Best Christmas ‘Genre’ Films – Horror

Serious question, is “Christmas” a genre of film on its own? A film can be set near or on the day, near or during the month, but can a film solidly be a “Christmas” film? I’m not really here to decide that but I’ll hedge my bets. Here is a list of the best genre films that take place at Christmas or Christmas time. I drilled down my top 3.

When it comes to the horror genre there are three I’ve got to go with. The first on the list just crept its way in there at the close of 2015 but is a fantastic addition to the top 3. The first up on the list is BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974).

It’s time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don’t express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem?

Black Christmas can, potentially, be one of the most eerie and terrifying films around in the right viewing environment. You need to find yourself in a darkened space with no light but the red, greens, and bright whites of the Christmas tree, make sure the outside is cold and snowy and gather your favorite family and friends together and bundle up on the couch. It is a classically 70’s era drama/suspense that takes it time to build up to what it intends to accomplish. Sit back with your cup of cocoa and enjoy.

The second on the list is KRAMPUS (2015). There are a lot of Krampus films, like a lot, a lot. It is actually hard to comprehend how many there are. The tale has been told poorly and quite embarrassingly so far by near talentless filmmakers for a generation. Finally a great one comes along and it’s a Christmas miracle.

When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

The film is sure to be a classic in its own right down the road. It takes time for art to simmer into what it eventually means to the world, which is rarely the reason it was appreciated (or hated) in the first place. The general feeling I get from showing this one to friends and family is that all ages can get something out of the film. When grandma and grandchild can be on the same page through art, I want to be there. Also the sound in this film is the best of any snowy film ever and yes, I am lookin at you The Hateful 8. Grab everyone you can and watch this film in similar conditions the family is in the film.

Last and certainly not least is GREMLINS (1984). One of the most prominent and recognized and deservedly so. The film is a classic for all cinema because it transcends its genre so clearly and purposefully. It is clear that “art through adversity” truly applied when it came to making this film. It is as clear a favorite as any pick could be.

Young Billy Peltzer’s everyday small-town life is given a lift when his travelling salesman father Rand buys him the ultimate Christmas gift in a far-off Chinatown–the mogwai–an adorable little big-eared, furry, brown and white creature. But the old man who sold the creature gave three rules that must always be followed when caring for the mogwai: 1) no water 2) no food after midnight 3) no bright light. When Billy inadvertently violates these first two rules, the small town of Kingston Falls is turned upside down by a legion of green, nasty gremlins!

Joe Dante has crafted a classic of which to drawn inspiration and admiration. The writers and directors of KRAMPUS have said as much and based much of their film’s tone on this film. You could and should be watching this movie as often as possible and maximize your audience every time you do. Everyday, people are being born and it is up to us, dear readers, to get this film into as many brains as possible. Let’s just hope they don’t get around to remaking this one anytime in the next century or two.

These would be the three I would choose to watch in a all day three movie marathon on Christmas day it would be these!

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