I made a list of my top 20 holiday horror movies a few years ago (HERE and HERE), but since there have been new Christmas horror movies in the past few years, that list was in need of a serious update!
There are so many Christmas horror movies that there are plenty to choose from and keep you occupied for all 13 days of Creepmas, plus all 12 days of Christmas! Still, holidays are a busy time for most folks, so I've narrowed my picks from 20 down to 10, including some more recent holiday horror films that have been released the past few years.
Here are my new top 10 holiday horror movies:
Top 10 Christmas Horror Movies:
10. Christmas Evil - This dark horror film is all about a man slipping into insanity, donning a red Santa suit and killing people that he deems "naughty" with his handcrafted toys. It has some great dark comedy, wonderful holiday atmosphere, and the performance by Brandon Maggert is disturbing and fantastic! I choose this film over Silent Night, Deadly Night because Christmas Evil feels grittier.
9. Jack Frost - This film is a hoot! I mean, why aren't there more killer snowmen movies? The carrot rape scene makes me uncomfortable, but it is so ridiculous that it is bearable. The rest of the movie is full of cheesy one-liners and cartoon-like violence.
8. Dead End - Not many people have heard of this film, but it is a twisty-turny, eerie mystery about a family (including dad and mom played by Ray Wise and Lin Shaye) driving on a long, dark road one Christmas Eve when creepy things start happening. The film gives me Twilight Zone-ish vibes and is creepy.
7. Silent Night - This loose remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night from 2012 is actually a lot of fun with its over-the-top violence and gore! Dare I say I enjoy it more than the original? It just seems to have a lot more fun with itself and really go all-out with the gore!
6. Rare Exports - I love this Finnish film and its dark retelling of the Santa Claus tale. It has an intriguing story and I love how twisted the tale gets. The Scandinavian landscape, creepy elves, plus a twinkle of humor make this one a must-see!
5. A Christmas Horror Story - A newer favorite, this was just released last year! I didn't expect much out of it, but was surprised that this horror anthology delivered. It's got creepy changelings, evil ghosts, Krampus, Santa fighting zombie elves, and William Shatner as a radio DJ. It has held up through multiple viewings and I always discover something new upon repeat viewings.
4. Santa's Slay - This horror comedy featuring a killer Santa is a treasure and perfect for those with bah humbug sentiments about the holidays. It is full of slapstick action and violence, plus surprising celebrity cameos (well, D-list celebrities, but it's still fun watching them get slaughtered by an evil Santa!).
3. Krampus - Another new favorite, this Christmas horror movie focuses on Krampus who is summoned by a young boy after he loses his Christmas spirit when dealing with his obnoxious family over the holidays. It is by the same director who gifted us Trick 'r Treat, and it has the same amazing production value! I love Krampus as well as all his evil helpers, including malicious gingerbread men, flesh-eating toys, and evil elves.
2. Gremlins - This is my go-to feel-good horror movie of the holidays! It might not be as gritty or scary as others on this list, but it is one I hold near and dear to my heart and simply must watch every December! It's the perfect film to watch with your family, while wrapping presents, or while you are enjoying some vegan nog and cookies!
1. Black Christmas - The original 1974 Black Christmas STILL manages to freak me out, no matter how many times I view it. The cheery Christmas atmosphere and beautiful snowy weather juxtapose nicely against the horror happening within a sorority house, beginning with some disturbing phone calls before escalating to murders as the sorority girls are picked off one-by-one.
What are your must-see holiday horror movies to watch around this time of year?
If you want more holiday horror movies, check out my past suggestions HERE and HERE!