Just because it's the holiday season doesn't mean I have to stop watching horror movies. And if you feel the same way, I've got a few recommendations for you. OK, my first one doesn't really count as "horror," exactly, but it's still Christmas with a creepy twist. And if you know of any that I should add to my Netflix queue, let me know in the comments!
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas. We're big Nightmare fans in my house; our Christmas tree is well on its way to being almost exclusively a The Nightmare Before Christmas Tree.
2. Silent Night, Deadly Night. Here's the plot: little kid sees his parents murdered by a guy dressed up like Ol' Saint Nick. So he grows up with a serious aversion to Santa, as you might imagine. He works at a toy store and somehow gets talked into playing Santa Claus, which makes him think he has the power to punish people. So he goes around lopping off the heads of "naughty people" with axes, impaling them with deer antlers and strangling them with Christmas lights. It's good, clean fun for the whole family!
3. Black Christmas. Despite the cult classic status of this film and my fondness for horror movies, I've never seen this. The original was released in 1974 and the remake came out in 2006 "“ both revolve around a group of sorority sisters being systematically picked off by a madman. A bit of trivia for you "“ Bob Clark, the guy who directed the original, went on to direct A Christmas Story just nine years later. Quite a departure from his previous films: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, Deathdream, Murder by Decree, Porky's, and Porky's II.
4. Jack Frost. Michael Keaton transforms into a snowman and it's hideous. Nevermind, wrong Jack Frost. This one came out two years before the Michael Keaton movie.
Oh, man, the best movies always involve genetic mutation. Serial killer Jack Frost is on his way to his execution when the truck he is in collides with a truck carrying some sort of mysterious genetic material. Somehow, between the snow on the ground and the genetic material, he is transformed into a snowman and runs around town wreaking havoc.
5. Silent Night, Bloody Night. I take back what I said in the last bullet. All of the best movies involve mental institutions and/or creepy old houses that have been inherited by people who have no idea about the house's background. So, this guy inherits a house that apparently doubled as a mental hospital, and when he tries to sell it, some people get very upset. What's interesting about this movie, though, is all of the Andy Warhol cohorts that are in it. Mary Woronov stars (I love her, mostly because of her turn as Dr. Vadar in Rock "˜n' Roll High School Forever), but there are also bit parts played by Candy Darling, Ondine, Lewis Love, Kristen Steen and Tally Brown.
6. Christmas Evil. A little boy obsessed with the Christmas Spirit grows up and gets really angry when people refuse to believe in Santa and the spirit of the season. So, you know, he kills them. Makes total sense. Doesn't he realize that murder will land him on the Naughty List? Confusingly, this movie also goes by the titles You Better Watch Out and Terror in Toyland.
7. Santa Claws. Fittingly, a B-movie actress is stalked by a crazy fan. The holiday tie-in comes from the fact that the guy likes to dress up in a Santa Claus outfit to kill "“ his victims are people he feels are taking advantage of his leading lady.
8. Don't Open Till Christmas. Maybe the killer in this movie has seen all of those other movies where the Santas are evil "“ he mows down anyone dressed up like Kris Kringle. I don't blame him; I think guys dressed up in Santa costumes are kind of creepy.
9. To All a Good Night. This is really going to surprise you, but a bunch of sorority girls and their boyfriends are stalked and killed by a dude in a Santa suit. I think I need to write a Christmas horror movie screenplay that doesn't involve sorority girls, murderous guys dressed in red or mutant snowmen. I'm not sure what that leaves, though. A killer team of elves? Rudolph ala Cujo? Or there's always this...
10. Gingerdead Man. I can sum this up in five words (assuming you say "equals"): Gary Busey = killer cookie. Yeah. It's pretty awful, but it's also only an hour long. Also, I think this trailer pretty much covers the whole thing: