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Have Yourself A Scary Little Christmas: The Ultimate List of X-Mas Horror Pics

If you are like me and 2016 has killed the last of your remaining humanity, you are no in the mood to be jolly. Or cheery. Or merry.

So, might as well embrace your newfound take on existence and enjoy the holidays the only way a person ravaged by pure evil can: Give up and join the dark side.

Why fight it? Turn into the skid and enjoy the horrible ride before the crash.

Now, as the holidays approach, end 2016 on a dark and horrifying note. Here is a list of horror and slasher movies to match your dark holiday mood:


Black Christmas (1974 and 2006)

Plot: Sorority sisters are killed one by one over the holiday season by a crank caller. The remake features more gore, as well as incest, cannibalism and deadly icicles.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: In the original, Barb is killed with a glass unicorn as carolers sing outside. In the remake, a little boy enjoys Christmas cookies made of momma’s flesh.

Is There A Santa Claus?: In the original, no. In the remake, there is a mall santa, so I guess that counts.


Christmas Evil (1980)

Plot: Corporate cog goes nuts, believes he’s Santa and begins killing all the bad boys on his naughty list.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: Killing preppies as the exit a midnight mass.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Yep


A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

Plot: Horror anthology featuring ghosts, changelings, zombie elves and Krampus.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: “Santa” taking care of the evil hordes of “zombies” that have overtaken the mall.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Yep. Santa is featuring predominantly in the fourth tale.


Dead End (2003)

Plot: Family on a car trip to visit granny for the holidays are sidetracked by evil forces, seemingly innocent hitchhikers and their own little versions of Death on the Highway.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: Not a lot of holiday cheer or fear in this one.

Is There A Santa Claus?: No


Don’t Open Until Christmas (1984)

Plot: Santas are slayed left and right and it’s up to the cops to figure out who is behind the yuletide homicides.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: A random mall Santa gets his jingle bells cut off.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Yes. Santa slayings a plenty in this gorefest.


Elves (1989)

Plot: A demonic elf works with Hitler to bring forth a master race of half-human, half-elf and it’s up to emo teenagers and a former cop with a past to save us all. Who will win? Who will lose? Only one thing is for sure: There was a shit ton of cocaine floating around Hollywood writer’s rooms  in 1989.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: Toss up between the monstrous elf stabbing folks with a Christmas tree topper or a candy cane. Tough call.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Yes. The ex-cop with something to prove is actually a mall Santa when not fighting crime.


Gremlins (1984)

Plot: Billy’s dad gets him a Mogwai for Christmas, but he doesn’t heed the warnings as he proceeds to prove himself one of the worst pet owners of all time.

Perhaps the best pic on this entire list, this Steven Spielberg-produced gem deserves to be watched one a year.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: So many to choose from, but perhaps the best is when Mrs. Deagle (aka Flo from Mel’s Diner) goes to throw water on some pesky carolers only to be met with a doorstep filled with horror.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Briefly. He’s being attacked by the little critters though.


Home for the Holidays (1972)

Plot: Made-for-TV scarer starring Sally Field as one of four sisters who return home for the holidays to find out their father may or may not have been murdered by their stepmother.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: Takes place on Christmas, but not a lot of “death by ornaments and/or candy” in this one.

Is There A Santa Claus?: No.


Jack Frost (1997)
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)


  • Part 1: A serial killer is transformed into a mutant killer snowman. Warning: Movie features human-on-snowman sexual assault scene.
  • Part 2: Jack’s back, and he’s pissed. This time, he’s brought the kids.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: Not really a Christmas movie, but it is snowy, so it gets a pass.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Nope.

ARVE Error: need id and provider


Krampus (2015)

Plot: Horror comedy about a dysfunctional family trapped in a house by the legendary beast of Christmas.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: Dragging one of the more obnoxious kids up the chimney with care…

Is There A Santa Claus?: No.


The Melancholy Fantastic (2011)

Plot: A holiday tale about a grief-stricken young woman and her creepy life-size muslin doll BFF who tells her to kill.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: The holidays stay in the background, used to bring out the depression in young Melanie, not the murderous nature of the doll.

Is There A Santa Claus?: No.


O’Hellige Jul! (aka Christmas Cruelty!) (2013)

Plot: A serial killer Santa and his merry band of miscreants prepare for the holidays with killing galore. Well done shocker that impresses and distresses.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: Any time Santa picks up a chainsaw.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Yes.

ARVE Error: need id and provider


One Hell of A Christmas (2002)

Plot: An ex-con get thrown into the world of the occult when his attempt to make a quick buck for Christmas goes awry.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: A few attacks with a Christmas tree

Is There A Santa Claus?: No.


Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

Plot: Fab little Finnish horror fantasy tale that turns the myth of Santa on its head, re-inventing jolly Old St. Nick as a nightmarish ancient evil who devours reindeer…and kids, both naughty and nice.

After Gremlins, this is the second best pic on this list.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: Not really scary, but just a fun little twist on an old myth: the excavation crew that is digging out Santa much follow a strict list of rules, which they deem as insane but the audience will quickly realize are all old school items that will get your ass on the Naughty List.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Hell yeah!


Santa Claws (1996)

Plot: A stalker dresses up like Santa and wrecks havoc on his neighbor’s life.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: Nothing really. For a title like this, I was hoping for a great noel nightmare monster, not a dude with a hammer and discount Santa threads. Dullsville.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Sure.


Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)

Plot: Lloyd Kaufman’s fun little schlock horror pic about a lawyer who inherits his granddaddy’s digs on Christmas Eve. Little does he realize that the manor use to be an insane asylum with a devilish past.

Best Scary, Merry Moment:  Adorable Christmas story about what happened in 1935 when all the lunatics escaped the asylum. Merry Christmas!

Is There A Santa Claus?: Nope.


Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Plot: Poor Billy had a rough childhood. After he watched the death of his parents, he was sent to live in an abusive orphanage. As an adult, the a mild manner stock boy is loses his grip on sanity during the holidays and begins to don a Santa suit while he goes on an epic killing spree.

A classic slasher pic for the ages.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Yes.


  • Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987) – Ricky, Billy’s little brother, goes into the family business.
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out (1989) – Ricky teams up with a blind clairvoyant girl.
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990) – No killer Santas this time. Instead, you get witches, deadly insects, cults, curses and Clint Howard. This is the Halloween III of the Silent Night series, but awful.
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991) – Killer toys, more larvae and Mickey Rooney!
  • Silent Night (2012) – Loose remake where the killer takes part in a Santa parade


Sint (2010)

Plot: Saint Nicholas is a murderous bishop who kills bunches of kiddies whenever there is a full moon on November 5.

Best Scary, Merry Moment: A nice reimagining of the classic Santa look, with the old man himself looking like a warmed over zombie in clothes found in the Popemobile.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Yep!


To All A Goodnight (1980)

Plot: Over-sexed sorority girls are once again the target of a deranged man in a Santa costume

Best Scary, Merry Moment: The dude is in a Santa suit. That’s really all you get. But it make up for the lack of Christmas spirit with plenty of boobies.

Is There A Santa Claus?: Yes.


Special mention:

Treevenge (2008)

Sentient Christmas trees get their revenge on mankind for dressing up their corpses in lights.


Slay Belles (???)

It’s not out…yet, but this little indie number gets special mention for using an abandoned Santa’s Village theme park.

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