Bloody Disgusting’s Massive Guide to Over 120 Christmas Horror Films
‘Tis the season to be scary, fa la la la la.
For horror fans, this is the time of the year to watch as many holiday horror movies as possible, and with so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Do you revisit all your favorites that you’ve already seen countless times, or do you seek out new gems to add to the rotation? Perhaps a wintry mix of both?
If you’re looking to expand your holiday horror horizons beyond the tried and true staples, like Black Christmas or Gremlins (they’re covered too), we’ve compiled a massive guide to help. What exactly does that mean? Any horror movie that fully embraces the holiday iconography and is set around (or on) Christmas earns a spot, whether naughty or nice.
With over 120 holiday genre titles on this list, well, there’s a lot to unwrap.
So, let’s get straight to it!
A Cadaver Christmas
When the cadaver lab at a university creates a horde of zombies on Christmas Eve, thanks to a nutty professor, the campus’s janitor enlists a bunch of town locals to help him save Christmas. A splatstick indie horror-comedy, A Cadaver Christmas aims to paint the snow red.
A Christmas Horror Story
This horror anthology set on Christmas Eve connects five seasonally themed tales of terror via a radio DJ (William Shatner). High school students investigating a holiday suicide, a son behaving eerily after the family obtains their Christmas tree, another family stalked and terrorized by Krampus, and poor Santa Claus battling zombie elves at the North Pole all put the ho-ho-ho in holiday horror.
A Christmas Tale (2005)
Part of Spanish television series Films to Keep You Awake, Paco Plaza (Veronica, REC) centered his feature-length episode around Christmas. Set in 1985, a group of kids spending their holiday at a coastal village stumble across a woman dressed in a Santa suit trapped in a pit. When they discover the woman is an infamous thief, they decide to keep her trapped and torture her in the hopes she shares where she hid her loot. They realize the error of their ways after the woman frees herself and seeks bloody revenge.
A few days before Christmas, shoppers and employees are wrapping up before closing time at a small-town store when masked gunmen burst in, kill a few people and take the rest hostage. They’re not robbers, though, but rogue scientists trying to determine which of the remaining hostages are aliens in disguise. This one’s a low-budget sci-fi horror flick in the vein of The Thing, but at Christmas.
All the Creatures Were Stirring
An awkward first date on Christmas Eve at a bizarre theater unveils multiple tales of yuletide horror all centered around the holiday. Segments about white elephant gift exchanges at the office, last minute holiday shopping and demons, a vengeful Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and more offer up different twists on holiday horror.
All Through the House
A deranged masked killer dressed as Santa comes to town to wreak havoc and pile up a hefty body count. The blood flows free and the killer leaves a trail of corpses in his wake as he merrily slaughters his way to the town’s most infamous home.
Paranormal investigator Georgette Dubois investigates reported paranormal activity in a skyscraper on Christmas Eve. Naturally, she finds far more than she bargained for when she becomes trapped by evil on the top floor. Bill Moseley stars.
Anna and the Apocalypse
High school just got a lot tougher for Anna and her friends when a zombie apocalypse threatens her small town. They’ll have to band together to fight, slash, and sing their way through a horde of the undead to reach their loved ones. Yes, this is a high school musical, but for all the Christmas cheer there’s an equal amount of bleakness and bloodshed.
The stockings were hung from the, uh, wolf cock with cheer in this holiday set follow up to B-movie romp WolfCop. Alcoholic officer Lou Garou, now far more comfortable in his werewolf skin, and his partner Tina team up to save their town from an evil businessman that seduces the residents with beer and hockey.
After leaving their office Christmas party, three co-workers find themselves trapped in an ATM booth late at night due to a stalking hooded figure outside. Their fight for survival in the cat-and-mouse game with the serial killer is compounded by the winter conditions.
Await Further Instructions
Christmas day gets weird when a family finds themselves trapped inside their home by a mysterious substance outside. The only clue is a TV message that tells them to “Stay indoors and await further instructions.” Holidays are hell as it is, but paranoia escalates into violence.
Babes in Toyland (1934)
Also known as March of the Wooden Soldiers, this yuletide children’s fantasy film isn’t horror, but some of these characters offer up pure nightmare fuel. Set in a Nursery Rhyme town, an evil landlord tries to marry Little Bo Peep when her mom can’t pay the mortgage. When Laurel and Hardy try to save the day, the landlord unleashes his Bogeyman.
I know, I know. This is a superhero movie. But it’s directed by Tim Burton, who can’t help but create a lush Gothic atmosphere for Gotham. Set over Christmas, Batman takes on the Penguin (a very horror-centric approach to the character), an evil businessman, and a love/hate battle with Catwoman. The eerie look of the circus gang, the cold set pieces, the sadistic villains; all with Burton’s unique, macabre aesthetic. It’s genre adjacent enough for horror fans to embrace, anyway.
Bikini Bloodbath Christmas
The third entry in the Bikini Bloodbath series that parodies ‘80s slashers sees Jenny and Sharon once again stalked by a killer chef. This time, it’s during Christmas. Debbie Rochon reprises her role as the volleyball coach, Miss Johnson.
Better Watch Out
The suburbs just got a whole lot weirder with this mean Christmas twist on home invasion horror. A babysitter must defend herself and her ward from intruders, but nothing is remotely what it seems. Remember that scene in Home Alone where Kevin McCallister swung paint cans from the upstairs railing to thwart his intruders? Look for writer/director Chris Peckover to take it to the next level.
Black Christmas (1974)
During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger. A seminal holiday horror staple; look for obscene phone calls, Margot Kidder to steal all of her scenes, and one eerie killer.
Black Christmas (2006)
In the first remake of the 1974 classic, Billy gets a backstory. On Christmas Eve, an escaped maniac returns to his childhood home, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one. It’s a much bloodier affair this go ‘round.
Black Christmas (2020)
In the newest remake, the formula gets a major shakeup. A group of female students are stalked by a stranger during their Christmas break. That is until the young sorority pledges discover that the killer is part of an underground college conspiracy.
The Blackout (2009)
Residents of an apartment building find themselves trapped inside during city-wide blackouts and tremors on Christmas Eve. When something monstrous hatches in the building’s basement, the residents find they’ll have to band together to survive.
Blood Beat (1983)
A young woman decides to accompany her boyfriend when he heads home to rural Wisconsin for Christmas. Probably not a great call, because they have to then contend with a woman possessed by the spirit of a Japanese samurai warrior in this weird sort of holiday slasher. Oh, the ‘80s.
Holly, Cali and Mel are celebrating the holidays together on Christmas Eve. Cali convinces the friends to head out for a night of fun at her uncle’s mansion, deserted for Christmas. After hours of enjoying the place, it quickly becomes clear that Cali lied. This expansive home doesn’t belong to her family at all, and the night goes catastrophically awry with deadly consequences.
Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas
In the fifth entry in the Caesar and Otto series, Caesar and his half-brother Otto take on the role of Santa and his elf. When a fellow store Santa develops a serious grudge against the pair, the body count starts piling up. Look for appearances by horror vets Linnea Quigley, Felissa Rose, Brinke Stevens, Lloyd Kaufman and more.
Marc is a traveling entertainer on his way home for Christmas when his van breaks down near a backwater town. A town that just so happens to have some very peculiar residents. Marc’s holiday is about to get very depraved and uncomfortable.
A disgruntled mall Santa finds himself without a job on Christmas Eve, so he does what any cannibal does; head out onto the town to find himself some victims to chop up for Christmas BBQ.
The Children (2008)
A relaxing Christmas vacation among friends and family turns into a terrifying fight for survival when a sickness begins spreading among the children. It turns them into homicidal maniacs with grisly designs on their parents.
After a 13-year reign of terror on Christmas in Norway, a psychopath is finally caught and kept in solitary for years. That is, until he breaks out and sets his sights on a new little town over the holidays. A group of friends celebrating in that fateful village find themselves on this killer Santa’s naughty list.
A killer Santa strikes again in Norway in this holiday horror slasher. It follows both the group of unwitting survivors and the killer as he plots his invasion and murder schemes. Over Christmas, of course.
Christmas Eve Dinner
Also known as La Nuit du Reveillon, this French holiday thriller sees a group of friends gathered for dinner on Christmas Eve. They all seem to lead happy, successful lives until a masked stranger arrives to take them hostage and force them to confess their dark secrets and lies.
After a traumatic childhood experience over learning the truth about Santa Claus, a toy factory employee suffers a nervous breakdown. As a result, he dons a Santa suit and embarks on a killing spree.
A group of friends gather for the holiday season at a remote lodge, but one of the friends goes missing. The truth behind why the lodge was booked for the holiday comes to light, and chaos ensues. Deadly chaos.
The Christmas Season Massacre
As a child, Tommy was gifted an eye-patch on Christmas as a token of humiliation inflicted by his school bullies. He snapped. Tommy spent years slaying all of his tormentors, until only six remained. Those six decide to band together and attempt to turn the tables in this SOV horror movie.
A trio of college friends head to the idyllic Mistletoe Lodge in the Scottish Highlands, but their festive plans are interrupted by a psycho in a Santa suit.
Christmas With the Dead
Calvin seeks to fulfill a promise made to his wife, correct his mistakes, and make it the best Christmas ever. He refuses to let a horde of the undead or the fact that it’s June get in his way. Calvin teams up with a zombie slayer to make his holiday dreams a reality.
The Conjuring 2
Ed and Lorraine Warren head to the London suburb of Enfield to make one struggling family’s holiday bright and merry. Or rather, they’re helping a struggling mother and her four children contend with a seriously menacing supernatural presence in their home. Christmas isn’t as prominent in this one, but it does make its presence known.
The Curse of the Cat People
The sequel to 1942’s Cat People is a very different beast from its predecessor. It’s a yuletide ghost story that follows the young daughter of Oliver and Alice. She’s lonely and friendless, and finds herself befriending her father’s deceased first wife, Irena.
A family gathers for a reunion and marriage announcement on Christmas Day at an isolated mansion in the Philippine mountains only to encounter a series of bizarre, horrifying, and demonic events. By way of found footage, that is.
The Day of the Beast
A Catholic priest discovers that the Antichrist will be born on Christmas Eve, and so he sets about committing a series of sins in an effort to thwart the birth. He enlists a heavy metal aficionado and an Italian occult expert to aid his quest. Are we all doomed this Christmas? Alex de la Iglesia brings the blasphemous humor.
Dead by Christmas
Christmas Past rears its ugly head when a group of former orphans are reunited for the holidays. Stalking and mayhem ensues.
For the first time in 20 years, Frank decides to take a shortcut on his way to his in-laws for Christmas. He and his family wind up getting lost in the middle of nowhere, but that’s not even the worst of it. Things get pretty spooky on Christmas Eve, but there’s also some humor to match.
Dead of Night (1945)
This British horror anthology tells multiple tales of terror, but only one relates to the holiday. “The Christmas Party” spins a chilling story of a ghostly encounter during a children’s Christmas gathering.
Also known as Game Over and Dial Code Santa Claus, this French horror thriller follows a lonely but resourceful young boy obsessed with Rambo as he’s left alone with his grandfather on Christmas Eve. When a psycho dressed as Santa Claus breaks into his mansion, the boy pulls out all the stops to save himself and his grandpa.
Deadly Little Christmas
An eight-year-old boy slaughters his entire family on Christmas day. He’s locked away in an asylum for fifteen years, until he breaks out with plans to start anew. Now that he’s much older, his Christmas massacre plans are much grander.
A new holiday horror anthology that collects 24 short films from 24 international directors with wide-ranging style. It takes a look at the dark side of the festive season. These shorts are linked by animated segments revolving around the Advent calendar.
Dario Argento’s giallo masterpiece. In it, a jazz pianist and a journalist are pulled into a complex web of mystery and death after the jazz pianist witnesses the brutal murder of a psychic. For the most part, Deep Red isn’t a Christmas horror movie, but the holiday is particularly meaningful to the killer- especially in flashbacks.
A large group of high school kids decide to spend the holidays together at a remote winter lake house. It wouldn’t be holiday horror if they weren’t stalked and killed by a psycho, and so they are.
The Dorm That Dripped Blood
Instead of going home for Christmas, a group of college students volunteers to stay behind to help clear out a dorm for imminent renovations. They find themselves stalked and gruesomely murdered by an unknown assailant. Sometimes going home for the holidays is the better option.
Don’t Open Till Christmas
One serious Christmas grinch is slaying anyone dressed as Santa over the holiday season. The Scotland Yard have their hands full trying to crack the case before Christmas is canceled.
The Elf (2020)
Nick, who witnessed a murder as a child, inherits an old toy shop as an adult. In it he finds an elf doll locked away inside an old chest alongside a list with his family’s names on it. It turns out that the doll is an evil conduit that unleashes a killing spree once freed.
A woman discovers that she is the focus of an evil Nazi experiment involving selective breeding and summoned elves, a bizarre attempt to create a race of super elf men. She’s trapped with friends inside a department store with an evil elf on the loose, and only Santa can stop it. If you’re looking for utterly weird ‘80s Christmas horror, add this to the list.
The sequel to 2020’s The Elf, and this time there are multiple elves unleashed from old chests. Each elf represents one of the seven deadly sins, and only a woman named Clover can save Christmas.
Feeders 2: Slay Bells
The sequel to Feeders gets into the holiday spirit. Aliens invade Earth over the Christmas holidays, and it’s up to Santa Claus and his elves to save the world.
A man receives an early Christmas present from his girlfriend and blacks out shortly after. When he wakes up, he finds a gun in his hand and his girlfriend dead. Christmas has just become a waking nightmare.
The Gingerdead Man
After a serial killer is executed by electric chair, his ashes are sent to his mother, a witch. She mixes them into a gingerbread mix, which is then baked into a cookie, and voila. The killer is reborn in gingerbread cookie form to continue his killing spree once more. Gary Busey plays the killer.
A homeless war vet with an unsavory past is forced to lean into that past when he and his friends are targeted by a trio of psychos in Santa suits on Christmas day.
When a dad brings his son a mysterious new pet for Christmas, the son wastes no time breaking three vital rules in the pet’s care. He unleashes a horde of dangerous and mischievous green minions that threaten to destroy Christmas and the entire town. A holiday classic.
Hide & Seek
Hailing from India, this holiday horror sees five former friends abducted and held captive in a mall by a person dressed as Santa. That person demands they play a deadly game of hide-and-seek.
On Christmas Eve, a shopkeeper regales a last-minute shopper with four tales of terror based on items in his shop. Jeffrey Combs plays the shopkeeper in this anthology, and the segments each take aim at a different holiday, including Hanukkah.
A horror anthology that features eight segments, each representing a different holiday. The second to last segment, “Christmas,” revolves around the holiday’s hottest gift item- virtual reality glasses. Things get deadly, but perhaps not in the way you’d expect.
Home for the Holidays (1972)
Four sisters have been estranged from their wealthy father for years after their mother committed suicide. Ailing in health, he summons them home for Christmas, but it comes with a proposition. He asks his daughters to kill his new wife, who he suspects is poisoning him.
I Trapped the Devil
Matt and his wife Karen show up unannounced at the home of his estranged brother Steve to celebrate the holidays. They’re worried about Steve’s paranoid mental state, but they become downright horrified when they discover he has a man locked in his basement. A man Steve is adamant is the devil.
I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday
After an apocalypse, a mother struggles to keep her 8-year-old son alive in their bomb shelter. It’s the holidays; does this bleak landscape offer any Christmas miracles for the pair?
Infinite Santa 8000
A thousand years after war, greed, and famine destroyed the human race, only mutants, robots, and scum are left to fend for themselves. It’s a kill or be killed situation. Including Santa Claus. Infinite Santa 8000 is an animated feature film with a motion comic aesthetic.
Still reeling from the loss of her husband, a very pregnant woman is tormented in her home by a strange woman determined to claim her unborn baby. It’s set on Christmas, though the holiday’s presence is minimal.
A remake of the 2007 French film, with an identical plot setup; a pregnant woman is stalked by a stranger obsessed with her unborn baby.
Jack Frost (1997)
A freak accident involving a genetic research truck exposes a serial killer to chemicals. Those chemicals cause the killer to dissolve and fuse with snow, turning him into a homicidal snowman hellbent on revenge.
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman
Killer snowman Jack Frost is back to attack! This time he’s taking on Christmas at a tropical beach resort. Wacky hijinks ensue.
Jaws: The Revenge
Shark revenge is personal in this Christmas-set sequel. Chief Brody’s widow believes that her family is deliberately being targeted by another shark in search of revenge.
Six friends decide to explore an abandoned hotel near a Christmas tree lot. It turns out to be a horrible decision, when they find themselves stalked and murdered by a psycho in a Santa mask.
When Max’s dysfunctional family won’t stop fighting and nothing goes as planned, he turns his back on Christmas and accidentally summons Krampus. All hell breaks loose as Krampus and his horde of minions punish Max and his family.
Krampus: The Christmas Devil
As an adult, Jeremy is a police officer still desperate to solve the mystery of his kidnapping as a child. When other children begin to go missing, Jeremy discovers that his kidnapper is none other than Krampus, and it’s up to him to stop the ancient creature from claiming any more victims.
Krampus: The Reckoning
Zoe is a strange little girl with an imaginary friend named Krampus. Only he’s not so imaginary after all; Krampus seeks to punish all the naughty residents of Zoe’s small town.
Krampus 2: The Devil Returns
A sequel to Krampus: The Christmas Devil. Five years after the murder of his wife and disappearance of his daughter, former police offer Jeremy is brought back to hunt Krampus. He learns shocking truths along the way, in his bid to save Christmas.
During WWI, a group of soldiers find an artifact that contains the spirit of Krampus. Naturally, they send it to an orphanage, and the orphans accidentally summon Krampus.
The Christmas demon has been awakened once again thanks to a group of treasure hunters. It turns out that centuries of slumber have left Krampus seriously hungry for blood.
Ryan decides to accompany his girlfriend on her family trip to their cabin in the woods for the holidays. He’s seeking approval from her father, but instead, the trip turns into a fight for survival when both a blizzard and a killer show up.
Last Stop on the Night Train
Also known as Night Train Murders, this one borrows heavily from The Last House on the Left and The Virgin Springs. The plot sees two girls on an overnight train to Italy for Christmas get brutalized by a trio of criminals. Those criminals unwittingly wind up at the girls’ parents’ home.
A stepmom-to-be tries to bond with her fiancé’s two children over Christmas at the family’s remote lodge. Just when it seems as though icy relations between the trio will thaw, the power goes out and strange things start happening. Sadly, this eerie release was bumped back from November of this year to February 2020, but it’s close enough that it’s going on this list.
Lucky Stiff (1988)
After being left at the altar by his fiancée, a jilted loser is invited by a beautiful woman to celebrate Christmas with her family. Little does he know that her family are cannibals and he’s intended to be Christmas dinner. This horror-comedy was directed by Norman Bates himself, Anthony Perkins.
The Melancholy Fantastic
A slow-burn Christmas tale for the arthouse crowd, this one is a yuletide portrait of grief and loneliness told through the perspective of an isolated girl and her life-sized doll.
Like Lucky Stiff, this horror-comedy follows an unwitting fellow that meets the woman of his dreams. He’s elated when she invites him over to her family’s for Christmas dinner; but he soon learns that he’s on the menu. With a name like Michael Briskett, he’s the main course.
Based on the Alpine legend of Frau Perchta, the Christmas Witch. For the 12 days before Christmas, children of a small town went missing. When it happened again, the locals hung a woman they believed to be the killer, and before dying she placed a curse so that Frau Perchta would avenge her death. This Christmas, both children and adult alike are in mortal danger.
Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride
Four women are completing their mandatory community service over Christmas, which entails making visits to the elderly. On their final stop of the night, a cheery old woman invites them inside for the evening. But this is Mother Krampus 2, and things aren’t what they seem.
A sorority house with a nefarious past is hosting a Christmas party for college co-eds. They find themselves stalked and slayed by a killer, but this time the killer is dressed as Mrs. Claus.
The Munsters’ Scary Little Christmas
Poor little Eddie Munster has the blues, and his family is determined to get him into the holiday spirit in this Munsters Christmas special. The feature film is loaded with all the Christmas feels and Munster gags you could ever want.
This horror-comedy centers around a man that discovers he’s of a lineage of demon hunters, which proves vital in the modern world where demons have taken over the internet. The epic battle of good versus evil happens to take place over Christmas time.
Night of the Comet
It’s Christmas time in the Valley when a comet passes by, wiping out most of humanity. It leaves two sisters battling against zombies, ruthless scientists, and more. A fun ‘80s classic that doesn’t hang its plot on the holiday, but the iconography is present enough throughout that it definitely counts.
The Night of the Hunter
A terrifying Southern gothic, fairy tale noir film that sees Robert Mitchum as a ruthless killer who terrorizes two young children for the location of hidden money after murdering their mother. Christmas only factors into the plot at the tail end, but it’s worth seeking out.
Night Visitors (1987)
The Whitmore family home is decked out in Christmas décor and all prepped and ready for the holidays. Their holiday cheer is threatened by the arrival of a bizarre gang that takes over the home and forces the family to participate in weird rituals to appease their leader.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
After another successful Halloween, Jack Skellington is looking to shake things up. Upon discovering Christmas Town, he decides to bring Christmas to Halloween Town. It doesn’t just confuse the residents; it threatens to ruin Christmas for everyone. Tim Burton nails Gothic Christmas once again.
Nixon and Hogan Smoke Christmas
Stoners Nixon and Hogan have to help Santa deliver presents on Christmas after Santa accidentally toked some bad weed. Weed that turned him into a zombie.
Once Upon a Time at Christmas
In the twelve days leading up to Christmas, a psychotic Santa and Mrs. Claus go on a murder spree in a small town.
One Hell of a Christmas
Carlitos is released from prison around Christmas after serving hard time. He intends to turn a new leaf and set an example for his son, but his friend involves him in a stolen claw scheme and demonic forces will do anything to get it back.
Workaholic Angela finds herself the lone employee working late at the office on Christmas Eve. When she finally attempts to leave to visit family, an unhinged security guard holds her captive in the parking garage. Co-written by Alexandre Aja and directed by Franck Khalfoun (2012’s Maniac).
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
A family moves into a new house and discovers a video camera and a box of tapes in the garage. When they look through the camera’s lens, they begin to see the paranormal activity happening around them – including the re-emergence of young Kristi and Katie. This not-quite final entry in the popular found footage series happens to take place at Christmas.
Agent Jesus Juarez has always played the Devil in his town’s Nativity Play (Pastorela). This Christmas, the new pastor has recast the part, angering Juarez, and the two men engage in a battle between good and evil.
The Path (2012)
A chess player invites his estranged wife and son to travel with him to a remote cabin in the woods for Christmas. He grows jealous when he thinks his wife is interested in the handyman. He invites that man over for Christmas Eve, and things spiral out of control thanks to a paranoid mind.
An actor lands a seasonal job as a plush, life-sized version of the holiday’s hottest toy. The more he wears the suit, the more he seems to lose track of time. The Pooka suit seems to be taking over his persona. This is the third entry in Hulu’s Into the Dark series.
On the drive to a Christmas gathering, a man taunts his wife about a local urban legend of a psychotic Santa. It turns out to be true, and their holiday party becomes a bloodbath.
Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys
This Puppet Master and Demonic Toys crossover event takes place on Christmas Eve. A group of evil toymakers seek to use Andre Toulon’s formula to give life to killer toys; luckily Toulon’s nephew is there with the puppets to stop the sinister plot.
An experimental surgery post-accident leaves Rose with an insatiable thirst for blood. Her victims become crazed zombies, causing a city-wide epidemic in this David Cronenberg favorite. Though the holiday connection is minimal, a memorable scene takes place at a mall with Santa.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
On Christmas Eve, an archaeological dig on a Northern Finland mountaintop unearths Santa Claus. Only this Santa is an ancient yuletide nightmare. When local children begin to disappear, it’s up to young Pietari to save the day. This Christmas, everyone will believe in Santa.
Red Christmas (2020)
Christmas past comes back to terrorize a mother who simply wants a nice Christmas with her family. Instead, she finds herself doing whatever she can to stop the figure from destroying them all.
Santa Claus (1959)
Featured in the fifth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, this oddball film sees the devil Pitch attempting to ruin Christmas. Santa has to team up with Merlin the Magician to save the day.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Featured on both Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Elvira’s Movie Macabre, Santa Claus and two children are kidnapped by Martians and brought back to Mars. The group teach the Martians the joy of the holiday.
Santa Claus versus the Zombies
A suburban family finds themselves barricaded in their homes with couple of elves and an actor who may, or may not, be the real Santa Claus after a zombie outbreak. The president and his advisers concoct a plan to save them all.
Santa Claws (1996)
After a man finds his mom having sex with a Santa, he snaps and kills them both. Years later he’s convinced that he’s Santa and begins stalking the object of his latest obsession; a horror movie star named Raven (Debbie Rochon).
Once upon a time, Santa was an evil demon who made a bet with an angel and lost. As a result, he was forced to become the benign Christmas toy giver he’s associated with. When that bet is off, he returns to his evil ways and the body count starts piling up.
On the full moon of December 5, the murderous evil spirit St. Nicholas comes to town to unleash terror and mayhem along with his zombie-like Black Peters. From Dick Maas, the mind behind Amsterdamned.
Secret Santa (2020)
A group of college kids stressed over their exams plan an alcohol-infused party with a Secret Santa gift exchange. It’s all fun and games until a killer shows up for some yuletide terror.
Secret Santa (2020)
A dysfunctional family gathering for Christmas turns into a gruesome nightmare when someone spikes the punch with a mysterious drug. It renders them crazed and homicidal. This one is from Jason Goes to Hell’s Adam Marcus.
Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a cynical, selfish TV executive haunted by the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future in this ‘80s retelling of A Christmas Carol. Sure, it’s a comedy, but some of those ghosts can be pretty spooky. As well as Frank’s dead mentor Lew. A festive gateway horror movie, perhaps?
Translated as Satan, Sheitan follows a group of friends that decide to spend Christmas Eve partying at a club. They run into a shepherd that’s prepared a night of pure insanity and Satan worshipping. Things get disturbing.
Sick for Toys
Roy is a self-identified nice guy tired of coming in last. It prompts him to accept a Christmas dinner invitation by the beautiful and strange Emilia. If you’ve been reading along, then at this point in the list it should come as no surprise that this mysterious dinner won’t end well.
A very, very loose remake, or reimagining, of Silent Night, Deadly Night. A killer dressed as Santa embarks on a murder spree on Christmas Eve, leaving the police scrambling to catch him.
Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)
When a man inherits a mansion, he returns home to sell it. In the process, he discovers harrowing truths about the mansion’s history. It unsettles the locals and sparks horrific consequences.
Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming
A low budget reimagining/remake of 1972’s Silent Night, Bloody Night.
Silent Night Bloody Night 2: Revival
A direct sequel to 1972’s Silent Night, Bloody Night. A pair of siblings head home to pay respects to a deceased loved one and stumble upon the journal of Jeffrey Butler. Once more the dark secrets are unearthed.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
After his grandpa tells him that Santa punishes the naughty, Little Billy witnesses his parents being murdered by someone dressed as Santa. It does a real number on his psyche. Fresh out of the orphanage at 18, Billy picks up the Santa slaying mantle to punish those he deems naughty. One of horror’s requisite holiday staples.
Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2
“Garbage day!” It turns out that Billy’s murderous ways traumatized his younger brother Ricky. After Billy’s death, Ricky decided to follow in his brother’s footsteps to become a serial killer as well.
Silent Night Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out
Ricky (Bill Moseley!) awakens from a six-year coma after being kept alive by a mad doctor that experimented with ESP. As a result, Ricky targets a clairvoyant blind woman that’s on her way to grandma’s house for Christmas. The death toll rises in his wake.
Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation
A strange case of a woman leaping from her apartment building in flames has a reporter investigating. She gets caught up in a witch coven’s plot that intends to make her their Christmas sacrifice.
Silent Night Deadly Night 5: The Toymaker
An older toymaker and his son make and deliver toys that are designed to kill their owners. Meanwhile, a boy witnesses his father getting slain by one of these toys and falls mute. His mother is desperate to get to the bottom of it.
Silent Night, Zombie Night
In the days leading up to Christmas, Los Angeles is stricken with a plague that turns its residents into the walking dead. A Police Officer becomes trapped with his partner and his estranged wife.
On Christmas Eve, a trio of cosplayers cross paths with the evil Krampus. To save the world, they team up with Santa (Barry Bostwick), a biker.
The lone survivor of a plane crash is dealing with a serious case of survivor’s guilt. Haunted feelings of unworthiness become literal when the dead come to collect her. Essentially a reworking of Carnival of Souls, this chiller is set over Christmas.
Poor maintenance worker W.C. finds himself trapped in a stall in the women’s restroom during a zombie outbreak. On Christmas Eve, no less.
Tales from the Crypt (1972)
This horror anthology kicks off with a yuletide tale, “…And All Through the House.” A woman has just murdered her own husband when a psycho Santa comes along. She can’t exactly call the police, and so things escalate from there. Based on an E.C. Comics story, this tale was also redone for the Tales from the Crypt TV show.
To All a Good Night (1980)
Surprise, surprise, this Christmas slasher sees a group of teens stalked by a maniac dressed as Santa at a holiday party.
Val Kilmer stars as Mr. Nobody, a mysterious man that walks into a police department on Christmas Eve to confess to multiple murders. Of course, his plans are more complicated than that, and the six deputies on duty learn he’s a vengeful killer with a past that threatens them all.
Trees 2: The Root of All Evil
The plot of this movie picks up where its predecessor, Trees, left off. Ranger Cody now has a fear of trees. When killer Christmas trees invade the town of Hazelville, no one believes him.
Two Front Teeth
A tabloid reporter is determined to uncover a Christmas conspiracy involving a flight taken down by a creature with a red nose. His investigation has put him on Santa’s naughty list, and the big guy sends his undead elves to keep the reporter from the truth.
Ugly Sweater Party
An ugly sweater party gets bloody when an evil Christmas sweater possesses its wearer and renders them homicidal. This one stars Sean Whalen and Felissa Rose.
While She Was Out
Out shopping late on Christmas Eve, a woman leaves a note on a double-parked vehicle in the mall parking lot. The owner of that vehicle and his three friends don’t take kindly to the note and decide killing her is the best recourse.
Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?
Hansel and Gretel gets a holiday makeover. Shelley Winters plays a demented widow that lures children to her mansion under the pretense of an annual Christmas party. She intends to keep one of the little girls. Things get weird.
Two college kids share a ride home for the holiday break. The car breaks down on an isolated road, and they’re preyed upon and haunted by the ghosts of those who died there. This one stars Emily Blunt.
This anthology features four segments of horror, but only the first is holiday-related. Jovanka Vuckovic’s “The Box,” based on Jack Ketchum’s short story of the same name, sees a family stricken by an unexplained illness after taking a peek at a stranger’s present on the train. Christmas is bleak for this family.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on December 20, 2020.
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