The Best and Worst Christmas Horror Movies

For many, Christmas is a time to snuggle up with family members next to a cozy fire whilst Bing Crosby fills the house with comforting familiarities of timeless holiday songs. For others, it’s a time to watch 24 hours of Ralphie chase his Americana dream of being a Red Ryder owner. And yet, there is another group that celebrates Christmas with an extra shot of macabre in their Hot Toddies. And, no, I’m not talking about my Jewish friends (I only know what they celebrate based on Adam Sandler songs). Yep, I refer to us who extol Christmas by watching Santa axe ‘lil Virginia and Tiny Tim into a million bloody pieces. And lucky for us, there are more than a horn of plenty of holiday themed horror for us disturbed bastards to feast on.

If you like holiday horror, Yule love this list. And as a bonus, I’ve included, at no extra charge, a list of movies that Santa has deemed naughty. And by naughty I mean awful. And by awful I mean still better than glittering vampires. And by that I mean watch everything on the “Nice” list before daring to take on masochistic lump of coal “naughty” list. Or just drink gallons of brandy infused egg nog like Grandpa did.

Side Note: Santa didn’t want me to put these in any particular order, though my Top 10 “Nice” films are my actual faves within the horror genre (nothing will beat Ernest P. Worrell for the best overall Xmas flick, not even James Stewart or Frosty). Also, my good buddy over Guts and Grog did a Top 50 (heavily horror favored list) Xmas films. Oh, and watch “Treevenge”. It’s free and amazing.


1. Black Christmas
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Bob Clark has arguably directed the two best Christmas films of all time. This one (the first and best slasher of all time) and the one that TNT shows for 24 straight hours every year. Collectively, the world owes Bob Clark a statue made of bronze and hooker spit to be placed on the front lawn of the White House.

2. Gremlins
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Things I like about Gremlins:?Every thing ever.

3. Christmas Evil
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Come for the killer Santa. Stay for the heart-breaking story of a man who loses his battle with mental illness resulting in a Yuletide killing spree ripe with magical van action.

4. Silent Night, Deadly Night
Silent Night, Deadly Night
This is Christmas slasher horror at it goriest and most ridiculous.?PUNISH!

5. Jack Frost
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Jack Frost?is a masterpiece of horror cheese full of puns and insaneness at a level not normally ever seen in American horror comedies. I don’t throw this out there lightly, but this film deserves consideration whenever the best of the genre are discussed (Evil?Dead, etc).

6. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
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?The perfect anti-Christmas Christmas movie. Takes the Santa mythology and does a 180 with it – turning the jolly man into a frightening monster. Basically the opposite of what Twilight did to vampires.

7. Child’s Play
Child’s Play (Chucky’s 20th Birthday Edition)
Charles Lee Ray agrees; no Christmas is complete without a viewing of Chucky and friends.

8. Tales from the Crypt
Tales from the Crypt (1972) / The Vault of Horror (1973) (Double Feature)
Santa suit. Axe murders. Joan Collins. Nothing is ever as it seems.

9. ?Silent Night, Zombie Night

I was drunk enough on Listerine and Mad Dog to make this love triangle zombie LA holiday movie a blast.

10. Dead End
Dead End
In horror and fairytales, it’s never best to take a shortcut to grandma’s house. Sometimes you end up in a never-ending loop of highway death and awesome. One of the few films that will SCARE you one moment (like real terror) and then make you giggle the next.

11. The Gingerdead Man
Sure, this belongs on the naughty list, but how can you resist Gary Busey in anything? I certainly can’t. So bad it’s good.

12. The Legend of Hell House
The Legend of Hell House
A rather fantastic haunted house movie that takes place from Dec 17th-24th. Definitely one that if you haven’t seen yet or considered for holiday viewing you should.

13. Santa’s Slay
Santa’s Slay
?The?opening scene?from?Santa’s Slay?should have won at least 14 Oscars. Plus the whole WWE infused movie is pure ridiculous. Perfect for many many xmas laughs.

14. Silent Night, Bloody Night
Silent Night Bloody Night
Another staple in my holiday viewing. You get the ’70s vibe, plus mental institution, plus a really swell movie.

15. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection – The Essentials (Manos, the Hands of Fate / Santa Claus Conquers the Martians)
Stick with the MST3K version or the Elvira (it’s not quite as good) and prepare yourself for full on bad movie bliss.

16. Don’t Open Till Christmas
Don’t Open Till Christmas
?All-in-all this is not a good film. It is quite bad, but in a weird sorta not all put together kinda way. The main problem? It takes itself way too seriously. Well, at least as seriously as a movie that features a main character who plays the flute in public to make ends meet can be.

17. Elves
Elves [VHS]
There is only one elf in the movie. But, lying title aside, this one makes me nice list because of two things: 1. Elf resurrection ceremony. 2. Nazis, Virgins, and how an elf is going to lead the them all to victory.

18. Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
Silent Night Deadly Night / Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2
Two words: Garbage Day!

19. To All A Good Night
To All a Good Night
A sexy death-laden boarding school girls christmas horror movie made in the ’80s. Nine of the words in the last sentence give me horror boners.

20. Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman
?Taking Christmas to the beach for some Mai Thais, unhip white dudes and bloody murders. Beats Black Friday shopping every time.


1. Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: You Better Watch Out
Silent Night, Deadly Night (Better Watch Out / Initiation / The Toymaker)
?Part three of this series accurately warns its potential viewers with the tagline: Better Watch Out! Yes, watching out for this movie is a good idea. Like if someone you know recommends viewing this movie, you should watch them get up off the floor after you punch them in face.

2. Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation
Silent Night, Deadly Night (Better Watch Out / Initiation / The Toymaker)
The weird bug-like creatures were the highlight of the film for me. They were certainly strange. And the “melting” effects from Screaming Mad George are also present. Those two things combined with the Howard and Yuzna factors almost make this one worth viewing. But there isn’t really a reason to waste your time watching this one during the holiday season. There just isn’t enough connections Christmas to make it worthwhile during this season, considering all the other holiday horror out there.

3. Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker
Silent Night, Deadly Night (Better Watch Out / Initiation / The Toymaker)
Brian Yuzna produced. Clint Howard and Mickey Rooney (f*cking crazy, I know) star. But the best scene in the whole movie involves a couple being maimed to death by tiny toys while they do the wild thing. It has to be seen to be believed. This is 3rd in the franchise for moi.

4. Santa Claws
Santa Claws
From the box on the DVD this film looks like a movie involving a killer Santa skeleton. All this movie delivers, though, is nipples. Lots and lots of nipples. Santa Claws would have fit in nicely (did it at the time?) on Skinamax in the mid-‘90s back when it was made. The only thing scary about?Santa Claws?is the fact that the DVD releasers are STILL pretending this is a horror film.

5. Black Christmas – 2006 Version
Black Christmas (2006) [Blu-ray]

6. The Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust
Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust
The novelty wore off really fast. No Gary. No watch.

7. Two Front Teeth
Two Front Teeth
If you’re boozed up enough you might enjoy this one for what it is. A piece of crap that you have to be boozed up for to enjoy.

8. One Hell of a Christmas
One Hell of a Christmas
This one comes from our friends at Fangoria. And while I like them (a lot) this movie is painful. There is not enough brandy or eggnog on earth to get me to sit through this again.

9. Deadly Little Christmas
A Deadly Little Christmas
Another low-budget movie hoping you mistakenly rent it whilst seeking something festive and bloody. The thing is, it’s just not good.

10. The Christmas Season Massacre
Christmas Season Massacre
Maybe this one could have some consideration for the “Nice” list, but I found it to be tedious. Keep in mind, I saw this sober and alone. People and liquor make everything better when watching movies.

11. Feeders 2: Slay Bells
Feeders & Feeders 2: Slay Bells

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  • Jesse Gable

    I just watched The Christmas Nightmare the other day, Never Watching It again. Man, that movie sucks on a level that has never sucked before! It’s about as Christmas as SNDN 4.

  • Micah

    The holidays do seem to bring in lots of opportunistic filmmakers looking to cash in on the season by pretending their movies have something to do with said season.?

    But in the end, I just feel ripped off. Either make a damn Christmas themed horror movie or don’t. I’ll watch it either way, just don’t promise me something you don’t deliver on.

    On that note, there needs to be a Better Business Bureau for films that lie about their content.

  • Daniel Ford

    I can’t believe there’s so many horror themed Christmas movies. I’ve never seen any, but they look pretty ridiculous (in a good way).

  • Mac

    Gremlins, great movie it’s a mark in all horror movie fans..
    Rare exports, a must see..:)