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7 Christmas Horror Movies That are a Must Watch this Holiday Season

Updated on December 4, 2020
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Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice.

A friend once joked that I have a horror movie for every holiday, and she is right. As a self-declared horror enthusiast, I have a horror film for every occasion and Christmas is no exception. These films may not be the best you will ever see, but some of them are not the worst either. If you or someone you know is more of a Halloween person than a Christmas person, this list will get them in the holiday spirit.


As a horror aficionado, I did not love Krampus as much as the regular movie-going public. I thought that it did not know whether it wanted to be comedy or horror and the incredibly soft ending didn't help either. Even the incredible Adam Scott didn't do much to save an okay movie that capitalized on the popularity of Krampus. Though I didn't love this film a lot of other people did, and you came here for Christmas horror, so Krampus makes this list by default. When searching for this film to buy or rent, be sure that you are getting the 2015 version featuring Adam Scott because this movie sparked a whole slew of Krampus themed horror films each one worse than the one before it.

Santa's Slay

Santa's Slay is one of my favorite guilty pleasures over the holiday season. It is somewhat of an enigma because it is a terrible film, but it's one that I look forward to watching every year. You know a movie is going to be bad when Santa is the bad guy, and he's played by wrestling legend Bill Goldberg. The whole thing is about how Santa was a bad guy who lost a bet to an angel and had to be nice and deliver toys for 1,000 years. Now the times up and he is coming back for revenge. Santa's Slay is worth watching if only for the opening scene in which Santa breaks through a terrible foam chimney and takes out a family comprised of actors you would not believe would be in a movie of this caliber. If you are in the mood for some horror and a good laugh I can't suggest this film enough.

Silent Night, Deadly Night

The first Silent Night, Deadly Night was so bad that it spawned four sequels. I know that doesn't make sense, but I'm just here to deliver the facts. This film has become sort of a cult classic given its holiday theme and the fact that it is so terrible. The movie, in a nutshell, is about an 18-year-old orphan who dresses as Santa and kills random people while exclaiming punish. It is easy to see why Silent Night, Deadly Night didn't win any Oscars. This film may not be in the horror hall of fame, but its terrible acting, terrible story, and terrible quality make it an accidental comedy. Any fan of the genre, especially people who appreciate the campiness of '80s horror will love watching this one at least once a year.

Jack Frost

No, I am not talking about the adorable yet sad Michael Keaton film. This film of the same name is about a mutant snowman with a thirst for murder. It is every bit as terrible as it sounds, but a must-see for those who love campy horror flicks. Everything about this movie is just plain wrong, even American Pie's Shannon Elizabeth mails in a performance in her early days. Though it's a ridiculous film with an absurd premise, this is a fun one to watch with friends and give it the old MST3K treatment. Just a heads up, they made a sequel to this movie that was so bad it looked like it was shot from a Nokia phone with actors that they pulled off the street.

Black Christmas 2006

There needs to be a distinction here because there was the original Black Christmas in 1974 and another movie titled Black Christmas: The Night Billy Came Home which came out in 2016. I have yet to be able to see the latter, but I can tell you that the 2006 Black Christmas remake is way better than the original. The movie follows a group of sorority sisters while they are terrorized by a psychopath who used to live in their sorority house, but there is more to the story than anyone knows. At just over ten years old, this movie is one of the better Christmas horror stories of the 21st century.

A Christmas Horror Story

I can't begin to tell you how much I love this movie. I am a sucker for an anthology series, and this film does anthology well. It is comprised of four short stories with an overarching radio show loosely segueing from one story to the next. Each short is the perfect length, and they all tell original and imaginative stories which is unfortunately uncommon in today's filmmaking. A Christmas Horror Story is one of the newest movies on this list, and it is one that I am making a holiday tradition of watching.

The Elf

Someone got the bright idea to turn the Elf on the Shelf into a murderous maniac. You could say that this movie is nothing too original, after all, killer dolls were all the rage in the '80s. Still, this is a fun little horror flick because it takes that annoying doll that parents love to hate and makes it a thing of nightmares. Though The Elf could have been just a random story about another killer doll, the writers did a decent job of adding some originality to the story. With a 2017 direct to video release, this is the newest movie on the list and one that may have flown under the radar for a lot of horror fans. I doubt that this will become anyone's holiday favorite, but it is worth at least one viewing this year.

What did I Miss?

This is a pretty narrow genre, but there has to be at least one gem that I have overlooked. Let me know which Christmas horror movies I need to see before December 25th.


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