If you have kids (or friends with kids), you’ve most certainly been subjected to some kind of Christmas-themed dreck that ISN’T “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or those Rankin-Bass specials we loved so much. Hopefully I can help you cleanse your palate just a little.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
What happens when your parents are murdered by a man dressed as Santa on Christmas and you’re sent to live in an orphanage run by a rather sadistic Mother Superior? You grow up into a Santa-clad spree killer, DUH!
There’s a 2012 remake that wasn’t too shabby but it doesn’t have the campy creepiness of the original.
Black Christmas (1974)
Generally considered to be one of the first slasher films, Black Christmas sees sorority sisters terrorized by a killer during Christmas break. Pretty creepy film and their tagline, “If this movie doesn’t make your skin crawl, it’s on too tight,” is one of the BEST taglines EVER. And yes, that IS James Mason…who some of you only know from Eddie Izzard’s amazing impression of him.
Or if you’re into remakes, there’s the 2006 remake where the storyline is tweaked just a little for you youngsters.
And if you watch BOTH, you’ll see that Andrea Martin (“SCTV,” My Big Fat Greek Wedding) was one of the sorority sisters in the original and the house mother in the remake!
Jack Frost (1997)
Not to be confused with the Michael Keaton film, THIS Jack Frost shows what happens when an evil serial killer’s DNA is merged with snow after his transport collides with a truck from a genetic research lab. Bonus points if you can spot Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie) and 80s horror queen Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing, Creepshow, Escape From New York). Super campy and loads of fun!
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
Based on the legend of Krampus, Rare Exports is actually safe to watch with your kids BUT unless you like spending the ENTIRE movie explaining things (and possibly console your frightened and weeping children), I’d keep this for when they’re older…somewhere around 10 is a good age.
Whether or not you check out these films or decide to sleep (which is also a pretty good idea if you’ve got kids, as they’ll be up by 6 a.m.) here’s hoping you all have a very happy holiday!
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