This Christmas, skip the sentimental schlock in favor of a scary good time. There’s nothing more festive than blood and gore, so celebrate the horrordays with some fun, frightening films this December. Fortunately, Santa brought us a casket full of streaming shivers this season!
1. Red Christmas (Netflix, Tubi)
Red Christmas is an Australian movie starring genre favorite Dee Wallace (The Howling, Three from Hell) as a family matriarch who has a large and loving household to spend the holidays with. However, it seems like aborted son Cletus wasn’t invited to the festivities but shows up anyway, bringing some resentment along with the eggnog.
Loaded with cool kills and gore aplenty, this feature offers up holiday baking, bells, and of course, bloodshed.
2. Holidays (Netflix)
Though Holidays is an anthology film packed with vignettes representing every holiday, the Christmas segment is not to be missed. Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Idle Hands) stars as a man searching for the perfect present for his son, not knowing there will be terrifying consequences for the purchase later.
Clever and entertaining, this short segment reminds us that karma is always waiting in the wings. Lesson learned: don’t wait until the last minute to find that great gift!
3. A Christmas Horror Story (Amazon Prime)
It’s the classic struggle between good and evil; or, between Santa Claus and Krampus. With William Shatner (Star Trek) as a radio DJ that provides narration weaving several different plotlines together, this timeless tale serves up scares.
The ending of A Christmas Horror Story is a surprise that is a lot of fun to get to. And, as if regular elves aren’t creepy enough, there are zombie elves, so what else do you need?
4. Holiday Hell (Amazon Prime)
A hidden gem if there ever was one, Holiday Hell follows the story of Amelia, (Meagan-Karimi Naser) a woman who can’t seem to find the right gift for her sister on Christmas Eve. Fortunately, she stumbles into a little oddities shop run by an eccentric shopkeeper (Jeffrey Combs, Reanimator) and we see him present different objects to her and relay their stories as she peruses the curiosities, creating the narrative for a thrilling anthology film.
Quite entertaining, this low-budget movie has a twist that satisfies your lust for human sacrifice this season. And who doesn’t love Jeffrey Combs? He’s a present in itself!
5. Slay Belles (Amazon Prime)
Two trendy YouTubers in rave clothing (Susan Slaughter, Hannah Wagner) take their conservative friend with them (Kristina Klebe, Rob Zombie’s Halloween) to break into an abandoned, Christmas-themed amusement park called Santaland to create a video for their channel.
This goofy, laugh-out-loud horror comedy finds the women stumbling upon a tatted, biker Santa who comes to their aid as they’re pitted against the King of anti-Claus, Krampus. Hilarious and fun, this guilty pleasure movie is irresistible. Seeing Santa as a leather jacket-wearing biker is pure holiday perfection!
6. Black Christmas (Amazon Prime, Tubi)
Olivia Hussey (Romeo and Juliet, It miniseries) and Margot Kidder (Superman) star as sorority sisters in this cool ‘70s-era holiday horror based on an urban legend. One by one, the sisters are picked off as a stalking maniac creeps around the sorority house during the Christmas break as the campus is empty and the girls are alone. Fun kills and an overall sense of dread highlight this holiday fear fest, and this film is a standout from what many fans consider to be the golden era of horror.
Remakes may prevail, but nothing compares to the original Black Christmas. This Christmas-themed cult classic is said to be one of the first slasher films. Don’t miss a peek at John Saxon (A Nightmare on Elm Street) as a policeman.
7. Dead End (Amazon Prime)
Riding in the car to grandma’s for the holidays with your family isn’t ever a good time. It’s less so when you realize your map is leading you to nowhere, and there’s creepy people afoot on this deserted back road. Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) and Lin Shaye (Insidious) portray the clueless parents in this creepy, mysterious suspense story that was obviously created before the era of oh-so-helpful GPS.
Wise and Shaye are a joy to see in the road trip from hell flick Dead End, and arguing siblings are the least of their issue as a weird woman leads them on a devastating detour. Will they make it to grandma’s for Christmas dinner or will the body count keep building? Hop in and see!
8. Better Watch Out (Shudder)
This original movie isn’t the traditional hot babysitter story. Well, the babysitter may be hot, but Ashley’s (Olivia DeJonge) evening of watching 12-year-old Luke, (Levi Miller) a cute kiddo with a crush on her, isn’t what she thought it would be. Props to the wickedly fun Better Watch Out for a crazy twist that I didn’t see coming and wasn’t disappointed by.
Packed with holiday music and decorations, there’s nothing that could get you in the Christmas spirit like a good old-fashioned home invasion. The actors are spot-on, and the anticipation builds up to a thrilling, bloody climax. Look for an appearance by Stranger Things’ Dacre Montgomery (Jeremy).
9. Anna and the Apocalypse (Hulu)
You’ve never seen a zombie movie quite like this. One part musical, one part comedy, and one part horror make the British-made Anna and the Apocalypse simultaneously adorable and horrifying. High school students Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends fight for their lives as their town is under zombie attack over the Christmas holidays. In the meantime, they struggle with relatable teen issues like love, the future, and family.
This movie is as cute as a zombie movie could possibly be; bloody smiles guaranteed! It’s like High School Musical meets George Romero! A creative Christmas tale you’ll want to rewatch every December, and you’ll definitely be singing along!
10. Silent Night, Deadly Night (Shudder)
There are few things more iconic than the phrase that all horror fans love to hear as December comes around: “Punish!” Everyone thought Billy grew up pretty normal after witnessing his parents murdered in a massacre on Christmas when he was a baby. Raised in an orphanage by abusive nuns, good-looking, kind Billy (Robert Brian Wilson) works in a toy store. When Billy does decide to crack one Christmas, get out of the way.
Silent Night, Deadly Night features some of the most famous kills in horror history (you may never look at antlers the same way again) and a tagline you’ll never forget! A great film to watch over the ho-ho-horrordays! You can also find the sequel on Shudder for a horrifying double-header that’ll definitely put you in a merry mindset!
Written by Christi Bandy, Morbidlybeautiful.com