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Sunday Scaries: Five of the Best Holiday Horror Films

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries! Today, with the holiday season upon us, we’re looking at some of the best titles that seek to add some horror to the cheer of the times…

“Krampus” (2015) Cinematography by Jules O’Loughlin

Holiday horror is more or less restrained to Christmas (someone make a good Hanukkah horror flick, please) but that doesn’t mean that this time of year isn’t rife with terror. Besides the rush to get gifts, of course, there’s cinema, where Christmastime is hardly lacking in scares. To that end, I decided to collect the cream of the crop, all in one place for your potential viewing pleasure. Honorable Mentions go to A Christmas Horror Story, The Lodge, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, Silent Night, and a special citation to the just released Violent Night.

Below, you’ll see some holiday titles that add scares to holiday cheer. They’re basically all Christmas related, since tis the season and all, but there’s definitely something to offer from each of these twelves months out of the year. In a few cases, they’re outright classics, but all of them are more than worthwhile. Perhaps you’ll pop one in tonight to enjoy?

Here are five Christmas fright flicks that are well worth checking out:

“Gremlins” (1984) Cinematography by John Hora

Black Christmas – The original is superior to the remakes, but it’s certainly not high art, regardless. Still, there’s something to the premise of Black Christmas that manages to sustain. It’s a simple enough slasher, but having someone with deadly intentions in your home, instead of Santa, is undeniably effective, even if its ceiling is lower than the other titles cited today.

Gremlins – An undisputed classic, the first Gremlins is fun, scary, and at this point largely engrained in the holiday season. Even just considering the unintended consequences of a gift, there’s plenty Christmas-related to sink your teeth into. Plus, it’s also just a ridiculous amount of fun, from start to finish. There’s a reason this film is out and out beloved, to a degree almost nothing else on this list can compete with.

Holidays – This anthology horror movie basically shows up on all of these sorts of themed lists I do. Sure, it’s not just Christmas, and my preferred Kevin Smith segment is about a different holiday, but still, it qualifies. Holidays remains under-seen and under-appreciated, so do your part to rectify that ASAP.

Krampus – Slowly but surely, this one is becoming a cult favorite. The legend of the Krampus is something pop culture has only recently gotten into. So, seeing a Krampus film does feel a bit special, still. If you missed this one when it was in theaters about seven years ago, it plays just as well at home. In all likelihood, you’re about to discover a new favorite.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – Another undisputed classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas gets to claim top spots on both Christmas and Halloween centric lists. That’s how good this movie actually is. The music, the holiday spirit, the way it can unsettle a younger viewer, it’s just firing on all cylinders from start to finish. It’s perfect, plain and simple.

Stay tuned for another Sunday Scaries installment next weekend!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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