10. The Corridor (2010)
Is there a better time to reconnect with old friends than the holidays? Is there a better time to hole up in a cabin amidst a whole lotta the white stuff (back off junkies we aint talkin about dat sweet, sweet cola you crave) whilst figuring out that there is a band of inter-dimensional forest that makes you lose your mind and kill everyone in sight? Yeah, we know this reads like a Hallmark card but this indie thriller from director Evan Kelly really nails the importance of friendship and family and might just make you pick up the phone and give mom a call. I mentioned the snow, right?
9. Rare Exports (2010)
Another 2010 offering jingles its way into our list. This one, a Norwegian offering with a cast pulled straight from Valhalla, was one of the first of recent movies to offer a more sinister spin on the gift-giver. Santa’s elves would like nothing better than to free their master and they end up being right little shits as well. My mother loves this movie, seriously.
8. Dreamcatcher (2003)
Say what you will about this particular King adaptation that leaves many fans divided, but it is and continues to be one of my guilty pleasures. Directed by Lawrence Kasdan from a William Goldman screenplay, King delivers yet another tale about the importance of the friendships of our youth. The theme, which has long carried itself through many of the horror master’s books is treated to bat-shit crazy cast that includes Morgan Freeman, Tom Sizemore, Thomas Jane, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis and Donnie Wahlberg. Yeah, so you’re snowed in, trapped in the quaintest of cabins and it just so happens that aliens…are bursting out of your assholes…I shit you not. Plenty of snow, plenty of sweaters, plenty of ass-bursting.
7. Tales from the Crypt “And All Through the House” (1989)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So technically this is not a feature, but I really feel like I would be doing you devoted readers a disservice by not mentioning it. There are many great episodes of the series that stick out in memory, but this one always felt like such the kinetic mad-cap episode that we sorta wish they all were. Crazy-ass Larry Drake effortlessly plays a crazy-ass Santa that only wants to come in and warm his toes by the heart of the fireplace…he’s also carrying an axe…to chop the wood silly!!! Actually, no he desperately wants to kill you. Superb game of cat-and mouse that needs played every December to remind us that indeed, Larry Drake is crazy af.
6. Gremlins (1984)
What you say? Gremlins isn’t a horror film?!?! Right?!?!?! Da hell? Gremlins includes a man getting his arm mauled by a creature in a mailbox, one of said creatures getting microwaved to a messy end AND an elderly woman getting jettisoned after a top floor window while still on her electric chair. Hell, the hallmark moment of the two leads getting to know each other centers around a story about the girl’s father breaking his neck in a chimney while impersonating Santa. Make no mistake, Gremlins is a horror film. Gremlins has the distinct markings of a handful of circa 80’s films that slid under the PG radar before PG-13 was actually a thing. Jaws, yup you guessed it, also PG.
5. The Thing (1982)
What can better embody the suffocating sense of loneliness and isolation of Christmas quite like being cooped up in an Arctic research facility. The Thing quite simply looks and feels so damn cold that you can’t help but ante up that second shot of rum in your eggnog. put another log on the fire and get your cozy on. Plus if you start to get cabin fever you can always look over at your nearest loved one and yell ” I’d rather not spend the rest of this winter tied to this fucking couch!!!”
4. The Shining (1980)
Awwww…togetherness. You wanna know what’s better than hitting the slopes in your favorite Christmas sweater? Playing a game of tag in the Overlook’s scenic shrub maze. It’s just the thing to get you ready for that pipin hot cup of cocoa. If there’s one thing The Shining has, its a metric shit-ton of snow…everywhere. Couple that with a staggering lineup of some of the worst sweaters known to man proudly displayed throughout its running length and you’ve got yourself a real stocking stuffer. Adopt a new yule-tide tradition and write your entire Christmas list backwards and shout it to a mall santa as you stick your finger in his face. You might even get lucky enough to roast your chestnuts in county for the weekend afterwards…
3. A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
It really doesn’t get any more on the money than this. Christ, kids, its got Christmas right in the title. This anthology flew under many a radar but has since gained a little steam since last year. With good ole Bill Shatner in the wraparound we get a damn fine Krampus as well as other tales including dopplegangers and zombified elves that will make you chew that candy cane down to the nibble (this is in no way a sexual innuendo). This has become my family’s quintessential Christmas horror film for good reason.
2. Krampus (2105)
So in case you didn’t notice, 2015 was Krampus’ year. Maybe we all just got sick of seeing those little brats slurp down their milk and cookies as fast as they could drain or wallets…oh but we aint bitter!!! Tackling yet another holiday, Trick R’ Treat scribe and director Michael Dougherty gave us an awesome little dose of Christmas lunacy filled that little ole’ Christmas horror hole in our hearts. From demonic maniacal toys to a horned behemoth for the titular character, Krampus delivered on Dougherty’s promises.
1. Black Christmas (1974)
Billy!!! Yeah, this is the film that was singlehandedly responsible for a million wet pajamas at any slumber party or camping trip. This is THE stalked sorority girls film that spawned a million copy-cats. WIth Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder and John Saxon, this is not just a staple of holiday horror films, but ranks on many horrorphiles top ten as a stand-alone. So when you go home tonight and pick up that phone to wish your one-and-onlys a merry little Christmas assure them that indeed the calls are being made… from inside the house!!!