The best this odd subgenre has to offer
‘Tis the season to be jumpscared! Everyone’s favorite time of the year is just around the corner, which also means everyone’s favorite wholesome holiday movies are up next in movie queues. This list, however, is for those wishing to switch up their usual holiday routine with one of the weirdest sub-genres out there: Christmas horror movies.
“Gremlins” is undoubtedly the most iconic Christmas horror movie of all time. Its mischievous little monsters are emblematic of the genre and are some of the most recognizable holiday creatures in general.
The movie follows salesman Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) who buys a mysterious pet named “mogwai” as a last-minute Christmas gift from a shady shop owner. Mr. Peltzer, of course, doesn't follow the shop owner's specific care instructions, and murderous Gremlin chaos ensues.
Despite being an extremely popular movie, the writing is sloppy and the plot is all over the place. It's never clear what the motivations of the characters are, and the dialogue is stilted and unnatural. The actors give wooden performances all around, but these poor qualities actually create a sense of bewildered enjoyment.
The film is more of a comedy than a horror movie, but its over-the-top nature is what makes it such an entertaining watch. It came out in 1984, which was a huge year for the sci-fi genre, but is one of the few to hold up so well. There are loads of excessive kills throughout the movie. Overall, “Gremlins” is a guaranteed goofy watch that sets everyone in the holiday spirit.
“Demonic Toys” follows two lovesick cops as they try to capture some local illegal arms dealers. Weirdly enough, the criminals' meetup spot is at the old Toyland warehouse, filled with thousands of possessed dolls and action figures.
The toys come to life when the cops disrupt the criminals' meeting and turn out to be murderous maniacs.
They brutally and creatively slay anyone they get their sights on. This obviously absurd plot is filled with unnecessarily exaggerated slasher-like kills. The overt violence and horrible graphics pair up to create a pretty hilariously-bad horror movie.
This is a pretty bloody movie, especially for a holiday flick, but with aspects of heartwarming romance and family-like dynamics, it still manages to capture the holiday spirit. Although it received horrible reviews during its release, “Demonic Toys” now holds up greatly as a good “bad” horror movie.
“Krampus" is a horror-comedy film that has gained a cult following since its release in 2015. The movie follows the story of a dysfunctional family who accidentally summons the ancient demon Krampus, a horned beast that punishes naughty children during the Christmas season. As Krampus and his minions wreak havoc on the family's holiday celebrations, they must find a way to stop the demon and restore the holiday spirit.
One of the strengths of "Krampus" is its creative premise, which takes the holiday cheer of Christmas and flips it on its head with a demonic twist. The movie does an excellent job of building tension and creating a sense of dread as Krampus and his minions terrorize the family. The special effects for Krampus and his minions are also impressive, with the demonic creatures looking suitably terrifying on screen.
Overall, "Krampus" is a must-see for fans of horror and holiday films. It's a fun and entertaining movie that delivers thrills and laughs in equal measure. If you're looking for a unique twist on the holiday season, "Krampus" is the perfect film to watch.
“Christmas Evil'' is by far the most deranged movie on this list (in a good way, of course). It follows a toy factory worker named Harry that is still haunted and traumatized from figuring out Santa isn’t real as a little boy. He is hated by his co-workers and only feels truly happy around Christmas time.
Instead of gathering with family and embracing the warmth of love during his holiday season, the worker has an extremely creepy tradition: he disguises himself as Santa and stalks his neighbors. As his obsession with his imaginary role grows, Harry breaks and engages in a twisted Christmas killing spree.
“Christmas Evil” has its goofy moments, but is far from a horror-comedy. It is a Taxi Driver-esque character-study that delves into what loneliness can do to a person, especially during the holidays. It manages to be an endearing Christmas movie, while still depicting a downward spiral into insanity. If a pure hatred for the holidays could be embodied, it would be this movie.
Samuale Asefa. Hello! My name is Sam and I'm a writer for SCO. I am a self-proclaimed movie buff and love listening to all types of music. More »