Merry & Scary

20 Christmas Horror Movies To Watch When You’re Ready For The Forced Joy To End

Silent night? Psh. A screamfest is in order.

Universal Studios

When you think of Christmas movies, you probably think of sentimental classics like Miracle on 34th Street or joyful comedies like Elf. But there’s another genre that deserves yuletide attention: Christmas horror movies. If you need a little holiday catharsis, the following ho-ho-horrifying films are your gift this year.

Well Go USA Entertainment

Christmas Bloody Christmas | 2022

This newcomer is pretty much what the title promises: a gory yuletide adventure. There's a record store, a psychotic RoboSanta, and a low-budget '80s vibe. What more could you ask for?

RLJE Films/Shudder

The Advent Calendar | 2021

When former ballet dancer Eva receives an old wooden advent calendar for Christmas, she doesn't realize it's not just a countdown — it's a series of life-or-death decisions.


Krampus | 2015

Toni Collette and Adam Scott play Mom and Dad in this family horror, so count us all the way in! The gist: A horned beast from ancient European folklore gets unleashed when little bro Max loses his Christmas spirit.

Universal Pictures

Violent Night | 2022

In this new action-comedy, Stranger Things' David Harbour plays a rough-around-the-edges Santa fighting off mercenaries who've taken a wealthy family hostage. And really, David Harbour is always worth a watch.

Universal Studios

Black Christmas | 2019

There are actually three solid Black Christmas films to choose from: 1974, 2006, and 2019. The latest incarnation sees a group of sorority sisters band together to fight back against a psychotic Christmas killer — with a fraternity twist.

Universal Pictures

Anna and the Apocalypse | 2018

It's Christmas in the small town of Little Haven, and a zombie apocalypse threatens to destroy everything. A local teen named Anna and her friends must fight, sing, and dance to survive. So, yeah… a holiday zombie musical.

Orion Pictures

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale | 2010

When a northern Finland drilling project uncovers something in a remote mountain, two boys suspect it's the tomb of Santa Claus. Unfortunately, this Santa is not the very merry version we all know and love.


Better Watch Out | 2016

When 17-year-old Ashley shows up to babysit 12-year-old, Luke, during the holidays, she has no idea that Christmas is about to take a very dark turn. A broken window and a creepy note lead to the terrifying discovery that someone, it seems, is in the house.

Well Go USA Entertainment

Gremlins | 1984

Obviously, right? You can't get much more nostalgic than this story of a young man, his mogwai, and what happens when mischievous creatures wreak havoc on a whole town on Christmas Eve.

Warner Bros.

Red Snow | 2021

Raise your hand if you're ready for a Christmas horror movie with some real bite. Red Snow sees a struggling romance novelist holed up at an isolated cabin on Christmas Eve, only to be hunted by a group of vampires.

4Digital Media

The Long Kiss Goodnight | 1996

Die Hard gets all the "is it a Christmas movie or not?" love, but The Long Kiss Goodnight deserves that spotlight. It stars Geena Davis as a suburban mom who discovers after a Christmas party that she's actually a government assassin — and her handlers want her back, dead or alive.

New Line Cinema

The Lodge | 2019

When a father must unexpectedly leave the remote winter cabin he and his family are staying at for the holidays, his new fiancée agrees to watch his two kids. But strange things start happening when a blizzard traps them, leading to a profoundly unsettling string of events.

Silent Night | 2021

A newer contender, this black comedy starring Keira Knightley follows a family holding an annual Christmas dinner at their country estate. Only, this year, a looming apocalypse means there's one item on the menu that will effectively turn this into their last supper.


Wind Chill | 2007

Calling all Emily Blunt fans (so, you know, everyone)! In this throwback film, she stars as a student who catches a ride home for Christmas with another student. But this will be one trip home she'll never forget.

TriStar Pictures

Jack Frost | 1997

Oh, sure, you probably remember the heartwarming 1998 movie of the same name starring Michael Keaton. This is not that. This involves a notorious serial killer transformed into a mutant snowman who goes on a murderous rampage.

A-Pix Entertainment

Inside | 2016

Four months after surviving a horrific car crash that killed her husband, a pregnant widow decides to spend Christmas Eve at home alone — or so she thinks until she's awoken in the middle of the night by a woman with scissors who wants to steal her unborn baby.

Vertical Entertainment

You're Next | 2011

Is this technically a Christmas movie? No. But it feels like one, as an estranged family gathers together at their vacation home. Unfortunately, their little reunion gets broken up by a bunch of arrow-wielding, mask-wearing maniacs.


Adult Swim Yule Log/The Fire Place | 2022

ICYMI, HBO Max dropped a holiday horror gem in early December with this film hidden in a yule log video. At its center? A haunted log, a cabin that bends time, and some other seriously dark and strange sh*t.

Adult Swim/HBO Max

P2 | 2007

Say hello to Wes Bentley before he became synonymous with Jamie on Yellowstone! Here, he plays an obsessive security guard who traps a young businesswoman in her office's underground parking garage. Will she make it to her family's Christmas party? Find out.

Summit Entertainment

Dead End | 2003

If ever there was motivation not to let Dad take that "shortcut" on the way to a Christmas gathering, this movie is it. Watch what befalls Frank Harrington and his family when he does just that and finds much more than a quicker route to his mother-in-law's.


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