Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Horror Movies

For those of you who are looking to get into the Christmas spirit but aren't interested in Little Ralphie's BB gun or little boys who fight off bumbling burglars, here are a few horror films to bring you some holiday cheer:

Santa's Slay (2005) - Former wrestler Bill Goldberg stars as Santa Claus in this gruesome holiday tale of festive carnage. After 1,000 years of jolly gift-giving due to losing a bet, Santa now returns to his true form of being a brutal killer. The opening scene has a surprisingly distinguished cast for a movie of this calibre. James Caan, Fran Drescher, Chris Kattan and Rebecca Gayheart all cameo in this horrific-holiday film.

Gremlins (1984) - Although not a true Christmas movie, the holiday backdrop is a nice contrast to the theme in this dark comedy. For those who don't know the story-line of this classic, a father buys his son a mysterious creature known as a Mogwai for Christmas. When he doesn't follow the instructions for caring for the Mogwai, it multiplies. After breaking a cardinal rule of not eating after midnight, the multiple ill-behaved Mogwais then transform into slimy Gremlins who wreak havoc through the small town of Kingston Falls.

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) - Little Billy Chapman, who watched his parents' get brutally murdered by a madman in a Santa Claus suit, grows up to go on his own Christmas -induced killing spree. This film caused an uproar when it was released, but has grown to create a cult following. It spawned four sequels.

Christmas Evil (1980) - Young Harry catches his mother having an affair with Santa Claus, who unbeknownst to Harry, is actually his father in a Santa costume. 30 years later, Harry is all grown up and is obsessed with the holiday and wants to become the next true Santa. Harry spends Christmas Eve dressed in a Santa costume punishing those who are on his naughty list. It is a little slow moving for some, but 'Christmas Evil' is a good Christmas horror film from the golden era of the slasher film.

Black Christmas (1974) - Sorority sisters receive obscene phone calls while they host their annual Christmas party. The mysterious caller then breaks in to the house and systematically murders the sisters. Bob Clark, who later went on to direct the classic 'A Christmas Story' helmed this holiday horror film. The film was remade in 2006.

Holiday Horror TV Specials

Tis' the season for holiday specials! Rudoph, Frosty and Santa bring holiday cheer to millions of people with their respective Christmas stories. But for those of you looking for a more macabre Christmas tale, here are a few scary holiday TV specials to watch as you warm yourself by the fire:

Tales From the Crypt: And All Through the House - Larry Drake (The title character from 1992's Dr. Giggles) plays a madman dressed as Santa Claus who terrorizes a woman on Christmas Eve. This beautifully shot episode opens up on a house decorated for the holidays with a backdrop of gently falling snow. With Christmas tunes in the air, this episode opens up in the tradition of Courier and Ives. The set up contrasts the horror that is soon to take place. "All Through the House" is a fun story that never takes itself too seriously. It has a memorable villian and makes good use of the holiday theme making it a great horror viewing for Christmas.

Tales from the Darkside: Season of Belief - This story opens up with two children, tired of hearing the same Christmas stories, ask their parents to tell them a scary story. Their parents proceed to tell them a story about the Grither, a monster who lives in the North Pole, that comes for those who say his name out loud. The parents continue to tell the tale despite the children's request for them to stop. As the children become more and more frightened, the parents don't let up for a minute! They get more and more detailed about this winged creature who flies faster and faster the more his name is spoken. The parents even sing a song about the Grither sung to the tune of "O Come, All Ye Faithful." Without giving too much away, the story is based on the theme of belief, and what happens if a belief is so strong that it just might be true. Adding a little more holiday connection, E.G. Marshall, who plays Grandpa Art in "Christmas Vacation" plays the father in the tale.

The Twilight Zone: The Night of the Meek - One of the greatest horror/Christmas crossovers ever in the history of television. Art Carney plays a department store Santa who is fired on Christmas Eve. He finds a magical sack, which he uses to give gifts to those who are less fortunate. Though not very scary, "The Night of the Meek" does have real heart and displays the true Christmas Spirit.