Ho-ho-die! The 6 best Evil Santa movies for the Holidays

01/12

Reviewing Silent Night(2012) and seeing how it stacks up against the rest of the evil Santa movies. Be it psychotic killer, murdering bishop, or mythological demon, these Santa movies will make you look at Santa Clause in a whole new light

 

Now that December has begun, everything is now in full Christmas mode. We all have our own reasons for loving(or hating) this time of year. One thing we can all agree on is there are certain Christmas movies that are a must watch around the Holidays. However, the Christmas-horror subgenre seems to go largely overlooked. Second only to Halloween as far as holiday horror is concerned, there are some amazing horror flicks set around Christmas time. In honour of the release of the new Silent Night(a remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night) I have compiled a list of the best killer Santa movies out there, ranked from best to worst.

Silent Night, Deadly Night(1984)

This is the quintessential Christmas slasher movie. Young Billy is forced to watch in horror as his parents are brutally murdered by a man in a Santa outfit. After years growing up in an orphanage where the kids are severely disciplined, poor Billy is seriously psychologically damaged. When he gets his first job at a toy store, he is chosen to be the stores Santa. This causes him to snap and go on a killing spree, believing he is Santa Clause who must discipline the naughty. Not only is the plot deliciously twisted, this movie has many staples of a classic slasher. This movie is fast paced, has some memorable kills(antler impalement i’m looking at you) and contains some typical gratuitousness nudity. This was quite a controversial film at the time of its release for its depiction of a Santa Clause killer. While tame by today’s standards, its one of the finest in the genre. There were 4 sequels, none of which are even worth watching.

Rare Exports : A Christmas Tale(2010)

This movie is a real gem, taking a dark fable approach to the Santa Clause mythos. This Finnish film deals with the a burial mound discovered deep in the Korvatunturi mountains. When children start going missing, and reindeer are being slayed, it is quite clear the two are connected. Without ruining anything, this movie paints a picture of Santa Clause as a dark, mythological figure who punishes the bad children. While it doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its plot, this is a great movie with some cool twists and turns. It is a beautifully shot film with a very cool fantasy vibe that is fitting for the holiday. Probably the most well crafted film on this list. Warning : movie does contain male nudity. Seriously

Santa’s Slay(2005)

Starring Bill Goldberg(Yes, the wrestler), Santa’s Slay is one of the cheesiest B-movies i’ve ever seen. This is precisely what makes it so awesome. The plot, is of course ridiculous. Santa Clause is the antichrist son of Satan who prior to 1005 AD celebrated “The Day of Slaying” on December 25th. That is until he loses a bet in a curling match with an angel. The wager was that Santa would have to deliver presents for 1,000 years instead of slaying. When that 1,000 years runs its course, Santa’s reign of death continues. To give you an idea of how goofy this movie is, Chris Kattan and Fran Drescher get killed in the opening scene. Santa Clause speaks only in one liners with all the conviction a wrestler would. He rides his Hell-Dear and kills people with just about every holiday related item they could think of. This is the most fun movie on the list and a great one to watch with friends around the holidays. Don’t forget the booze, you’ll need it.

Sint(or ‘Saint’ in North America)(2010)

This film tells the story of Sinterklaas, from what I understand is the Dutch equivalent of Santa Clause. In this film he’s an evil Bishop who returns from the dead to cause death and destruction. He returns everytime the 5th of December falls on a full moon. When he does, extreme violence ensues! This is by far the goriest film on the list, it doesn’t really mess around. While the plot is straight forward, this is an action-packed and funny movie that deserves to be seen by fans of the genre. It looks great for being a low budget, but due to these limitations it doesn’t aspire to be anymore than a B-movie. Highly entertaining but not much in the way of substance. It is however the only movie to feature a zombie Santa Clause, and for that alone, this is a win.

Silent Night(2012)

This so-called “remake” of Silent Night, Deadly Night was pretty disappointing. It shares nothing in common with the original other than the premise of a killer in a Santa costume(and an antler impalement). Despite a healthy dose of gore this movie mostly falls flat. Basically your typical paint-by-numbers slasher flick revolving around a killer Santa whose motivation just isn’t as interesting compared to the rest of this list. The plot is as simple as it gets, a killer Santa on the loose in a small town. It sports a solid cast that includes Malcom Mcdowell and Jaime King. Compared to the original it was underwhelming, on its own it was still a solid entry into the killer Santa subgenre and a serviceable slasher.

You Better Watch Out(aka Christmas Evil)(1980)

Christmas Evil shares a lot in parallel with Silent Night, Deadly Night. Much like that film, a young boy is traumatized for life after witnessing something disturbing involving Santa Clause. However this movie takes a much more subtle approach. It’s more of a character study of a highly deranged man obsessed with Santa Clause than an actual slasher movie. Think Norman Bates in Psycho or Travis Bickel in Taxi Driver. That being said, there are a few moments of shocking violence including some kills administered with Christmas ornaments. These unfortunately are few and far between, most will find this one pretty slow. Watching the main character descend into madness and become Santa Clause was fairly interesting. This is still a very twisted movie that is worthy of the list. Also I think it’s worth mentioning that it has one of the biggest WTF endings i’ve ever seen.

 

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5 Responses

  1. Jeff G says:

    Where is “To all a Goodnight”? Now thats a classic killer santa movie.

  2. Dutchie says:

    Great list! Gonna watch a few on here, thanks!
    Just a little remark, in the Netherlands we have Sinterklaas AND Santa Clause. We celebrate Sinterklaas on the 5th of December and Santa Clause on December 24th-26th. So they are not the same.

  3. michael says:

    just wanted to clarify i’m from holland and the saint movie you watched isnt the same “saint” you guys have in america, we have a holiday called “sinterklaas” on the 5th of december, primarrily for the kids, something about a saint nicolas from way way back (dont know the exact story) and then we have the jolly bearded red guy same as you for the 25th and 26th of december.. hope it clarifies it a bit, but they are deffinitely not the same.

    season greetings,

    mike

  4. michael says:

    never mind my post, just discovered the previous post from dutchie…

  5. Paul says:

    Hey guys, really appreciate your input. As Jeff G posted, i’ve managed to track down a copy of “To All A Good Night” so when I edit the list to include that, I will certainly edit my post about Saint. Thanks for clearing that up – that’s kind of neat but a tad confusing. Appreciate it :) Merry Christmas to you guys!

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