Yuletide Horror Movies

At this time a year when things twinkle bright, fans of scary movies sit patiently awaiting a morsel of yuletide horror, a small but resilient sub-genre. Some films feature the darker side of Christmas (since many traditions do have questionable origins) and some use the holiday season as a backdrop since dark, cold desolate nights and raging snowstorms do cause blackouts and isolation. Here’s a recommended list to tide you over this abysmally cheerful season.

Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Tim Burton’s holiday mash up gets a lot of attention at Halloween but is often overlooked as the Christmas classic that is is – and one you can see with most of the family.

Krampus (2015)
The director of Trick ‘r Treat takes on Christmas and the Alpine folklore beast that punishes those who are naughty instead of nice. Kooky and absurd with a very dubious ending!

Rare Exports (2010)
Who or rather what is the real Santa Clause is revealed in this coming-of-age Finnish film that plays like an alternate universe Spielberg film.

Saint/Sint (2010)
Downright silly at times, this tale takes another look at Santa’s true supernatural form according to the Dutch which includes some pretty bad behavior.

Gremlins (1984)
Gift-giving is examined in this story of a boy and fuzzy creature that must be tended by three very specific rules. It again proves that pets should never be given as gifts.

Better Watch Out (2017)
The holidays are a backdrop to this twisty take on the babysitter in peril story. Sure it's filled with absurd logic and implausibility, but still manages to be quite entertaining.

Black Christmas (1974/2006)
The old-school moody original set the stage for serial killer flicks to come, and the gory remake dazzles in it’s nastiness and campy tone.

A Christmas Carol (2009)
At it’s core, this is a story about ghosts on one cold December evening. The outcome may be jolly, the ensuing chaos is downright de-frightful.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
An uneven anthology of Christmas-themed stories that culminate in an epic Krampus versus Santa battle!

Christmas Evil (1980)
Another infamous gem from the 80s is more trick than treat, but still manages to be both timely and sleazy with a killer finish.

Need more suggestions? Check out Film School Rejects list of Christmas Horror: Every Christmas Horror Movie Ranked.