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Necessary Evil: A Horror Christmas Carol

12.04.2015by: Mike Catalano
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A festive hello, my friends and welcome back to a holiday installment of horror that has to happen. I got some killer feedback on our last Black Friday-themed Necessary Evil which was quite a bargain! And now that Thanksgiving has passed, we can concentrate our thoughts fully on the Christmas season. With all things holly jolly in mind, I've always enjoyed the many iterations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, most likely because it has scary ghosts. I've also always wondered with all its touches of darkness why a full-blown horror version of the classic never occurred. It is time to wonder no more!

IDEA: A full-on, horror-centric version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

OUTLINE: I'm going to assume that everyone knows the basic story of A Christmas Carol. So first, we need our Scrooge. In the case of a horror retelling, I'm going to make ours a horror filmmaker or producer. He's rich and powerful and currently working on a holiday-themed horror movie. Only said movie is part remake PLUS he is bowing to studio pressure and watering it down for a PG-13 rating. These are two cardinal sins in our beloved genre.

On the night of Christmas Eve after the movie's wrap party, the now drunk filmmaker is visited by the ghost of his former writing partner, an older guy who made gloriously gory horror films with him in the past. The partner warns him that he is going to be visited by three spirits to show him the error of his horror-neutering ways. The filmmaker dismisses the ghost as a buzzed hallucination and passes out. He is awakened by the first ghost which comes in the form of a zombie from past George Romero movies. The zombie takes him back in time to when he was a child and saw his first gory horror film. This is what inspired him to be a genre filmmaker.

I say the second ghost of "horror present" should be a scary clown because the one in Dickens' version is always overly cheerful. This ghost shows the filmmaker the disgusted reactions of horror fans when crappy PG-13 horror movies and pointless remakes are jammed down their throats. One of the fans could be the teenage child of one of the filmmaker's crew. The kid is very quiet, but loves real horror, which is the only thing that makes him happy. The clown warns the filmmaker that the kid is close to contemplating suicide and the lack of true horror isn't helping.

The final ghost of the future comes in the form of a silent masked slasher much like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. He is dressed in a dark cloak to pay homage to the Grim Reaper version we all know, but also wears a pale mask. The ghost shows the filmmaker that in the future, the crew member's kid has indeed committed suicide. Even worse, after making the watered down horror movie, the filmmaker's next project is... a remake of a Twilight movie! Suffice to say, he becomes motivated to change his ways.

WHY IT COULD WORK: Holiday horror, if done right, can be incredibly popular. Us horror fans do love some scares mixed in with our Christmas cheer. Krampus is a perfect example and is actually being released in theaters today.

CHARACTERS: We have a character to match every basic character from Dickens' classic. We have the three ghosts, the "Marley ghost", the Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. And of course, the Scrooge character embodied in the filmmaker. I think it would be cool to get an actual horror filmmaker like John Carpenter or John Landis.

CONCLUSION: A Christmas Carol is a timeless tale that most people love. Genre fans also love holiday horror along the lines of Black Christmas, Gremlins, and Silent Night, Deadly Night. It's a perfect combination of seasonal warmth and chills. Since A Christmas Carol is tailor made to embrace ghastly ghosts, I say go all the way and dish out an all horror version.

How do you feel about A Horror Christmas Carol? Do you think it would make a joyful addition to our arsenal of holiday horror or am I being a little too greedy in asking Charles Dickens to embrace our genre? Kindly fire them bullets below! And if you have any ideas that you think should be made into horror reality, let me know at mikecatalano@joblo.com.

Extra Tidbit: What's your favorite holiday horror movie and why?

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1:31AM on 12/05/2015

neat idea

I'm not sure it should go exactly as you've outlined, but I could see a horror-ifyed Christmas Carol working. Get Del Toro to direct and Charlie Kaufman to write it.
I'm not sure it should go exactly as you've outlined, but I could see a horror-ifyed Christmas Carol working. Get Del Toro to direct and Charlie Kaufman to write it.
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