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HORROR TEN SPOT: Top 10 Xmas Horror Flicks

12.13.2007by: Matt Withers
Ho, ho, ho. Don't ya just love them ho's! 'Tis the season where the ideology of a poor skinny hippie meets the unrepentant consumption that a fat man in a red suit can inspire.

So how better to enjoy the holidays than to cozy up with some Christmas horror flicks, that for better or worse, turn the expected joys of the season on their f*cking heads.

Now this list is slightly hamstrung by the fact that there are barely ten Christmas horror pics worth mentioning, but we've put the AITH braintrust together to come up with the most awesome reasons to give Kris Kringle the finger we could think of.

Spit bullets below on your favorites, or just offer up some Christmas cheer to your fellow Arrowheads!

10. Don't Open Till Christmas

Make no mistake, this is pretty terrible movie. Some might even accuse it of being unwatchable. Shoddy camera work, scenes that don't fit, a plot that would be laughable if it wasn't so...meh. So why the inclusion? Because if you want to watch a wide variety of men dressed as Santa get killed in a wide variety of ways, this is the movie for you. If you think Jolly Old St. Nick is a prick, you'll enjoy watching him get killed over and over again (including one Santa who loses his "sack" - you've been warned).

9. Jack Frost

As you can see in the photo above, Shannon Elizabeth gets raped to death by a psychotic snowman in this movie. That statement either ensures you will rent this tomorrow, or that you will avoid it like the plague. If you're one of those who are already pulling up your Netflix cue, then this is a fun B-movie with plenty to enjoy after a bowl or two of eggnog has gone down. Please note this is NOT the Michael Keaton movie of the same name, though the general concepts are surprisingly similar, and equally ridiculous.

8. Santa's Slay

Lots of smaller budget horror flicks unintentionally tred the comedy line, but purposeful and effective horror comedy is hard to come by. The tone of Santa's Slay falls flat for some, but I think it's a helluva a lot of fun. Evil Santa played by Jewish wrestler? Check. Massive damage? Check. One-liners straight out of a Schwarzenegger flick? Check. The last block ends up feeling like a too familiar sleigh ride, but up 'til then it's a very merry Christmas.

7. Silent Night, Deadly Night

What's better with sugar plums than some nice wet plasma? The sheer brutality of SNDN lifts it above the fray. Not really enough to have inspired the protests that got it axed from the big screen back in the day, but certainly enough to give you a jolly feeling this holiday season. Plus we understand why Billy is a homicidal nutball, so that makes his red suited reign of terror the perfect stocking stuffer.

6. Christmas Evil

Silent Night Deadly Night, as much fun as it is, is Friday the 13th to the Halloween that is Christmas Evil a/k/a Terror In Toyland a/k/a You Better Watch Out. The plight of tragically put upon Harry Stadling and the lengths to which he'll go to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas has a disturbing and unexpectedly complex psychological component to it. Definitely a flick that will have you appreciating the true meaning of Christmas.

5. Day Of The Beast

El Dia de la Bestia is the original title of this Spanish flick that is just f*cking fun! It's a weird mix of comedy and horror, but somehow it all works - like if Monty Python or The Marx Brothers made a legit genre pic. It centers around a priest who discovers that Satan will return to Earth in Madrid on Christmas Day. The padre figures the best way to find evil is to act evil, so the goodhearted priest tries to be bad enough to find and stop the Devil. It's a unique genre experience for your holiday season.

4. Child's Play

OK, so Child's Play isn't technically a Christmas movie, but it's always felt like one to me. After all it is winter time (November at the start), and it does center around a gift (B-day, but close enough). To me the ever-present sweaters, fireplaces, and toy induced mayhem all scream holiday cheer. I particularly love to watch it around Christmas time when I'm ready to rip the wings off an angel if It's A Wonderful Life plays one more f*cking time!

3. The Nightmare Before Christmas

I'm not as big a fan of Tim Burton's as some. It's a 50/50 proposition with him in my opinion. Sometimes great, sometimes tedious and pretentious. But I don't know anyone who would argue that The Nightmare Before Christmas isn't one of his home runs. This sucker combines two favorite holidays and turns them on their head. Plus Jack Skellington gives us a hero who is sympathetic, but also scary as hell when circumstances call for it. Added bonus for the holidays, you can watch this one with the whole family - maybe.

2. Gremlins

Phobe Cates hates Christmas because her dad died in a chimney dressed up as Santa. One of my all time favorite exposition scenes. You get the feeling through the whole film that director Joe Dante wanted to see how much he could get away with. It's like genre fan play time, twisting an idyllic small town into the Main Street of Hell. The fact that the studio turned around and successfully sold it as a family film in some markets, in my view, just makes the whole thing even better.

1. Black Christmas

A lump of coal for the remake, but the original bad boy Christmas fright flick still creeps me out to this day. It does everything a slasher film is supposed to do and does it well. A lot of times it's easy to think slashers don't really work anymore because the formula has been used so many times, but anytime you have atmosphere, suspense and a genuinely threatening villain, the damn thing is gonna work. And it works here baby! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!



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