Looking for some new horror flicks to round out your holiday viewing? We’ve got you covered. From major studio releases to tiny indie breakouts, here are 6 modern horror movies oozing with Christmas spirit.
1. The Leech
The Leech presents a compelling, character-driven story—the kind at which writer/director Eric Pennycoff is so very adept. A man of god slowly goes mad as his new houseguest increasingly pushes boundaries and breaks taboos. Ultimately, the film does for Christmas what the director’s previous film, Sadistic Intentions, did for romance.
Look, you’ve probably seen Krampus. I know that. But it would be a goddamn shame not to include it in a list of modern Christmas horror movies. If it has somehow eluded you after all of these years, now is the time. Krampus is an absolute classic.
3. Better Watch Out
Criminally under seen and deserving to be on everyone’s holiday watch list, Better Watch Out has already become an annual tradition in my household. It has incredible talent involved, hilarious homages, and a script stuffed with surprises at practically every turn. It’s perfect.
4. Christmas Bloody Christmas
Coming from the same guy that wrote and directed indie standouts like Bliss, The Mind’s Eye, and VFW, Christmas Bloody Christmas adapts the Channel 83 team’s trademark grit and violence to the holidays. It’s about a murderous robot Santa Claus, and it’s every bit as glorious as that sounds. Check it now on Shudder.
5. Inside (2007)
This one definitely stretches the term “modern” (it’s 15 years old?!), but Inside remains a true Christmas horror classic and is one of my personal favorites of all time. It’s insanely gory, ridiculously atmospheric, and features the reigning queen of female slasher baddies. If you haven’t seen the original, seek it out immediately. #teamsubtitles
6. The Children
Another ’00 era entry that gets far fewer shoutouts than it should is Tom Shankland’s The Children. The early ’00s were all about shock value, and this one delivers it in spades. But beyond the shock is a genuinely exciting and darkly comedic slice of Christmas chaos .
7. Rare Exports
I don’t know the first thing about herding reindeer, other than it looks boring as hell. That is of course, until you find Santa Claus frozen in a block of ice. Rare Exports won’t have you leaving the lights on, but holy shit is it fun for fans of holiday themed horror.
8. I Trapped the Devil
I Trapped the Devil isn’t always discussed when people bring up Christmas horror, but it should be. While the holiday isn’t front and center, it’s a key aspect of the story, and it’s woven throughout the film. Josh Lobo’s feature debut is worth checking out for fans of holiday horror looking for something different than the typical killer Santa Claus.
What have been some of your favorite new Christmas horror movies? Let us know here or online @MODERNHORRORS.