|Red Christmas (2016)
|Mercy Christmas (2017)
|The Day of the Beast (1995)
|A Cadaver Christmas (2011)
|The Lodge (2019)
|Dial Code Santa Claus (1989)
|Santa’s Slay (2005)
|The Gingerdead Man (2005)
|Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)
|Christmas Evil (1980)
|The Children (2008)
|Wind Chill (2007)
|Sint (Saint) (2010)
|Jack Frost (1997)
|Gremlins 2: The New Batch (2010)
|Dead End (2003)
|Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
|Better Watch Out (2016)
|A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
|Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
|Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
|Black Christmas (1974)
25. Red Christmas (2016)
“Red Christmas” is a 2016 Australian horror film directed by Craig Anderson. The story revolves around a family Christmas gathering that takes a dark turn. Here’s a brief summary:
The film begins with a family reunion during Christmas, led by matriarch Diane (played by Dee Wallace). The family’s celebration is disrupted when a mysterious, disfigured and cloaked stranger arrives on their doorstep. The stranger is revealed to be Cletus, a son Diane had aborted years ago. He seeks revenge for his perceived abandonment and mutilation.
As tensions escalate, Cletus begins a violent and deadly assault on the family, turning what was supposed to be a joyful Christmas celebration into a fight for survival. The film combines elements of horror, thriller, and dark humor as the family members try to understand and confront the threat posed by Cletus.
“Red Christmas” explores themes of family secrets, the consequences of past actions, and the horror that can emerge from personal traumas. The movie received attention for its unconventional take on the holiday horror genre and its exploration of controversial and sensitive topics.
24. Mercy Christmas (2017)
“Mercy Christmas” is a 2017 horror-comedy film directed by Ryan Nelson. The story follows Michael Briskett, played by Casey O’Keefe, a man who is invited to spend Christmas with a seemingly friendly and normal family. However, he soon discovers that he has become the unwitting guest of a deranged and cannibalistic family with sinister holiday traditions.
Michael, a kind-hearted and lonely man, accepts an invitation to join the Sinclair family for Christmas. Initially thinking he has found a welcoming and warm environment, Michael soon realizes that the Sinclairs have a dark secret. As the holiday festivities progress, he becomes trapped in a twisted and deadly game orchestrated by the family.
The Sinclairs are revealed to be cannibals who hunt and consume unsuspecting guests as part of their holiday traditions. Michael must navigate the perilous situation and find a way to escape the clutches of this unhinged family while avoiding becoming their Christmas dinner.
“Mercy Christmas” combines elements of horror, comedy, and satire to create a darkly humorous take on traditional holiday themes. The film explores the darker side of family gatherings and the unexpected horrors that can be hidden behind seemingly ordinary facades during the festive season.
23. The Day of the Beast (1995)
“The Day of the Beast” (El Día de la Bestia) is a 1995 Spanish dark comedy horror film directed by Álex de la Iglesia. The story follows a Catholic priest who, convinced that the Antichrist is about to be born, engages in increasingly extreme and sinful behavior to try and stop the impending apocalypse.
Father Ángel Berriartúa (Álex Angulo) deciphers a hidden code in the Bible that leads him to believe that the birth of the Antichrist is imminent in Madrid. Determined to prevent this apocalyptic event, Father Ángel decides to commit as many sins as possible, believing that this will allow him to gain access to the devil’s presence and stop the Antichrist’s arrival.
To assist him in his quest, Father Ángel seeks the help of a heavy metal enthusiast, José María (Santiago Segura), and a TV occult show host, Professor Cavan (Armando De Razza). The trio engages in bizarre and often humorous rituals, breaking societal norms and laws in their pursuit of the ultimate sin.
As the events unfold, Father Ángel faces moral dilemmas, encounters surreal situations, and battles both internal and external forces in his attempt to save humanity from the forces of darkness.
“The Day of the Beast” is known for its unique blend of horror, comedy, and social commentary. It received critical acclaim for its dark humor, satirical take on religious themes, and Álex de la Iglesia’s distinctive directorial style.
22. A Cadaver Christmas (2011)
“A Cadaver Christmas” is a 2011 horror-comedy film directed by Joe Zerull. The movie follows a janitor and a group of people who find themselves dealing with a zombie outbreak during the Christmas season. Here’s a brief summary:
The story begins with a janitor (Daniel Rairdin-Hale) working at a medical school who accidentally unleashes a zombie apocalypse while cleaning up the facility. As the undead start to roam the halls, the janitor teams up with a mismatched group of survivors, including a security guard, a bartender, a runaway bride, and others.
With Christmas Eve unfolding and chaos ensuing, this eclectic group must navigate the zombie-infested building, facing not only the flesh-eating creatures but also a mad scientist responsible for the outbreak. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles, dark humor, and unexpected alliances.
As they strive to survive and escape the undead menace, the characters also discover the bizarre and dangerous experiments that led to the zombie outbreak in the first place. The film combines elements of horror and comedy, using the holiday season as a backdrop for a gory and humorous adventure.
“A Cadaver Christmas” is known for its low-budget charm, campy humor, and a unique take on the zombie genre with a festive twist. It’s a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously and offers a humorous and bloody alternative to traditional holiday entertainment.
21. The Lodge (2019)
“The Lodge” is a psychological horror film directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz. Released in 2019, the movie explores themes of grief, trauma, and the unsettling dynamics within a family. Here’s a brief summary:
The story revolves around a woman named Grace (Riley Keough), who becomes engaged to her boyfriend Richard (Richard Armitage). To facilitate their bonding, Richard suggests that Grace spend some time alone with his two children, Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh), at a remote lodge during the Christmas holiday.
Grace, who was the sole survivor of a cult’s mass suicide led by her father, struggles with her traumatic past and the children’s hostility towards her. The situation takes a dark turn when Richard is unexpectedly called away for work, leaving Grace alone with the kids in the isolated lodge.
As tensions rise, strange and eerie events begin to unfold, blurring the lines between reality and the psychological turmoil Grace is experiencing. The children claim to see supernatural occurrences related to their deceased mother, and Grace starts questioning her sanity.
“The Lodge” delves into psychological horror, relying on atmospheric tension, unsettling imagery, and a slowly unraveling narrative. It explores the impact of trauma on individuals and the complex dynamics within blended families, adding a psychological layer to the traditional horror genre. The film has been praised for its atmospheric tension and the performances of the cast, particularly Riley Keough in the lead role.
20. Dial Code Santa Claus (1989)
“Dial Code Santa Claus,” originally titled “3615 code Père Noël,” is a French thriller/horror film directed by René Manzor. Released in 1989, the movie follows a young boy named Thomas who finds himself in a perilous situation when a home invasion occurs on Christmas Eve. Here’s a brief summary:
Thomas (Alain Lalanne), a resourceful and imaginative young boy, is obsessed with an interactive computer game and has a strong bond with his mother, played by Brigitte Fossey. As Christmas approaches, Thomas mistakenly believes that a burglar dressed as Santa Claus is trying to break into his home. In reality, it is a mentally unstable and murderous criminal named Gerold, played by Patrick Floersheim.
Gerold, dressed as Santa Claus, manages to infiltrate Thomas’s high-tech home, equipped with security systems and gadgets. Unaware of the danger, Thomas uses his wit and ingenuity to outsmart the intruder and protect himself and his mother.
The film combines elements of thriller, horror, and action, with Thomas becoming an unexpected hero in a tense and perilous situation. “Dial Code Santa Claus” is notable for its suspenseful atmosphere, inventive sequences, and the juxtaposition of holiday cheer with darker themes. The film has gained a cult following over the years, especially for its unique take on the home invasion subgenre.
19. Santa’s Slay (2005)
“Santa’s Slay” is a 2005 horror-comedy film directed by David Steiman. The movie takes a darkly humorous approach to the Christmas season, portraying Santa Claus as a malevolent force. Here’s a brief summary:
The film begins with a prologue that explains that Santa Claus (played by professional wrestler Bill Goldberg) is not the jolly gift-giver he appears to be. Instead, he is a demonic being who, due to losing a bet with an angel, is forced to be nice to children for a thousand years. However, the time of his benevolence has come to an end, and Santa resumes his murderous rampage.
The story follows Santa as he embarks on a killing spree on Christmas Eve, using various creative and deadly methods to dispatch his victims. The central characters are a young man named Nicholas Yuleson (played by Douglas Smith) and his girlfriend, Mary “Mac” Mackenzie (played by Emilie de Ravin). As Santa terrorizes the town, Nicholas discovers his true identity and the dark history behind his family’s connection to Santa Claus.
Throughout the film, there is a mix of horror, dark humor, and over-the-top action scenes, all set against the backdrop of Christmas festivities. “Santa’s Slay” embraces its campy and absurd premise, making it a unique addition to the holiday horror-comedy genre. The film is known for its tongue-in-cheek approach to Christmas traditions and its portrayal of Santa as an unlikely and fearsome antagonist.
18. The Gingerdead Man (2005)
“The Gingerdead Man” is a horror-comedy film released in 2005, directed by Charles Band. The movie combines elements of horror and dark humor, featuring a killer who is reincarnated as a murderous gingerbread cookie. Here’s a brief summary:
The story begins with the notorious criminal Millard Findlemeyer (Gary Busey) being executed in a bakery. His ashes are accidentally mixed into the ingredients for gingerbread dough by the bakery worker, resulting in the creation of a cursed gingerbread man.
The gingerbread man comes to life and, now possessed by the spirit of the deceased criminal, embarks on a killing spree. The bakery owner, played by Robin Sydney, along with a group of unsuspecting people, becomes the target of the vengeful baked goods.
The film incorporates a mix of horror and comedy, utilizing the absurdity of the concept to create a unique and campy experience. As the killer gingerbread man wreaks havoc, the characters must find a way to stop the sugary menace before it claims more victims.
“The Gingerdead Man” is known for its low-budget charm, humorously exaggerated horror elements, and the casting of Gary Busey as the voice of the titular character. It has since become a cult classic among fans of unconventional horror films.
17. Elves (1989)
“Elves” is a low-budget horror film released in 1989, directed by Jeffrey Mandel. The movie takes a dark and bizarre twist on Christmas mythology, involving a group of neo-Nazis, an ancient elf, and a young girl. Here’s a brief summary:
The story revolves around Kirsten (played by Julie Austin), a teenage girl who unwittingly becomes part of a dark conspiracy involving an ancient elf creature. Kirsten accidentally cuts her hand during a bizarre Christmas ritual, awakening the evil elf.
It is revealed that the elf is part of a plot by a group of neo-Nazis to create a master race using Kirsten. As the elf begins its reign of terror, killing those who get in its way, Kirsten teams up with a department store janitor (played by Dan Haggerty) to stop the sinister plan.
The movie incorporates elements of horror, fantasy, and dark comedy, all set against the backdrop of the Christmas season. The combination of neo-Nazis, an evil elf, and a young protagonist creates a surreal and unconventional narrative. “Elves” is known for its campy effects, unusual plot twists, and its status as a cult film among fans of obscure and offbeat horror movies.
16. Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)
“Krampus: The Christmas Devil” is a low-budget horror film released in 2013, directed by Jason Hull. It explores the legend of Krampus, a mythical creature known in Alpine folklore as a counterpart to Saint Nicholas, who punishes misbehaving children during the Christmas season. Here’s a brief summary:
The movie follows Jeremy Duffin (played by A.J. Leslie), a police detective haunted by his childhood encounter with Krampus. As Christmas approaches, Jeremy begins investigating a series of disappearances of children in his community. His investigation leads him to believe that Krampus, a demonic figure with a twisted sense of justice, is responsible for these abductions.
Haunted by his past and driven by a personal vendetta against Krampus, Jeremy sets out to stop the creature and rescue the abducted children. As he delves deeper into the mystery, he uncovers a dark conspiracy involving a cult that worships Krampus and is seemingly connected to the disappearances.
The film combines elements of horror, mystery, and thriller, with a focus on the urban legend of Krampus. While working within the constraints of a low-budget production, “Krampus: The Christmas Devil” attempts to bring the folklore of Krampus into a modern horror narrative. It is worth noting that the film received mixed reviews, with some praising its attempt to explore the Krampus mythos and others critiquing its execution.
15. Christmas Evil (1980)
“Christmas Evil,” also known as “You Better Watch Out,” is a psychological horror film released in 1980 and directed by Lewis Jackson. The movie explores the psychological breakdown of a man who becomes obsessed with Christmas and eventually takes on a dark and dangerous persona. Here’s a brief summary:
The story follows Harry Stadling (played by Brandon Maggart), a man with a traumatic childhood experience related to Christmas. As an adult, Harry works in a toy factory, and he becomes increasingly obsessed with the idea of Christmas and the figure of Santa Claus. However, his version of Santa is far from the jolly, gift-giving character.
Driven to the brink of insanity by his obsession, Harry begins to surveil the children in his neighborhood, making notes about their behavior to determine who has been naughty or nice. Convinced that he is the true Santa Claus, Harry decides to bring punishment to those he deems “naughty.”
The film explores themes of alienation, obsession, and the blurred lines between fantasy and reality. As Christmas Eve approaches, Harry’s mental state deteriorates, and he sets out on a violent and disturbing mission to enforce his own skewed version of justice.
“Christmas Evil” is known for its unconventional take on the holiday horror genre, blending psychological horror with elements of dark comedy. The film has gained a cult following over the years for its unique approach to the Santa Claus mythology and its exploration of the psychological impact of childhood trauma.
14. The Children (2008)
“The Children” is a British horror film directed by Tom Shankland, released in 2008. The movie revolves around a family holiday gathering that takes a horrifying turn when the children inexplicably become violent and dangerous. Here’s a brief summary:
Two families, led by sisters Elaine (Eva Birthistle) and Chloe (Rachel Shelley), gather for a Christmas vacation at a remote English estate. Initially, the holiday seems idyllic, but tensions arise among the adults, creating a tense atmosphere.
Suddenly, the children start exhibiting strange behavior, with their actions becoming increasingly aggressive and dangerous. As the adults attempt to comprehend and control the situation, it becomes clear that something is seriously wrong. The children seem to be carriers of a mysterious infection or illness that turns them into remorseless killers.
The film explores the horrifying dynamics between the adults trying to protect themselves and the children they are reluctant to harm. The tension escalates as the characters confront the unthinkable reality that their own offspring have become a threat.
“The Children” is praised for its suspenseful atmosphere, effective use of tension, and the unsettling premise of turning innocent children into antagonists. The film taps into primal fears associated with parenthood and familial relationships, delivering a chilling and memorable horror experience.
13. Wind Chill (2007)
“Wind Chill” is a psychological horror thriller directed by Gregory Jacobs, released in 2007. The film stars Emily Blunt and Ashton Holmes and follows the harrowing experiences of two college students who encounter supernatural phenomena while on a road trip during winter break. Here’s a brief summary:
The story centers around a young woman (Emily Blunt) and a fellow student (Ashton Holmes) who decide to share a ride home for the holidays. As they embark on a road trip through rural areas in the midst of winter, tensions arise between them due to their differing personalities.
The situation takes a dark turn when they find themselves stranded on a desolate, snow-covered road in the middle of nowhere. As they struggle to survive the freezing temperatures and isolation, they begin to experience inexplicable and terrifying occurrences.
The narrative weaves in elements of psychological horror and supernatural suspense, gradually revealing the mysterious backstory of the road they are traveling and the haunting events that transpired there. The chilling atmosphere and psychological tension intensify as the characters confront the eerie and malevolent forces at play.
“Wind Chill” is notable for its emphasis on psychological horror, atmospheric storytelling, and the effective use of the isolated winter setting to create a sense of dread. The film explores themes of guilt, redemption, and the consequences of one’s actions, adding depth to the traditional horror elements.
12. Sint (Saint) (2010)
“Sint” (also known as “Saint”) is a Dutch horror film released in 2010, directed by Dick Maas. The movie reimagines the character of Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas in Dutch folklore) as a malevolent, vengeful figure. Here’s a brief summary:
The film opens with a prologue set in 1492, portraying Sinterklaas and his gang of outlaws terrorizing a village. The townspeople rise up against the sinister Saint and his followers, resulting in a curse that dooms them to return as vengeful spirits whenever a full moon falls on December 5th.
Fast forward to present-day Amsterdam, where a series of murders coincide with the arrival of Sinterklaas during the holiday season. Police detective Goert (Egbert-Jan Weeber) begins to investigate the killings and discovers the connection to the ancient curse. He teams up with a former bishop, Niklas (Huub Stapel), who is well-versed in the legend of the vengeful Saint.
As the full moon approaches on December 5th, chaos ensues in Amsterdam as Sinterklaas and his ghostly gang return to wreak havoc. The film blends horror with dark comedy, as the characters attempt to survive the supernatural onslaught while uncovering the truth behind the curse.
“Sint” plays on the traditional Dutch celebration of Sinterklaas and transforms it into a horror story with a vengeful and malevolent take on the iconic figure. The film received attention for its unique concept and combination of horror and folklore elements.
11. Jack Frost (1997)
“Jack Frost” is a 1997 American horror-comedy film directed by Michael Cooney. The movie takes a darkly comedic approach to the concept of a serial killer who transforms into a snowman after a bizarre accident. Here’s a brief summary:
The story centers around Jack Frost (played by Scott MacDonald), a notorious serial killer, who is being transported to his execution. During a prison transfer on a snowy night, the vehicle collides with a truck carrying a genetic material experiment. The combination of Jack’s genetic material and the experimental substance causes him to merge with the snow, transforming him into a vengeful and murderous snowman.
Jack, now with the ability to manipulate snow and ice, embarks on a killing spree in the small town of Snowmonton. As the body count rises, Sheriff Sam Tiler (played by Christopher Allport) becomes determined to stop the icy killer. The town must confront the absurd and deadly threat posed by a killer snowman, using unconventional methods to defend themselves.
The film combines horror with elements of dark humor, creating a unique and campy take on the slasher genre. “Jack Frost” became a cult classic due to its outlandish premise and its blending of horror and comedy elements. The movie is known for its intentionally over-the-top scenes and the absurdity of a killer snowman as its central antagonist.
10. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
“Gremlins 2: The New Batch” is a 1990 comedy horror film directed by Joe Dante and serves as a sequel to the 1984 film “Gremlins.” The story takes a more comedic and satirical approach, moving the chaos from a small town to a high-tech skyscraper in New York City. Here’s a brief summary:
The film is set in the Clamp Center, a state-of-the-art building owned by eccentric billionaire Daniel Clamp (played by John Glover). Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) and Kate Beringer (Phoebe Cates) work in the building, and when Gizmo, the lovable Mogwai from the first film, ends up in the building’s genetics lab, chaos ensues.
Gizmo accidentally gets wet, leading to the creation of new Mogwai, which quickly turn into the mischievous and destructive gremlins. The gremlins wreak havoc in the building, causing chaos with their varied and quirky personalities, including the Brain Gremlin who exhibits intelligence.
The film incorporates satire, parodying elements of the corporate world, media, and consumer culture. As the gremlins run amok in the skyscraper, Billy and Kate, along with a few allies, must find a way to stop the chaos and prevent the gremlins from reproducing and spreading.
“Gremlins 2” is known for its self-aware humor, breaking the fourth wall, and embracing a more over-the-top and comedic tone compared to its predecessor. The film received praise for its creativity and willingness to take risks in deviating from the traditional sequel formula.
9. Dead End (2003)
“Dead End” is a psychological horror film directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa, released in 2003. The movie follows a family traveling to a Christmas gathering and takes a dark turn when they find themselves on an endless, mysterious road. Here’s a brief summary:
The Harrington family, consisting of the father Frank (Ray Wise), mother Laura (Lin Shaye), and their grown-up children Richard (Mick Cain) and Marion (Alexandra Holden), embark on a road trip to visit relatives for Christmas. While driving on a desolate road, they encounter a mysterious woman in white and, shortly after, discover that they cannot seem to escape the road they are on.
As the family attempts to find their way back to the main road, they become increasingly disoriented. Strange and unsettling events unfold, blurring the lines between reality and the supernatural. They encounter bizarre characters and experience inexplicable occurrences, leading them to question their sanity.
The tension within the family grows as they grapple with the inexplicable nature of their situation, and relationships unravel under the stress of the eerie events. The film combines elements of psychological horror, mystery, and dark humor as the family confronts their fears and the unknown forces at play.
“Dead End” is notable for its atmospheric tension, clever use of the confined road setting, and its twist ending. The film received positive reviews for its ability to create an unsettling and mysterious atmosphere within the confines of a seemingly endless road.
8. Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
“Anna and the Apocalypse” is a 2017 British Christmas zombie musical film directed by John McPhail. The movie blends elements of horror, comedy, and musical genres, set against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse during the holiday season. Here’s a brief summary:
The story revolves around Anna Shepherd (played by Ella Hunt), a high school student who, along with her friends, must battle a zombie horde that invades their small town of Little Haven during Christmas. The film begins with typical high school drama, but the festive mood takes a dark turn when a zombie outbreak erupts.
As chaos ensues, Anna and her friends, including her best friend John (Malcolm Cumming), the eccentric Steph (Sarah Swire), and others, navigate the perilous streets filled with the undead. The group’s journey becomes a musical adventure as they sing and dance their way through the zombie apocalypse, accompanied by a soundtrack that combines catchy tunes with the horror of the situation.
“Anna and the Apocalypse” explores themes of friendship, survival, and teenage angst in the face of a global catastrophe. The film uniquely combines the lightheartedness of a musical with the tension and gore of a zombie horror story. The characters’ struggles are accompanied by original songs that provide a humorous and poignant commentary on their situation.
The film received positive reviews for its inventive genre mashup, energetic musical numbers, and the charismatic performances of the cast. It offers a fresh and entertaining take on both the zombie and musical genres, making it a unique addition to the holiday film landscape.
7. Better Watch Out (2016)
“Better Watch Out” is a 2016 horror-comedy thriller directed by Chris Peckover. The film initially appears to follow the conventions of a home invasion thriller but takes unexpected turns as the plot unfolds. Here’s a brief summary:
The story centers around Ashley (played by Olivia DeJonge), a teenage babysitter, who is tasked with looking after 12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller) while his parents go out for the evening. As night falls, strange and unsettling events begin to occur. Mysterious noises and intruders outside the house set an ominous tone.
As the night progresses, it becomes clear that things are not what they seem. The film subverts expectations, revealing that Luke has orchestrated a series of elaborate and dangerous events in an attempt to impress Ashley, whom he harbors romantic feelings for. The movie takes a dark turn as the true nature of Luke’s plan is unveiled, leading to a suspenseful and intense series of events.
“Better Watch Out” plays with genre conventions, blending elements of horror, thriller, and black comedy. It explores themes of teenage obsession, manipulation, and the unpredictability of human behavior. The film received praise for its unexpected twists, clever writing, and the performances of its cast. It’s a movie that takes familiar tropes and subverts them in surprising and disturbing ways.
6. A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
“A Christmas Horror Story” is a 2015 horror anthology film directed by Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, and Brett Sullivan. The movie weaves together multiple stories that unfold during the Christmas season, each with its own blend of horror and dark humor. Here’s a brief summary:
The film features four interwoven stories:
- Danger in the Woods:
A family ventures into the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree, only to encounter a malevolent force that turns family members against each other.
- Santa vs. Krampus:
Santa Claus (George Buza) battles Krampus (Rob Archer), a malevolent Christmas demon, in a fierce and gory confrontation.
A group of teens break into their school to investigate a gruesome murder that occurred years ago, only to face supernatural consequences.
- A Family Reunion:
A radio host (William Shatner) narrates a Christmas tale that ties the various stories together, revealing connections between the characters.
Throughout the film, the stories are interconnected in surprising ways, adding layers of complexity to the narrative. The movie explores various aspects of horror, including traditional Christmas folklore, supernatural entities, and psychological terror. “A Christmas Horror Story” is known for its inventive storytelling, blending holiday traditions with elements of horror to create a unique and entertaining anthology experience.
5. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
“Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” is a Finnish fantasy horror film released in 2010, directed by Jalmari Helander. The movie offers a dark and imaginative take on the legend of Santa Claus.
The story is set in the Korvatunturi mountains of Finland, where an American archaeological team led by Riley (Per Christian Ellefsen) is excavating what they believe to be a burial mound. As they dig deeper, they uncover something unexpected and supernatural.
It turns out that the burial mound contains the original Santa Claus, a dark and malevolent being who punishes naughty children. The locals, aware of the danger Santa poses, have been capturing and containing him for centuries.
Young Pietari (Onni Tommila) discovers the truth about Santa and attempts to warn the adults, but they dismiss his claims. As Christmas approaches, strange occurrences intensify in the village, and Pietari takes it upon himself to prepare for the impending danger.
The film combines horror, fantasy, and dark comedy as Pietari and his father attempt to survive the ancient, monstrous version of Santa. The narrative explores the darker aspects of folklore and mythology surrounding Christmas traditions, turning the joyful figure of Santa Claus into a menacing force.
“Rare Exports” received critical acclaim for its unique and inventive approach to the Christmas horror genre. It offers a fresh perspective on familiar holiday themes, creating a suspenseful and atmospheric tale that captivates audiences with its originality.
4. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
“Silent Night, Deadly Night” is a controversial American slasher film released in 1984, directed by Charles E. Sellier Jr. The movie gained notoriety for its portrayal of a killer Santa Claus, which led to protests and criticism upon its initial release. Here’s a brief summary:
The film follows the story of Billy Chapman, who witnesses his parents’ murder by a man dressed as Santa Claus when he was a child. Traumatized by the event, Billy grows up in an orphanage run by the strict Mother Superior. As an adult, he gets a job at a toy store during the Christmas season.
When forced to dress as Santa for the store, Billy’s traumatic memories resurface, triggering a psychological breakdown. Fueled by his interpretation of Santa as a punisher of the naughty, Billy embarks on a killing spree, targeting those he perceives as “naughty” or engaging in sinful behavior during the holiday season.
As Billy’s rampage continues, the film combines elements of horror and slasher tropes, featuring gory and violent sequences. The movie explores the psychological effects of trauma and the consequences of a disturbed upbringing.
“Silent Night, Deadly Night” faced considerable backlash upon release for its depiction of a murderous Santa Claus, with critics and parents’ groups objecting to the film’s advertising and content. Despite the controversy, the movie has since gained a cult following within the horror genre and is often discussed in the context of its impact on holiday-themed horror films.
3. Black Christmas (1974)
“Black Christmas” is a 1974 Canadian horror film directed by Bob Clark. Often considered one of the earliest examples of the slasher genre, the movie revolves around a group of sorority sisters who are terrorized by an unseen assailant during their Christmas break. Here’s a brief summary:
The story is set in a sorority house at Hawthorne College, where a group of young women is preparing to leave for Christmas vacation. As they start receiving unsettling and obscene phone calls, the sisters initially dismiss them as pranks. However, it becomes clear that these calls are connected to a more sinister presence when one of the sisters goes missing.
As the holiday festivities continue, the girls receive more threatening calls, and it becomes evident that a killer is lurking in their midst. The film skillfully builds tension and suspense as the unseen assailant methodically targets the sorority sisters. Meanwhile, the local police, led by Lt. Fuller (John Saxon), attempt to uncover the identity of the mysterious caller.
“Black Christmas” is known for its atmospheric setting, inventive camerawork, and suspenseful storytelling. The film plays with the conventions of the genre, keeping the killer’s identity a mystery until the end. The horror is accentuated by the holiday setting, creating a sense of vulnerability and isolation. “Black Christmas” has become a cult classic and is celebrated for its influence on the slasher genre, with many considering it a precursor to iconic films like “Halloween” (1978).
2. Krampus (2015)
“Krampus” is a 2015 American Christmas horror-comedy film directed by Michael Dougherty. The movie takes inspiration from European folklore and centers around the ancient figure of Krampus, a horned, anthropomorphic creature who punishes misbehaving individuals during the Christmas season. Here’s a brief summary:
The story follows the Engel family, led by Tom (Adam Scott) and Sarah (Toni Collette), who are hosting a dysfunctional extended family for Christmas. Max (Emjay Anthony), the young son of Tom and Sarah, still believes in the Christmas spirit and writes a letter to Santa Claus, expressing his wish for his family to get along.
When the holiday celebrations take a turn for the worse due to family tensions, Max tears up his letter and inadvertently invokes the wrath of Krampus. Soon, a blizzard descends on the neighborhood, isolating the family from the outside world. Mysterious and malevolent holiday-themed creatures begin to torment them.
As the family struggles to survive the night, they encounter a series of monstrous beings, including demonic toys, gingerbread men, and Krampus himself. The film combines horror elements with dark humor, exploring themes of family dysfunction and the consequences of losing the Christmas spirit.
“Krampus” received praise for its unique blend of horror and comedy, as well as its practical effects and creature designs. The movie pays homage to traditional Christmas tales while putting a dark and fantastical spin on the holiday season.
1. Gremlins (1984)
“Gremlins” is a 1984 American comedy horror film directed by Joe Dante and produced by Steven Spielberg. The movie follows a young man named Billy Peltzer (played by Zach Galligan) who receives a strange and adorable creature called a Mogwai as a Christmas gift from his father. The Mogwai, named Gizmo, comes with specific instructions to avoid exposure to bright light, water, and feeding it after midnight.
However, due to a series of mishaps, the rules are inadvertently broken, leading to the creation of more Mogwai. These new creatures, mischievous and malevolent, transform into gremlins—small, destructive monsters with a penchant for chaos and mayhem.
As the gremlins wreak havoc on the small town of Kingston Falls during the Christmas season, Billy, along with his girlfriend Kate (played by Phoebe Cates), must find a way to stop the creatures before they cause irreversible damage. The film combines horror elements with black comedy, creating a unique and entertaining blend.
“Gremlins” is known for its dark humor, practical effects, and memorable characters. The film became a commercial success and a cultural phenomenon, influencing the horror-comedy genre and spawning a franchise. Despite its seemingly lighthearted premise, “Gremlins” explores themes of responsibility, consumerism, and the unintended consequences of tampering with unknown forces.