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The Absolute Best Christmas Horror Movies According To Reddit

As we enter November, there are many of us that still feel that Halloween itch for horror flicks and scary movie marathons. Others will already be looking past Thanksgiving and focusing on the impending Christmas season — perhaps tuning in to some old holiday classics and patiently awaiting the first snowfall of the season.

But what if you're stuck in the middle? And no, we're not talking about Thanksgiving movies (of which there are incredibly slim pickings), Rather, we mean combining the best of both worlds. If you're not quite ready to let go of Halloween but are still excited for the holiday season to come, why not simply smash the two genres together?

Users from the r/horror subreddit took to voting on their favorite Christmas horror movies, and despite the inherent juxtaposition in the genre mashup, they actually ended up with a very solid list of films by the end of it all.

Better Watch Out

One of the newer films the users highlighted is Chris Peckover's "Better Watch Out," released in 2016. While its title is a clever twist on one of Santa Claus' habit of "always watching' (which is pretty creepy all on its own) the story in this film is actually incredibly grounded in how it unfolds.

The film follows 17-year-old Ashley as she babysits 12-year-old Luke, who is madly in love with his babysitter despite the age gap. The film starts out innocently enough, with Luke playfully trying to win her over, but devolves into horror rather quickly as Luke's actions become less cute and more psychotic. The pre-teen maniac then binds Ashley in duct tape, grabs a shotgun, and holds her hostage while her boyfriend arrives to try and save her. 

The film's charm comes from its enigmatic young leads and its play on the tropes of both horror and comedy genres — there's one scene in particular where Luke demonstrates what would actually happen if someone were hit with a paint can as seen in "Home Alone." It's a horror that's serious, funny, and chilling all at once, and it's definitely worth a watch if you've got the time.


Sticking with the horror-comedy angle, users pointed to Joe Dante's "Gremlins" as another one of the best Christmas horror films out there. "Gremlins" follows a man named Randal who buys a strange creature known as a "mogwai" as a Christmas present for his son, Billy (Zach Galligan). The seller's grandson famously directs Randal to follow three rules when caring for the creature: don't expose it to sunlight, don't let it come in contact with, or even drink water, and most importantly, don't feed it after midnight.

In classic horror movie fashion, the new owners disregard these warnings as the mogwais multiply and transform into the film's titular creatures. The gremlins wreak havoc for the family and townspeople alike, though they are eventually defeated when our protagonists blow up a movie theater — they really don't make movies like they used to, huh?

This cult classic has endured as a fan favorite since its release back in 1984, thanks to the inherent silliness of its premise and the funny charm of the monsters themselves, and anyone willing to get into the Christmas spirit with a more violent sort of picture can rewatch it this holiday season.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Here's the one we all saw coming, and for good reason. Created and conceived by Tim Burton, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" dropped in 1993 to rave reviews from critics and fans alike despite a moderate performance at the box office. In the years that followed, the film became a full-blown cultural phenomenon and is often regarded as one of the greatest animated movies of all time.

The film centers around the actions of Jack Skellington, the "Pumpkin King" of the fantastical Halloween Town, which is filled with various monsters and creatures from all sorts of horror fiction. Jack leads the town in their annual Halloween festivities but grows discontented by the repetition of it all. He decides that Halloween Town ought to take over Christmas this year, and he leads his subjects in taking over all Christmas-themed jobs — donning a Santa Claus costume himself.

The story is fantastical and odd and charming in the way only a Tim Burton movie can be, and it offers a great blend of classic horror tropes and a heartfelt Christmas spirit. No matter how many times you've seen it already, this one's always worth another watch.

Black Christmas

Bob Clark is most widely known as the director of the holiday classic "A Christmas Story," but many might not be aware that he twisted the entire Christmas genre on its head with his 1974 project "Black Christmas."

The film is often regarded as one of the first horror slashers, paving the way for the enormously successful "Halloween" franchise just a few years later. Despite mixed reviews from critics upon its initial release, the film had a resurgence in popularity in the years that followed, with many acknowledging the lasting impact it had on the horror genre as a whole.

The film follows Jess Bradford (Olivia Hussey) as a member of the Pi Kappa Sigma sorority attending the sorority's annual Christmas party. During the party, a mysterious killer dubbed "the Moaner" climbs into the attic and calls the girls from an upstairs phone. This sets the stage for the Moaner to unleash a killing spree upon the girls of Pi Kappa Sigma in classic horror slasher fashion, all juxtaposed alongside the merriment of the Christmas season.

The film is worth a watch for any fan of the slasher genre who wants to take a deep dive into horror film history, while fans of Bob Clark's later work might be a little unnerved by his more unique take on Christmas stories.


At the top of Reddit's list is the 2015 comedy horror film "Krampus," which tells the story of the dysfunctional Engel family in the days leading up to Christmas as they are terrorized by an ancient demonic entity for losing their Christmas spirit.

When Max Engel, the youngest of the family and the last believer in Santa, tears up his letter to Santa Claus in a fit of anger, the neighborhood is beset by a blizzard, and Krampus (the demonic entity mentioned earlier) appears to begin tormenting the family and drags them all down to hell in true Christmas fashion.

The movie's supernatural, wildly creative style of horror is reminiscent of "The Twilight Zone," while its sarcastic humor recalls the charm and goofiness of something like "Gremlins." It's truly the one film on this list that manages to combine grisly horror tropes with a lighthearted tone that focuses on the "Christmas spirit," so it's no surprise the members of r/horror voted it as the best Christmas horror flick of all time.

The film has become a cult classic in recent years, with many fans incorporating it into their yearly holiday routine, and if you haven't given it a shot yet, now is as good a time as any.