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Christmas Horror Guide

Everyone knows (or should know) all of the horror Christmas classics, like Black Christmas, Krampus, Gremlins, and Silent Night, Deadly Night, but what of the other holiday horror films floating around out there? Any of them worth your time? Ironically, there seems to be as many if not more horror films set in and around Christmas as there is Halloween, and most of them are pretty terrible. I have sifted through many of these movies and offer now a Holiday Horror Guide, featuring three overlooked and underappreciated Yuletide films that you should check out and treasure.

Mercy Christmas (2017)

Nebbish corporate tool Michael, tormented by his job and very much alone, meets the beautiful Cindy, also alone on this Christmas Eve. Inexplicably, they hit it off, Michael charming a girl way out of his league with his humility and soft-spoken love for the holidays. She invites him over to meet her family for Christmas, but all is not as it seems, as Michael has been lured into a den of cannibals, one of which is the brother of Cindy, who also happens to be his boss at his corporate job. Michael finds himself in this situation with three others and together, they plot escape before they become Christmas dinner.

Full of blood, plenty of humor (think Texas Chainsaw Massacre II kind of “family” humor) and lots of heart, Mercy Christmas will sneak up on you. It’s very low budget and that shows at times, but the acting is all excellent and the characters are engaging. By the time the climactic, frenzied ending begins, you’ll be all in. There’s a ton of laughs to be had here. Dare I say, but this was a fun little movie that rewards your patience with some true Holiday grue.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

This one is an anthology, the stories weaved together with a connective story featuring William Shatner as a DJ hosting his Christmas radio show. On first watch, I waited for the stories to intersect but then realized this wasn’t going to happen, and settled in for the show, and what a show it is. There’s a family out getting their Christmas tree who bring something horrific back home with them, a student film documentary gone terribly wrong, an evil Christmas spirit, and a showdown between Santa Claus and Krampus that is a bloody, knockdown battle that isn’t what it initially seems.

While not every segment is great, they’re all engaging, and the terrific performance by Shatner (I said it), really keeps things stitched together. My particular favorites are the Christmas tree family and the Krampus story. Some of the effects are cheesy and sometimes you’ll be rolling your eyes, but in the end, it’s all worth it. A quality little horror gem, ripe for repeated holiday viewings.

Inside (2007)

This film has received plenty of praise, but I don’t feel like it’s gotten its due as a holiday film, so here goes:

Four months after losing her husband in a tragic car accident, Sarah is home all alone on Christmas Eve, waiting to go in to the hospital on Christmas day and have her childbirth induced. She is scared, alone, and melancholy. Along comes a woman (the spectacular Beatrice Dalle), who quite literally wants the unborn baby from Sarah’s stomach to replace the child she lost not long ago. The plot is pretty simple, and it’s mostly a matter of Sarah trying to survive the night, baby and herself intact. What happens next gets bloodier and bloodier.

As Chas. Balun used to say, this one is a real chunkblower. Don’t come to this Christmas feast with a weak stomach. Inside is a French film that does not flinch, does not blink. Inside is one of those classic horror films that walks right up to the line that most dare not cross, stares at it, and leaps right over. Oh, there is blood; lots and lots of blood. Brutal, savage, and at times tender, this one will rock your world if you haven’t seen it. And if you have, no better time than now to revisit this classic film.

There you go, a little bloody Christmas horror list to fill your hours and help you survive all the relatives and high strangeness that the holiday season always brings. These three films should entertain you with their humor, their blood, and their guts. If you’re still craving some more, check out other titles like Better Watch Out (a clever little gem), All the Creatures Were Stirring (another low-budget anthology that rocks), and Red Christmas (a film that is pretty damned sick). Mix these in with your usual classics and you’ll have a Bloody Christmas for sure.

With that, Kelly’s Killer Reviews wishes you and yours a merry and happy holiday season. Be seeing y’all in 2020 with more movies, more TV, and more music.

Mercy Christmas (2017)

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

Inside (2007)


Kelly is the author of dozens of stories and dozens of reviews, he likes to write, he likes to read, he likes going to the movies, and he loves to laugh.  He hails from the wilds of Kentucky and if you'd like to see more of his work, check out his website:

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