TOP 10 Christmas Movies that Are Dark and Scary

TOP 10 Christmas Movies that Are Dark and Scary

22.12.2021 Off By manager_1

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Krampus, a 2015 movie, ends with a family fighting to save their lives against a terrifying demon. He chases them through blinding snowstorms and takes them out one at a time (with the help of evil toys and terrifying elves). The movie’s most terrifying horrors come much sooner. Michael Dougherty directs Krampus. Slow-motion footage of Christmastime chaos begins with superstore customers playing tug-of-war, children crying in Santa’s lap and zombie-like shoppers lining up at unmoving checkouts. Even the live Nativity scene is awash with chaos. The soundtrack plays Bing Crosby’s rendition of “It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas”.

This is a very ironic choice of song, but it’s only to a point. Even though Christmas movies may not always be truthful, it can often look this way. Sometimes it looks even worse. The film’s young protagonist Max (Emjay Anthony) becomes so angry with his harried, quarrelsome family and their mockery about his belief in Santa, that he tears open his letter to the beneficent patriarch. He summons Krampus from Alpine folklore, an evil creature that punishes children who are not well behaved and, at this point, is insufficiently filled by Christmas spirit.

This set-up serves two purposes: it allows the film to show a frightening-looking monster dressed in Santa suits, and it also serves as a powerful metaphor for the pressure to make Christmas a success. In that state of mind, who can stomach Love Actually and The Holiday?

There’s also a long, but less well-known, strand of Dark Christmas movies that cater to those who are more like Bob Cratchit than Ebeneezer Scrooge. These films are often bad-mood movies that manage to capture the spirit of Christmas. This last element isn’t found in Krampus or the many horror films made around Christmastime. Most of these movies are happy to give the cinematic equivalent as a lump of coal. Sometimes, however, lumps of coal can be refreshing. These are some alternatives to The Santa Clause and White Christmas for those looking for more grimmer stocking stuffers.

Gremlins (1984)

Joe Dante’s 1984 smash is part of its enjoyment. It uses its puckish but-deadly monsters as a way to look at everything, from twinkly Steven Spielberg movies (even if Spielberg produced it), to idyllic small towns to Christmas movies. All dressed up as Christmas, Gremlins sing carols to their victims. Mrs. Deagle (Polly Holiday), is the film’s equivalent of the evil banker Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. She ends up lying face down in the snow. The film ends abruptly with a horrible monologue about Phoebe Cates, its heroine, discovering that there is no Santa Claus. It’s basically a one-film war about Christmas.

Christmas Evil (also known as You Better Watch Out) (1980)

It was coincidental that Gremlins came in the same year Silent Night, Deadly Night. This slasher movie starring a Santa-clad killer sparked a strong outcry and forced its distributor to remove it from theaters. However, it found a second life on home-video and was inspired by countless direct sequels as well as countless direct-to streaming knock-offs.

Christmas Evil (also known as You Better Watch Out) is a 1980 movie about a ruthless killer Santa Claus. Brandon Maggart plays the role of a paranoid Santa who becomes so angry at the inability of others to respect the spirit of Christmas that he launches a murder spree. The film’s final image is too strange to spoil, but it’s basically a thumbs-up from the cosmos that suggests he knew what he was doing.

Krampus (2015)

Director Michael Dougherty was working through the holidays before taking on Godzilla King of the Monsters. He had been following the Halloween-set cult favourite Trick ‘r Treat with this story of Christmas Eve from Hell (maybe literally). Although it loses its humor, the monsters are quite memorable.

The Ice Harvest (2005)

There are many darker options available in other genres, too. Harold Ramis’s 2000 crime thriller The Ice Harvest, co-written by Richard Russo (and Robert Benton), stars John Cusack as a shady character who tries to escape Wichita on Christmas Eve with a fortune of cash. They are unable to leave town because of the weather, which makes it more difficult for them to escape their enemies, as well as Christmas itself.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)

Shane Black, screenwriter and director, has made it a habit to use Christmas as an ironic counterpoint throughout his career. He used it in his scripts for Lethal Weapon and The Long Kiss Goodnight, and even Iron Man 3. The classic Dark Christmas movie is still Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which sees Harry, a small-time criminal, travel to Los Angeles to reunite with Michelle Monaghan, his childhood crush, and team up with Val Kilmer, a private investigator, to solve a crime. Although Christmas lights are visible in the background, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is more about Harry’s search for redemption and alienation than the mystery of who murdered whom and why.

Comfort and Joy (1984)

Christmas has the ability to give even the most tragic stories an inspiring twist. John McClane kills terrorist after terrorist in Die Hard, but it’s all for the sake of his estranged wife. The end result is a family that has been reunited. It’s Christmas movie. That’s all. The great 1984 dark comedy Comfort and Joy by Bill Forsyth is a hilarious and disturbing tale about a confused man caught in the middle of an ice cream truck war between two rival Glasgow businesses. He finds himself in a role of intermediary between two rival ice cream truck businesses in Glasgow. The film’s humor is subtle, but violence and rowdiness seem to be ever present. It ends with a moment in reconciliation that’s a gritty Christmas miracle.

Bad Santa (2003)

Even Terry Zwigoff’s Bad Santa, one of the most beloved Dark Christmas movies ever made, has its own perverse ending. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton), who is a criminal who makes working as a mall Santa part of his criminal enterprise every year, spends most of the movie in an abusive drunken stupor and insults everyone in his path. He ends up in hospital after his scheme turns out to be unusually violent. He is greeted by a kind act of generosity and a family. Although it might be an awkward child and a Santa fetishist at heart, a family is still a family. What better way to end a movie than with this Christmassy ending?

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)/ Home Alone (1990)/ A Christmas Carol (many variations)

Even the most beloved Christmas classics can go to very dark places. Although It’s A Wonderful Life ends with bells and hugs that signal an angel receiving his wings, George Bailey’s suicide despair sets it all in motion. Sometimes Christmas Eve becomes a dark night for the soul. Scrooge is able to repent and live a better life. However, he must be shown the pit in which his soul will fall if he doesn’t change his ways. Home Alone even suggests that Kevin would be killed by the Wet Bandits if his elderly neighbor did not show up on time.