The TWABM Advent Calendar (AKA the 25 best Christmas horror movies)

It’s December, and that can only mean one thing. Yes, it’s Slovenian Independence Day on the 26th.

As a warm-up to that big occasion, there’s also a smaller event on the previous day called Christmas, where families come together and give each other presents and eat food and get fat and get miserable for the next eleven months until they lose the fat then they decide to lose more weight because they know they’re probably going to get fat again next Christmas. It’s good fun.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the 25 Christmas horror films you should watch to get in the festive mood. Ladies, gentlemen, children with irresponsible parents who let you watch films you’re too young for, I give you the That Was A Bit Mental Shoddily Photoshopped Advent Calendar Of Christmas Horror Films And That.

Christmas horror movies advent calendar
Click to make it bigger (that’s what she said – I don’t understand what that means in this context but I felt it was necessary to say it)

Incidentally, because I’m completely shameless, I’ve added Amazon links to each of the films so if you decide you desperately want to get hold of one of them, please do buy it through the site. Sometimes I can earn upwards of 8p from each purchase, so if you’re worried your money is funding terrorism I can assure you I wouldn’t even be able to afford a tub of Playdoh to pretend it’s Semtex.

Of course, my number one priority is treating you with love and affection (more or less), so if the films are available on either UK Netflix, US Netflix or Amazon Instant Video I’ve provided links to those too in case you subscribe to those services.

Anyway, in no apparent order (other than the order they appear on the calendar, obviously):

1) Black Christmas (1974)
I’ve never been invited to a female sorority Christmas party, partly because I’m male and partly because I don’t live in America. That doesn’t stop me hating them for leaving me out anyway. That’s why I like Black Christmas (one of the first ever slasher films), because it features a stalker who makes dodgy phone calls to a sorority house during its party then starts killing them one by one. Plus it’s Canadian and has John Saxon in it, so that’s triple awesome.
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD, US Blu-ray
NetflixUK streaming
Amazon Instant Video
 – UK streaming

2) Black Christmas (2006)
Nowhere near as good as the original, this remake is nonetheless noteworthy because it pissed off a lot of people who complained that Christmas shouldn’t be ‘celebrated’ with something as dark as a horror film. Um, take a look at the rest of this page, dicknuts – this wasn’t the first and it wasn’t the last. You may already be questioning this list’s quality considering we’re two films in and we’ve got a boring one. Look, there just aren’t a lot of good Christmas horror films. Deal with it.
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD, US Blu-ray

3) Jack Frost (1997)
A serial killer being driven to his execution gets lucky when the car crashes and he’s genetically mutated into a killer snowman. Features an odd scene in which he kills a pre-American Pie Shannon Elizabeth in the shower with a hairdryer. Sample dialogue – “The fucker’s a snowman!”. Not to be confused with Jack Frost (1998), the heartwarming tale in which Michael Keaton dies in a car crash and comes back as a snowman to take care of his son. Because, amazingly, that’s the serious one of the two.
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD
Amazon Instant Video – UK streaming

4) Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Here’s a cheery tale for you. A young boy’s parents are murdered at Christmas, and when he’s placed in an orphanage one of the nuns abuses him. When he grows up, he decides the best course of action is to dress up as Santa and kill everyone. Believe it or not, this simple premised eventually led to a FIVE-film series, the last being Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker.
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD
NetflixUK streaming

5) Christmas Evil (1980)
Also known as You Better Watch Out. When a young boy realises that Santa isn’t real (though of course he is actually real, right kids?) he refuses to accept it and spends the rest of his life making toys to try to keep the Christmas spirit alive. When cynical sorts start taking the piss, he snaps and decides to, yup, dress up as Santa and kill everyone. Notice a theme here?
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD

6) Gremlins (1984)
Not just a great Christmas film but a much-loved film in general, Gremlins is the tale of a young man who gets a weird furry prick for Chrimbo and chooses to ignore the strict rules given to him for taking care of it. This leads to a load of little monsters running around and killing everyone. Do any of these films not end with everyone being killed? Anyway, I’ve already reviewed this one in full so here’s a link.
AmazonUK DVD, UK Blu-ray, US DVD, US Blu-ray

7) Home Alone (1990)
What’s that, you say? Home Alone isn’t a horror film? Well, have you ever been left at home by your parents? Have you ever had to fend for yourself all of a sudden? Have you ever had to protect your home from a couple of burglars hell-bent on causing you physical damage? Have you ever been Macaulay Culkin? HAVE YOU?! NO YOU HAVEN’T SO PISS OFF, MATE. Unless you’re actually Macaulay Culkin, in which case you agree with me.
AmazonUK DVD, UK Blu-ray, US DVD, US Blu-ray

8) Santa’s Slay (2005)
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “This is all well and good Chris, and we’re all having a bloody good chuckle. But this article is missing something. It’s missing a film in which former WCW and WWE wrestler Goldberg plays a demonic Santa Claus who’s had to be good for the last 1000 years as part of a bet but can now be a complete prick because the bet’s ended.” Well, now it isn’t. You’re welcome.
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD

9) Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)
This bastard’s had more names than Prince, having also been known as Night Of The Dark Full Moon and Death House. After Wilford Butler seemingly burns to death outside his asylum mansion on Christmas Eve, he’s thought to be gone forever. If that’s the case, then who’s the cheeky prick who breaks into the mansion and starts killing anyone else who approaches it?
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD

10) Santa Claws (1996)
After a young man sees his mum having sex with a chap in a Santa costume, something inside his little brainbox goes ‘boink’ and he shoots them both dead. Years later, believing he’s actually Santa Claus himself, he starts to stalk a horror porn star. His solution to get her attention? You guessed it – start killing everyone.
AmazonUS DVD

11) Rare Exports: A Children’s Tale (2010)
This Finnish tale of an evil, monstrous Santa Claus unearthed in an archaeological dig is very much a Marmite film. I enjoyed it, but I know of plenty of people who despised every second of it and would like to see everyone involved with it brutally slaughtered (probably). Still, don’t let that put you off. Here’s my full review.
AmazonUK DVD, UK Blu-ray, US DVD, US Blu-ray

12) The Children (2008)
One of the scariest offerings here, The Children is a British horror film in which two families come together to spend Christmas in an isolated country home, in the middle of the snowy woods. When the children start getting sick and then start turning violent, things become pretty bloody creepy.  If you want to shit yourself this Christmas (dodgy sprouts aside), this is probably the one to go for in this list.
AmazonUK DVD, UK Blu-ray, US DVD, US Blu-ray

13) To All A Goodnight (1980)
There’s a big Christmas party planned at the Calvin Finishing School for Girls, but there’s just one problem. Granted, it’s a small problem – some fucking nutter dressed as Santa has turned up and started killing everyone (as is the theme of the day) – but a problem nonetheless. I suppose you could say he wants to “finish” them off!!!!!11!!!one!!1! I mean, you could say it. You don’t have to.
AmazonUS VHS (seriously)

14) Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984)
There have already been plenty of films in this list about people dressing up as Santa and killing everybody, but how many have been set in LONDON? And how many are about a man not dressing up as Santa, but killing OTHER people dressed as him? That’s right mon frere, you’ve just had your mind blown.
Amazon – UK DVD, US DVD

15) Tales From The Crypt (1972)
This British film from glorious horror studio Amicus is an anthology consisting of five stories. The one we’re interested in here is the first one, entitled And All Through The House. In it, Joan Collins kills her husband but then notices a criminal dressed as Santa trying to break into her house. She can’t call the police, because then they’ll see her dead husband. DRAMA.
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD

16) Satan Claus (1996)
A serial killer stalks the streets of New York. At first glance he appears to conform to the standard Christmas horror checklist: he’s dressed as Santa, and his plan is to kill everyone. Here’s the twist though: every time he kills someone he removes a body part and hangs it from his Christmas tree. A nice touch.
AmazonUS DVD

17) Sint (2010)
Did you know that in Holland, Santa is a proper dick? Well, Saint Nicholas, to be more precise. In Sint (which is Dutch for Saint, naturally), he’s an evil bishop who tries to slaughter as many children as he can if there’s a full moon on 5 December. Also known as Saint Nick in the US.
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD

18) Silent Night (2012)
Just in case there weren’t enough Christmas horror films with ‘Silent Night’ in the title, this Canadian slasher from last year chucks its red baubled hat into the ring. The story’s just as unoriginal – it’s about a chap dressed as Santa (strike two) who wants to kill everyone (strike three) – but it also has odd British links for some reason. Not only are Malcolm McDowell and Jaime King in it, but all the characters are named after members of the Leeds United squad from the ’70s. In fairness, this is a remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night, so we’ll let it off with the title. Unlike…
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD, US Blu-ray

19) Silent Night, Zombie Night (2009)
This one is really just your standard low-budget zombie movie. The only real difference is that it takes place a week before Christmas, meaning some of the zombies stumbling through Los Angeles have Santa hats on. Still, a zombie film’s a zombie film, so if it’s Chrimbo undead you’re after this is the one for you.
Amazon – US DVD, US Blu-ray

20) Elves (1989)
I’m just going to copy and paste the summary for this one directly from IMDb, because it sums it up better than I ever could. “A young woman discovers that she is the focus of an evil nazi experiment involving selective breeding and summoned elves, an attempt to create a race of supermen. She and two of her friends are trapped in a department store with an elf, and only Dan Haggerty, as the renegade loose-cannon Santa Claus, can save them.” Needless to say, a full review is planned.
AmazonUK VHS, US DVD

21) One Hell Of A Christmas (2002)
I’ll be honest, this one’s actually dogshit. Still though, you’ve got to applaud it for its silly premise. After spending the last two years in jail, Carlitos is released on Christmas Eve and plans to set a good example for his wife and son. Unfortunately, his junkie pal gives him a talisman and the demon it belongs to decides it wants him back. HAPPY HOLIDAYS, HOMBRE.
AmazonUS DVD

22) Feeders 2: Slay Bells (1998)
The original Feeders told the tale of two chaps driving  through a quiet town, which they quickly realise is full of aliens eating its residents. Obviously the filmmakers decided this film was missing something festive, hence this sequel which does the same thing but sets it during Christmas and makes Santa the hero.
AmazonUS DVD

23) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Just in case you were starting to lose faith in this list, let’s finish strong. There isn’t a lot I can say about The Nightmare Before Christmas that hasn’t already been said, and if you haven’t yet experience the story of Jack Skellington and his attempt to convert his Halloween-themed town to the ways of Christmas then you’re really missing out. Get involved.
AmazonUK DVD, UK Blu-ray, UK Blu-ray 3D, US DVD, US Blu-ray, US Blu-ray 3D
NetflixUS streaming

24) Bikini Bloodbath Christmas (2009)
Look. This website caters to readers of all ages, and while I’m sure the majority of you wouldn’t necessarily be tempted by a film with a name like this, there is a certain demographic who may be swayed. So if you want to see a bunch of slapper get their Christmas puddings out while some guy dressed as a chef (for some reason) threatens to kill them,  then fill your boots. Just clean up after yourself.
AmazonUS DVD

25) Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964)
There was only one film I was ever going to end this list with, and it’s one of my true guilty pleasures. Currently sitting at number 85 on the IMDb’s bottom 100 films of all time, this sci-fi shitefest sees Martians kidnapping Santa and taking him to Mars so their children can get Christmas presents. Cue two immensely irritating kids from Earth called Billy and Betty who travel to Mars to save Santa. You can bet your balls I’ll be reviewing this at some point.
AmazonUK DVD, US DVD, US Blu-ray
NetflixUS streaming

So there you have it. 25 films, covering the entire quality range from outstandingly amazing to unspeakably depressing. Whether or not you choose to watch any of them, have a brilliant Christmas (if you’re of that persuasion) and keep an eye out on That Was A Bit Mental early next year, where a slew of daily reviews is planned.

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2 thoughts on “The TWABM Advent Calendar (AKA the 25 best Christmas horror movies)

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