It may be the cheeriest time of year, but thanks to the many filmmakers who have given us the gift of great holiday horror, it can also be the creepiest!
We’re so excited to introduce our first annual holiday horror advent calendar — 25 days of our best holiday horror film recommendations starting December 1st and delivered each day through December 25th. You’ll find a brief synopsis of each film we recommend below. Click on the film title to watch the trailer and read a more in-depth review.
December 1: Mrs. Claus (2018)
Mrs. Claus is a wonderful love letter to the holiday slasher films of yesteryear that offers plenty of festive atmosphere, gory deaths, and a welcome twist for a Santa-based killer.
December 2: Silent Night (2012)
While the Silent Night, Deadly Night series as a whole is bumpier than a rollercoaster, Silent Night is a well-paced gorefest — just perfect for bloodying up your Christmas season.
December 3: All the Creatures Were Stirring (2018)
Featuring an amazing all-star sitcom ensemble of actors who are known and loved in the industry, this satisfying new holiday horror anthology has something for every horror fan — from dark satire to slasher, revenge, ghosts and even a demon, topped with a dash of Sci-fi.
December 4: Elves (1989)
Featuring Grizzly Adams himself, Dan Haggerty, Elves is the very definition of so-bad-it’s good brilliance — a wonderfully over-the-top holiday film for the midnight movie crowd.
December 5: Sint (2010)
This December 5th, enjoy a bloody good holiday with the Amsterdam import “Sint”, an underrated holiday horror film that offers a wicked new take on an old Dutch tradition with Santa’s bloodthirsty doppleganger.
December 6: Gremlins (1984)
A timeless holiday classic, Gremlins is a film that perfectly captures the essence of the season while giving horror fans plenty to be jolly about.
December 7: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Silent Night, Deadly Night is perhaps one of the most controversial holiday movies ever made — and happens to be fun as hell to watch!
December 8: A Cadaver Christmas (2011)
From the opening segment to the end credits, A Cadaver Christmas is one of the best horror-comedies I’ve ever seen.
December 9: The Children (2008)
The Children rises above other films inspired by the ‘creepy child’ trend due to effective filmmaking, believable characters and a terrifying plot.
December 10: Red Christmas (2017)
Red Christmas leaves behind the holiday cheer for a memorable, blood-soaked ozploitation debut from writer/director Craig Anderson.
December 11: A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
A Christmas Horror Story is an entertaining holiday horror anthology with a wonderfully wicked yet playful approach that’s perfect for the season.
December 12: Await Further Instructions (2018)
Await Further Instructions is a deeply unsettling and blistering examination of the human condition well worth adding to your holiday watch list. Bleak, brutal, and downright chilling, it’s sure to make you feel much better about your own seasonal stress and dysfunctional family gatherings.
December 13: Dead End (2003)
With well-written characters, a strong cast, and the perfect mix of wry humor and legitimate scares, Dead End is a criminally underrated horror gem.
December 14: Jack Frost (1997)
As ridiculous as it is, Jack Frost is a fun and entertaining Anti-Christmas film — filled with dark humor, creative kills and a very memorable villain.
December 15: Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)
A compelling mystery, great performances, and an effective use of tension make Silent Night, Bloody Night an essential holiday horror classic.
December 16: Better Watch Out (2017)
Quirky, clever and twisted, Better Watch Out is a darkly humorous film from down under that takes home invasion horror to a whole new level.
December 17: Rare Exports (2010)
Rare Exports is a grim fairytale brought to life right in front of your eyes — a beautiful, wondrous masterpiece and an undeniable holiday classic.
December 18: Inside (2007)
The French film Inside is brutal, bloody and brilliant — a nightmarish holiday horror film, aptly titled as it is guaranteed to get inside your head.
December 19: P2 (2007)
Sometimes overshadowed by other Christmas horrors, P2 is an underrated winter thriller that you need to add to your December watchlist!
December 20: Christmas Evil (1980)
Christmas Evil delivers an unlikely blend of old-school horror and dark-hearted nostalgia that make it a very appropriate holiday viewing experience.
December 21: Wind Chill (2007)
Like the ghosts that haunt the story, Wind Chill is a spooky and cold holiday chiller with a great early career performance from Emily Blunt.
December 22: Krampus (2015)
This version of Krampus succeeds where so many others have failed because it has the heart of the Christmas movie along with the tension and thrills of a great horror movie.
December 23: All Through the House (2016)
Killer Santa movies may be plentiful, but All Through the House elevates itself above the crowd with all the chills and brutal kills on your wish list.
December 24: Black Christmas (2006)
Studio meddling and cranky critics won’t bring Black Christmas down, since the splatter quotient is high and the holiday love is hilariously misanthropic.
December 25: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
It may not be traditional horror, but the essential holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life is more than worthy of horror fans’ attention at Christmastime.