Christmas movies have always been my favourite part of the holiday season! They are a great alternative to talking at family reunions; a source of nostalgia to bond over with loved ones of every generation and the source of all my nightmares during the holiday season.
With the obvious exception of Christmas themed horror flicks, I firmly believe that the majority of Holiday movies intend to be warm and lovely. That being said there are a few "Christmas" movies I recall watching as a child that scared the poop out of me!
Even as I grew into a teenager and would begin to stay up later than my parents on Christmas eve, one of the following movies would always come on and I would give it another try. Always thinking that It was only scary because I was a little kid, but year after year I am proven wrong by the nightmares that follow.
5) It's A Wonderful Life
A father loses his job on Christmas Eve and has to go on a soul-searching journey to realize just how much his family really means to him. Sounds like a lovely premise for a Christmas movie right? Wrong! Every time I watch this movie it feels like it is going to turn into a twisted prequel to the "The Shining". The dad goes completely off the deep end, acts like he is going to kill his family before running away and attempting to kill himself! What a horrible Christmas message! I don't know about you but this guy gives me the impression that he has a bit of a history of this and will be having another 'episode' again soon.
The comedic retelling of Charles Dickens' novel "A Christmas Carol" is scary as shit! Sure there are some laughs in there but by the time it is over I am sleeping with the bathroom light on. Not only does the film incorporate the original ghosts of Christmas past, present and future but added the terrifying dead former boss who hangs him out a window and a office gunman played by 'Bobcat'. Was it a clever way to retell a classic piece of literature? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean it is any easier to watch when you're home alone.
3) Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Another comedic retelling gone horribly wrong. However in the case of the 2000 remake of Dr. Seuss' brilliant story, the blame lies entirely on the fantastic makeup and Jim Carey's impeccable acting. As a cartoon, the notion of a green monster living on top of a mountain and scaring children doesn't really seem all that scary. Probably because in the cartoon he was so damn cute that it was impossible to be afraid. However once that made "The Grinch" into a live-action, tall, angry creature it got a little bit too real for me. Even though we all know he ends up being a good guy with some deep rooted social issues, every time I turn it on I am convinced he is going to eat Cindy-Lou-Who and then come for me.
2) Nightmare Before Christmas
Despite the obviously spooky title, I really don't think Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" was supposed to be scary. I feel like it was just him trying to do a Christmas movie, and by and large it was a really lovely movie. Sally's nefarious captor and some of the other creatures gave me the creeps, but the oogie boogieman is a whole new level of scary. I still have no idea what he is, but basically looks like if Leather Face was completely made of pieces of peoples skin. Then he tries to eat Santa Clause down in that pit while he engages in an evil singsong? Even writing about it is going to give me the chills all day.
1) Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
At first glance this looks like the perfect movie for kids! Has a relatable character for children who don't quite fit in, has a valuable lesson in it and is full of love and friendship. So why is it the scariest Christmas movie of all time?
The unquenchable huger for flesh of the Abominable Snow Monster. Do you remember how terrifying that thing was? Quite suddenly the movie transforms from a feel good family holiday film to resident evil 6! For some reason the writers thought it was a good idea to let us know that being an elf or reindeer isn't all fun and games. They have to constantly be on the lookout for a flesh devouring monster.
This year let's just stick to 'The Santa Clause" shall we?