Got a day off? Sick of singing holiday carols or doing the same old family traditions? Why not gather around the fireplace and throw on a horror movie instead? Or, better yet, make it a marathon with this list of the best horror flicks to watch during the winter holidays. Because, no matter what you celebrate during this time of the year, everyone can appreciate a good movie marathon. Some of these are hidden gems and some are so bad that one can’t help to love them!

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Black Christmas (1974)

Winter break is quickly approaching and a a group of sorority sisters begin getting anonymous, lascivious calls. The sisters just chalk it up to some local creep and even egg him on a bit. Of course they stop when the caller begins making threats. Meanwhile, a young girl is found dead and another has gone missing from the sorority house. All these strange coincidences lead the girls to believe some mad man is on the loose but they aren’t aware how near the culprit is.

Released on December 20th, 1974 and directed by Bob Clark, we give the original Black Christmas 3/4 creepy eyes peeking through a door. We would also recommend the Black Christmas reboot from 2006. It’s gorier, provides us an insane backstory for our killer and features Lacey Chabert in the cast; which earns it a 4/4 flesh cookies.

New Year’s Evil (1980)

New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration. Except for the lonely women of Los Angeles as they become pawns in some psycho’s New Year’s resolution. And what is that resolution? Nothing major just to kill women at every stroke of midnight. Surprisingly, a very easy resolution to follow. New Year’s Evil was released December 26th, 1980, and directed by Emmett Alston. It isn’t the greatest of slasher flicks but it’s got some weird family relationships, some killer punk rock montages and misogynists getting what they deserve. So we’ll give it a generous 2/4 very fake mustaches.

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All the Creatures Were Stirring (2018)

First dates are always awkward, let alone a date taking place on Christmas Eve. To break the ice, a couple heads to the movies where they see a series of  bizarre and frightening Christmas stories. From boring office parties to immortal demons there’s plenty out there to fear. Released on April 6th, 2018 All the Creatures Were Stirring was directed by Rebekah McKendry and David Ian McKendry. It’s got creative stories and features Constance Wu so we give it a 4/4 awkward dates.

Jack Frost (1997)

Not to be confused with the 1998 movie Jack Frost starring Michael Keatonthis Jack Frost stars Scott MacDonald and is about a serial killer who manages to get turned into a mutant snowman on the way to his execution. Now equipped with super snowman powers, Jack hunts down the sheriff who was responsible for his arrest in his hometown. Set loose on the public on November 18th, 1997, Jack Frost was directed by Michael Cooney. With tons of ‘so bad they’re good’ one liners after every kill, a ridiculous plot and hilarious effects, we gift this movie with 3/4 carrot noses. If this type of film is up your alley, we suggest you go big or go home with Jack Frost’s squeal Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman. 

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Valentine’s Day technically counts as a holiday, right? Let’s just pretend it does just so we can throw the 1981 slasher My Bloody Valentine on this list, okay? Okay. Directed by George Mihalka, My Bloody Valentine follows a group of friends who defy the rules set about throwing a Valentine’s Day celebration. And why wouldn’t they? After all, the only reason nobody celebrates it is because of some legend that started about 20 years prior. It couldn’t possibly be true, right? Of course as soon as they do start celebrating bodies start piling up, proving this so called urban legend is more fact than fiction. It easily earns 4/4 pickaxes to the face. For those who prefer something a little more modern My Bloody Valentine also has a respectable reboot staring Jensen Ackles that we highly recommend.

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Krampus (2015)

When a young boy misbehaves close to Christmas, instead of just getting coal, he accidentally summons a festive demon to his dysfunctional family home.  Based on ancient European folklore, Krampus was directed by Michael Dougherty and released on December 4th, 2015. For the concept of a family coming together for the sake of defeating literal evil we think Krampus earns 3/4 really long fingernails.

The Gingerbread Man (2005)

In a similar style to Jack Frost, a crazed serial killer’s soul has been baked into a giant gingerbread man thanks to his mother; who just so happens to be a witch. Now that he’s back the killer plans on taking revenge on the girl who had him executed. And he certainly isn’t afraid to kill anyone that gets in his way.  The Gingerbread Man was directed by Charles Band and released on November 8th, 2005. For its evil yet adorable main character, magical mothers and clever kills, we give The Gingerbread Man 2/4 butcher bakers.

This article was originally posted on November 11, 2018

Fallon Marie Gannon