Just Hear Those Slay Bells Jingling…

rare

Dashing through some films, I’ll give a quick review a write.
Oh, what will we see? Hope we get a fright.
Some may give a thrill, while some will have a fight.
If it has anything to do with me, we’ll watch Christmas horror that’s done right.

As we enter December, let us have a quick look at a few Christmas themed horror films!

Silent Night, Deadly Night

In 1985, a video store opened down the street from my house. As I’ve stated in reviews before, this exposed me to a large amount of horror films, or more accurately, a large amount of box art. I remember the Silent Night, Deadly Night cover with what I thought was Santa’s arm hanging out of a chimney, holding an ax. Hey, I was a little kid. Years later, when I finally saw this movie, I didn’t understand why the box art had creeped me out so much.

Silent Night, Deadly Night tells the story of a young boy who watches his parents get murdered by a dude in a Santa suit on Christmas. He grows up in an orphanage, has an issue, obviously, with Santa, and ends up on a killing spree. While it isn’t the greatest movie ever, it holds a secret place in my heart. Maybe it’s because I grew up going to Catholic school, and the ending of this film makes me smile a bit. I highly suggest checking it out if you never have seen it.

And All Through The House from the 1972 Tales from the Crypt

I saw this anthology when I was around 10 years old. And it still has some sort of great meaning to me today. It is not to be confused with the 1989 remake of this segment for the television series.

Starring Joan Collins as the ultimate the rich bitch wife, All Through The House encompasses a sick version of Murphy’s Law. Joanne Clayton (Collins) kills her husband with a fireplace poker only to have a psycho dressed as Santa tries to get inside the house. She can’t call the police because they would find out she killed her own husband, and chaos ensues. The entire anthology deserves watching as it includes one of my favorite stories, Blind Alleys

P2

This may get some reaction. Ok, a lot of reaction. I think I am one of the few people on earth that saw this film and didn’t hate it. Ok, yes, the plot is silly and it seems longwinded, but perhaps I watched it from a different standpoint.

Angela is a businesswoman who gets kidnapped by a crazy security guard on Christmas Eve. He keeps her locked in the parking garage and wants to have a lovely holiday with her, but she struggles and ends up having to kill him. If Wes Bentley went through the trouble of kidnapping me, hell, I’d be more than happy to give him an unforgettable Christmas.

Black Christmas

No, not the remake – though it was fun in a campy sort of way. I am talking the original 1974 beauty.

Inspired by the babysitter urban legend of calls coming from inside the house, this classic stars Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder and even Andrea Martin from SCTV (who also stars in the remake). These poor sorority girls get creepy calls and stalked during a Christmas party. Unlike the remake, this twisted story never truly gives the killer a motive, making it a terrifying and definitive little jewel.

Gremlins

Ahh…Gremlins. How many parents took their children to see this movie not knowing it was half as scary as it was. Well, my parents sure did. I am still terrified of cold fried chicken and motorized chair lifts on stairs.

Billy’s inventor dad wants to get his son the ultimate gift in China Town. When the local shopkeeper will not sell the mysterious Mogwai, Randell does what he has to get it. Unfortunately, the pet comes with some rules, like don’t feed it after midnight, don’t expose it to bright light, don’t get it wet – you know, all the rules you know will be broken. Once wet, this cute little button of a creature shoots multiple furballs off its back, which, once they eat after midnight, turn into disgusting pods that then sprout some nasty green creatures who just want to, well, ruin Christmas.

Gremlins also has the most odd monologue ever, performed by Phoebe Cates.

If you haven’t seen Gremlins – there is something severely wrong with you and you need to run now and somehow obtain a copy and watch.

Rare Exports

I had the pleasure of seeing this movie last year when Danny and I discussed it on Double Murder. It is a beautiful little film with a great big ending full of gasps and cheers. It should be on everyone’s Christmas watch list!

A group of local reindeer herders start finding their sole income dead when excavations of the mountain nearby are underway. Some call it a burial mound, some a sacred grave. Either way, as the reindeer show up dead, children also start disappearing. Perhaps what is residing in the mountain is Santa Claus – and not the Coca Cola kind. The original mean guy who definitely knows if you’ve been bad or good. When Pietari’s family finds whom they think is responsible, they slowly discover they’ve actually just opened a can of worms. A big can.

Don’t fear the inevitable slay, don’t make a sound, not a whistle,
Otherwise the killer may cut you down to the gristle.
Grab your nog and your blanket and watch one of these films tonight,
Merry Christmas from me and to all a good fright!

  • http://www.facebook.com/FPJ666 FPJ666

    Good List…. what about santa’s slay????

    • LaurenTaylor

      Indeed! There are many films not on the list. I only selected a few!

  • pumkinheadfan

    Yeah I second Santa’s Slay being on that list and want to add Christmas Evil and Don’t Open Til Christmas as well.

    • LaurenTaylor

      I welcome everyone to comment with their favorites. Good times.

  • djblack1313

    hi Lauren!

    Gizmo in that Santa hat IS SO FUCKING CUTE!!! i wish we could have added the new release SILENT NIGHT (w/ Jaime King) to this Xmas list but it’s pretty bad (and not in a good way). i love the original BLACK CHRISTMAS and can’t lie, i very much like the cheesy super gory fun remake! lol.

    RARE EXPORTS was atrocious but had amazing atmosphere. i just woke up so can’t think of other Xmas movies but i’ll check back in once i wake up! LOL.

    • LaurenTaylor

      I LOVED Rare Exports! So there ya go – we all have our own likes and dislikes! Woot! Please contribute!

    • Aaron Emery

      Yes! I’m a big fan of the Black Xmas remake! It was cheesy but had some good atmosphere and the dark coloring was great ! And Lauren, I’m glad you mentioned ‘And All Through the Night’ as that terrified me as a child! I haven’t seen it in a long time so I wonder how it holds up!

      • LaurenTaylor

        I, too, liked the remake for what it was! I definitely recommend rewatching everything! Even year to year you’ll notice new things!

  • horrorking95

    My favourite horror-themed Christmas films (or should that be the other way round?) are Inside and The Ordeal. Both Frecnh, both set around Christmas Eve and both full of Christmas cheer! They’re two of the most thrilling and terrifying horror films I know! I really love them! (but not in a weird sick way)

    • LaurenTaylor

      Good movies to check out, thanks for the contribution!

    • djblack1313

      horrorking95, i TOTALLY forgot INSIDE takes place on Xmas!!!! good call! i’ve never seen THE ORDEAL but i will now. i love French horror!

    • K-Dogg

      I love Inside , don’t even remotely put it in a Christmas movie field.

      • djblack1313

        why not K-Dogg. it takes place on Xmas eve/Xmas day.

        • K-Dogg

          Oh, I know, just a personal opinion, I just think it gets mentioned in one sentence, otherwise, doesn’t have a Xmas feel to it at all.

  • bambi_lives8980

    I saw Black Xmas when I was a kid but don’t remember much of it. Think I’ll have to check that one out and a few of the others I havent seen mentioned in the comments. I’ve seen the cover for Santa’s Slay and thought it looked terribly bad… is it actually worth watching?

    Anyway great list! Thanks alot!

    • LaurenTaylor

      It is SO awful, you probably need to watch it at least once for sure!! At least for the opening!!!

      PS – Thanks!!!!!!

  • Zombie-Killa

    Great write-up as usual, and perfect timing Lauren!

    Silent Night, Deadly Night is cult classic, and I have it on DVD. Luckily, I caught one of the DVD releases a years ago, because if you try buy it online now, you’ll get ripped-off from Amazon or Ebay. Oh, and for what it’s worth, Eric Freeman’s Ricky in part 2 is more entertaining than Robert Brian Wilson’s Billy in the first film. GARBAGE DAY!

    I might get hammered for this, and I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I can’t fight it. A big part of me actually enjoys the Black Christmas remake more than original. Agnes and the incest angle feels unnecessary, but overall, Black X-Mas doesn’t pretend to be a smart horror film. It’s mindless trash, that’s filled with non-stop gore and some unreal gross-out scenes (Billy making Christmas cookies out of his mother’s flesh).

    I have the original and the remake on DVD, and I’ve watched both of them a ton of times, but always find myself enjoying the remake more. I dunno. The original just bores the shit out of me every time I watch it, and for me, it’s a chore to sit through. Black X-Mas (2006? I think) is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, and I watch it every Christmas.

    It’s funny you bring up P2. I brought it at Wal-Mart for $5 months ago, but I haven’t watched it yet. It’s still wrapped up in the plastic, and collecting dust as I speak. After reading this, maybe I’ll finally watch it sometime this week. lol.

    • djblack1313

      Zombie-Killa you’ll get no bashing from me! i love both BLACK CHRISTMAS’s but i love the remake a smidge more than the original! :)

      • Zombie-Killa

        Haha. I knew I would get someone on my side. You can always count on djblack!

    • LaurenTaylor

      P2 is actually a fun movie, I think. Sure, there are flaws, but it’s pretty brutal!

  • K-Dogg

    What, no Sint (Saint)…..loved that flick!!!

    • djblack1313

      K-Dogg, THANK YOU!! i couldn’t remember the name of SINT but that’s it! i agree SINT is actually pretty damn good!

    • LaurenTaylor

      Good one to add to the list!

  • Baphomitt

    Horror Education of the Week: ‘Jack Frost’

    • LaurenTaylor

      Haha. I am actually going to do a few movies up to Christmas from the list! Perhaps I’ll consider those left here in the comments!

  • PaulconX

    Here’s my list of best Killer Santa movies, including Silent Night(2012)
    http://www.paulschronicles.com/movies/ho-ho-die-the-6-best-killer-santa-movies-for-the-holidays/

    Got them all I think

    • LaurenTaylor

      Thanks for sharing!!

  • CHROMExSKULL

    I love Inside but no way does that have any kind of Xmas feel to it. Santas Slay and Black Xmas remake are 2 of my favorites that I will make sure I watch this month, I am buying Silent Night 2012 tomorrow and I have high hopes.

  • evenscarier

    Just watched Rare Exports for the first time, and had a blast! Check out the original shorts if you never have. @Lauren I don’t see the downside of being kidnapped by Wes Bently either! I’d bring cookies and cocoa!

    • LaurenTaylor

      Agreed – the shorts are GREAT!!!!
      I’d make sure there were plenty of Blue Christmas record backups and extra needles incase they got worn, for sure!! :)