Tag Archives: Christmas Horror

A Holiday Horrorthon

Merry Christmas! The orgiastic ritual of consumption and regurgitation—of taking and giving and taking again—has ended and you’re now sitting around wondering what to do. Somehow you wound up here with us on this fine day, and if the forecast is holding as your reading this it is a fine day indeed out there. So let’s get to it, I know why you’re here after all. It is no real secret to me, nor to any of the Morbid Movies staff; you’re here because now that you’ve watched Black Christmas with us earlier this month and Rare Exports a few days ago at my request, you’re now uncertain as to how you should proceed with your horrific holiday viewing. I’m glad to be of assistance.

I need to preface the rest of this article with this disclaimer: there is only one movie in the following discussion that I think you HAVE to watch, watch the rest in order to achieve that perfect mixed tape kind of feel. Alright, time to stop dragging my feet and get to it, and so here, without further ado, is my perfect holiday horrorthon.

Rare Exports (2010)

If you haven’t watched it yet, here are some good reasons to. You may have already watched this, probably have, but if you’ve saved it for the big day don’t hesitate to pull the trigger on this one early. Here’s the synopsis* “In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up! This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.”

Gremlins (1984)

It makes sense to go from Rare Exports with the demented and delightfully mad cap tale of a boy and his mogwai gone awry. The levity here is a perfect bridge between this and the next film I recommend to you. So spend a few hours lost in the childlike joy that this film is guaranteed to bring to you each and every time you hit play on the VCR. You know what this one is about, so I will spare you the synopsis.

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

The description of this film courtesty of IMDB is as follows: After his parents are murdered, a tormented teenager goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa, due to his stay at an orphanage where he was abused by the Mother Superior,  and that description still doesn’t come close to the actual experience of being there as this classic plays out its twisted happenings. Here’s the thing though about this one, and it might be the thing that absolutely elevates this one above Black Christmas for me, it’s a very mean spirited and blackly comedic film. The film is just so much fun with its patently ludicrous plot and gleeful dissimulation of the consumerism surrounding the holiday. This one definitely deserves a viewing later on today.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

In this film, “Interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, as told by one festive radio host: A family brings home more than a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes, Santa slays evil.” This one needs to come after Gremlins and Silent Night, as it takes the nuttiness of both films and takes them to new heights. This anthology film is a solid bit of fun filmmaking and should be viewed ASAP.

The list is good so far and It is almost perfect. Here are the final two finals to throw up on the screen at the end of the night.

Krampus (2015)

Director Michael Dougherty is responsible for two penultimate holiday horror films. The first was Trick r Treat and the second, Krampus, should be required viewing in the month of December. This film is as twisted as the other films on the list, and it serves as a perfect evolved form of the family-friendly, holiday horror film. It’s a great way to send the kids off to bed. Here is the synopsis: “A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a festive demon to his family home.” This film is an action filled romp that contains some truly disturbing creature design, and should not be missed. (Note: this film can be switched with Gremlins and the flow of films will still be solid.)

Inside (2007)

I saved the best for last. This is not a movie I recommend lightly, and it is certainly not for the kids. Inside is not only the best Christmas horror film, it’s also one of the best horror movies ever made period. Directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury created a Christmas film that is as  brutal and vicious and relentless as it is beautiful and sumptuous and fascinating. Other than the following synopsis, I am not not going to try to sell you on this film. “A young woman, recently widowed, goes to sleep on Christmas Eve planning to induce the birth of her baby on Christmas Day. She wakes in the night to find an intruder who wants to remove the baby a little earlier than intended, and she is forced to fight for her life and the life of her unborn child as she tries to fend off this scissor wielding maniac.” It’s even more depraved than you think or remember. Warning, it is a French film so there will be subtitles. DO NOT WATCH THE AMERICAN MADE REMAKE. I REPEAT, DO NOT WATCH THE REMAKE. IF THEY ARE NOT SPEAKING FRENCH THEN TURN IT OFF.

So there it is, my suggestions for the things you may want to watch on this beautiful South Florida Christmas Day. I hope you, dear reader, have had a wonderful holiday season.

Year Walking

Christmas is the most magical time of the year. Well, one of them. This is not a tale about family, or gifts—well that is not is not entirely true, they are gifts of a different kind—or Saint Nick. This is one of old magic, ancient and vast, and those who would seek to stare into the void.

While Christmas is currently a brightly hyper-commercialized annual consumer event these days it was once a dark time of the year, one where it was us against the primordial darkness, a single fire against the hungry cold.

These nights have power, it is why the pagans chose them for their celebrations after all— along with Halloween and Valentine’s Day (which is actually originally a feast for werewolves). The world beyond ours, the one filled with things we cannot explain, moves within inches of ours on these nights. It’s easy—if one is to believe the stories of old—to traverse the distance and see the supernatural on these nights, say a certain set of words and meet a certain set of conditions and strange things will happen. Such is the case with the Year Walk.

Known as the Årsgång , the ceremony originated in Sweden and took place on Christmas or New Year’s Eve. The ceremony involved purifying oneself thoroughly and then walking in the forest at night with no fire or light. If performed correctly the ceremony would allow one to see the future.

There is a catch though, in order to gain this future sight one had to overcome challenges and challengers from the other realm. The creatures that populated yesterday’s top ten list roamed the woods at night and one who was undertaking the Årsgång needed to proceed with care lest they meet their end at the hands of the supernatural. Even those not undertaking a Year Walk understood the threat posed by the beasts that swarm and fly through the Yuletide night. Food was left out, not for Saint Nick, but as a distraction for the hungry dead and other things that might visit over the course of the night. It was madness pure and simple to attempt the Year Walk. Oh, and of course there was the weather, with the threat posed by the elements also contributing to the dangers of the night. If one did not get eaten or have one’s soul confined to a special Hell, then one may still succumb to exposure.

The successful completion of the the ceremony often allowed the seer to glimpse the bounties and disasters of the year, so that one could adequately prepare for the year to come. Sometimes though the information provided was of a much grimmer nature. In one case, a year walker reported seeing his own funeral .  

So the ceremony was one of high risk/reward and fraught with danger. If you’d like to experience the Year Walk for yourself, check out the amazing game from Simogo titled Year Walk. It is available on a variety of platforms, including iOS and Steam. If you’re seeking the full experience make sure you download the Year Walk Companion app as well. For the fascinating story of the game came into being, click here.