For horror fans wanting to expand their horizons for movies this December, we've curated a collection of Christmas horror stables that embraces the holiday cheer and turns it into a thrill of a lifetime. Here's the list of our top 10 movies to unwrap this season:
Tales from the Crypt (1972)
The first Tales from the Crypt marks the classic cult storytelling of the Crypt Keeper, and the first macabre story takes place during the Christmas season. As a strangely enjoyable piece, it's gleefully gruesome, solidly performed, and is an excellent anthology to start the holiday season.
Black Christmas (1974)
We're referring to the original in this list, not the remakes; Black Christmas is a stable thriller to watch this season. Starring Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder, this movie helped define the slasher sub-genre and built much of the horror foundation's serial killer tropes.
The Shining (1980)
While not technically a Christmas movie, it does take place during winter, so if you're looking for some classic psychological horror from the works of Stephen King, then take the time to follow Jack Nicholson on his journey into madness.
As a holiday classic, Gremlins can be considered one of the first Christmas horror films and classics of the 80s. While it contains horror tropes, it's also witty and heartfelt and has aged well.
Die Hard (1988)
Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? In our opinion, yes. If it takes place during the Christmas season, then it's a Christmas movie! Although not horror, it's an action-packed thriller that is undoubtedly violent and dramatic and will take you to new heights.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
As a personal favorite, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a hybrid film that uses inspirations from the infamous film The Thing and puts a Christmas spin on it. Taking place in Finland (probably one of the scariest places in the world if you know its history), if you don't mind reading subtitles, it is an eerie, odd, and elaborate film that takes horror to the next level.
A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
A Christmas Horror Story is a mixed bag between supernatural horror and slow-burn creep fests, with some tongue-in-cheek humor. As an anthology of five stories, it's perfectly unsettling if you're looking for something new.
Better Watch Out (2016)
Better Watch Out uses suburbia and makes it weird. As a home invasion horror flick, this film takes Home Alone's premise to a malicious level. It's a black comedy willing to go to uncomfortable places to give you some good frights.
Await Further Instructions (2018)
This yuletide nightmare is an under-appreciated gem in the horror film industry. As a horror-sci-fi hybrid, Await Further Instructions is also a social critique filled with highs and lows, and if you take its words seriously, it can mess with your head if you're not careful.
The Lodge (2019)
A family retreat turns into a nightmare in the Lodge, where a blizzard traps a small family inside the winter cabin. It has an excellent pace, stirs emotional reactions, and works with a low simmer to help its viewers meet the final fate of its protagonists.
Red Snow (2021)
Red Snow is more of a romantic horror comedy, but it certainly gets bloody for vampire lovers. It lampoons the vampire fandom by ambitiously making it intelligent and funny, and it feeds the soul of those looking beyond the Twilight franchise.