: You’d Better Watch Out, 1980)

Christmas-Evil-Movie-Poster

Often, and for good reason, recognized as the best of the Christmas horror efforts, Christmas Evil is the story of a boy who loves Christmas. He is scarred as a boy when he learns that Santa is, much to his chagrin, not real. Throughout the rest of his life, the toy-maker tries to make the Christmas spirit a reality. He becomes obsessed with the behavior of children and the quality of the toys he makes. When he is met with hypocrisy and cynicism, the resulting snap causes him to go on a yuletide killing spree to complete this dark comedic horror.

Contributor: StewWriter



  • SubliminalDeath666

    Wow… This was a random list. Sure it’s the time of the holidays with family, christmas spirit, and joy, but horror movies!? C’mon man!! These all suck!

    • Sony216

      You don't understand this is Christmas spirit horror movies like this don't make since watching them on Halloween or any other random day this is the holy jolly time of the year to show your kids why they should be nice or they wont just have coal in there stockings they might find an eye or and ear cause for being a subliminal meaning he hears you and sees you all year round. So there ya go nub toss that in your "You just got learned bag" !

  • How is it random?! It is Christmas! they do suck – but in that kinda “it sucks so bad I want to watch it” way :)

  • this list made me giggle….people trying to turn something happy into something frightening… the scary thing is it works on the younger kids.

  • Mom424

    I’m with jfrater, lots of movies that suck still entertain, and not necessarily B movies either. Most blockbusters suck actually; formulaic, hokey dialogue, ridiculous and improbable/impossible action sequences…so what, they still get my juices flowin’
    ahh the power to suspend disbelief

  • If you want to watch a stupid but you can’t help laughing B movie….watch Deathrow Gameshow. That movie is lame and stupid and very extremely low budget….but it is still stupidly funny

  • Mom24: totally – many of my favorite movies are considered bad – but frankly, if it moves me – I don’t care what others think or what the quality – it strikes a chord and that is what matters most – as in all other artistic fields.

  • Ravyn: that title reminds me of an incredibly weird film I saw once where people were chosen from a TV audience to participate in a real life gameshow where you have to shoot the kill – the winner was the person that was still alive at the end. It was very disturbing but strangely entertaining.

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  • Diogenes

    -Can “It’s a Wonderful Life” be included?.. Because that movie has played every damn year of my own on TV. Every one!
    Naw..I’m foolin, …how can anyone be afraid of “its a wonderful life”?

    -Man! some of these covers are “bad”., How’s “Santa’s Slay”? wait! No! I don’t wanna know. Just give me a t-shirt with that cover art!
    Ahem.. So sorry, “Christmas Evil”..your just not as freaky..its the toys in your arm maybe..they take my attention away from the knife …wait a second. You have got a knife “Christmas Evil” , while “Santa’s Slay” has an icicle. I have to think about this for a second…knife/icicle? …what? an axe you say, “Silent Night Deadly Night”?…ok ok ok , now I see here in#7 that I can get the letterbox version of “Jack Frost”! What sort of holiday madness has this turned into?
    This is getting complicated…

    -Are you talking about “Battle Royale”, JFrater?

  • The Dum Guy

    I’ve seen alot of movies, but I’ve only seen two on this list (Black Christmas and Gremlins), the others I’ve just seen on the shelves of video stores and can’t muster up the courage to try and sit thru them.

    Although, I caught a bit of Jack Frost on cable and thought Michael Keaton’s Jack to be a friendly snowman.

  • MImanic

    I just saw Santa’s Slay Friday on Spike tv. Its terrible but worth watching just to see some guy get stabbed in the throat with a menorah.
    Other than Goldberg the only recognizable person in this is Robert Culp as grandpa.

  • Jamie: Deathrow Game show is a movie about a guy who host a gameshow that gives deathrow prisoners one last chance at freedom. If they loose, they are executed on the spot. If the win, they get to go back to deathrow and live for an extended period of time plus their families win a prize. It is distubing, strangely hilarious, and just out right interesting.

    And how can you not laugh when they present the dance called “The Dance of a Thousand Boners” (Just another bit of the odd humor)

  • Hey guys, sorry I haven’t commented in a moon or two, but I thought I’d toss myself into the proverbial ring for this one since, well, i made the goofy thing. I am a HUGE horror movie freak and it takes very little persuasion to get me to watch anything where sharp weapons and slashed bits o’ body are concerned, so this list was a no-brainer for the most part… and I mean that literally and figuratively. Anyway, i have seen ALL of these films and I have to say, for the thinnest of points that they are all trying to make, they all have a pretty decent watchable rate, which is saying a lot. I noticed a few of you up there speaking of low budget films and I, in all my self-absorbed glory happen to big fans of said genre, as well. There is a director, out of New York (a friend of mine, by the way) named Chris Seaver and he makes, for my buck, some of the finest/most awful low budget flicks available today. He markets most through Troma (some of you surely recognize the name) and he is partially responsible for the rise of B-Movie vixen, Debbie Rochon (see entry above). If you want to check out some fine fims from this fellow, check out Mulva: Zombie Ass-Kicker, Destruction Kings, or Heather and Puggly Cock-Block the Apocalypse (I’m not making any of those titles up). Head over to the Low Budget Pictures web-site and check it out! Anyway, glad you enjoyed the list! Happy Watching!

  • Stew: I love low budget film….they tend to be so aweful that they are just too funny.

  • Nelia

    I’m curious, did the person who wrote this list actually see all of these personally? or is a partly based on recommendations? Because that is a LOT of Christmas horror movies to have watched :)

  • im sorry but Gremlins should be number 1 :)

  • Rick.

    If you haven’t seen the original Black Christmas, listed here, do yourself a favor and buy or rent it. Any fan of horror movies will recognize all the cliches in it. Because they all originated from this movie.

  • 20Fan20

    Gremlins rocked! Maybe it was my age when I first saw it but I loved it for what it was. I think that is the key to these type of low budget films.

    As far as random? Does it really matter on a list like this? Yeah I can see a debate brewing about the best rock songs in history etc.
    I can enjoy a list like this without having to debate the finer points of ranking Santa’s Claws behind Santa Slays. Then again we all know that was a typo becuase there is no way in hell Santa Slays should beat Santa’s Claws!!!! :)

  • I haven’t seen any of these movies though I have heard of a couple of them. I’m not a big horror fan, I’m just commenting because I can’t stop laughing at the thought of Bill Goldberg as Santa Claus.

  • Borg

    Gremlins sort of ruined christmas for me as a kid. I was really young when I first saw it and there’s dialogue in the movie that reveals the truth about Santa. I still really like the movie though.

    Also, StewWriter, I have seen Jack Frost, as well as a number of other bad horror movies, and second your support of this film. It’s cheesy and ridiculous, but it’s also self-aware and hilarious. And if you really need to be sold, Shannon Elizabeth, of American Pie fame, shares a sex scene with the title character…a snowman.

  • sarahenity

    gremlins should definetly be number 1 :P i loved that movie as a kid.

    i still love it. lol

  • evan

    what??? how can Silent Night, Deadly Night not be #1???

    “GARBAGE DAY!” (search for it on you tube)

    possibly the single most retarded horror movie ever! Soooooo funny to watch though.

  • DanOhh

    I know this isn’t really a horror movie but what about “A Christmas Carol”. It’s has ghost in it and when I was a kid Jacob Marley scared the crap out of me.

  • JOE ROSSON

    I was hoping you had santas slay on this list, I love it,plus Goldberg is /was my favorite wrassler.

  • Rocky

    I love it, cheesy horror movies are great anytime of year. In fact, I live in Lawrence, KS and at midnight on Friday they are showing Gremlins at one of our movie theaters. I am trying to remember something I saw as a kid, I always thought it was a Twilight Zone episode but I can not find any information about it. It is about a man who escapes from a mental institution on christmas and starts trying to kill this family, while dressed like Santa. It ends when the little kid, who thinks he really is Santa, lets him in the house and I think maybe he kills everyone. I don’t remember, anyone know what I am talking about?

  • Rocky: That sounds like EVERY one of these atrocities! HA HA! Really, I’m not entirely sure. I could check for you but did any of these synopses look familiar?

  • DanOhh

    Rocky: It sound like you are talking about “And All Through the House” from the first season of “Tales from the Crypt” directed by Robert Zemeckis. The mental patient was played by Larry Drake from “L.A. Law” and “Darkman I&II”.

  • Randomass genre. I know what I won’t be watching over Christmas break…. :-P

  • 117ict10

    Hey what about Scrooged 1988 with Bill Murry?

  • BrotherMan

    117ict10: Scrooged isn’t stupid though. I actually just bought this flick on DVD a weekend or two ago and it still rocks and isn’t cheesy in my opinion!

    Of course…I own copies of stuff like The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and Howard the Duck amongst other things.

    OK I am a child of the 80’s and I will shut up now.

    Great list!

  • BrotherMan: No problems with that. Actually last month I found a copy of TMNT on DVD and just had to have it. I told myself not to buy anything that I was not intending but it is TMNT how could I not….

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  • dan231

    I liked Gremlins too.

    and talking of bad horror movies: Bad Taste.
    Worst.Movie.Ever. :-)

  • Chandy16

    What about “The Gingerdead Man” from 2005 ? That is a great movie! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364376/

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  • Martin L

    Quick note to Dum Guy: there are two completely different films titled Jack Frost, one starring Keaton as a nice-guy snowman, as you said, and the other starring, um, oh who cares, as a much nastier homicidal snowmaniac. And, each has had at least one sequel. (In fact, I think nasty Jack is now a trilogy. Go figure!)

  • Martin L

    OK — self-correcting. No listing in IMDB for a sequel to the Keaton flick, but there IS a “Jack Frost II: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman.” So I was sorta slightly right in a way … so to speak …

  • Jerry

    Pretty good list but Christmas Evil number 1? That movie is pretty terrible. I watch Gremlins, Black Christmas, and Silent Night, Deadly Night every year at Christmas time.

  • Ashley

    What about …. Top 10 International Christmas Dishes (food).

    Darn, wish I had of thought of that before the competition closed… Food

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  • Horror on Christmas?

    Damn! Why there would be horror films on Christmas?

    Yuletide season is giving, sharing and a happy holiday.
    If it’s a horror, it’s not CHRISTMAS.They don’t believe it and they just use Christmas to produce a film. I’m so sorry but I have no good words to leave for them.

    Filmakers like this… you’re so WORST. The WORST of ALL WORST THINGS IN THIS WORLD. The world is a precious GIFT by GOD.

  • Watching a Christmas horror film….that would be the stupid thing I’ll do if ever.

    I believe Christmas has a positive value especially when it comes to FAMILY relationship, friends, relatives or anybody in this world.

    When you watch films like those, you’re covering darkness the purest essence of Christmas. What registers in your mind would be FEAR.

    YOu have the prerogative to list this but you can’t encourage me to watch these films. Film makers, thank you for your effort but no one in my family would watch these WORST FILMS I’ve heard.

  • suavecito

    christmas horror movies….. haha gotta love ’em

  • cnorman

    The gremlins theme somg would probably be my favourite theme song of all time

  • choseanose

    great list

  • dan231: Yes, I will concede that Bad Taste is a pretty crappy movie, but it is in the Peter Jackson library pre-Rings trilogy. He is also responsible for a follow-up called Dead Alive with perhaps one of the bloodiest chop-up scenes of all time: The ‘hero’ straps a lawn mower to his chest… I think you can imagine the rest. Good stuff!

  • sdggrant

    lol boilet

  • wowzer

    I remember Jack Frost and Gremlins fondly. When they came out they both scared the living hell out of my poor six-year-old mind. Love’em to this day.

  • Diogenes

    After Halloween, in the dispaly window of the party store down the block , the Christmas display is the replacement.

  • Diogenes: have you considered going in to movies? You could give David Lynch a run for his money :)

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  • Diogenes

    ha
    who hasn’t.
    quite the compliment.

    smiley face icon.

  • diogenes: you can consider this a compliment too – I can never really quite tell whether you are sober when you post some of your comments. I like it.

  • Yarr

    Boilet:

    Awesome.

    But aren’t you just a little bit curious?
    (I mean, c’mon. Santa with an axe? Sweet!)

  • MystMoonstruck

    I compiled this for a friend. I think it repeats some on your list, but :

    Santa’s Slay (2005)~~I watched this last night and was surprised that I was impressed with it, especially because of the clever premise.

    You Better Watch Out (1980)
    It stars Brandon Maggart, who is considered by most to be the best scary Santa in filmdom!

    Tales from the Crypt (1972)
    This is the original version of “All Through the House”, with Joan Collins and Chloe Franks.

    NightThirst (2002)
    portmanteau aka anthology film in which fourth story is “Christmas in July”

    Elves
    starring Dan Haggerty

    Christmas Nightmare (2001)

    Turbulence (1997)
    Takes place on Christmas Eve aboard a 747~not a time and place you want a serial killer on the loose, as well as the other prisoners being transferred. However, there’s no Santa that I know of.

    Trees 2: The Root of All Evil (2004)
    Oh no! The killer Christmas trees are on the loose! Yes, it’s a comedy.

    Day of the Beast (1998)
    aka El Día de la bestia (1995)

    Jack Frost (1997)

    Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)

    Don’t Open ‘Til Christmas (1984)
    Santa’s the target in this one~anyone dressed like the Jolly Old Elf!

    Christmas Season Massacre (2001)

    Satan Claus (1996)

    To All a Good Night (1980)

    Psycho Santa (2003)

    Feeders 2: Slay Bells (1998)
    Wait a sec! Santa and his elves get to save the Earth~and Christmas~from aliens?! So, is this a sort of remake of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”? Now, THAT is a horror film!

    CURSES upon the one who decided to title a film about Santa Claus “The Santa Clause”. That has been so confusing for people! The name and the word sound alike, which is why the Marx Brothers did the “Sanity Clause” bit.

  • potato

    i no its not much of a horror but come on! what about edward sissorhands!!!i love that movie!

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  • Rocky

    It was Tales from The Crypt! Woo hoo!

  • Dr. Smooth

    Gremlins was a classic, it was actually the first horror film I watched and laughed at. Every scene that was supposed to be scary was hilarious.

    The only other movie I’ve seen on this list was Jack Frost, and it was a big disappointment. Then again you can’t expect much about a horror movie based around Christmas time.

  • I loved Gremlins! Why don’t they make movies like that anymore?

  • Zippy

    Gremlins is in the horror genre???

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  • Vamputer

    wow great list of movies and the perfect order i have every one of these movies and watch them every year at this depressing time known as christmas holidays perfect classics lots of santas get slaughtered and lots of poeple getting slaughtered perfect for the thought of a jolly fat man who come in to your house when everyone is sleeping wow its really cool but if someone ever came down my chimney when i was sleeping they woudlent make it out of my house without a body bag Santa is a Scary thought to all the children of the world who dont think santa is a scarry thought thats cool but one day the forces of evil we think only exist in movies like Zombies will happen and what are all you non belivers gonna do then

  • Heather

    my friend and I watched Santa Slay and really liked it :) It was kinda funny in a way ;)

  • Znyrk

    Gremlins should be the top one:P It’s the ultimate christmas movie!

  • Ashley R

    you should check out P2, its not very known, but my mom bought it a few months ago and its really really good. also, wind chill is a good one too…they’re both pretty creepy.

  • Lance

    Theres this movie i saw as a kid with this guy spraying his brown/black beard with white spraypaint, stealing a santa costume, then breaking into the house of this rich family’s kid who’s home alone with his senile grandfather, and a huge room filled with toys

    There’s this scene where the small boy wants to suprise Santa waiting under the table in the living room, and his dog gets stabbed into the floor with a huge knife by (fake) Santa himself, right in front of his eyes..

    Ive been tryin to find this movie or its title for a very long time now, does anyone have a clue what im talkin about ?

  • natapillar

    Ernest Saves Christmas………. i hate that guy

  • daph54

    how about “THEM”? not a Christnas movie but was sooo bad i thought it was great!

  • kme

    @ Lance #60 : You’re not alone :) I’ve been trying to find this movie but no luck. I remember that the boy hides his granddad and goes to the other side of the mansion to get some medicine… This is one of the scariest movies I’d say, not some cheap slasher! Gripping atmosphere..I had this on VHS, a long time ago i’d say its somewhere around 1985-1991..
    Anybody else saw this? :)

  • b&b

    i’m searching for this movie too.
    i remember that the boy always run through a refrigerator to another room, where he hides his grandfather.
    At the beginning of the movie his mother fired santa from a mall, therefore he wants to take revenge.

  • Brah

    Christmas Evil? Seriously? That was the worst movie I have ever seen in my life. God, how I hate that movie. To see Black Christmas number two, it's just… just… wrong.

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  • Monkey Man

    What a great list. I didn’t know some of these existed. I am with you on Nightmare before Christmas. Great flick.

  • Satans Chils

    For those commenting “all these movies suck” must not have seen Bob Clarks Black Christmas listed here. Actually an excellent movie and is one which you should definitely watch. Why this wasn’t listed as #1 I don’t understand. The movie was absolutely and influence on John Carpenters “holiday” classic Halloween.

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  • chelsi

    some movies are the waste but i like it and some actors are ugly and disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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