Since we are in the holiday season I’ve decided to compile a list of holiday-themed horror movies to help get you in the spirit. I’m not saying that every movie on the list is a must see, I’m just pointing out some of the films that will be fun to watch and get you in the mood. The list ranges from classic slasher flicks beloved by fans of the genre, to campy films that barely made the mark. What’s your favorite holiday scary movie?
You can’t make a list of holiday-horror movies and not include the film that started it all: John Carpenter’s Halloween. This is the film that spawned all of the other slasher, holiday-themed movies that followed. The story centers around a young babysitter, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) who is stalked by a masked man on Halloween night. The man is her brother, Michael Myers (this isn’t revealed until the sequel), who is intent on finishing the job he started 25 years prior, killing horny teens along the way. The movie has a killer theme song, an awesome mask, and an unsettling feel to it. It’s definitely one of the best horror films of all time.
Friday the 13th:
Ah, the creation of the hockey-masked killer who prays on kids at camp. As if sleeping away from home in the middle of the woods isn’t scary enough, Sean Cunningham had to bring us, Friday the 13th, the movie about a mother taking revenge on unsuspecting camp counselors for the death of her handicapped son, Jason. The movie has been spoofed and copied by many over the years but there is only one slasher-sexfest that did it first and did it right.Plus, the movie has Kevin Bacon! And don’t tell me you don’t get the urge to watch this movie whenever Friday the 13th actually rolls around.
Tales From the Crypt (1972):
I know what you’re thinking: why the hell is Tales from the Crypt on this list? It isn’t exactly a holiday movie but there is a particular segment in the film that I ALWAYS think of whenever I see a mall Santa. This movie follows five different stories, told by a crypt keeper, as he explains to five strangers how they died. The story, All Through the House, starring Joan Collins, is the segment of the film that always manages to scare the crap out of me. The story follows a greedy woman who decides to kill her husband on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, a serial killer, dressed as Santa, has escaped from a mental hospital and is on the loose. The woman hears a broadcast warning about the escaped psychopath, and spots him lurking around her property. In fear of being caught with her husband’s dead body, the woman refrains from calling the police. Just when the woman thinks she’s safe, her daughter, thinking the man is actually Santa, lets the man in their house. The woman receives her karma in the hands of the crazy Santa as he wraps them around her throat. Oh, the holidays.
I mentioned this movie already in the post Gobble, Gobble Motherf#cker!; it is a newer film that is soon to become a cult-classic. Thankskilling is a campy horror film that follows a group of stereotypical college kids who are stalked and killed by a killer turkey. Need I say more?
Silent Night, Deadly Night:
This Christmas horror initially caused an uproar when it was first released in 1984. Stay-at-home mom’s everywhere petitioned to have the film banned, because they had no lives and couldn’t parent well enough to keep their kids from seeing the ads for the movie. It’s not that hard; just monitor what your kids watch ladies! Anyway, the horror centers around a young boy who witnesses his parents get brutally murdered by a man dressed as Santa. Years later, the boy grows into a man and eventually decides to go on a killing spree himself. Guess what he’s dressed as while he does all the killing?
This horror film, released in 1974, is actually based on true events that occurred in Canada around Christmastime. Black Christmas follows a group of girls who are having a Christmas party at their sorority house. While the girls are partying it up downstairs, a crazy guy manages to climb up into their attic and eventually stalks and kills them throughout the movie. The slasher also delivered the memorable scene of Lynne Griffin sitting in a rocking chair by the attic window with a plastic bag over her face. Memories.
April Fool’s Day:
The 1986 slasher is actually really clever and it got a lot of hate for “not being a horror”. The movie tells the story of nine college buddies who are staying at a friend’s mansion on April Fool’s weekend. One by one the group begins to be killed off. However; the shocking twist is revealed that it was all just a joke! No one actually was murdered in the movie because the entire plot was a setup. I think that people just hated it because they were duped and didn’t want to admit it. Oh, well.
My Bloody Valentine 3D:
Man, Valentine’s Day really sucks, especially if you’re being chased by a psycho with a pic-axe. My Bloody Valentine 3D is a remake of the ’81 slasher of the same name, only this one is in 3D and stars the gorgeous Jensen Ackles, Kerr Smith and Jaime King. The story is a typical slasher, except it takes place in a mining town. The movie begins with six miners trapped in a coal mine. One of the miners, Harry Warden, survives by killing the rest of his workers with a pic-axe. Warden is rescued and in a coma, but not for long; he awakens from his coma and goes on a killing spree at the mine and is killed himself. Ten years later, the killing starts back up again!
This brutal 1980 Troma film depicts the story of three best friends who are enjoying themselves on their annual camping trip in the woods. The fun is put to a halt when two mentally disturbed hillbillies kidnap the girls and bring them back to their home to meet their equally crazy mother. Mommy dearest encourages her boys to rape, torture and murder the girls and turn the situation into a family affair! The cult hit was recently remade and is set to release in May 2012.
Happy Birthday to Me:
The 1981 slasher follows seventeen year-old Virigina who is lucky enough to be a part of the popular crowd at her school. Right before her eighteenth birthday, all of her cool friends begin to die. Virginia suffers from blackouts and we soon realize that she was the one doing all the killing. Doesn’t she know that if she keeps killing them, she won’t have anymore friends? Sigh.
This slasher follows a serial killer in a track suit and a fencing mask as he kills off the stars of the school track team, one by one. All of the grisly murders lead up to the climactic moment in every high school student’s life: Graduation Day.
That concludes my list of holiday-horror movies. There are plenty more because after the success of Halloween, production companies pretty much tried making money off of every holiday that they could think of. Except Easter. Hmm, maybe I’ve got something there. Anyway, there were way too many for me to name and if you didn’t see your favorite on the list, just comment below!