Christmas horror movies to get you in the holiday spirit

Photo+courtesy+of+publicdomainpictures.net

Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

For those of us who celebrate it, we all have a favorite Christmas movie, and hopefully a favorite horror movie, but why not combine the two? I made it my job to give you some Christmas horror movie reviews and recommendations so you don’t have to do all the searching to find a holiday scare.

 

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

 

Black Christmas (2019) IMDb Rating: 3.3/10 Stream On: HBO Max, YouTube, Vudu, Amazon, Google Play

This movie was one I had been waiting to watch since it came out last year and I can happily say that I was not disappointed.  The 2019 Black Christmas is the second remake of the original film bearing the same name from 1974. The movie follows multiple girls from different sororities at their college who don’t go home for Christmas break and all begin getting DMs from an account claiming to be the school’s founder. This leads you to believe that these girls get texts right before they are killed, but on the night of a Christmas potluck between the girls at one of the sororities, multiple killers in robes and masks attack. As it turns out, these killers are all at the other sorority houses as well. Eventually, all of the girls still alive band together to try and kill the killers, and the ending scene is all-around female empowerment. I highly suggest you go watch this movie―it was my favorite among all the others―especially for it’s altered, Mean Girls reminiscent “Jingle Bell Rock” scene. 

Better Watch Out (2016) IMDb Rating: 6.5/10 Stream On: Tubi, Crackle, Vudu, Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play

I had never heard of this movie before, but my mom helped me do some movie research and found it. Let me just say, this movie was unexpected. When it started, I just thought it was going to be about a girl babysitting this kid while his parents went to a Christmas party and a killer was going to break in and harass them, but that is so not what happened. IMDb’s description leads you to the same conclusion as mine about this movie, stating that “on a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover that it’s a far from normal home invasion.” The invader is not who you’d expect and when the babysitter finds out that they weren’t in any real danger she threatens to call the boy’s parents. However, she never gets the chance because the boy she’s babysitting throws her down the stairs and she wakes up tied to a chair. The boy is obsessively in love with her and an absolute psychopath who somehow goes on a killing rampage all before his parents come home. Honestly, throughout the whole movie, I was just asking myself “Where are this kid’s parents?” because that Christmas party most definitely shouldn’t have been as long as it was. This movie wasn’t my favorite, but it kept me on my toes for sure. 

Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) IMDb Rating: 6/10 Stream On: Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, Vudu, Google Play, EPIX NOW

This one is a favorite of mine, not because it’s a good movie, but just because it’s funny and I’m a musical nerd.  Honestly, who wouldn’t enjoy a British, Christmas, zombie apocalypse musical with depressed teenagers? The main character looks like she’s dead inside for about 90% of the movie, which I found to be hilarious along with her total obliviousness to the world around her. One morning she’s walking to school with her earbuds in and doesn’t notice that there are zombies attacking people all around her, and then she proceeds to dance through a cemetery. Who dances through cemeteries on the way to school? Eventually, she finally notices that something is wrong when a zombie in a snowman costume tries to attack her. She and her best friend team up with an American lesbian and a phone-obsessed boy who films everything from their school and hide out at a bowling alley. They kill a party of bachelors-turned-zombies before making their way through a horde of them underneath a blow-up kiddie pool actually thinking it would protect them. This team of misfits bands together with a group of jocks as they make their way to their high school to see their loved ones, only for their principal to lock them in the cafeteria with zombies once they get there. What really makes this movie even better is that the zombie infection was caused by a pandemic that was at first believed to be a form of the flu. Sound familiar?

Silent Night (2012) IMDb Rating: 5.2/10 Stream On: Tubi, Amazon, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes

I only watched this one because my mom wanted to see it and we can both agree that it was a little underwhelming, but there were some very laughable parts. Taking place in a small town, a man dressed up as a masked Santa Claus goes around killing “naughty” people while a local female deputy, working at a Police Station consisting of about 4 people, tries to find him. The old white male Sheriff undermines the deputy’s every lead and they go after two different Santas convinced one of them is the killer, but the deputy can feel that something is off, and knows their killer Santa isn’t either of the ones they originally thought. The best part of the movie is when Killer Santa throws a girl into a woodchipper in broad daylight and somehow nobody sees anything. The movie did fall flat so I don’t have much to say, but happily enough the important female characters in this movie actually don’t die.

Krampus (2015) IMDb Rating: 6.2/10 Stream On: Hulu, YouTube, Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, Google Play

This movie was talked about so much after it came out but until this year, I had never watched it. I do have to say that after watching it, this movie definitely comes in second place for my favorite of all these movies. First off, the opening scene was immaculate in its honesty and hilarity; people were literally trampling over other people to get gifts, two parents actually ended up getting tasered, and then the second scene is a kids holiday show that ends in a fistfight. How does that not get you in the holiday spirit? The main character Max’s family is a total mess, too. His parents don’t really talk to each other, his sister is a teenager obsessed with her boyfriend, his aunt, uncle and their 5 kids show up with his great aunt who never stops drinking throughout the whole movie. Then the actual bad stuff happens. They’re the only people in town, the power is out, and all of a sudden they’ve got freaky toy helpers of Satan Santa attacking the adults in the attic. This Christmas could not get any worse for this family… and then somehow it does. Krampus really shows this family fighting for their lives, and let me just say that Max is one brave little kid.  If you didn’t watch this movie back in 2015 when it came out―or even if you did―go watch it and then go watch all of the other Krampus movies. I know that that’s what I’m going to do. 

Gremlins (1984) IMDb Rating: 7.3/10 Stream On: Vudu, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes

Just watching Gremlins, even if I didn’t know ahead of time that it was, it is so obviously an 80s movie. The Steven Spielberg movies I’ve watched from the 80s to the 2000s I’ve all really enjoyed. This one wasn’t my favorite of his. While I did enjoy it, it just felt like he was trying to do something similar to that of E.T. with the weird creature being cared for by a boy aspect. Throughout the whole movie I just felt bad for Gismo, the weird creature Billy was gifted for Christmas. Gismo is a special creature that is sensitive to light and will die if he’s in direct sunlight, can’t touch water because then he will multiply, and can’t be fed after midnight or he’ll cocoon himself until he becomes an evil version of himself that likes to kill people for fun. Fortunately, Gismo does not become evil, but he does multiply by water accidentally being spilled on him, and his fellow Gremlins become evil. Somehow, even with these evil creatures wreaking havoc on this small town, Spielberg managed to make it a part-time love story between Billy and one of his coworkers from the bank. 

Overall, watching these movies was a fun adventure, and as much as I enjoy watching horror movies, I think most can agree that none of them are all that great; everything is a little bit predictable and nothing is scary, save for the occasional jump one might get. Honestly, they’re more comedy movies than anything else. Why would anyone say “Hello?” when they hear something in a house when they’re supposed to be alone? The killer is not going to answer you! Also, why does no one ever turn the lights on? I get it, it’s a horror movie but that’s just common sense. The frequent stupidity of the characters does frustrate me, but I do enjoy making fun of them and occasionally being surprised. As much as I love my classic holiday movies like the Santa Clause trilogy and Elf, I think I will make it my mission to continue exploring this genre of Christmas horror movies.

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