The holiday season is a time when audiences like to rewatch classic, sweet and happy movies, with titles like IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET immediately springing to mind. Sometimes, though, you get the urge to cinematically go against the grain when it comes to the tone of the holiday — and that’s why the Christmas horror genre exists. These titles bring a bit of extra spice to the end of the year, and in 2019, we will be getting a new exciting holiday horror in the form of Sophia Takal’s BLACK CHRISTMAS.
Starring Imogen Poots, Cary Elwes, Lily Donoghue, Aleyse Shannon, Brittany O'Grady, Caleb Eberhardt and Simon Mead, the new movie promises to deliver blood and mayhem for the holidays this year, and we can't wait for it to come out in just a few weeks’ time. If you’re looking for a dose of this classic subgenre right now, however, we have five suggestions that will perfectly prepare you for the upcoming film.
Black Christmas (1974)
If we’re talking about 2019’s BLACK CHRISTMAS, it makes sense first to go back to the original, right? The good news is that the new movie looks like it’s going to be adding some very big twists to the story, so you don’t have to worry about feeling like you’re seeing the same film twice. Directed by Bob Clark, 1974’s BLACK CHRISTMAS is a classic of the slasher genre that finds a group of sorority girls slowly killed off one by one by a murderer terrorizing them from inside their own house.
Joe Dante’s GREMLINS notably goes for way more laughs than scares, but given that it’s a monster story set at Christmas time, there is no questioning its appropriateness for this list. We all know the three special rules at this point — keep them away from bright lights, don’t get them wet, and don’t feed them after midnight — but every year, it still remains a seasonal treat to watch Zach Galligan's Billy Peltzer unleash chaos on his home and neighborhood due to negligent pet care.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
While there is a lot of great death and mayhem in the original BLACK CHRISTMAS, what it lacks as a seasonal horror film is a killer straight-up dressed as Santa Claus, but fortunately, that just left an opening for the arrival of SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT. It was very controversial when it was first released, and not exactly well-received, but it has earned a cult following in the 35 years since and is a must for anyone looking for some over-the-top gory action.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
In honor of the global holiday, it's not only Americans who are making freaky Christmas movies, and horror fans everywhere were delivered one from Finland a little less than a decade ago. In a weird way functioning as a combination of the three movies mentioned above, RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE is a violent, bloody tale that also throws a bit of comedy and fantasy in – which will happen when you’re making a movie about a drilling expedition that discovers an ice prison meant to contain Santa Claus, who is in reality a murderous monster.
Writer/director Michael Dougherty introduced audiences to a modern Halloween delight with his directorial debut, TRICK ‘R TREAT, in 2007, and for his sophomore effort a few years ago, he doubled down on holiday treats by delivering a fantastic Christmas film. It’s a lot of fun to watch the ensemble cast — including Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Allison Tolman and David Koechner — verbally tear each other apart as a vicious, spiteful family, but this KRAMPUS also provides some amazing horror action courtesy of its titular monster, known in classic folklore for punishing naughty children.
Watch all of these in the next few weeks, and you’ll find yourself perfectly prepared for the release of the new BLACK CHRISTMAS, which will be in theatres everywhere on December 13.