Top 10 Christmas horror movies

By Jacob Pierce |@JacobPierce1_DE |Daily Egyptian

Christmas is on the horizon. Time to put up the tree, wrap presents and make sure all those ridiculous lights still work.

While some will watch holiday classics like “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” or “Christmas Vacation,” there are a certain people looking for something a little more terrifying.

Here is my list of top 10 Christmas Horror Movies. 


Not all of these are going to be classics. Some can only be enjoyed from a “so bad, it’s good” viewpoint. 

10. “Santa’s Slay” (2005):

Speaking of a movie so bad, it’s good, “Santa’s Slay” seems like a good place to start. This Bill Goldberg-led cheesefest is by no means a horror masterpiece.

The film successfully takes a ridiculous idea and makes it slightly entertaining. 

The entire film flips the concept of the Santa mythos, and almost pulls out a Krampus-like monster. While lacking in actual thrills, “Santa’s Slay” should suffice for one drunken December night.

9. “Jack Frost” (1997):

This is not 1998 Michael Keaton bomb also known as “Jack Frost,” but a cheap attempt at creating a Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees level icon. 


Another cheesy addition to the list, this movie almost knocks itself off for being a bit too “self-referential.” But some genuinely funny moments, creative death scenes and a random role for a young Shannon Elizabeth make up for it.

Watch this with a bunch of buddies, and it will definitely be worth the pain.

8. Black Christmas (2006):

This 2006 remake of a 1974 holiday classic suffers from problems a lot of early 2000s remakes did. Most came off a bit gratuitous and lacked originality and visual creativity, but calling “Black Christmas” a complete waste of time would be misleading.

The film has a cast of young and talented actresses like Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Michelle Trachtenberg and a lot of creative kills for gore hounds.

“Black Christmas” passes the test of being watchable, and is a better time than many useless horror remakes out there.

7.  P2 (2007):

The line separating a thriller and a horror movie has always been a little murky, and while “P2” is no “Silence of the Lambs,” it is an interesting thrill ride.

“P2” is set on Christmas Eve with a young woman trapped inside a parking complex by a twisted security guard. It is a nice cat and mouse game rarely seen in horror.

With good performances from Wes Bentley and Rachel Nichols, and screenwriting from Alexandra Aja and Gregory Levasseur, the movie will keep one watching.

6. “Christmas Evil” (1980):

In the dawn of the slasher movies comes one cult filmmaker John Waters calls the best Christmas movie ever.

“Christmas Evil” takes the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and makes a severe bloodfest out of it. Using a lot of what was great about the slasher movement, this film went past being a cheep gimmick and became a cult classic.

While not the best film on the list, it is a movie that aims high and only misses in a few areas.

5. “Silent Night, Deadly Night” (1984):

A list of Christmas horror would not be complete with out the original “Silent Night, Deadly Night.”

It sparked controversy before it was even released. It was protested by parents and religious groups, because of the idea of Santa being a axe wielding killer and attacked by late film critic Gene Siskel. “Silent Night, Deadly Night” also spawned some general good scares and a cool storyline.

The film was not done better than its 2012 remake, but one can not deny the significance the movie holds for cult horror and for backlashes against the genre in general.

4. “Silent Night” (2012):

It would be slightly unfair to bring up Silent Night, Deadly Night’s remake and not put it on the list. This reboot fixes most of the problems the original cult classic had by adding a cast of terrific character actors.

“Silent Night” adds a good mix between dark humor and ridiculous, but compelling horror scenarios.

It’s not a film anyone should run to buy, but quality wise, it’s one of the best on this list and in the Christmas horror genre.

3. “Tales from the Crypt…And All through the House” (1972):

This precursor to the show of the same name, “Tales from the Crypt” is a horror anthology that set the subgenre’s standard. Adapting stories from old entertaining comic horror series, only one of the tales was set on Christmas. Yet, it is one that reverberates through movie history.

The segment “…And All through the House” is a portion so good the show remade it to equal perfection. The story hits on the fear surrounding Santa and some thrilling plot points, which should not be spoiled.

Just watching this tale in “Tales from the Crypt” would be enough to terrify one down to the bone. 

2. “Black Christmas” (1974):

“Black Christmas,” an underrated film when it came out, has since been viewed as a classic in the genre. One of the first modern slasher movies, it laid the ground work for later additions to the subgenre and influenced the masterpiece “Halloween.”

Both Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder give performances that make this movie well above its means and it has a lot innovation in the area of gore and kills.

It is questionable whether the horror boom of the 1980s would even exist if it were not for “Black Christmas.”

1. “Gremlins” (1984):

Here is a pick that may surprise a lot of people, but Joe Dante’s Christmas classic is one of the most terrifying films out there.

“Gremlins” portrays itself as a family film, something anyone can watch and love. Yet, the movie not only has multiple deaths but also a significant undertone of fear. The movie messes with some of the fundamental ideals of the holiday, making ideas one loves into ones they fear.

This is a monster movie at its best, and a master of the craft directs it. It messes with ones deepest emotions and chills people to their core. 

Jacob Pierce can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacobPierce1_DE.