The holiday season may be one of joy, but it can also bring on some sadness for horror fans who are gifted earlier in the year during the month of October, when the spirit of Halloween results in endless horror movie marathons on TV and new releases in the theater. As soon as the 31st passes, the stores are transformed. Skeletons are swapped for Santas, and the chances of catching anything on TV that doesn’t involve yuletide cheer is slim to none. If you’re one who can’t get enough horror and blood all year long but still want to embrace the season, check out these films that take the two most different holidays of the year and merge them into your idea of the best type of Christmas movie.
They’re cute, fluffy, and bloodthirsty. When a boy becomes the owner of a pair of strange, Furby-like creatures known as Gremlins, he doesn’t follow the care instructions and winds up with a group of murderous little animals who transform into demon-like monsters at night. The 1984 horror comedy starring Zach Galligan has been making fans cringe and laugh for over two decades now.
No, not that Jack Frost, the overly sappy story of a boy’s dead father coming back as a snowman. This version (which came out a year earlier) features a freak accident that takes a notorious serial killer being transported to execution and turns him into a vicious abominable snowman. As bodies begin to pile up in a series of strange, winter-themed murders, the sheriff who locked the criminal away to begin with makes it his mission to put an end to the madness before anyone else dies. It’s a dark and sinister twist on that beloved figure synonymous with winter fun.
A millennium has passed since a lost bet with an angel resulted in a demon becoming Santa Claus (played by Bill Goldberg), condemned to spread gifts and cheer to children all around the world. Now that the bet is off, he’s fed up with the holly jolly vibe of the Christmas season and is ready to return to his Hellish roots in this 2004 film starring Emilie de Ravin, Douglas Smith, and Fran Drescher.
In late December, two families meet at an upscale English estate to celebrate the holidays together, but instead of late night parties and Christmas carols, they’re faced with a strange disease that has infected all the children and turned them into heartless, psychotic killers. The film has received positive reviews all around, being praised for its entertainment as well as fear-inducing factor.
The iconic Jack Nicholson film isn’t just one of the best horror meets holiday films; it’s regarded as one of the top horror thrillers of our time. In the film based on the book by Stephen King, Nicholson plays the role of a man suffering from writer’s block who takes his family to an isolated winter retreat in Colorado. His son (Danny Lloyd), who begins to suffer from psychic premonitions, is forced to watch as his father unravels from a stressed author into a homicidal maniac bent on killing his family.
All of the above films are perfect for any horror fan looking for a way to merge their love of suspense into the Christmas season. Luckily for you many of the films are available on demand through providers like DirecTV and iTunes, so grab your glass of eggnog, curl up on the couch, and get cozy for some horrific holiday fun…just maybe wait until the kids have gone to bed.
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