Christmas. One of the most polarizing holidays of the year, with many loving the festivities and many hating their mere existence. What we can agree upon is that Christmas is an excellent opportunity for special holiday-themed horror movies. The art of the Christmas slasher is a complicated one, with filmmakers trying to create a balance between comedy, festivity and horror within their movies. It’s of no shock that there aren’t many horror movies based around the Christmas period which gained any traction or fanbases. However, there are plenty of horrors which did make the festive cut and so here’s a list of the top Christmas slasher movies of all time. You can expect many spoilers within the list.
Before even taking a look at this list, it’s very likely that if you had a particular Christmas slasher in mind, it was Black Christmas. Probably the greatest Christmas movie of all time (next to Die Hard, of course), Black Christmas is the perfect blend of mystery, horror and death. During the Christmas break, a sorority makes plans for the break, but a series of mysterious and peculiar phone calls starts to creep them out. Disappearances begin and after a 13-year-old girl is sadly found dead in a park, the police decide to intervene by wiretapping the house. Will this be enough to stop the killer or are the police too late? Are the sorority sisters the only ones inhabiting the house?
A hilarious addition to the list, Jack Frost closely follows the antics of a murderer who is genetically mutated in a car wreck whilst he’s on the way to his execution. This leaves Jack as a snowman and he pursues the sheriff who caught him so he can exact his bloody revenge. What’s not to like? Jack Frost is pretty ridiculous in concept and execution, but that’s what makes this such a great movie and an asset to the Christmas slasher scene, if ever we needed such a thing. Perhaps you’ll think twice about building snowmen in future after watching this.
As we all know, Christmas is supposed to be a tranquil time of happiness, joy and calmness. Due to this being a horror movie and not a generic Hallmark movie, Silent Night, Deadly Night provides neither happiness, joy nor calmness. As if you’d expect anything other from a movie with such a title! Silent Night, Deadly Night follows a young teenager who, after witnessing his parents’ murder, dresses as Santa whilst on a murderous rampage, which was sparked by his time at an orphanage where he was abused by the wretched Mother Superior. With the tagline of, ‘You’ve made it through Halloween, now try and survive Christmas’, you know you’re in for an excellent 80 minutes of Santa slasher fun.
Quite an obscure addition to the list, Christmas Evil tells us the story of a toy factory worker who suffers a nervous breakdown after being bullied at work (still reeling from his mental scars upon finding out Santa isn’t real). As you may have guessed, here ensues the bloody onslaught as the tormented toy factory worker lashes out. Being a festive horror and all, you can expect to see a nutcracker used in quite a unique manner somewhere within the movie. Comical violence, an vengeful man-child and the festive period; what more could you possibly ask for from a Christmas slasher?
Every family has its issues, but young Max’s dysfunctional family clashes constantly over the holiday period. This causes Max to turn his back on Christmas, which unwittingly unleashes the wrath of Krampus, the very cause for terror amongst European children for years. Krampus unleashes his demonic wrath upon Max and his family, utilising the holiday icons around his home as punishment for being a non-believer. Forced to unite to fight for their lives, this dysfunctional family are in for the most bizarre and critical battle of their lives. Christmas is fun, right? Right?
It wouldn’t be possible to end this list of Christmas slashers without at least a mention of Santa’s Slay, one of the funniest Christmas movies in general. In a brilliant twist to the typical Santa-related folklore, Santa is a demon who lost a wager with an angel and was forced into 1000 years of playing as the gift-delivering idol, loved by children universally. However, once these 1000 years expire, Santa decides to make up for lost time and so begins his streak. With exploding presents, Christmas stars thrown as ninja stars, candy canes used as weapons and many more utterly ridiculous contraptions, Santa’s Slay hits the mark for an ideal Christmas slasher.
As well as being a time for togetherness, gift-giving and general goodwill, there’s no reason that you can’t make this Christmas a time for watching as many horror movies as humanly possible, so why not watch a few of the movies from this list for your own amusement? Enjoy these movies while you can, as even scarier than the movies on this list will be the mound of pots you’ll be duped into washing after Christmas dinner. What’s your favourite Christmas slasher?