10 Christmas Horror Movies to Watch This Season

The holidays are here, and that means it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit. And what better way to do that than with a little horror?

If you’re like me, the dark, cold nights put you in the mood to watch more horror, thriller, and mystery movies. Which is perfect, because so many great movies come out around this time every year. And of course, this is a great time to add holiday-themed horror movies to the mix.

Whether you’re looking for something scary or just want a good laugh, here are some of the best Christmas horror movies to watch this season.

1. Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas, released in 1974, follows a group of sorority sisters who are terrorized by a series of disturbing and anonymous phone calls over the holiday break. The movie is widely considered a classic of the slasher genre and is often credited as being one of the earliest examples of the “holiday horror” sub-genre.

One of the things that makes Black Christmas so memorable is its strong atmosphere of unease and tension. The movie is set in a sorority house that is seemingly abandoned during the holiday break, and the creepy, isolated setting adds to the sense of dread that builds throughout the film. The anonymous phone calls that the sorority sisters receive are also unsettling and add to the movie’s sense of terror. It makes this movie perfect to watch during the holiday season!

2. Krampus (2015)

Krampus truly combines the spirit of Christmas with the thrill of horror. Directed by Michael Dougherty and starring Adam Scott and Toni Collette, the story follows a dysfunctional family that is terrorized by Krampus, a horned beast who punishes naughty children at Christmastime, after they lose their holiday spirit.

3. Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

Anna and the Apocalypse is a musical horror-comedy movie that was released in 2017. The movie follows a group of high school students who must fight for survival when their town is overrun by zombies during the Christmas season.

One of the things that sets Anna and the Apocalypse apart from other horror movies is its unique blend of genres. While it’s definitely a horror movie at its core, the movie also incorporates elements of comedy and musical theater, with characters breaking into song and dance throughout the film.

4. Better Watch Out (2016)

Better Watch Out follows Ashley, a teenager babysitting a 12-year-old boy (who also has a crush on her) during the holidays, who must protect herself and the boy when they become the victims of a home invasion. The movie, directed by Chris Peckover, was praised by critics for its dark humor and major plot twist, and has a big cult following.

5. Black Friday (2021)

In Black Friday, a group of toy store employees on the night of Thanksgiving as they fight off hordes of holiday shoppers turned into murderous monsters by an alien parasite. The goofy characters and customers are actually relatable if you’ve ever worked retail during the holidays.

6. The Lodge (2019)

The Lodge is a suspenseful and atmospheric film that uses the holiday season as a backdrop for its chilling narrative. The story follows Grace (played by Riley Keough), a soon-to-be Stepmom with a dark past who becomes stranded in a remote winter cabin during the holidays with her fiancé’s two children. As they struggle to survive the isolation and the tension between them, strange and frightening events begin to occur at the cabin. The movie was directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, and is perfect to watch on a dark, cold night.

7. A Nasty Piece of Work (2019)

A Nasty Piece of Work is technically not a feature film, but instead an episode of the horror anthology web television series Into the Dark. But since its runtime is like a movie at 1.5 hours, I’m including it on this list. It stars one of my favorite underrated actors, Kyle Howard, along with Julian Sands, Molly Hagan, Dustin Milligan, and Angela Sarafyan. The story follows Ted, a desperate employee of a highly competitive private equity company, as he’s passed up for both a promotion and is subsequently invited to a dinner party at his boss’s home for what turns out to be an intense competition for a promotion. This movie is a lot of fun and I highly recommended it if you like other company horror/thriller movies like The Belko Experiment or Mayhem.

8. Pooka! (2018)

Pooka! is another episode of the horror anthology web television series Into the Dark that aired in 2018. It’s about a struggling actor who gets a job as a character in a plush suit to promote a hot new toy during the holiday season, but he soon discovers that the more he wears the costume, the more it begins to severely alter his personality. The movie garnered a cult following due to its interesting plot and the creepy stuffed animal costume. In fact it was so beloved by fans that a sequel, Pooka Lives!, was released in 2020.

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas is an animated children’s fantasy movie, but it still belongs on this list as a classic in all three of the horror, family, and holiday genres due to its iconic soundtrack and stop-motion animation style. Directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton, it tells the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who becomes bored with the same old Halloween festivities and discovers a door leading to Christmas Town. Determined to bring a new twist to Christmas, Jack kidnaps Santa Claus and attempts to take over the holiday. However, his plan goes awry and he must team up with Santa and the residents of Christmas Town to save the day.

10. P2 (2007)

P2 stars Rachel Nichols and Wes Bentley, and the story follows a young businesswoman who becomes stranded in a parking garage on Christmas Eve after her car won’t start, and is subsequently stalked and terrorized by a psychopath. The movie is full of susepense and action to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re looking for something more fun.

What’s your favorite Christmas horror movie?

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