Entertainment

The 15 Scariest Holiday Movies Streaming Right Now

Umbrella Entertainment
Updated: 

Between the relentless atmosphere of cheer and goodwill during the coldest, darkest time of year, and the endless push towards capitalist consumption under the guise of charity, the holidays can make you feel like you're stuck in your own personal horror movie — albeit one with a pop soundtrack blaring from every speaker. Why not scrape off some of the jolliness and vent some ire at the same time by diving deep into the grim side of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year? Nothing brings people closer than shared irritation and/or wide-eyed fear, so gather the family around the TV and check out some of the scariest holiday horror movies streaming now.

It's not surprising that considering Christmas is a holiday in which participants await a powerful bearded stranger slipping into their houses while they sleep, many holiday horror films center around the terror of home invasion. Black Christmas, Red Christmas, Bloodbeat, and Better Watch Out all feature maniacs, thrill killers, or ghost samurai breaking and entering. What with all the red, an obsession with the material, and a near anagram, Santa's a little to close to Satan for some folks, too. Films like Rare Exports and All Through the House play on the sheer terror of Christmas' supposedly benevolent figurehead. Whether you've been naughty or nice, these films are sure to put the spirits back in Christmas.

1
'Black Christmas' (1974)

A holiday riff on 'the call is coming from inside the house' urban legends and the inspiration for John Carpenter's Halloween, this tale of a sorority prank caller who's much closer than anyone in the house suspects is just the thing to bring everyone very literally closer together.

Streaming on Kanopy, Shudder, Tubi, and Amazon Prime.

2
'Scrooged' (1988)

A classic tale updated for the "Greed Is Good" era, Bill Murray plays Ebenezer as total yuppie scum learning his lesson at the hand of Christmas spirits, including a surly cab driver played by the New York Dolls' own David Johansen. Not horror, exactly, but still more discomfiting than the average holiday movie.

Streaming on Starz and Amazon Prime.

3
'Bloodbeat' (1982)

Yes, that's a Samurai ghost you just saw. This bananas lo-fi Wisconsin oddity follows a young woman visiting home for the holidays when she senses an evil presence, before the aforementioned armored ghost starts attacking the family.

Streaming on Amazon Prime.

4
'Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale' (2010)

A research team accidentally unleashes an ancient evil, a family company is about to go out of business... and somehow the two come together to form the strangest Santa-based export team in history.

Streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu, Hoopla, and Kanopy.

5
'Red Christmas' (2016)

Nothing like a deformed maniac attacking an isolated house to keep the family from bickering, right?

Streaming on Netflix.

6
'Holidays' (2016)

A holiday omnibus featuring a year's worth of terror, including Christmas and New Year's entries that show other reasons for the season — including greed and loneliness.

Streaming on Netflix.

7
'New Year's Evil' (1980)

A misogynist maniac calls a popular radio show host getting ready for her big New Year's show, threatening to kill a woman each time the New Year rings in in a different time zone.

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Epic.

8
'All Through The House' (2015)

A Christmas-obsessed neighborhood is terrorized by a slasher targeting anything with holiday cheer. Unfortunately, this is the year the reclusive mother of a child kidnapped during the holidays finally decorates her house to the nines.

Available on Amazon Prime and TubiTV.

9
'Dead End' (2003)

This one features the Insidious series' Lin Shaye and Ray Wise as parents who take a very wrong turn on the way to Grandma's house for the holidays with their family.

Available on Amazon Prime and TubiTV.

10
'Mercy Christmas' (2017)

It's always unnerving to meet the family, especially with the added pressure of the holidays. In this case the unfortunately-named Michael Briskett finds out his new girlfriend's family's got a lot on their plates he doesn't want to deal with... including himself.

Streaming on Amazon Prime, TubiTV, and Hoopla.

11
'A Christmas Horror Story' (2015)

Did you know the Victorians had a tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas? This anthology of spooky holiday tales, including unwanted resurrections and elf zombies, could be a great way to restart the tradition.

Streaming on Hoopla and Shudder.

12
'Better Watch Out' (2017)

A self-aware holiday horror film in which two suburban tweens and their babysitter defend the house from creeps trying to get in, with a dash of Home Alone to lighten the terror.

Streaming on Hoopla and Shudder.

13
'Anna and the Apocalypse'

Equal parts cheery singalong and zombie survival flick, Anna and her friends are on the cusp of winter break with plans and problems swirling around them, even before the zombie plague breaks loose. A perfect choice for families split between Hallmark Christmas romances and Dawn of the Dead.

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu.

14
'Christmas Evil'

After years of working at a low-level toy factory job, a man scarred by and obsessed with Santa decides to become him. John Waters called it "the greatest Christmas movie ever made!"

Streaming on Showtime, Shudder, Tubo, Flix, and Vudu.

15
'Santa Claus' (1959)

Ok, this one's not overtly horror, but tell me you can look at the toys coming out of that workshop and not shriek. This Mexican film features the weird theology of Santa working to stop one of Satan's devils from ruining Christmas with the help of Jesus, Merlin (yep, the wizard), and a workshop full of presumably missing children from around the world.

Streaming on Fandor.

Have a horrifically happy holiday season, everyone!