The 11 Best Christmas Horror Movies of All Time
The 11 Best Christmas Horror Movies of All Time


Christmas is the season for spreading tidings of comfort, joy… and horror. Although it’s no Halloween, the December holiday still has its fair share of scary films — probably far more than you realize. But not all of these films are winners. There are loads of subpar Christmas horror movies out there — most with similar punny names — and finding good examples to watch can prove to be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve gathered up the 11 best Christmas horror movies of all time to make your holiday viewing schedule a little easier this year.


1. Gremlins



Not only the greatest Christmas horror movie ever, the 1980s classic from Joe Dante — which seamlessly blends comedic and horrific elements in its wildly inventive plot — might just be the greatest movie ever, period.


2. Krampus



Although it was released only two years ago, this tongue-in-cheek fright fest — which draws its terrifying villain from actual Alpine folklore — is already regarded as a classic.


3. Christmas Evil



Without question one of the most disturbing Christmas movies ever made, this 1980 film may feature the most messed up origin story of any cinematic serial killer: As a child, Harry witnesses “Santa” (his dad in costume) molesting his mother on Christmas Eve, and because of this, grows up to become a murderer obsessed with Kris Kringle.


4. Black Christmas



While many credit 1978’s Halloween with popularizing the slasher genre, this superb example featuring a psycho killer in the attic of a sorority house over Christmas break predates that film by four years.


5. Silent Night, Deadly Night



Another slasher with a Santa-dressed killer who was traumatized by a Santa impersonator in his youth, this 1984 film was released at the height of the genre and ended up spawning a franchise as a result.


6. Rare Exports



A number of the best Christmas horror films come out of Europe, like this 2010 Finnish film about the real Santa Claus, who’s apparently a vicious demon.


7. Jack Frost



Jack Frost isn’t a good movie by any stretch — it’s incredibly dumb — but its the film’s sheer stupidity that makes it such a joy to watch. You’d think a serial killer snowman would be remarkably easy to stop, but nope!


8. Elves



“They’re not working for Santa anymore.” This absolutely bonkers B movie features a Nazi plot to conquer the world using demonic Christmas elves, stars Grizzly Adams‘ Dan Haggerty as an alcoholic cop-turned-department store Santa, and features some of the most mind-bogglingly terrible dialogue ever captured on film. In other words, it’s a must-see.


9. Better Watch Out



Released earlier this year, this home invasion horror/dark comedy plays like a more sadistic version of Home Alone. It’s even more twisted than the downright unhinged Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, if you can believe it.


10. Dead End


A mundane shortcut is taken by a family traveling to a relative’s house on Christmas Eve: What could go wrong? A lot, it seems, as this film finds loads of ways to surprise its audience.

11. Sint



Another European export, this Dutch film tells the story of Santa’s inspiration, Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, who apparently becomes a murderous psychopath if there’s a full moon on December 5, St. Nicholas’ Eve. Note to self: Make sure to keep the fireplace roaring if there’s a full moon on December 5.


Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures