If you prefer dismembered limbs to boughs of holly, head-lobs to egg nog, crispy old Krampus to jolly St. Nick—you might just be a Horror Freak! While others are watching Charlie Brown and the mean Mr. Grinch during the holiday season, we prefer something with a bit more bite! For us, I present this list of 31 Christmas-Themed Horror Movies! For best results, be sure to play these when kids and grandparents are all gathered around the tree! Christmas will never be the same. Enjoy!
A Christmas Horror Story (2015, Directed by Steve Hoban, Grant Harvey, and Brett Sullivan)
Official Synopsis: Not even Santa Claus is safe from the evil that descends on Bailey Downs, a small town that is suddenly plagued with malevolent spirits, zombie elves and Krampus — the anti-Santa Claus.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984, Directed by Charles Sellier)
Official Synopsis: An orphan raised by nuns (Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick) grows up to be a killer toy-store Santa Claus.
Gremlins (1984, Directed by Joe Dante)
Official Synopsis: A gadget salesman is looking for a special gift for his son and finds one at a store in Chinatown. The shopkeeper is reluctant to sell him the “mogwai” but sells it to him with the warning to never expose him to bright light, water, or to feed him after midnight. All of this happens and the result is a gang of gremlins that decide to tear up the town on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Evil (1980, Lewis Jackson)
Official Synopsis: Eavesdropping on mother turns a boy into a killer (Brandon Maggart) who roams the streets dressed as Santa Claus.
Black Christmas (1974, Directed by Bob Clark)
Official Synopsis: As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder), begin to receive anonymous, lascivious phone calls. Initially, Barb eggs the caller on, but stops when he responds threateningly. Soon, Barb’s friend Claire (Lynne Griffin) goes missing from the sorority house, and a local adolescent girl is murdered, leading the girls to suspect a serial killer is on the loose. But no one realizes just how near the culprit is.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010, Directed by Jalmari Helander)
Official Synopsis: A young boy named Pietari (Onni Tommila) and his friend Juuso (Ilmari Järvenpää) think a secret mountain drilling project near their home in northern Finland has uncovered the tomb of Santa Claus. However, this a monstrous, evil Santa, much unlike the cheery St. Nick of legend. When Pietari’s father (Jorma Tommila) captures a feral old man (Peeter Jakobi) in his wolf trap, the man may hold the key to why reindeer are being slaughtered and children are disappearing.
Santa’s Slay (2005, Directed by David Steiman)
Official Synopsis: Santa Claus is actually a demon who lost a bet with an Angel, so he becomes the giver of toys and happiness. But when the bet is off, he returns to his evil ways.
Jack Frost (1996, Michael Cooney)
Official Synopsis: As notorious serial killer Jack Frost (Scott MacDonald) is being driven to his execution, the truck carrying the murderer encounters a bizarre accident that transforms him into a mutant snowman. Sheriff Sam Tiler (Christopher Allport), who caught the psychopath originally, has remained concerned about his return, and it seems that his fears were well-founded. Before long, bodies pile up, all killed in gruesome wintry ways. Can the sheriff stop Frost’s icy reign of terror?
Good Tidings (2016, Stuart W. Bedford)
Official Synopsis: A homeless war-veteran with a chequered past must rely on a side of himself once thought buried when he and his companions are targeted by three vicious psychopaths wearing Santa suits on Christmas Day.
Sint (2010, Directed by Dick Maas)
Official Synopsis: A horror film that depicts St. Nicholas as a murderous bishop who kidnaps and murders children when there is a full moon on December 5.
Child’s Play (1988, Directed by Tom Holland)
Official Synopsis: A single mother gives her son a much sought after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.
Krampus (2015, Directed by Michael Dougherty)
Official Synopsis: A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a festive demon to his family home.
All Through the House (2015, Directed by Todd Nunes)
Official Synopsis: A deranged masked Santa-Slayer comes to town for some yuletide-terror. He leaves behind a bloody trail of mutilated bodies as he hunts his way to the front steps of the town’s most feared and notorious home.
Black Christmas (2006, Directed by Glen Morgan)
Official Synopsis: An escaped maniac returns to his childhood home on Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one.
Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984, Directed by Edmund Purdom)
Official Synopsis: A Scotland Yard inspector (Edmund Purdom) hunts a killer of Santa Clauses around London.
One Hell of a Christmas (2002, Directed by Shaky González)
Official Synopsis: “One Hell of a Christmas” is a dark and action packed comedy that takes place in a modern city as well as in a fearful underworld. When Carlitos is released after doing 2 years of “hard time”, he attempts to redeem himself and sets an example for his 5 year-old son. However, when a friend confronts him with a very dark and horrifying scam for some quick dough and good times, he declines, but never the less he soon finds himself entangled in a web of sex, drugs and Christmas carols.
Dismembering Christmas (2015, Directed by Austin Bosley)
Official Synopsis: During their stay in a vacation house on a lake, seven high-school students are attacked by a madman.
A Cadaver Christmas (2011, Directed by Joe Zerull)
Official Synopsis: When a dark force takes over the morgue, a ragtag band of heroes has to save humanity from the growing army of walking dead.
Elves (1989, Directed by Jeffrey Mandel)
Official Synopsis: A department-store Santa Claus (Dan Haggerty) discovers a neo-Nazi plot to mate a nice girl (Julie Austin) with an elf in Colorado.
The Children (2008, Directed by Tom Shankland)
Official Synopsis: Two families gather at an upscale English estate in late December. Elaine (Eva Birthistle) and her sister, Chloe (Rachel Shelley), along with their husbands and children, are set for a weekend of family bonding and winter fun. But when they arrive, one of the children becomes sick, and soon all the children exhibit strange behavior. The adults don’t realize the disturbing truth until it is too late: The children have contracted a disease that has turned them into brutal, psychotic killers.
Red Christmas (2016, Directed by Craig Anderson)
Official Synopsis: A mother must protect her family on Christmas Day from a demented stranger who is hell-bent on tearing them apart.
Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013, Directed by Jason Hull)
Official Synopsis: Jeremy, a local police officer leads a life of a confusing past, spending his current time searching for his kidnapper as a child. After other children begin missing, Jeremy pieces together the truth and realizes that his childhood kidnapper could be a creature of ancient yuletide lore, Krampus, who is the brother of St. Nick, and punisher of children who perform acts of unspeakable evil without repercussion. Can Jeremy kill Krampus and prevent more missing children?
Krampus: The Reckoning (2015, Directed by Robert Conway)
Official Synopsis: Zoe, a strange child, has a not so imaginary friend Krampus, who is the dark companion of St. Nicholas.
Secret Santa (2015, Directed by Mike McMurran)
Official Synopsis: Secret Santa is a feature length film that tells the story of a group of eccentric college kids, struggling to get through the hectic exam period. This Horror/Comedy is a tribute to B-Movie Slashers but also takes the conventions and turns them upside down. A liquor filled party is planned. Adding a Secret Santa exchange for fun. Little do our characters know… A killer is in town and has a special present for all the good (and bad) girls and boys. Dare to open your present? It might be your last!
To All a Good Night (1980, Directed by David Hess)
Official Synopsis: A group of teenagers at a party find themselves being stalked by a maniacal killer in a Santa Claus costume.
Santa Claws (1996, Directed by John A. Russo)
Official Synopsis: A woman’s marriage is falling apart and her next door neighbor is not the guy he appears to be. He is obsessed with her and will do anything to make her happy. He starts going crazy and eventually begins dressing up like Santa Claus and killing people with a claw.
P2 (2007, Franck Khalfoun)
Official Synopsis: The story centers on a corporate climber Angela (Nichols) who gets stuck working late on Christmas Eve before leaving to attend a family holiday party. On her way into the parking garage (P2), she greets the main lobby security guard, Karl. She gets into the parking garage, only to discover that her car won’t start.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, Directed by Tim Burton)
Official Synopsis: Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.
Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974, Directed by Theodore Gershuny)
Official Synopsis: An ax killer stalks a lawyer (Patrick O’Neal) and his girlfriend in a house that used to be an asylum.
Home for the Holidays (1972, Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey)
Official Synopsis: An ailing man summons his four daughters home for Christmas and asks them to kill his new wife, who he suspects is poisoning him.
Christmas Cruelty! (2013, Directed by Magne Steinsvoll, Per-Ingvar Tomren)
Official Synopsis: We follow a serial killer and his victims as they all prepare for Christmas in their own ways. This year it doesn’t matter if you have been naughty or nice, Santa is coming to town no matter what, and he knows where you live.
What are your favorite Christmas-themed horror movies? Did your favorites make the list? Sound off in the Comments section!