Deck the halls with boughs of holly, 'tis the season to be scary. Although when we think of horror movies we generally think about Halloween, there have been quite a few frightening cinematic offerings that have either come out at Christmas or were set during the yuletide season.
Since Christmas is coming, we at SYFY WIRE have compiled our list of five favorite holiday movies that scared the living daylights out of us.
Sitting at number five is Krampus, a 2015 movie directed by Michael Dougherty and starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, and David Koechner, which was based on an Astro-Bavarian folk tale featuring a goat-like demon that punishes bad kids at Christmas. Even if the first three quarters of the film had some dark humor in it, the last quarter got pretty dang scary. Brrrr.
Out the same year, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was actually released in time for Halloween, but the fact that there's a Christmas tree in the movie and even a manger makes it an ideal candidate for holiday scares. Fun fact: The Magicians' Olivia Taylor Dudley appeared in the movie before she became Alice.
Third on our list is The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton's 1993 classic animated film, which actually has some pretty scary moments. A lot of them involve Oogie Boogie.
Number two will no doubt surprise you, because it's The Exorcist. Yep, it's not a movie that takes place at Christmas, but the horror film, directed by William Friedkin and written by William Peter Blatty, based on his own novel, actually came out on Dec. 26. The horror film made a lot of moviegoers sick to their stomachs at the time and also made a star out of a young Linda Blair.
Gremlins is our number-one scary holiday movie. While everything starts super cute when Billy gets a pet Mogwai he names Gizmo (aww) as a Christmas present, things get downright terrifying when the three important rules get broken, which leads to the hatching of dozens upon dozens of destructive gremlins in the 1984 Joe Dante movie.
How about you? What are you top five scary holiday movies?
Additional material by Nathalie Caron.