Scary Christmas! The best and worst of Holiday Horror movies

Welcome to the 13 Days of Halloween

Well, it’s that time of year again. When the line between “good will toward men” and frenzied consumerism is blurred. If you’re like me, you chafe at the pushiness of the retail season and yo-yo between true feelings of Christmas spirit and a panicked sense of “how the hell am I going to pull off another great Christmas for those I love most.” I’m not gonna lie, some years I don’t get a single card in the mail, I barely get any holiday baking done, outside lights either don’t go up at all or they stay up until the following year, and the bulk of my Christmas shopping inevitably happens on Christmas Eve. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I don’t give a shit or have no Christmas spirit. No, it’s more like I’m human and sometimes drop the ball on what other’s expectations and preconceived notions of Christmas are, and should (apparently), mean to me. And it’s in those moments of rebelling against what is expected, or defined by the masses as proper seasonal behavior, that I turn off the Hallmark Channel’s saccharine cinema and turn on a little holiday horror. So, in this post I will take a look at 6 Christmas-themed movies (of my choosing) from the horror genre and decide if it belongs on the naughty list or the nice list. So grabbed a cup of spiked cocoa and snuggle in for some holiday fear and Christmas–erm–Carols. Let’s get started.

 In this post

  • song of the day
  • naughty list
  • musical interlude
  • nice list
  • christmas bonus

But first . . .

Song of the Da

Aside from “School’s Out for Summer”, this is the Alice Cooper song I play the most. It is thee absolute shit. Love it!

Bonus

LMAOOOOOO!!! Best Christmas video evah!! 

So, let me set this up for you before we dig into our naughty and nice lists. Basically, I comprised my lists and choices of movies based on a general Google search of Christmas-themed horror movies. I then picked my 6 movies by plot overview (synopsis). If it peeked my interest, I watched it. Understand that you will not see movies like Gremlins, Nightmare Before Christmas, Scrooged, or Edward Scissorhands on the lists. We all know they rock, and even though they made Google’s list of Christmas horror movies, I question why because they are adorable and endearing. The decision of whether to place each movie on the naughty or nice list was based exclusively on how many times I rolled my eyes, groaned, or even laughed (in ridicule) during the movie. Now don’t get me wrong, eliciting said reactions from me doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a shit movie. It simply means that it was bad (or “campy”) enough to land its ass on my fabricated naughty list. Ya dig? So, how did I deem a movie nice list worthy? Simple. There were moments in the movie where I thought: “that’s bad ass,” or there were moments when I had to turn my head away from the TV and continue to reluctantly watch out of the corner of one eye, or I laughed (in delight). Are you ready?

Don’t Open ‘Till Christmas (1989)

OMG–I can’t even make it through the trailer without laughing, groaning, and rolling my eyes! This movie earns a spot on the naughty list for its bad musical score, crap acting, and an all over the place plot that resembles a squirrel deciding whether or not to cross the road. “There’s only 3 more killing days until Christmas,” so if you do decide to give it a go, make sure you bring plenty of wine and crackers to the couch because this movie has a neverending supply of cheesy goodness . . . err . . . badness? (Trivia bonus: The name of the film is misspelled in the opening credits–LMAO!!) 

Elves (1989)

“Their mission: to mate with a virgin [at midnight on Christmas Eve, no less] and conquer the world as a pint-size master race.” Now, if that tagline isn’t enough to have you hitting the pause button and running the other way, then you deserve the nausea and pounding headache you’ll have after this one.  As if the horrendous acting and appallingly bad dialogue wasn’t enough to earn this movie a top spot on the shit heap, there’s also the unnecessary conspiracy theory thing happening with the Nazis. I mean, what the hell is that?! LOL. There are already so many plot holes in this movie that I think it only fair to describe it as a Swiss cheesy horror film, but hey, at the risk of being called Captain Obvious, let’s talk about the fact that there’s only one damn elf running amuck throughout the entire movie–even though the name of the movie is Elves, necessitating multiples of said creature. Just sayin’. (Sidenote: this movie’s 1 redeeming quality is Dan Haggerty. I do love me some Grizzly Adams–am I right?)

Feeders 2: Slay Bells (1998)

So, right about now you’ve got to be asking, “What the fuck did I just watch.” I know. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself either. I chose to show you an actual scene from the movie instead of a movie trailer because I wanted you to get a feel for just how really, really bad this movie is, and also, I don’t think an actual movie trailer exists. Okay, I’m going to say this fast:

  • The dialogue is as painful to hear as the actors are to watch. Who am I kidding–there are no actors–to qualify as such, one would have to actually do some acting . . . ’nuff said.
  • What in the actual feck is up with those aliens?! LMAO–I can’t even.
  • Okay, and Santa has a plastic mother effin’ ray gun!! 

When I first started watching this movie, I thought I had mistakenly clicked on a homemade spoof done by a fan . . . atic . . . so I shut it off to double check. It was then that I realized 2 things: A. It was indeed the actual movie. 2. I should have left it off. Bottomline: don’t bother. It’s 68 minutes of your life that you will never get back. If, however, you ignore my advice and decide to watch it anyway, I strongly suggest either being heavily intoxicated or wicked high. Also, wear protective head gear of some sort–the urge to bang your head against something will be overwhelming.

Musical Interlude

God, The Ramones are bad ass–right? Even singing a Christmas song–straight up bad assery!

Bonus

((giggle)) I couldn’t resist. This one’s for my Star Wars fam-fans.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

So, as you can see from the trailer, there’s a lot going on in this movie. There’s actually 4 story lines that we bounce back and forth between. This can be a little confusing, and even a bit annoying, because just when you’re totally getting into it, you’re yanked out and thrown into a different story. But, with that being said, it all comes together in the end, and it’s worth it. Here’s what I dig:

  • zombie infected elves
  • epic battle between Krampus and Santa
  • good ole Bill Shatner as the radio DJ
  • plenty of AAAAAHH!!! moments 

Sometimes the stories lag and the dialogue is “eh” but there’s some really great cinematography and acting going on here as well. 

Krampus (2015)

I remember when this came out last year and I couldn’t get my kids (then 18 and 26) to come see it with me–babies! LOL. But seriously, I remember watching the previews and thinking, “hot damn, this is going to be good!” And I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve never hidden the fact that certain things scare the chocolate frosting right outta me e.g. dolls, clowns, any and all inanimate objects coming to life, and let me just say that this movie has plenty of fuel for the ole nightmare fires! Krampus himself is an impressively terrifying beast alone, but when you add demonic toys and sadistic elves into the fray–well–it completes the horrifying visual in a most disturbing way. There’s also some feel good Christmas spirit stuff happening in the movie too, which is great as it reminds us of all the warm and fuzzy feelings that the holiday season can manifest. Overall, Krampus definitely has its eek! moments, but it also has some humor, and when it works well, it’s a fearfest that I can definitely get on board with. Anyone else find a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation thing happening in the beginning of the movie? Good times.  

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974)

Okay, so from the trailer you can’t get a real feel for what this movie is all about, but trust me, it’s a good time. Yes, this movie has a low-budget feel to it, but it’s also dark and bizarre. When you put all of those qualities together, you get a truly eerie and unsettling movie experience. Even with the slower pace, I still dig it. Here’s why:

  • plenty of red herrings (although some are obvious)
  • musical score is effectively creepy
  • sepia-toned flashbacks give me the same unsettling feeling I get when I watch Samara come out of a TV set
  • one needs to pay attention in order to assess the mystery as it unfolds throughout the movie

At times, the darker night scenes can be hard to see and the acting is a little over the top in some places, but all-in-all, I feel it’s worthy of the nice list.

Christmas Bonus

Holidays (2016)

I’m just going to leave this right here . . .

. . . good times.

So Dudes, may your Merry be Scary and your Christmas of White be filled with Fright!

Until next time . . .

Happy Haunting

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