10 Best Christmas-Themed Horror Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

Halloween has come and gone, but there's no reason why you can't enjoy a good scare this Christmas with Christmas-themed horror movies.

Horror Christmas Movies

While many of us have fallen into seasonal melancholy now that Halloween season has officially come and gone, some of us are remembering the dark side of the holidays: Christmas horror movies. It's true that not everyone appreciates a good jolly spook, but let's be honest, most of us can't resist it!

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Since it's almost time for the terrors to commence, we turned to the ultimate movie guide, Rotten Tomatoes, to find out what's worth spending time on during this holiday season. Krampus may have been the most recent to ring our ho-ho-ho horror bells, but believe it or not, it topped out at number 11. Here are the ten that came first, and the movies that ultimately serve as the backbone to classic holiday horror.

10 Black Christmas- 71%

black christmas Cropped

One holiday slasher that combines our love for horror movies with the true spirit of the season is Black Christmas. A seemingly innocent sorority Christmas party finds an uninvited guest on the list, and he's not one for holiday cheer.

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The slashing ensues, complete with creepy phone calls, a wild chase from an unknown killer, and some pretty freaked out sorority sisters. This is undoubtedly a classic and one of the original slasher holiday films. Despite being filmed in 1974, it still holds its charm to this day.

9 El Dia De La Bestia- 75%

el dia de la bestia

El Dia de la Bestia (The Day of the Beast) has a heavy plot line, but one that works with this sinister, sci-fi-horror blend. Set with a deadline of Christmas day, the discovery of the antichrist is what pivots the film into motion.

For those seeking something a little different and unique in their holiday horror, El Dia de la Bestia brings it home in ways you couldn't have imagined in your worst holiday nightmares.

8 Dead End- 75%

dead end

This supernatural horror was written and directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa, and its riveting story is likely to keep you on the edge of your seat. A paranormal plot ropes you into a seemingly mundane choice: taking a shortcut.

Thinking it would save them some time on the way to grandma's, the family in question is thrown into a terrifying loop. With one roadside horror after another, this is another holiday-heavy movie that should not be missed.

7 The Children- 76%

the children

Any horror with 'children' in the title never bodes well for those of us who actually like kids, as it usually implies a wicked twist on the innocence we know and love. The Children takes a simple storyline and manages to turn it into something positively horrifying, allowing children to turn on their parents in this holiday horror.

You could call it the opposite of Mom and Dad, and even without Nicolas Cage's whacked-out performance, this film shines in its own right.

6 Anna And The Apocalypse- 78%

Anna and the Apocalypse

Whoever had the idea to combine a zombie apocalypse with classic holiday cheer (aka Alan McDonald, Ryan McHenry, and John McPhail, director) is brilliant. In this zombie holiday special, Anna, as the main character, must do her best to slash through hoards during the holiday season.

What really makes this movie shine is its cast of love-worthy characters whom viewers will undoubtedly be attached to by the end of the film. It's fun, entertaining, and provides a unique twist on two beloved genres.

5 A Christmas Horror Story- 82%

a christmas horror story

A Christmas Horror Story has been said to be an entertaining themed horror with its supernatural villains consisting of unseen evil entities, a twist on Krampus, and several other surprising foes. Each main character's story differs from one to the next, creating a string of tales that prevents the film from getting boring.

Related: American Horror Story: 10 Best Dressed Characters In Coven, Ranked 

It's a great transition during the in-between months and something that should definitely be watched with the lights off, in a blizzard. Just don't look behind you or go upstairs by yourself.

4 Christmas Evil- 83%

christmas evil

Yet another 80s film, Christmas Evil is a bit more of a hardcore horror than the rest. The story goes that a department store Santa loses all humanity, turning to murder in between flashbacks of his tortured life.

It's been referred to as a great psychological horror in addition to being a solid holiday-themed thriller, and it's one that you shouldn't miss out on. If slashers are your thing, consider this to tide you over until next year's Halloween binge.

3 Gremlins- 84%


A classic that simply can't be denied, Gremlins is likely everyone's first Christmas horror. If you haven't seen this one in a while, then it's time to pop it back in that VCR because it's still holding strong as one of the top ten movies, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

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Rather than watching The Grinch for the 10th time, try Gremlins for a cute, yet terrifying, 80s-style horror film. It's a blast to watch, and you'll be wishing Gizmo was real... just don't get him wet or feed him after midnight.

2 Better Watch Out-89%

better watch out

This one many are familiar with, but it's likely to play on your worst teenage babysitting fears. The mood of the film itself gives off a joyous and pleasant feel, but it's what transpires over 99 minutes that had us at the edge of our seats.

The holidays aren't the time to be thinking 'what if,' but this movie pushes you to do so. When the house becomes under attack by an unknown intruder, this horror takes a turn for the worst. It'll have you checking your doors, windows, and even those packages under the tree.

1 Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale- 89%

rare exports

It's no surprise that the number one Christmas horror is a combination of horror and comedy, and Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale ranks as number one on the Christmas countdown. Set in Finland, the site of an archeological dig is the focal point for this comedic horror.

The discovery of the real Santa Claus has set a team alight with the determination to corral the exotic cheer-bringer. However, this Santa isn't as jovial as the one we know and love. Thus, chaos ensues with just enough levity to have you laughing while you cringe.

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