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The Scariest Moments in Non-Horror Christmas Movies!

Sometimes family films are scarier than horror films.

Who could ever forget the first appearance of Old Man Marley in Home Alone? Wielding a shovel, the bearded Marley was something of a local legend in town, believed to be the serial killer known as the “South Bend Shovel Slayer” – he allegedly killed his victims with a shovel, and then dissolved their bodies in salt. Of course, Marley ends up being a lonely old man with a tragic story, turning from suspected villain into unlikely hero in the final act. But goddamn is he scary in that scene where he catches Kevin looking at him through the window. Chills. Total Chills.

Fun side note: late actor Roberts “Old Man Marley” Blossom portrayed real-life, skin-wearing serial killer Ed Gein in Deranged, released sixteen years prior to Home Alone!

We’re here today to talk about those scary moments in otherwise not-intended-to-be-scary Christmas films, and we recently reached out to the Bloody Disgusting readers over on Twitter to help us compile the ultimate list. We’ll be doing more interactive content like this in the future, so be sure to follow us on Twitter (@BDisgusting) so you don’t miss out on the fun.

Here are just some of our favorite replies. Comment with your own picks!




  • A CHRISTMAS CAROL IS A HORROR NOVEL/MOVIE!!! It’s one of the first ever published! A guy runs into FOUR GHOSTS, one of whom threatens him with hell. Movie adaptations usually show him seeing the damned and sometimes experiencing hell before being redeemed. (This is especially true in Scrooge, the 1970 adaptation with Albert Finney, which features the best Alec Guinness performance in history.)

    No matter how whimsical, that shit is horror. The Zemeckis/Carrey animated version spikes it quite a bit and is balls-out horror I can’t believe they marketed to kids. It’s hardcore. The Finney musical is the funniest, yet still has a pitch-black sensibility and spends the most time in hell. Even Scrooged, with Bill Murray, goes full-dark more than once, especially the Ghost Of Christmas Future.

    Christmas Carol. Horror. Seriously.

    • Creepshow

      Although I can’t remember which versions they were, but there were a few Christmas Carols back in the day that were pretty disturbing. When done right, they were pretty creepy!

      • Almost every one had a solid creepy moment.

        The 1935 version is mostly limp, but everyone shows it 87 times a year because it’s public domain. I think it’s as dry as plain toast and the guy playing Scrooge seems more grumpy with a case of hemorrhoids than seriously evil. His frights and his conversion are also weaksauce, then.

        The 1950’s version with Alastair Sim (still the most iconic, in my opinion) had a fantastic ‘vision of the damned’ sequence all done optically due to the era that was freaky as hell. Tons of tortured souls reaching out in vain to try and help the cold girl on the street.

        As I mention, Scrooge in 1970 had a fantastic ‘Scrooge in hell’ sequence that starts terrifying and gets funny as Marley comes to visit him in his new digs. That vision of the damned also has some great flying ghosts also done entirely practical.

        Some of the misguided 70’s and 80’s versions (Winkler, George C Scott, the one where it’s in America and Scrooge is a woman) lack the creeps, and it’s one reason why they’re weak.

        Then we get back into Scrooged and the entire Ghost of Christmas Future section (Herman’s frozen demise creeps me the hell out, too) and of course the animated Carrey version with the hellish coach and, shit, most of that fucking movie. Nightmare fuel, man. Ironic that a Disney animated version is the most generically terrifying adaptation.

    • Rohan Sorensen

      Yeah, 100% a horror movie.

  • Creepshow

    Bill Murray motor-boating Bobcat Goldthwait’s beer gut in Scrooged. Yikes!

  • Lirabelle

    Ok, I agree with that post about the Grinch’s expression. Friday we were showing it to the kids at school and I had forgotten how creepy that was.

    I don’t think I found it so creepy as a kid, but all I could think seeing it now was that he could give Pazuzu a run for his money if you turned the lights out.

    • Creepshow

      I commend you for not torturing the poor children with Jim Carrey’s shit show movie version.

      • Lirabelle

        We picked a bunch of older animated/claymation films for them. These kids needed to be educated on the classics.

        • Creepshow

          Well done. Those are creepy too, in their own sorta way. lol

  • Ribb Rotgut

    Zooey Deschanel’s singing voice in the shower scene in Elf is really weird and it unnerved me. I’m counting it!

  • Frankie Ramos

    Similar to Winter Warlock, Winterbolt in Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July used to scare the shit out of me

  • Ben_Jammin

    The tall, lanky, gray-skinned yellow-eyed Santa-suited thief in Ziggy’s Gift.

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