It’s that time of year when horror fanatics everywhere are turning to classics such as Black Christmas, Gremlins, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the newest addition on the list, Krampus. While all of those are excellent choices, I wanted to mention a few that may not be on the radar yet.
For your enjoyment, here are 5 overlooked Christmas horror films that you should check out this week!
5. Treevenge (2008)
I’m kicking things off with a short film written and directed by Jason Eisener, whose work I always appreciate. Eisener directed Hobo with a Shotgun and “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” in V/H/S/2 and was an executive producer on Turbo Kid. In 2008, he took on killer Christmas trees and the result was nothing short of awesome.
In Treevenge, Christmas trees go on a murderous spree after getting chopped down, shoved into tree stands, and humiliated with decorations. No one is safe from the wrath of these trees, including kids and the family cat. With a run time of around 14 minutes, the film is a ton of fun and gets bonus points for playing the Cannibal Holocaust theme during the opening scene.
You can check out the full film in the video above.
4. P2 (2007)
Ten years ago, I went to the theater on a whim to see a film I knew very little about, which happened to be P2. Despite not so great reviews and a poor box office opening, I really fucking enjoyed it.
The film had an amazing team of producers, which includes Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur, who killed it (pun intended) with the Hills Have Eyes remake and the French horror film High Tension. They joined Erik Feig, known for the I Know What You Did Last Summer and Wrong Turn series and Patrick Wachsberger, who worked on Vanilla Sky and Wrong Turn. P2 was the directorial debut of Franck Khalfoun, who worked on Hills Have Eyes and acted in High Tension.
The film follows Angela (Rachel Nichols), who is leaving the office late on Christmas Eve, only to find that her car won’t start. Seeking assistance, she meets the garage’s security guard (Wes Bentley), who stops every attempt she makes to leave. Angela finds out pretty quickly that things are going as the guard intended and she’s trapped. P2 is atmospheric, tense and features a pretty underrated villain in Bentley’s character.
3. À l’intérieur / Inside (2007)
Inside is a French horror film from directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, who most recently collaborated on 2017’s Leatherface. Labeled as one of the titles that kicked off the wave of New French Extremity films, Inside is easily the heaviest and goriest film on this list.
Months after losing her husband, a very pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis), comes face to face with a madwoman (Béatrice Dalle) on Christmas Eve. The woman has been stalking Sarah and has every intention of taking her baby from the womb. Both women put up a fight, but the end result packs a serious punch to the gut.
2. Sint / Saint / Saint Nick (2010)
Sint, also released as Saint and Saint Nick, is a Dutch horror/comedy written and directed by Dick Maas. The film is based on Sinterklaas (or Sint-Nicolaas), a figure celebrated in The Netherlands and the character in which Santa Claus is based on. Sint takes the legend and adds a whole lotta darkness.
St. Niklas (Huub Stapel) was a bishop in 1492 who led his mob to commit heinous acts against villagers. In an uprising, he and his gang were murdered. However, when there is a full moon on December 5th, which is the eve of St. Nicholas Day, they all return as vengeful spirits.
I will admit that I didn’t expect to love the film as much I did, but watching Saint has become one of my annual Christmas traditions. I do recommend that you avoid the dubbed version and watch with subtitles for the best experience.
1. The Children (2008)
Not to be confused with the 1980 Troma film of the same name, The Children was released in the UK in 2008 and was directed by Tom Shankland. Despite bombing at the box office, it is a near perfect horror film (which isn’t something I say often) and deserves way more of an audience.
A large family gathers for the holidays in the secluded, snow-filled countryside. As everyone arrives, a flu-like virus begins to pass between the children in the house. The virus makes them act erratic and eventually violent, forcing the adults and an older teen to take action. Sounds simple enough, but The Children dives hard into the taboo subject of killing small kids. Not only that, but killing them in brutal ways.
Between the beautiful cinematography, top notch acting, and fantastic special effects, The Children will stay with you long after you watch.
There you have it, folks! A few more Christmas horror films to add to your collection. If you have others you’d add, let us know in comments below or on social media!