11 Christmas Horror Movies To Scare The Baby Bejesus Out Of You

From Nazi-loving Elves to wrestling Santas this list has something for everybody.

Gremlins movie poster.
Gremlins The festive favourite. Image Warner Bros/Amblin

Christmas time is supposed to be about spreading festive cheer, but after the 2016 loaded has just witnessed it is probably more appropriate to spread a little more fear at the same time.

With Donald Trump as President, 2017 is already shaping up to be a worrisome 12 months, so why not wallow in the misery and mayhem of it all with a great horror movie this Christmas?

The history of Christmas chills goes back to the 1970s and while, on the whole, they’ve been largely shocking efforts – in more ways than one – each has its own merits as this countdown demonstrates.

So cracked open a drink and let us take you on a not-so-merry journey through the history of Christmas themed horror.


Black Christmas (1974)

Chronicling the exploits of a mysterious killer dressed as Santa Claus, who harasses and stalks women living in a sorority house, Black Christmas only cost $680,000 but provided the inspiration for Halloween and the wider slasher horror movie craze that followed.


Christmas Evil (1980)

As much a character study as it is a tale about a bloke man dressed up as Santa Claus murdering people with a hatchet, this cult favourite may lack some originality but it’s garnered a cult following in the years since thanks to some crazy effects and having John Waters as a fan.


Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Another movie about a Santa-led murderous rampage, this video nasty courted controversy with a blood-soaked trailer depicting Father Christmas as a rather jolly looking rampage killer and was pulled from release after a week. It still outshone fellow new arrival A Nightmare On Elm Street at the box office.


Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984)

The tables were turned in this one, where the Santas become the target for a crazed serial killer in what is a very bawdy London-based movie. The film’s heady mix of blood, sex and hijinks have helped it become something of a guilty pleasure in the years since.


Gremlins (1984)

It’s sometimes easy to forget that Joe Dante’s original was actually a Christmas film, given how batsh*t mental the sequel was but Gremlins is the go-to movie for anyone seeking legit Festive chills. Make no mistake; the Mogwais transformation to the titular characters and mayhem that follows is truly terrifying.


Elves (1989)

Elves tells the story of a group of Nazi-loving little people intent on creating some sort of Adolf Hitler clone army. Santa is the savior in this one, coming to the rescue to put a stop to their evil selective breeding plans. The elves that appear in this film will haunt your dreams forever.


Jack Frost (1997)

Not to be confused with the Michael Keaton-voiced family favourite of the same name, this is basically a Christmas version of Child’s Play with the spirit of the killer transported into a snowman rather than a toy doll. Earns extra points for the presence of Shannon Elizabeth in a steamy bathroom death scene.


Santa’s Slay (2006)

This horror comedy boasts a great cast including James Caan, Fran Drescher and Emile de Ravin but it’s the presence of wrestling star Bill Goldberg that is the biggest talking point herewith the grappler spending the majority of the movie causing mayhem, which mostly involves slamming folk on the ground and headbutting people.


Treevenge (2008)

A short film and surprise entry into the countdown, Treevenge earns brownie points for sheer originality with its tale of Christmas trees on a murderouse rampage. Funny, well done considering the budget and easy to watch, it sure beats another Santa slasher.


Stalled (2013)

Another low budget gem, this one is all about what goes on in the toilets during an office Christmas Party and how one janitor reacts to a zombie invasion during the night’s festivities. Give it a watch.


Krampus (2015)

Arguably the most family-friendly film on the list, this big-budget US effort features big names like Adam Scott and Toni Collette and is inspired by the German festive folklore character of the same name. Great effects and occasionally funny – it’s probably the best big budget Christmas movie of recent times.

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