Christmas is Scary!!!

Some people call it "the most wonderful time of the year."  Well, we're here to dispute that.  Christmas is, in fact, terrifying.  Take Santa, for instance.  Maybe he's not quite the holly jolly character we've been led to believe.  First of all, he's got surveillance on you all year.   And he's racking up quite a rap sheet, with millions and millions of breaking and entering charges.  To top it all off, he's a homicidal maniac (see below), and also steals cookies!
We've been digging through the vaults of 1980s holiday films, and our worst suspicions have been confirmed.  From evil elves, to murderous Saint Nicks, the Christmas ho-ho-horrors have been thoroughly documented.  Read on for some of the scariest Christmas flicks the 1980s have to offer!

Christmas Evil (1980)

poster for the movie christmas evil, featuring a santa claus holding a bloody axe

Brandon Maggart stars as Harry Stalding, a bullied toy factory employee by day, Santa impersonator by night.  A series of distressing events lead Harry to believe he's actually transformed into Santa Claus, and goes on a (what else?) murderous rampage!

Random fact #1: Maggart is so much more than an evil Santa impersonator on the silver screen--he's also Fiona Apple's dad in real life!
Random fact #2: John Waters is a Christmas Evil superfan!

a police line-up of six men dressed in santa claus suits

Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)

poster for the movie Don't Open Till Christmas featuring a wrapped christmas present with a knife sticking in it 

In Christmas Evil, we witnessed Santa as slasher.  Don't Open Till Christmas takes the opposite approach--Santas getting slashed!  All over London, Santas are getting chopped to bits by a mysterious serial killer.  Who could it be?  The Easter Bunny perhaps?  

Riddled with plot holes and continuity errors, Don't Open Till Christmas is a real lump of coal.  One discerning critic writes, "Words can hardly begin to say how truly bad this movie is!"  

a man dressed as santa claus being stabbed in the face

Elves (1989)

poster for a movie called Elves featuring a wrapped christmas gift with a scary hand coming out of it

Elves--cheerful little helpers they ain't!!  Three teenagers accidentally awake a demonic Christmas elf, who turns out to be...wait for the center of a Neo-Nazi conspiracy aimed to conquer the world!  Ah, a classic holiday tale.  The evil elf goes on a murderous spree, but is finally challenged by the aforementioned teenagers and an alcoholic mall Santa!   

close up of an evil elf's face wearing a santa hat

To All a Good Night (1980)

poster for a movie called To All a Good Night featuring a big brick boarding school with a giant demon face in the clouds above it

Another Christmas, another ho-ho-homicidal Santa!  This slasher film takes place at a girls' school, where a group of friends have decided to stay during Christmas break.  What could go wrong?  In a word--everything!  Terrorized by a slasher Santa, will anyone survive this Christmas break?  Furthermore, and most importantly, did anybody learn the true meaning of Christmas? 

a man wearing a santa suit holding an axe

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)
Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! (1989)
Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990)
Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991)

poster for a movie called Silent Night, Deadly Night featuring a chimney covered with snow, with a santa claus arm coming out of it, holding an axe

And last, but certainly not least, who could forget the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise?  This slasher Santa mainstay features troubled youth Billy Chapman, who works as a humble toy store employee-turned-killer!  (Hmm... sounds a little bit familiar...ahem....Christmas Evil).  Causing quite a stir upon its theatrical release, it was yanked from theaters a week later, but went on to become a cult classic. 

Fun fact #1:  The fourth and fifth installations of the Silent Night series have no  connection to the original films, although they both feature holiday themed horror! 

Fun fact #2:  A remake of the original film was released in 2012, simply titled Silent Night.

a man wearing a santa suit and looking evil 

Well, there you have it folks.  Christmas is scary, case closed.  The moral of the story is: never trust a bearded man in a red suit, no matter how many candy canes he gives you.  And if you hear the tippy tap of reindeer hooves on your roof.......RUN!!!!!

Back to blog